In a recent study conducted by a crypto payments platform and PYMNTS, they examined how well cryptocurrencies have integrated into the checkout process, what consumers thought of it, and ultimately set out to see whether shopping with crypto is feasible for mass adoption.

The study was conducted from February to March 2022 and involved 2,333 consumers. The consumers were categorized into three categories, each based on the following criteria:

  • Basic-tech consumers: own a limited number of tech devices, on average 2 - 3 devices.
  • Mainstream consumers own an average of six tech devices.
  • Tech-driven consumers: own on average 10 - 11 connected devices.

Observers paid close attention to the tech-driven category as this group represents the trendsetters for the adoption of new products and new technologies. As trendsetters with an established interest in cryptocurrencies, they have the potential to “lead the way” in the coming years. While representing a powerful segment of the consumer market, this group only accounts for roughly 15%.

Examining their behavior and response to shopping with crypto indicates what might work further down the line for less “tech-driven” clientele. In turn, if their response is overwhelmingly positive, then their demand for the payment option might have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the industry.

Six Observations From The Study

  1. Crypto users typically utilize a wide range of connected devices, positioning them in the tech-driven category of consumers.
  2. 35% of tech-driven consumers prefer shopping at merchants who accept crypto over other merchants, while 26% said they would be happy to swap to a merchant that supports the technology.
  3. Mainstream and tech-driven consumers typically invest in cryptocurrencies and then use the gains for shopping.
  4. 39% of basic-tech consumers buy crypto for transactional purposes.
  5. In a 30-day period, 40% of tech-driven consumers, 35% of basic-tech consumers, and 19% of mainstream consumers made online purchases using cryptocurrency.
  6. For in store purchases in the same 30-day period, 34% of the tech-driven group used crypto compared to 25% of basic-tech consumers and 11% of the mainstream group.

Tech-Driven Definitives

Considered to be the trendsetters of technological advancements on a mainstream level, tech-driven consumers make up a small part of the overall consumer market.

In trying to understand this group, it was noted that their drive to engage in technological advancements was not necessarily based on wealth. It was observed that less than one in four of the tech-driven consumers earned more than $100,000 a year, and only 22% had college educations.

The age breakdown proved to be an interesting component of the group, with the following breakdowns observed:

  • 14% of the Generation Z consumers in the study,
  • 19% of the millennial consumers,
  • 19% of the Generation X consumers,
  • 20% of the bridge millennials,
  • 8.2% of the baby boomers and seniors fall into the tech-driven category.

In terms of use, 24% of the tech-driven group reported using crypto up to 20 times per month, classifying them as habitual users. 15% of mainstream users and 6% of basic-tech users also positioned themselves in this category. 40% of tech-driven, 41% of mainstream consumers, and 51% of basic-tech consumers were classified as occasional or infrequent users.

Crypto Opportunity For Merchants

The report indicates that there is an interest from all categories in using cryptocurrencies to shop, presenting a prime opportunity for merchants to leverage crypto to gain new customers.

There is a window for merchants to persuade consumers through education on the benefits of cryptocurrencies to shop at their store, while also becoming familiar with and growing their understanding of their customers’ level of technology sophistication.

While the basic-tech group was the least “tech-advanced”, they were the most likely of the three groups to buy cryptocurrencies to use as a medium of exchange (as opposed to investment).

Another interesting observation, not noted above, is that 20% of the tech-driven group, 10% of the mainstream group, and 15% of the basic-tech reported they had bought crypto to avoid missing out on the biggest trend in finance. While the trend has been noted, it takes implementation, education, and adoption to become fully realized.

In Conclusion

People represented in the tech-driven category have played a significant role in driving much of the digital shift in economical advancements in recent years, with this trend likely to continue.

While cryptocurrencies sit in the wings of the mainstream financial payments sector, it is believed, based on past evidence, that they will soon become a mainstream part of the broader economy. All signs point to crypto being accepted at checkouts as the next big step forward. Merchants quick to recognize this trend are likely to profit.

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