New Innovations in Transforming the Point of Purchase

New Innovations in Transforming the Point of Purchase

New Innovations in Transforming the Point of Purchase

Guest Bio

Mark Jamison

Mark Jamison is SVP, innovation & strategic partnership for Visa. He is a recognized fintech pioneer and a proven corporate leader of digital transformation.

More Info

Every leading company in today's marketplace understands that its future success is increasingly defined by software.

Both digital native companies and legacy enterprises that aggressively underwent radical digital transformations have put incredible focus on omnichannel delivery of their products and services. This has been inspired by excellence in user experience and powered by software engineering.

And while the 'visionary' pundits have been predicting the death of brick-and-mortar retail since the beginning of the internet in the late 90s, a retail paradox has emerged. Ironically, today the proof point of success for digital native companies is a brick-and-mortar footprint. Warby Parker, Minted, Birchbox, Rent the Runway, Kate Hudson's Fabletics, and even Amazon's recent brick-and-mortar stores are all proof that humans inherently value social interaction and the ability to touch, feel and experience products as part of their purchase process.

At Visa, we serve more than 40 million merchants around the world. And among this group, we increasingly see that consumers have growing digital expectations for in-person retail. Leading in-store experiences now blend the best of digital (e.g., search, browse, find and customize) with the best of physical (e.g., feel, try, experience and validate).

The purchase journey is non-linear, spanning multiple channels even while shopping in-store. Even mobile point of sales and apps are shifting payment away from checkout counters, offering opportunities to deliver more engaging and frictionless purchase experiences.

Why now?

One of the disciplines among Silicon Valley venture capitalists is to not only ask "Why?," but also "Why now?" This question is basically asking if a minimally viable ecosystem exists for the new product or service to be successful. For in-person retail, it is increasingly clear that 2017 has reached its "Why now?" threshold and is in the beginning stages of a radical transformation in the point-of-purchase experience.

The days of queues leading to a bank of clerks behind checkout registers will soon be a nostalgic legacy. It's not a coincidence that Apple retail stores don't have checkout lines, and that order-ahead apps such as Starbucks allow customers to customize their orders, set a default payment, and simply walk in and pick up their unique orders with zero friction or time spent at checkout. The payment process for Uber? Get out of the car and walk away. As a result, consumers are now trained to expect personalized experiences, automatic loyalty recognition and frictionless default payments that occur in the background.

The recent commercial viability of new technologies is now enabling totally new point-of-purchase experiences. Market tests of new technology combinations using biometric authentication, facial recognition, geolocation, artificial intelligence and various types of sensors are showing what will soon be mainstream best practices. Some notable examples are:

  • Using cameras and sensors along with a default Amazon Prime profile, the Amazon Go grocery store in Seattle enables customers to pick up the items they want and simply walk out of the store.

  • Using various proprietary technologies including facial recognition, Google Hands Free is running three separate Bay Area market pilots at a Papa John's, a McDonald's and a Timothy Adams chocolatier.

  • Square recently re-launched its card-on-file merchant solution, which allows retailers to check out a customer based on their provided profile picture and default payment.

  • Walgreens is running a multiple authorized user card-on-file pilot at selected pharmacies, designed to deliver both speed and convenience by completely removing the payment process from in-store transactions.

An evolving end state

The digitally empowered consumer is in charge, and in this new world of frictionless payments there remains some significant issues around consumers' attitudes toward security and privacy. However, we are confident that the benefits of convenience and personalized experiences will drive retailers to ultimately discern the right mix of technologies and consumer protections that will allow for mass adoption of a radically new point-of-purchase. The retail industry is at a major inflection point, and there has never been a more exciting time to use technology to delight customers and remove payment friction in the retail business.

The statements and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of TSYS.

Other Articles by Mark

Mark Jamison

Mark Jamison is SVP, innovation & strategic partnership for Visa. He is a recognized fintech pioneer and a proven corporate leader of digital transformation. Today at Visa, he and his new product development and design teams are building the next generation of digital commerce and payments platforms using tokenization, the blockchain, human-centered design, biometrics and emerging mobile capabilities.

Prior to Visa, Mark was the global head of customer solutions and digital transformation for BBVA in Madrid. In the United States, he is most well known as the former chief digital officer for Capital One Bank and the founding executive leader of Capital One Labs. His multiple award-winning new product development and labs teams continue to be widely recognized as one of the industry's top applied innovation centers.

Share this story via email or social networks