Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The Attention War: how to engage a digitally native audience 

By Kevin Carson, Senior Vice President, FreedomPay

In today’s rapidly evolving retail landscape, the significance of customer engagement has never been more important. The ability to captivate and maintain the attention of customers has become a crucial goal for businesses. According to research by FreedomPay and Retail Economics, in an increasingly digital world, social media, mobile devices and ecommerce platforms have created a fiercely competitive ‘attention economy’ in which busy customers are often multitasking on multiple devices. 

A generation of multitaskers

Younger, digital natives are particularly firm proponents of multitasking when shopping – from watching TV while browsing online or even shopping online while in-store. In fact, they are seven times more likely to buy online while in-store compared to ‘store-first’ shoppers. And while multitasking can distract shoppers from making a purchase (thus negatively impacting brands’ sales), research has shown that multitasking can even have a negative impact on shoppers depending on their mindset, like disengaging from physical in-store triggers while concentrating on their smartphones. As shoppers increasingly disengage from physical in-store triggers and focus their attention on devices, a noticeable shift is occurring. They spend more time browsing but make fewer purchases. This poses a significant challenge for businesses, as they must find effective ways to engage a new generation of consumers. To tackle this, merchants need to embrace new technologies and enhance existing ones to provide an exceptional personalised payments experience. By doing so, they can unlock the full potential of payments and captivate the attention of today’s digitally connected shoppers, unleashing the power of pay.

Shopping in a digital age

Consumers who prioritise digital experiences are not only more inclined to adopt new payment options but are also four times more likely to favour mobile or digital wallet payments compared to those who predominantly shop in physical stores. As a result, digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal are witnessing increased integration at online and in-store checkouts. 

Reduced disposable income, colliding with an explosion of payment solutions means that brands are under pressure to offer streamlined payment and checkout experiences. But a one-size fits all approach is wholly inadequate. By offering a range of payment solutions, brands can capitalise on younger, digitally engaged consumers.

Cutting through the noise

Greater browsing activity (with or without intent to purchase) presents opportunities for brands to leverage personalisation to effectively grab attention, drive product awareness and convert to sales. Therefore, it is imperative for brands to cut through the noise and grab the attention of consumers. Offering hyper-personalised content to customers captures the attention of digitally native shoppers; specifically, ensuring your brand has a range of payment options at checkout is essential. 

In the era of increasing connected devices and abundant data, merchants who prioritise personalisation throughout the entire customer journey will stay ahead in the evolving landscape. Personalisation enables businesses to stand out, capture customers’ attention, and in doing so secure market share, which is particularly crucial in the current competitive climate.