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Hybrid Physical-Digital Buying Experiences Lead Post-Pandemic Trends

In A Decade of Digital Transformation in 12 Months, 46 C-suite executives spoke with PYMNTS for its Q2 eBook on what the world will look like as recovery rolls on and the next iteration of normal rolls out. In this excerpt, Vikram Dhawan, vice president and senior project leader at Kount, discusses how the pandemic has combined physical and digital experiences by giving consumers more ways to engage with their favorite brands.

Read the entire eBook here.

Seamless physical and digital buying experiences will lead post-pandemic buying trends. At Kount, we see these experiences that include mobile order-ahead for quick-service restaurants and curbside pickup; buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS); same-day pickup; and click-and-collect for grocers, retailers and food delivery services. Where once the customer journey was largely dependent on in-person experiences, the lines are now blurred. These pandemic-fueled buying options combine physical and digital experiences by giving consumers more ways to engage with their favorite brands. Not only have they helped boost online traffic to brick-and-mortar locations, but once consumers are at a physical location, they’re likely to buy additional goods.

Mercator Advisory Group found that BOPIS purchases alone increased 554 percent between May 2019 and May 2020. And businesses that offered this buying option before 2020 saw a 70 percent increase in transaction volume and a 58 percent increase in transaction value in 2020, according to ACI Worldwide. Unfortunately, businesses that only require minimal proof of purchase at pickup locations are at high risk for fraud. BOPIS fraud saw a 7 percent attempt rate, compared to a 4.6 percent attempt rate in other delivery channels, the ACI data revealed.

How consumers engage with brands has changed forever, thanks to these hybrid brand experiences. But fraud has changed, too. Today, fraud doesn’t just happen at the point of payment. And because consumer demand for easy hybrid processes is so high, adding any friction to the buying experience can increase merchants’ risk of losing business to competitors. To keep up with buying trends and consumer expectations, businesses across industries won’t just digitize – they’ll continue to undergo deeper transformations post-pandemic. The absence of this transformation can cut off a critical path to business growth.

Consumers love hybrid buying options because they reduce the time it takes to acquire goods. Bad actors know that any business that attempts to curb fraud by increasing customer friction at checkout or pickup is turning away potential business. Businesses that ask for additional verification information at the curbside pickup line risk reducing customer satisfaction.

The solution in undergoing a deeper digital transformation lies in balancing digital and in-person experiences, establishing identity trust across the customer journey and preventing payments fraud. The key element that makes all that possible is networked data. Experienced fraud analysts know that establishing identity trust is about the quality of data available. That’s why an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven fraud prevention solution that connects fraud and trust-related signals from 32 billion annual interactions is essential to post-pandemic digital transformation.

And if advanced AI links those fraud and trust signals using supervised and unsupervised machine learning, businesses will be in an even better position to prevent fraud at every point in the customer journey. Supervised machine learning analyzes past decisions, while unsupervised machine learning detects emerging fraud. In milliseconds, these tools deliver accurate identity trust decisions, whether a customer is creating an account, logging in or placing an order for pickup or delivery. With a networked solution, businesses can approve more good orders and decline high-risk orders faster.

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