Planet – why preferred payment methods matter

Customers now expect retailers to accept a wide variety of payment methods and those who fail risk losing business

Planet provides integrated software, payment and technology solutions for its customers in the hospitality and retail sectors via a network of global financial services partners

The customer is always right – so the adage goes anyway. In reality, though, however much a retailer wants to accommodate potential customers there have always been roadblocks to meeting their demands.

These days, neither technology nor restrictive service from banks need be among them, however.

This is good news because Planet’s latest global shopper sentiment survey found that for just under half of all shoppers (47 per cent), a retailer accepting their preferred payment method makes for a great online shopping experience.

Accommodating shoppers’ payment preferences might not always be top of a retailer’s priorities, but it does help them improve sales performance.

Planet, which provides integrated software, payment and technology solutions for its customers in the hospitality and retail sectors via a network of global financial services partners, sees its role as helping retailers provide shoppers with more choice and flexibility over how they pay whether that’s online, instore or over the phone.

Planet is able to achieve this thanks to its wide range of payment methods, which, as well as cards, includes digital wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Planet also ensures payments do not undermine the overall shopping experience, reducing friction by integrating payments with business critical software, such as point of sale (PoS) and order management systems (OMS). The end result is a reduction of cart abandonment and improved sales performance.

Driving revenue with international sales

With the return to international spending helping to drive footfall, Planet is able to help retailers further grow their revenue with its currency conversion service.

Planet’s research has found that over 90 per cent of shoppers prefer to pay in their home currency, so it allows retailers to offer their customers to pay for goods or services in their own currency when they check out.

For an Irish retailer, this means the price would be shown in euro as well as the shopper’s own currency. Shoppers may then choose to select the option they prefer, and with Planet there are no hidden fees so consumers see exactly what they are paying.

VAT refunding is also handled, which is crucial as international spending is driving strong growth in tax-free shopping. The process starts in-store, using technology to automatically detect a shopper’s eligibility.

The service covers the entire spectrum from the point of issuing the form or digital receipt, all the way through to the point where Planet refunds the payment to the shopper. Retailers can choose from stand-alone, integrated, or self-service solutions that can be tailored to their needs.

Empowering retail

Planet’s back-office reporting system allows retailers to run tailored reports that help them with their accounting requests and provides information that can support their decision-making.

The pandemic proved how retailers are able to quickly evolve to the changing needs of shoppers. Having accelerated the move to online, there’s now a notable shift back to bricks and mortar. Today, retail is all about omni-channel, or unified commerce.

Over the years, retailers that embrace new technology tend to be those who win the hearts and minds of their customers over the longer term. At the heart of this is choice and convenience.

With consumer spending under pressure, retailers must ensure they are attuned to the needs of their customers, which is where click-and-collect and other services that offer choice and convenience win the day.

Ultimately, retailers never want to say “no” to a customer, so they must adapt what they offer to meet the needs of different customers. Much of this comes down to the technology and how it integrates across PoS, the OMS and payments, both for in-store and online channels.

An integrated unified commerce approach which joins up every channel allows retailers to cater for situations, for example, where a customer enters the store and can find some but not all of what they want. With the integration between PoS and OMS, the store assistant is then able to help them find the other products online and can arrange to have them delivered to their home or to a store of their choice.

Integrating payments into PoS and OMS also means that customers don’t have to queue at the tills as store assistants can take payments out on the shop floor.

In addition, Planet’s payment gateway allows retailers to accept and process online payments.

Planet takes a flexible modular approach caters for all situations, from a simple all-in-one ‘plug and play’ solution, to a more customised approach that might include multi-channel commerce, omni-channel commerce, or unified commerce and connected commerce.

However a retailer chooses to configure, Planet provides a single view of inventory and stock across all channels with data-led insights being available in real-time across any sales channel.

For details visit: www.weareplanet.com