2017: The year of flexibility

As the world becomes increasingly technology-led, organisations need to plan carefully for the coming year making sure they’re not swept up in the digital whirlwind. While the ability to pay with one tap of a card is ideal for many consumers, others may prefer or be limited to paying with cash – and it’s the responsibility of businesses to cater for both.

Paypoint flexibility

Consumers are increasingly judging brands by the experience that they provide, and flexibility is a key way for them to do so.

2016’s technology addressing the needs of consumers

Last year saw the rate of digital transformation increase rapidly across the UK. The development of new consumer technology saw us become better connected, with over 24,000 different types of Android phones and tablet devices on the market. We tested the capabilities of driverless cars for the first time in the UK in Milton Keynes, and even handed over some of the control in our daily lives to chatbots such as the new Google Assistant and home-AI like Amazon’s Alexa.

These technologies were crucial in catering for an increasingly fragmented population caused by changing demographics, attitudes and lifestyles, and addressing the wide-ranging needs and expectations of varying communities.

Understanding 2017’s consumer

In 2017, we will see a continued move from macro to micro-demographics of consumers with their own specific requirements.

An example of one of these emerging groups is the so-called ‘Last of the Millennials’. Aged 16-24, they have grown up during a time of technological change, globalisation and economic disruption. One interesting aspect of this is their different attitudes to ownership that has helped coin the phrase the “sharing economy”. Rather than materialism, the focus for this generation is on experiences.

Pew Research Centre looks at other consumer behaviours, including 41% of over 65s not using the internet, compared with only one per cent of 18-29 year-olds. Furthermore, 42% of Millennials like to shop and pay with their mobile phone, whereas 80% of Baby Boomers would prefer to use debit cards. Learning about and understanding the behaviours of these different demographics will be crucial for businesses.

Responding to 2017’s consumer

Organisations will look to capitalise on tailoring their offering to meet their audiences’ requirements.

This highlights the importance of choice for consumers, and platforms such as PayPoint. Its retail and payments technology has a proven track record and handles over 800m consumer transactions every year for service providers, including energy companies, local government and transport firms with a flexible route to payment for their consumers.

PayPoint is on and offline; providing for payments by cash, card including contactless; retail, phone and digital; at home, work and whilst out and about from Land’s End to the highlands and islands – helping to keep modern life moving in 2017.

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