MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study has revealed that shoppers around the world are wanting new payment technologies as they look for simpler and more innovative ways to pay.
Asia Pacific had the highest percentage of "favourable tone" on the topic of contactless payments around the areas of fashion (99%), food (99%) and travel (97%) retail sectors. The MasterCard study in partnership with PRIME Research, analysed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months.
Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations, requiring new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’. According to the study, the topics most discussed by consumers centered around convenience, rewards and benefits and acceptance of new payment methods.
Customers globally want convenience when they shop. This topic was the most positively discussed aspect of new digital payment methods in shopping and retail related conversations (77%), with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage. Consumers around the world specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.
Meanwhile, rewards and benefits for the consumer was the most vociferously and positively discussed topic across social media when it came to shopping and retail.
It is also the most discussed topic in Asia Pacific (40%), Middle East and Africa (60%), North America (47%) and Europe (24%). Entertainment was the sector leading the way, where rewards and benefits was most discussed. Consumers expressed eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly, such as with MasterCard’s Fare Free Friday’s in London.
After rewards and benefits, consumer discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment was the second most discussed topic according to the study. It is also the second most discussed topic in Asia Pacific (28%), Europe (22%), North America (19%) and the Middle East and Africa (12%). Consumers discussed extensively their desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector. Fashion-focused shoppers were the most keen to shout about retailers who accept new methods of payment, such as contactless acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.
In addition, Twitter was highlighted as the most frequently used social media platform globally when it came to online conversations about retail and shopping.
Carlos Menendez, executive director for International Markets at MasterCard said, “The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”