Walmart shoppers with access to Apple Pay and who have a mobile payment preference are twice as likely to choose Apple Pay over Walmart Pay, according to new research from Auriemma Consulting Group.
Walmart Pay shoppers spent an average of $319 in a month with the merchant, compared with $291 for Apple Pay users, Auriemma found. One of the biggest reasons to use the Walmart app was to save money at the point-of-sale.
Auriemma conducted the study from April to May, surveying 921 US adults who made a purchase from Walmart, Target, or Kohl’s within the past six months. Shopping-focused apps with payment features can help retailers gain a competitive edge over Apple Pay, per the company.
Merchants have a compelling reason to promote their own payment apps, if Walmart’s experience is any guide. Auriemma’s study suggests a mobile payment app can be a key way to build relationships with customers and drive higher spending. The research recommends retailers emphasize features that offer savings or promotions in an app to drive adoption. While shoppers used Walmart’s app to save money, highlighting mobile payment functionality will create a captivating experience that competitors like Apple Pay cannot currently match, Auriemma said.
Walmart is one of the biggest retailers that doesn’t accept Apple Pay, which requires special equipment at checkout. Walmart introduced its own mobile payment service in December 2015, more than a year after Apple’s debuted. The two companies have discussed the inclusion of Apple Pay into the retailer’s app, but those talks ended in March 2016 due to the difficulty in combining the technologies, an unnamed source told Bloomberg. Walmart Pay was estimated to have more active U.S. users who make at least two transactions a month by the end of 2018, according to researcher Crone Consulting.
Auriemma’s report recommends that retailers focus on features that elevate the shopping experience for customers. For merchants to increase their app and mobile payment usage, customers will need to feel that it adds something extra to the shopping experience. Coupons or rewards may help to get shoppers excited about downloading and using a merchant’s app and payment functionality, Auriemma said. The firm emphasized the importance of creating a sticky shopping experience that smoothly transitions to checkout. By featuring all the ways the app enriches the overall shopping experience, including payment functionality, Walmart and other merchants with payment apps can set themselves apart from device-centric wallets, whose main draw is specific to the payment experience and not the shopping experience as a whole.
While Auriemma focused on in-store app usage, online retailers may be showing their disenchantment with third-party payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay, according to another survey. The portion of web merchants that accept Apple Pay and Google Pay declined this year, according to a Q1 survey from fraud detection platform Kount. Online merchant support for Apple Pay dropped to 35% this year from 48% in 2017, while Google Pay (previously called Android Pay) fell to 25% from 38%.