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Shopify helps local merchants 'adapt to a retail is everywhere future'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

According to the latest Shopify research, New Zealanders are increasingly choosing to shop whenever and wherever they are across a multitude of online and offline platforms. While physical retail continues to be a key touchpoint with 45% of those surveyed shopping only at physical stores, an online brand experience has become increasingly essential as well. Nearly 70% of shoppers surveyed prefer to check product availability online before heading to their local store to see the items in-person, while 63% felt confident purchasing a product only after being able to first check it out in person.

"Consumers are shopping whenever they like, using their favorite apps and social media accounts, on their smartphones, computers and tablet PCs. At the same time, retailers are coping with constant shifts in social-distancing requirements even as many Kiwis prefer to do their shopping at a physical store," said Shaun Broughton, Managing Director, Shopify APAC. "We believe that it has become essential for local retailers to become more nimble and adaptable in order to deliver a consistent shopping experience for their customers across a growing number of offline and online touchpoints in this ‘retail is everywhere’ future."

To help New Zealand retailers prepare for this "retail is everywhere" future, Shopify, the leading global commerce platform, today launched integrated retail hardware for Shopify Point of Sale (POS) and Shopify Payments for in-person transactions. Retailers will now be able to process transactions and accept major payment methods however and wherever they need to - countertop, on the floor, curbside or on the go with the fully mobile POS.

This will enable retailers to offer online-to-offline services like ‘buy now, pick up in store’, which have become increasingly popular in New Zealand. 26% of shoppers surveyed said that they are likely to use Click-and-Collect services, up from 21% before the pandemic, while over half (57%) expect retailers to offer it as an option.

Maintaining a seamless retail everywhere experience is important because nearly 7 out of 10 will check product availability online before going in-store. 75% of shoppers are even willing to buy out-of-stock items online and collect their purchase in-store at a later date, while 66% prefer to have the item delivered once restocked.

Delivery and fulfillment is emerging as a crucial differentiator with 41% of shoppers surveyed choosing to add more items to their cart in order to qualify for free shipping. A third of shoppers are also willing to wait a longer time for their purchases to be delivered if that means paying lower shipping fees.

Other key survey findings included:

Product returns

36% of customers are more likely to return an item they purchased online as opposed to in-store

42% of Kiwi consumers would not shop online if they had to pay shipping fees to return a product

73% want to be able to make in-person returns for items purchased online.

The top deterrents to shopping online

52% think the item may look different from its photos

The same proportion want to be able to touch, feel and see the actual size of the product

47% are afraid the wrong item will be delivered

Supporting local businesses

7 in 10 shoppers say shopping local is important to them

The top 3 reasons for shopping local are convenience (58%), wanting to support local business owners (56%) and helping the economy (49%)

The top 3 reported barriers to shopping from local retailers are price (60%), range (35%) and slow expensive or non-existent delivery options (30%)

Preferred payment methods

Nearly all shoppers in New Zealand use electronic means of payments

59% say the ability to pay contactless in store is very important to them

Mr Broughton added: "Shopify’s integrated retail hardware and in-store payments will be a game-changer for our New Zealand merchants seeking to future-proof their business".

Key benefits of integrated hardware and payments with Shopify POS include:

The ability for retailers to accept major payment methods, however, and wherever they need to in order to make the sale

Seamless, secure, and reliable checkouts for both retailers and customers when completing a sale, all through a single POS system

Unified back office to track and manage sales, payments, and payouts across online and in-person retail all from a single location

Frictionless returns and exchanges helping retailers assist customers with purchases made online or at other locations

Clear and upfront pricing with a single rate for all credit cards and no hidden fees or hardware rental fees

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