The world’s first retail focused social listening study by MasterCard, highlights consumers’ desire for retailers to adopt new payment technologies.

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Rome, Italy – 7 September 2015 – Shoppers around the world are demanding their retail experience is transformed, a study by MasterCard has revealed on the eve of this year’s World Retail Congress. Retailers are under increasing pressure to adopt new payment technologies, as shoppers demand simpler and more innovative ways to pay, MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study has uncovered.

In a world first, the MasterCard study in partnership with PRIME Research, analysed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months.

The global social listening study identified some of the key trends within the shopping and retail space, in order to provide retailers with stronger insights and understanding of their audience. Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations, requiring new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’.

Key findings identified from the MasterCard Retail Social Listening Study include:

  • Convenience through technology innovations: Convenience was the most positively discussed aspect of new digital payment methods in shopping and retail related conversations (77%), with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage. Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.
  • Being rewarded: Rewards and benefits for the consumer was the most vociferously and positively discussed topic across social media when it came to shopping and retail (38% share of coverage of the six aspects measured). Entertainment was the sector leading the way, where rewards & benefits was most discussed. Consumers expressed eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly, such as with MasterCard’s Fare Free Friday’s in London.
  • Demand for increased acceptance: After rewards and benefits, consumer discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment was the second most discussed topic according to the study (21% share of coverage of the six aspects measured). Consumers discussed extensively their desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector. Fashion focussed shoppers were the most keen to shout about retailers who accept new methods of payment, such as contactless acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.

In addition, Twitter was highlighted as the most frequently used social media platform globally when it came to online conversations about retail and shopping.

Carlos Menendez, Executive Director for International Markets at MasterCard said; “The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”

Global Conversations; regional talking points on shopping and retail: 

North America
  • Highest percentage of favourable conversations on Digital Wallets and In-App payments (96%)·
  • Highest volume of conversations globally on Digital Wallets and In-App payments and Contactless payments
  • The most favourably discussed retail sector for North America is Fashion (96%)
Latin America    
  • Highest percentage of Contactless payment conversations (88%) in comparison to Digital Wallets & In-App Payments (12%)·
  • Highest favourable tone of any continent on the Entertainment retail sector (97%)
  • Digital Wallets and In-App payments (93%) are discussed more favourably than Contactless payments (91%) in Europe.
  • Entertainment and Fashion (95%) are the two retail sectors discussed most favourably in Europe
Middle East and Africa  
  • Digital Wallets & In-App Payments (93%) are discussed more favourably in MEA than Contactless Payments (89%).
  • Rewards & Benefits was the most discussed topic within MEA.
  • Travel (97%) had the highest favourable tone of the retail sectors within the MEA region
Asia and the Pacific Rim   
  • Asia Pacific had the highest percentage of favourable tone on the topic of Contactless Payments
  • Fashion & Food had the highest favourable tone of all the retail sectors within Asia Pacific (99%)



Safety & Security  Spain (50%)Nigeria (43%)India (40%)Australia (34%)Mexico (24%)
Convenience  Australia (53%)USA (39%)Germany / France (33%)UK (27%)
Rewards & Benefits  USA (45%)Australia / Japan (44%)Germany (26%)UK (22%)
Acceptance & Declines   Japan (85%)Canada (84%)Netherlands (83%)India (71%)USA (64%)


About the Retail Social Listening Study
The study uncovered more than 1.6 million social media posts from July 2014 to June 2015 on the subject of shopping and retail conversations, in the context of MasterCard and its industry peers. The social media channels included within the study were Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Forums, Weibo (CN), Google+ and YouTube. The study covers unique consumer opinion from 61 markets in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim. Using PRIME’s proprietary human-based social media analytics methods and technology, the research firm identified trends on convenience, safety & security, acceptance and declines, and other aspects related to shopping and retail conversations.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Rose Beaumont, Senior Vice President, Group Head Communications, MasterCard Europe
+44 77 25 21 99 70