SAP Unveils Agile Payment Solution and Reveals Consumer Preference for Sustainable Returns

Timed for Shoptalk in Las Vegas, which is being held from Sunday to Wednesday, SAP made several announcements this week, including a new “composable payment solution” and fresh consumer research about returns.

SAP’s solution aims to help retailers and brands offer shoppers more flexible payment options, such as buy now, pay later. The third-party payment service providers SAP has teamed with include Adyen, Airwallex, Stripe and Worldpay.

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The solution, called SAP Commerce Cloud, is an open payment framework that helps retailers and brands “become more agile as new payment options — such as buy now, pay later — gain popularity,” the company said, adding that its composable, headless architecture “allows retailers to cherry-pick payment partners tailored to their unique needs and international markets, enabling them to build at their own pace, scale their business faster and avoid being confined to a single provider.”

SAP also said its Commerce Cloud solution is built on a no-code, low-code framework.

Regarding SAP’s go-to-market strategy, Sven Denecken, senior vice president and global head of product marketing for SAP industries and customer engagement, said the company’s “unmatched industry expertise is the foundation of our strategy, as it enables us to deeply understand the complexities of delivering seamless and positive customer experiences that reinforce the brand promise with every interaction.”

Denecken said the company’s “unique, industry-led approach to composability places the retailer’s digital commerce needs front and center while we work with them to manage their digital transformation, navigate pathways to sustainable growth, and deliver on industry expectations.”

Leslie Hand, group vice president of retail and financial insights at IDC, said the solution gives retailers a quick connection to the PSPs, thereby allowing them to “adopt the plug and play framework they need that greatly reduces the complexity of a traditional integration. It’s great to see SAP delivering on its promise to offer composable solutions so customers can adjust to new market requirements when and where it works best for them.”

SAP said its Commerce Cloud solution features seamless and native integration capabilities, which ensure PSPs can be rapidly adopted while reducing complexities by eliminating “the need to integrate and deploy extensions to the commerce code base.

“The framework is extensible and headless, helping ensure the front end and back end are decoupled and operate independently. This creates an opportunity to cater to a wide range of channel requirements and add on new solutions, including pre-built payment experiences available on SAP Commerce Cloud, composable storefront,” SAP said. “It also ensures customers have the freedom to pick their preferred payment method, which enhances the checkout experience.”

Regarding the consumer research on returns (released by SAP Emarsys), the company said its researchers polled more than 2,000 consumers in the U.S. and found that 51 percent of respondents said they want more sustainable retail returns, while 55 percent said they are more loyal to brands and retailers that have sustainable returns processes.

“Sustainability is even more important to younger shoppers,” SAP said. “One in three Gen Z shoppers (33 percent) view sustainability as the most important consideration when making purchases, even more than price.”

The survey also revealed that 53 percent of those polled said retailers “should re-sell returned items at a lower price” while 56 percent said they would like to see retailers “accept returns at local depots.”

“Sustainability has become a key consideration for consumers when deciding where to shop,” said Kelsey Jones, global head of product marketing at SAP Emarsys. “Retailers must prioritize more sustainable operations and taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of returns is a good starting point.”

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