Mobile payment seems a simple concept compared with some of the more unusual emerging technologies. After all, exhibits at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show ranged from mind-reading wearables and autonomous passenger drones, to calorie counting food scanners, all promising to transform the way we work, shop and live.
But the world’s retail giants are investing in mobile payment technology on a large scale and now it’s time for smaller businesses to start thinking about how they make in-roads. Kantar Media data shows that mobile payment users are currently a relatively small cohort – just 3% of the population – however the mobile payment market is at tipping point.
Casting a wide net
As small retailers look to introduce the new mobile pay technologies, it is imperative to tailor their approach to different audiences in order to set them apart from competitors. Whilst current users of mobile payments make up only 3% of the population, by using Kantar Media propensity modelling (a statistical technique used to predict likely consumer behaviour), we have identified that not only do 18% of adults state they have an interest in mobile payments, a further 10% are likely to be interested, despite not yet knowing it.
Using this data, together with the Kantar Media ‘Futureproof’ study, we have identified two distinct groups of mobile payment users and the recommended approach for small retailers dipping a toe into the mobile payment pool.
The group: The 18% of adults that are already interested are our early adopters. They are likely to be what we define as a ‘tech-hipster’ audience: young, with a relatively high disposable income, they enjoy wearing designer clothes and attach more than usual importance to whether their family thinks they’re doing well.
The approach: This group already own the technology needed to make mobile payments and are likely to be quick to jump on the bandwagon. Retailers need to target these customers with a technology that is presented as cutting edge or progressive, focussing in particular on the ‘tech spec’ of their mobile payment offering.
The group: Whilst it’s vital to get the early adopters on board, it’s the next wave that will push mobile payments into the mainstream and that retailers need to be working to get on board. These consumers are generally less enthusiastic about technology; for example they are less likely to be embracing wearable tech or to keep up with developments in technology more generally. The ‘potential prospects’ tend to find it difficult to cope on their current income, which makes them less likely to invest in new gadgets.
The approach: Emphasising the benefits of practicality and ease need to be at the top of every small retailers’ list when looking to engage with this audience. Tackling the negative perceptions of mobile payment such as internet connections, battery life and security are key to encourage this new audience to trial the new technology.