New study reveals more than half of brick-and-mortar small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. are optimistic about the 2023 outlook, and 70% prioritize integrating new payments technology
Four in five (80%) SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) consider payments and a seamless checkout experience as critical to growth. New research among 200 U.S. brick-and-mortar SMBs commissioned by leading payments platform, Paysafe, revealed that 69% of merchants want to reduce the time their customers spend at the checkout. 70% of them also want to prioritize integrating new payments technology in-store to enhance customer experience.
“We were happy to see that most merchants are optimistic about the year ahead and that they appreciate the contribution that payments can make to the overall customer experience and ultimately as a key differentiator for their businesses’ growth.”
When asked about how they expect their business to perform in 2023, most in-store retailers, as well as restaurants and other service providers, were optimistic with more than half (56%) saying “better than 2022” and only 9% fearing a worse year ahead.
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Many brick-and-mortar merchants expanded their digital presence during the pandemic and cited it as important to driving growth: 73% of brick-and-mortar merchants surveyed already have an online presence, whereby consumers can pay for products or services online. And 62% agree that an online presence is critical to their business surviving and thriving in the future – whether that’s making connections on social media, offering promotions, or virtual checkouts.
Among the findings, SMBs confirmed the importance of payments and the checkout experience for their businesses’ overall strategy: 86% agree that they are important for retaining existing customers and 82% for attracting new customers. Also, 79% consider payments and the checkout key for managing expenses, 79% for reducing costs, 76% for competitive differentiation, and 68% for entering new markets.
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Merchants indicated an interest in new payments technology. While fixed terminal card readers are still the most popular type of payment equipment currently present at in-store checkouts (65%), many merchants are looking to implement more modern systems within the next two years. For example, 49% want to offer smartphone-driven systems, such as QR codes, which allow customers to scan and pay for items on-site using their phones, and 42% plan to offer apps where customers can automatically pay for goods and services ordered.
Afshin Yazdian, President of Merchant Solutions at Paysafe, commented: “We were happy to see that most merchants are optimistic about the year ahead and that they appreciate the contribution that payments can make to the overall customer experience and ultimately as a key differentiator for their businesses’ growth.”
The survey was conducted as part of Paysafe’s Lost in Transaction research series. For additional key takeaways from the research, as well as further analysis, download the full report: Lost in Transaction: The US in-store business payments outlook for 2023.
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