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How payment platforms can establish a direct line to existing and new customers
October 15, 2018 Blog transaction data


by Jeremy Sim, Director, Manufacturing & High Tech, Qlik

Our society seems to be riding full steam ahead towards the promise of a cashless future. Over the past few years, new digital payment platforms have sprung up like mushrooms after the rain – WeChat, Alipay, Fave, GrabPay, Razer Pay, CarouPay, to name a few in Asia Pacific alone.

In Singapore, consumer attitudes towards cashless payments are improving as more Singaporeans are using cashless payment methods, according to a 2018 Visa survey. The survey also revealed that almost half of Singaporeans are confident of going cashless for up to three days traits mirror consumer behaviours in China, where cashless payments have progressed to become the only way to transact with some retailers.

No doubt, the ease and convenience of cashless payments will encourage consumers to continue choosing this method of payment. To retailers, the emergence of this new payment method offers another opportunity of establishing a relationship with existing and potential customers.

Cashless payment platforms not only facilitate transactions with ease and convenience, they also represent gateways into a potentially valuable trove of transaction data. As clichéd as it sounds, data is the new oil, but without knowing how to generate insights from data, its value is as good as nil. Retailers able to do this can create unique customer experiences and that is the key to differentiating themselves in an over-crowded and competitive landscape. Some instances include:

  • Predict customer behaviour and purchasing patterns – Isolate relevant customer purchase patterns across customer segments and channels to identify trends
  • Tailor and target products better – Insights enable retailers to offer hyper-personalised products and services to win over customers and maintain their loyalty
  • Monetise data – Every piece of data gathered means something, but its meaning must be correctly interpreted through analytics. Only then will retailers be able to create a tangible, competitive advantage
  • Forecast demand – Big data will help retailers shape demand-forecasting strategies, further impacting their future business decisions

However, it’s not enough to simply rely on your own data. Retailers also need to understand consumers who are currently not buying, to be able to bring them into the store and potentially convert them into customers. By combining owned data with external third-party data, retailers can achieve greater understanding of their business, spot trends, and gain new perspectives. More importantly, these insights allow retailers to continually engage consumers throughout the buyer’s journey. Therein lies the true value of the data.

At Qlik, we have been enabling retailers to analyse changes in shopping habits for many years. For example, Decathlon, a French sporting goods company, has transformed its businesses through big data and analytics. Its subsidiary Decathlon Pro was seeking better insights from customer purchases and subsequent decision-making so that it could keep pace with the growing sporting goods market. Using Qlik’s data analytics, Decathlon Pro developed several applications to improve customer insight and evaluate market activities. Knowing which products were selling best during each season helped the retailer better plan for future seasonal rollouts, having retail locations stock more of a high-selling item during peak seasons.

In the face of shifting consumer behaviours, the emergence of new payment platforms is only one of the many technological changes that retailers need to adapt to. Instead of shying away from new technologies, I urge retailers and businesses to think about how they can utilise new payment platforms and leverage data analytics to grow and cultivate their customer relationships.