Need for speed: Fast fashion seeking out rapid payment

By Matthew Redwood, Head of Self-Service EMEA Retail at Diebold Nixdorf.

‘Fast fashion’ is the term coined to describe the movement of multiple mid-market clothing and accessories companies to get the latest trends from the catwalk on to the high street in a quicker, more affordable manner.

A select number of global apparel retailers are key proponents of it, and between them these companies hold a large percentage of the UK clothing market share every year. Something else that is increasingly sought after in this space, it seems, is the ability to accept fast payments – because it is what customers are calling for.

Research released by Worldpay in October found that the volume of contactless payments has overtaken chip and PIN payments for the first time, with the former becoming the most popular form of card payment for in-store transactions in the period spanning June 2017-June 2018. And, according to the study, it’s the fashion and footwear sector where the need for speed in terms of payment has been most remarkable.

Fast fashion and fast payments

Fashion retailers have seen the greatest shift from Chip and PIN to contactless, with the sector experiencing a 415% year-on-year increase in usage of the tap and go payment method. On a related note, the research shows that mobile contactless payments also rose significantly in the clothing and footwear sector – up almost 500% over the past 12 months.

In the final six months of 2018, UK shoppers are predicted to spend up to £38.5 billion via contactless transactions in-store – and it looks like fashion brands and retailers are at the forefront of that push.

Worldpay says that mobile wallets have seen an astonishing 114% increase in usage on the high street over the last year, which is supporting the drive for contactless and quickfire payment.

What does this all mean?

The strength of the successful fashion retailers over the years has rested on their ability to tap into trends and ensure the most sought-after items are appearing on their in-store rails and available online. There’s now a need to ensure they’re following the trends in terms of the technology they offer customers at the point of purchase.

I don’t pretend to know what the ‘new black’ is in terms of in-season colour, but what I can see from consumer trends and research such as that undertaken by Worldpay is that quick and easy payment is certainly the modus operandi among consumers in the UK.

There’s a revolution in checkout technology going on in order to keep up with these new customer expectations, first seen by the range of self-service machines introduced in the 1990s and now represented by the frictionless payment we’re seeing from online retailers, and supermarket giants aided by the use of mobile apps.

And in fashion, there’s global clothing retailers already blazing a trail when it comes to trying to make the payments and checkout process as straightforward as possible. But there’s room for so much improvement here across the wider sector.

Fast fashion means something new in the 21st-century – it doesn’t just relate to the distribution of goods. It’s a whole consumer mindset and shopping experience consideration.

TechStyle 2018

At the TechStyle fashion pop-up store, which will appear in London between 6-7 November, Diebold Nixdorf and partners will be exploring how technology can meet the ever-changing needs of fashion customers and help retailers differentiate themselves in today’s demanding environment.

Innovation and interactive customer journeys are the name of the game, and visitors will be able to meet with influential retail speakers and network with peers from across the industry, as the fashion sector comes together to find out what good looks like in modern clothes and accessories shopping.

As Steve Newton, executive vice president at Worldpay, explains alongside his company’s recent research “it’s about convenience and reducing the parts of the shopping experience that customers find irritating, like queuing and waiting to pay”. That’s what the wider industry, but particularly fashion businesses, are looking to do for their customers in today’s market.”

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