Mobile Payments & Skipping the Checkout Line

While most consumers like to shop in physical stores, many want to get out quickly and efficiently once they've decided on their purchase.

Research regularly shows that mobile shoppers want efficient checkout.

Almost half (48%) of consumers also want to use their own device to check out or pay in store, according to a recent study by Deloitte Digital. This compares to about a quarter (24%) who prefer to go through a salesperson.

This issue of getting out of the store more quickly once the purchase decision is made strikes me as what leads to the desire for in-aisle payments, though that phrase may be a slight misnomer.

Just how the majority of mobile shoppers will end up paying and getting out of stores is still to be determined, with countless experiments and methods well underway around the world.

A relatively small retailer in Canada introduced a self-checkout app to its customers late last year and has been watching and measuring results.



The store, LUX Beauty Boutique in Edmonton, used a mobile payment app that allowed shoppers to pay from anywhere in the store and on launch weekend found 7% of all in-store transactions moved to the app, according to its maker.

While the majority of customers didn’t yet move to the SelfPay app from Digital Retail Apps, the cosmetics retailer did capture some interesting stats:

  • There were 28 SelfPay purchases during a one-day birthday party event
  • There were 79 purchases via the app since launch
  • App payment transactions were 17% larger than credit card transactions

The stat that interested me the most is that when faced with lines at checkout, 78% of the birthday party event consumers downloaded the app on the same day.

This indicates that when mobile payment solves an obvious problem, such as a long checkout line, consumers adapt.

Sales associates at Sephora and Nordstrom have mobile payment devices available to them, which can be quickly utilized when lines form at checkout, instantly relieving that burden and enhancing the checkout experience.

While one Canadian cosmetics store using a self-pay app may seem small, it solves a large problem at the individual shopper level.  And that may be the future for mobile payments.

5 comments about "Mobile Payments & Skipping the Checkout Line".
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  1. mike boland from BIA/Kelsey, April 29, 2014 at 7:56 p.m.

    Apple is the sleeping giant in in-aisle payments. They already do so in Apple stores through the seldom discussed Apple Store App. My prediction for a while has been that they will extend this to third party retailers. The hard part is already done -- payment processing and 800 million credit cards already on file through iTunes. I outlined the vision over at huffpo a few months ago -

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, April 29, 2014 at 8:13 p.m.

    Good points, Mike, the market has been waiting for that for some time and consumers already are conditioned to pay that way.

  3. Wendy MacKinnon Keith from Digital Retail Apps, May 4, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

    Love your huffpo article - certainly lots of opportunity ahead for the company that can win over retailers and shoppers - we added a retailer led "Verify" step to SelfPay to allow for a associate to confirm the purchase was valid and it adds a personal touch as the shopper leaves the store/aisle/fitting room This is a new twist - plus SelfPay will be available on both iOS and Android in a few short weeks

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, May 4, 2014 at 7:56 p.m.

    Presume you mean my mCommerce Daily article, Wendy, so thanks.

  5. Wendy MacKinnon Keith from Digital Retail Apps, May 5, 2014 at 9:47 a.m.

    Most Definitely Chuck! You wrote a great article - it highlights how a much smaller start up can play with much larger companies to find a way for mobile commerce to win big for both merchants AND consumers - the answer to getting traction in the 2 sided ecosystem of mobile commerce

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