Digital payments integral to Aussie retail’s pandemic recovery, according to new global study by Blackhawk Network
Adoption of digital payments options, including digital wallets, digital gift cards, QR codes and barcodes accelerated in the past 12 months, with a new survey revealing that 54% of shoppers will spend more money if they can use digital payment method.
The findings come from the Global Digital Payments study; an innovative new report from global payments provider, Blackhawk Network, which also found that 69% of respondents will shop more frequently at retailers that accept digital payments.
The survey, which mined the views of 13,000 shoppers in nine countries, also found that these digital payment methods have an impact on how shoppers feel about a particular brand, and how likely they are to frequent that retailer.
Marc Cheah, APAC Marketing Director at Blackhawk Network, said the rise of online shopping during the pandemic has had a profound and lasting effect on consumers’ preferences that retailers cannot afford to ignore.
“This survey shows that shoppers are spending more money and have a deeper connection with retailers that offer more digital payment methods, which is particularly relevant as consumer confidence rebounds following a tumultuous year for retail,” Cheah said.
“Our research shows that Australians are closing the gap on their global counterparts when it comes to preferring retailers that offer fast, frictionless, and secure digital payment options. As we start to hit more of a stride in our economic recovery, the winners will be retailers that cater to the everyday digital payment preferences of today’s consumer.
“On the whole, consumers are continuing to look for easier ways to tap into mobile wallets, digital gift cards, rewards and loyalty points, and as a result, are increasingly seeking retailers that have embraced digital and contactless payments.”
Key trends identified in the report include…
Shoppers connect with retailers that offer digital payments
Adoption of digital wallets, digital gift cards, QR codes and barcodes accelerated in the past 12 months. Survey data indicates these digital payment methods have an impact on how shoppers feel about a particular brand, and how likely they are to frequent that retailer.
- 69% of respondents will shop more frequently at retailers that accept digital payments, while 54% will spend more money if they can use digital payment method.
- 85% reported that digital wallets have made shopping easier.
- The top retail segments where digital wallet users are using digital payment methods the most are: online-only retailers (41%), grocery stores (37%) and mass merchandisers (26%).
Gift cards helped people connect to eCommerce in 2020
With an ability to be easily bought and used through online-only retailers and essential businesses – like supermarkets – shoppers have increasingly turned to gift cards. Digital gift cards also saw huge increases in popularity since they are an easy contactless payment option to send and use.
- 65% of Australian respondents have used a digital gift card in the last 12 months, ahead of the global average of 60%.
- Despite this, Australian online retailers are falling behind on this front, with only 25% of Australians having used a digital gift card to purchase from an online retailer, compared to 46% globally.
- Digital gift cards got a boost from self-use, with 34% of respondents purchasing a physical or digital gift card for themselves in the last year.
Hurdles to widespread digital payment adoption remain
Despite the increase in digital wallet usage and acceptance over the past 12 months, there are some challenges that must be addressed, with one in five people not feeling as comfortable using digital wallets as they do traditional payment methods.
- Australia has some ways to go for digital wallet adoption, with only 49% of Australians using digital wallets, compared to 55% globally.
- 50% of surveyed digital wallet users reported friction in using them because they are not accepted everywhere.
- Customers want a seamless, omnichannel experience, with 73% of respondents saywing they want to be able to pay the same way online and in-store.
In-store shopping will rebound
Despite the pandemic catalysing the shift towards eCommerce, bricks and mortar stores look here to stay, with 51% of surveyed shoppers ranking the ability to see and touch items in-store before buying them as critical.
The Global Digital Payments study provides a global snapshot of how consumers are using digital wallets, gift cards and rewards, and what motivates them to continue these behaviours over the next year. The research also explores what encourages consumers to shop with specific retailers, and how shoppers may deepen their affinity for retailers that offer and accept digital payment options.
For more global insights and in-depth analysis, download the full report, “Payments EQ: Connecting Globally Through Digital Payments.”
 The “Payments EQ: Connecting Globally Through Digital Payments” is based on the findings of an internet-based survey conducted by Leger on behalf of Blackhawk Network between March 2 and April 5, 2021. The sample size included over 13,000 respondents in nine countries.