How Tap to Pay is Changing Retail, Featuring Adyen and Sweaty Betty

Explore how Tap to Pay is revolutionising retail, with insights from Adyen and Sweaty Betty. Learn about its impact on customers' shopping experiences.

This morning, we had the pleasure of hosting the latest of our exclusive breakfast event at The Ivy in London. In collaboration with Adyen, we explored the future of digital innovation in retail and hospitality. The event was a deep dive into how 'Tap to Pay' technology is revolutionising the customer experience, featuring invaluable insights from Sweaty Betty who have worked with Adyen to roll out the new payment experience in some of their concept stores.

File-1The event offered a fantastic networking opportunity for delegates across the Enterprise Retail and Hospitality sectors to connect and discuss the future of Product Design and Digital Product Development over coffee and delicious pastries. Red Badger's Business Development Director, Jimmy Taylor hosted and introduced Adyen, shedding light on our ongoing partnership and outlining the focus of the event. But the highlight was undoubtedly the case study presented by Sweaty Betty. They offered an in-depth look at how they've successfully implemented 'Tap to Pay' technology in their stores.

The event concluded with a panel discussion featuring experts in the field, and a Q&A session that allowed attendees to interact and ask questions.

What is 'Tap to Pay'?

The concept of 'Tap to Pay' might sound futuristic, but it's here and it's changing the way we shop. This contactless payment technology allows customers to simply tap their mobile devices or contactless cards on point-of-sale (POS) devices. The beauty of this technology lies in its simplicity; it eliminates the need for queuing at tills, making the shopping experience more enjoyable and efficient for the customer.

Sweaty Betty's Journey

Alexandra Dinsdale, Head of Digital Product, and Jessica Coleman, Omnichannel Product Owner at Sweaty Betty, were among the key speakers at our event. They shared their journey of embedding 'Tap to Pay' technology into their retail operations, offering a blueprint for what a project of this nature might entail. They highlighted the importance of securing early financial backing for the project, while also ensuring that the technology authentically aligns with the brand and customer experience. They also emphasised the need to embrace the fast-paced nature of tech implementation, advocating for agility and adaptability throughout the process.

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Sweaty Betty's implementation of 'Tap to Pay' technology is a prime example of how retail innovation can be customer-centric. Their concept store at Battersea Power Station was designed with the customer in mind, aiming to make shopping an enjoyable social experience. One of the standout features is the introduction of mobile pods. These pods allow customers to complete their transactions wherever they are in the store, even in the changing room, effectively eliminating long queues at checkout tills.

Sales assistants at Sweaty Betty are equipped with iPhones that run on the omnichannel platform NewStore. With just a few taps, they can check out a customer's order, arrange for the product to be delivered to the customer's home, or set up a click-and-collect pick-up directly from the store. The platform also allows sales assistants to view a customer's purchase history by simply inputting their email address. The software has even been set up to suggest product recommendations and notify sales assistants of upcoming customer birthdays.

This technology isn't just a one-off for their Battersea location; it's being rolled out across all global Sweaty Betty stores. Locations with existing table tills are transitioning to this mobile checkout experience, a move that aligns them with other forward-thinking retailers like Ganni and Glossier.

Panel & Audience Discussion

Red Badger's Product Director, Harriet Adams and Adyen's Lucy Hackett, later joined Sweaty Betty for an in-depth Q&A following some fantastic questions from our audience. Referring to some existing use cases and examples, they outlined the steps to implementation, business benefits, cost of implementation and addressed security concerns whilst giving an exciting insight into the future of consumer transactions within the retail and hospitality sectors. 


The discussion was rich in insights, but a few key takeaways stood out. First, the frictionless nature of 'Tap to Pay' technology can significantly streamline the checkout process. Sweaty Betty's example shows that this technology is not just a concept but a practical solution that can be successfully implemented. 

Addressing Security Concerns

When it comes to adopting new technology, especially one that handles financial transactions, security is often the first concern that comes to mind. 'Tap to Pay' technology uses encrypted data to ensure that each transaction is secure. This means that sensitive information is protected, giving both retailers and customers peace of mind. As cyber threats continue to evolve, it's reassuring to know that 'Tap to Pay' providers are committed to maintaining high security standards.

The Investment Question

Another question that often arises is the cost associated with implementing 'Tap to Pay' technology. While the initial setup costs can vary depending on the provider and the specific needs of the retailer, it's important to consider the long-term benefits. These can include increased customer satisfaction, quicker transaction times, and even the potential for higher sales. When viewed as an investment in improving the customer experience and streamlining operations, the costs are often justified.

Impact on Staff Roles

The introduction of new technology can sometimes lead to concerns about its impact on staff roles. Will jobs be lost? Will roles be diminished? In the case of 'Tap to Pay', the technology actually empowers staff to focus more on customer service and less on transaction management. For example, sales assistants at Sweaty Betty can now approach customers anywhere in the store, offering a more personalised shopping experience. This shift in focus from transactional tasks to customer engagement can lead to a more fulfilling work environment and even contribute to increased job satisfaction.

Upsell Opportunities at Point of Sale

One of the less obvious but highly impactful benefits of 'Tap to Pay' technology is the opportunity it creates for upselling. Traditional checkout counters often feature last-minute impulse items, but these can be limited by physical space and the speed of the transaction. With 'Tap to Pay', sales assistants are not tied to a fixed location and can engage with customers throughout the store, offering a more personalised upselling experience.

For instance, while processing a transaction on a mobile device, a sales assistant could easily suggest related items or accessories, drawing from real-time inventory data. The technology can even be integrated with customer purchase history, allowing for highly targeted upselling based on past behaviour. Sweaty Betty's upcoming software update, which will suggest product recommendations, is a prime example of how this can work in practice.

This mobile and data-driven approach to upselling not only has the potential to increase average transaction values but also enhances the customer experience by making it more personalised and less transactional. It's a win-win situation for both retailers and customers, adding another layer of value to the 'Tap to Pay' system.

Free Technical and Product WorkshopAbout Adyen

Adyen are pioneers in creating seamless payment solutions designed to remove friction from transactions. Their expertise in the field was evident throughout the event, adding a layer of authority to the discussions.

About Red Badger

Red Badger specialise in product transformation for blue-chip companies, they bring a unique blend of product design capabilities and technical expertise. Their aim is to build high-performance digital products that not only solve complex problems but also bring companies closer to their customers.

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