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Digital payment systems gaining ground: 42% of Swiss consumers want to pay using their mobile phone in the future, while 64% want to use self-checkout machines

Zurich, 12 July 2017

Clearly the importance of digital devices for buying and paying for products is increasing apace. A new study by Deloitte on the impact of digitalisation on customer behaviour in Swiss retail provides evidence for this trend.

For instance, self-checkout machines meet with broad acceptance: in a representative online survey of 2,000 people resident in Switzerland, 42% of participants indicated that they had used a self-checkout machine to pay for goods; 65% want to use them in the future. That equates to growth of over 50%.

The expansion of mobile payments is likely to be even greater: around 23% have already used Apple Pay, PayPal, Twint or other mobile payment providers. In the future it is likely to be double that (46%). 

Similar growth looks probable for payments using the provider’s app (17% in future, 8% now). Interestingly, 11% of Swiss consumers can imagine paying with virtual currencies like Bitcoin in the future.

Higher spending because of mobile payment systems

It is not only the more widespread use of mobile payment systems but also the additional sales generated that make them increasingly important for Swiss retailers.

Almost 30% of consumers surveyed thought they would spend more money when out shopping if they paid using their smartphone or smartwatch. Only 4% thought they would spend less. Thus, retailers that offer mobile payment systems can expect consumers’ spending to rise.

The effect is likely to be above average for younger consumers. 39% of millennials1 thought their spending would increase.

“The ongoing digitisation has transformed consumer behaviour in the retail sector. If you’re only thinking about online sales, you’re underestimating the impact. The difference between online and offline customers is blurring. Retail sales in store are also being heavily influenced by digital devices and online channels,” explains Konstantin von Radowitz, Lead Partner for Consumer & Industrial Products at Deloitte in Switzerland. “The talk of town is the increasing importance of online sales. But retailers should actually look even more to the use of digital technology in their offline operations.”

The digital consumer: Further study results

  • The talk of town is online shopping, but the influence of digital devices and online channels in the Swiss retail trade extends far beyond pure online sales: The proportion of in-store sales influenced by the use of digital technology (CHF 25.5 billion) is almost four times that of the pure online sales (CHF 6.5 billion) of Swiss retailers.
  • The online shop is important as a sales channel – but it is even more important that Swiss retailers look to the use of digital technology in their offline operations.
  • 83% of Swiss consumers use a smartphone, iPad or laptop when shopping.
  • For one consumer in five – and one in three for millennials – channels such as YouTube and Facebook have a medium to large influence on purchasing decisions.

1People born between 1980 and 1999, also called Generation Y 

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