Retail trends post-pandemic: mobile payments entering the mainstream as normality approaches

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Having spent hundreds of millions of pounds on protective measures during the height of the pandemic, it has been reported that retail chiefs are in discussions over the logistics of removing plastic screens from supermarkets. In a move that signals a return to pre-pandemic norms is just around the corner, new trends will soon emerge and become commonplace in the retail space in the wake of the pandemic. Ushering a new era of retail where technology has become more predominant than ever, consumers now expect a convenient and quick shopping experience. Research from the retail tech pioneer, Ubamarket, has found that after the pandemic 62% of Brits want to complete their supermarket shop in under 20 minutes.

In order to achieve this, retailers must implement digital solutions to speed up the shopping process so that consumers can cut their shopping time in half, allowing them to enter and exit the store swiftly. Digital wallets and mobile self-scanning are an innovative way of doing so. Global customers now have access to use mobile self-scanning technology at 32,000 stores, according to new figures in the Mobile Self-Scanning and Checkout-Free 2021 study, produced by RBR. Dispelling fears of the implications that stores such as Amazon Go may have on the industry, hundreds of retailers globally offer the technology, which allows customers to pick up a handheld device provided by the retailer or use their own smartphones to scan items as they shop.

The report also earmarked the emergence of checkout-free technology as the next trend within retail technology to gather momentum. Ubamarket, a pioneering retail app, has been on the front lines of innovation in the retail sector, and is helping supermarkets and convenience stores to revolutionise their operations by integrating such technology.

The Scan, Pay, Go app Ubamarket provides is currently being implemented by a list of retailers including Central England Co-Op, SPAR, Budgens and Londis, with key features such as age verification, aisle sat-nav and AI-driven personalised offers proving instrumental in helping physical retail outlets transform their service offering to compete in a post-COVID landscape. Testament to the necessity of retail technology, the implementation of Ubamarket has helped partners increase basket size by 21%, while customer loyalty has been enhanced with store visits up by 300%. Ubamarket allows consumers to check out while in-aisle, saving them time and giving them full control of their shopping experience.

Will Broome, founder and CEO of hybrid retail-tech company Ubamarket, discusses the importance of digital payment methods and how Britain’s high street retailers can enhance consumers shopping experience: 

“As one of the most vital and integral institutions in society, it is essential that Britain’s retailers look to adapt to the new conditions to ensure they adapt to the challenges Covid throws their way. Retail technology offers an all-encompassing solution; in Ubamarket’s case in the form of a simple app; which can put consumers in control, doing away with the need for time-consuming queues, unhygienic checkouts, and confusion about where products are and whether they are in stock. By building lists off-site and checking stock before entering the store, retail technology can help reduce necessary queues before consumers travel to the outlet. It remains to be seen how the sector will fare beyond Coronavirus, but retail technology is sure to play a significant role.

“Ubamarket’s mobile technology helps retailers to offer customers an incredible experience when they come to shop at their stores. Not only does our technology revitalise and revolutionise the process of shopping in-store for customers, but it also provides retailers with a much-needed method to get back on track and ensure they can thrive in the midst of a tough climate for the industry.”