“Mobile payment saves time during the sale process as the customer can pay in a way which is familiar and convenient to them, which in-turn leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction.”        

-Tanja West-Hill

Weekend Max Mara located at Auckland International Airport is the first Max Mara store globally to offer both duty and tax-free shopping. With a high percentage of Asian tourists arriving in Auckland each week, most customers at Weekend Max Mara’s airport store come from China.

According to Tanja West-Hill, store manager of Weekend Max Mara, these customers prefer to pay either by card, or through mobile payment applications such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.  Mobile payments are now an integral part of Chinese consumer culture, with China fast becoming cashless.  So it’s not surprising that 67% of Chinese tourists prefer to use mobile payments when travelling^.

Max Mara is a popular Italian fashion design house that is recognised all over the world for their iconic winter coats and up-market ready-to-wear clothing. Max Mara has spawned over 35 labels, with their brand Weekend Max Mara becoming one of their staple collections.

To offer their Chinese customers a better customer experience and familiar way of payment, Tanja says the store needed to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay payments and were keen to adopt Smartpay’s QR solution.

As a payments solution expert, Smartpay was quick to recognise the importance of accepting Alipay and WeChat Pay payments, and was the first payments provider in New Zealand to integrate Dynamic QR codes on EFTPOS terminals.

Chinese customers purchasing from businesses with the Smartpay QR solution in place can pay simply by scanning the QR code embedded in the EFTPOS terminal. They see the amount to pay in their own currency, and approve the transaction in Alipay or WeChat Pay with their pin.

The ability to take mobile payments is usually met with pleasant surprise,” says Tanja.  “It saves time during the sale process as the customer can pay in a way which is familiar and convenient to them, which in-turn leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction”.

Despite being in an international airport where their pool of customers changes every day, Tanja says the store does have returning customers. “Having Alipay and WeChat Pay available has helped to increase our customer retention, “ says Tanja. “With this payments system in place our Chinese customers are quite happy to come back,  and they also tell friends and family we accept Alipay and WeChat Pay which has driven more business our way.”

Word of mouth is important for businesses wanting to attract Chinese customers to their store, as many Chinese travellers will only visit places recommended by their friends and family, and on trusted sites like the marketing platforms offered by Alipay and WeChat Pay.

In addition to being a payments provider, Smartpay offers support with these marketing platforms. Alipay’s Discover provides a great opportunity for businesses to connect with over 800 million Alipay users.

Tanja says her store has been successful using this platform to advertise any sales or promotions, and to attract Chinese customers with special offers and coupons. They are also able to take part in Alipay’s seasonal promotional campaigns like the latest global Red Packet campaign.

“Accepting Alipay and WeChat Pay has had a noticeable effect on the store’s sales figures during Chinese holidays like Golden Week”, says Tanja. “There was a high number of Chinese travelling at that time, many of which wanted to pay by mobile QR payments, and we were able to accommodate them.”

Tanja is now looking forward to the upcoming Chinese New Year period when record numbers of Chinese are expected to visit New Zealand, and she is glad her store is prepared to welcome them.

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