Kiosk Solutions Apr-May 2020 | Page 13

hyper-connected clientele hyper-connected clientele tourists but others worldwide, the merchant network that accepts payments via QR code, NFC technologies, and electronic wallets is expanding. This trend will also lead stores to digitise their customer journey. Besides Alipay and WeChat Pay, other smart media platforms such as France's Lydia and Denmark's MobilePay are now starting to offer all types of payment method. Focus on Chinese technology tools Conventional Western social networks and media, such as Google, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, are blocked in mainland China. Instead, the Chinese use WeChat (1 billion active users monthly in 2019), Sina Weibo (486 million active members) and Douban (320 million) as their primary source of information. A number of technological advances have changed the payment habits of Chinese consumers, urging them to adopt mobile payment directly and forgo the use of bank cards. With nearly 3.2 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2019, and a potential of 690 million Chinese who would use their smartphone daily to pay at a point of sale or an ATM, the tech giant Alibaba has been offering its own payment solution since 2004, Alipay. Originally designed to facilitate transactions on the online auction site Taobao and on Alibaba's e-commerce platforms, Alipay now manages a host of financial products and services, ranging from physical payment, to money transfer between individuals, to corporate funding. n Chinese tourists about promotions, discounts or coupons before they travel, merchants can spark the interest of new customers and draw them into their stores. The ideal strategy would be to create a buzz through digital marketing on Chinese mobile payment platforms, like Alipay, WeChat Pay, and Tencent, and establish a relationship of trust between the brand and the consumer. Through its geolocation service, Alipay, for instance, tells users about nearby merchants, promotional offers and product news. Alipay and WeChatPay have also launched mini-programs that are comparable to resident applications. Users don't need to download new applications because they are already integrated into platforms. These mini-programs handle everything from e-commerce to accessing Chinese government services. For example, at Hong Kong International Airport, a mini-program allows customers to shop duty-free online, before arriving at the airport, and then pick up their purchases 90 minutes after ordering. Customers can also use these mini-programs to order food for home delivery. Standard restaurant chain apps could eventually become redundant, as WeChat and Alipay have managed to bring the two together within their platforms. These miniprograms could become serious competitors to the conventional e-stores. Mobile payment added to the value chain for a seamless customer experience According to analysts at Gartner in The Market Guide for Digital Commerce Payments published in July 2019, providing a smooth payment experience increases conversion rates and provides an undeniable competitive advantage. To be sure, for outlets and stores to benefit from the sales potential from Chinese tourism, they must now offer omnichannel experiences including mobile payment – the payment method of choice for these customers – and target marketing campaigns accordingly. With an incentive to appeal not only to Chinese 24 KIOSK solutions KIOSK solutions 25