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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : May 08, 2017

Merchants: What you need to know now about Amazon Cash

Since Amazon's announcement about their new Amazon Cash program, merchants have wondered what this move means to then. We asked a few ecommerce experts their opinions.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Do you see Amazon Cash changing or making mobile payments more relevant to shoppers?

Bobbi Leach, CEO, FuturePay: The best payment experiences in-stores are ones that feel invisible to the customer. Shoppers want a simple process that gets them through checkout the fastest. Whether that is mobile wallets or other alternative payment methods like prepaid cards, retailers need to offer shoppers ways to pay that get them through the line and out the door quickly.

Pamela Sullins, Vice President of Retail Client Services at Kobie Marketing: innovations like Amazon Cash have the potential to overcome some of the key barriers of adoption and engage additional mobile users, especially if they're integrated within a loyalty program. When implemented correctly, mobile payments simplify the customer journey -- solving a common pain point by allowing customers to browse and buy all on one device without ever having to take out their wallet. Amazon is drawing in another cohort of consumers, attracting demographics that are less likely to use credit cards -- such as millennials and Gen Z -- and essentially onboarding the next generation of mobile users and loyal Amazon customers.

Kristina: What do retailers, online and offline, need to understand about this move?

Bobbi: While traditional plastic has been the most popular way to pay in recent years, credit cards are quickly falling out of favor with younger shoppers. Millennials especially are shying away from traditional credit cards -- opting for more flexible payment options. Retailers need to adjust their payments strategy or risk losing these younger shoppers.

Greg Ng, VP of digital engagement at PointSource: This announcement shows how important it is for retailers to have their digital infrastructure in place as big industry players like Amazon encroach more into the offline world. The flexibility that Amazon Cash enables is going to shake up the industry as cash becomes another variable in the ongoing merger between online and brick-and-mortar. And, if Amazon Cash is successful, other online retailers will need to begin to explore ways to connect their online and offline experience in order to keep up.

Pamela: What retailers need to know is that the idea of Amazon Cash is not a novelty. It's an attempt by Amazon to solve a very real pain point for a very real segment of cardless customers. While on its own, Amazon Cash is certainly not an end-all, be-all payments solution, as part of a larger program that allows consumers to pay multiple ways, it's a solid strategy. Our research shows that multi-tender loyalty programs -- those that allow a diverse range of payment options -- fare better in engaging customers, generate higher customer spend across channels and allow brands to collect substantially more customer data.

Tags: Amazon Cash, ecommerce, FuturePay, Kobie, PointSource, retail trends

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