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Bricks still click with Portuguese consumers

Despite the impact of COVID, things are looking up for Portuguese retailers.

The oldest nation in Europe, Portugal is packed with history. But when it comes to retailing there’s, nothing outdated about its stores or its retailers’ desire for checkout innovation.

Despite the impact of COVID, things are looking up for Portuguese retailers. Until June 2022, retail sales registered a year-on-year recovery of 8.8% boosted by non-food retail which is up by 20.0%..

Interestingly, Portugal is one of the few European countries where ecommerce has been slow to take off. Lengthy refunds and complex delivery as well as issues with trust, mean that most Portuguese consumers prefer to buy goods in store, especially fashion and groceries. High streets, large “hypermarkets” and shopping malls still attract the largest share of spend.

Consumers want quality experiences

Around 10.5 million people live in Portugal, and 58% of these live in the Greater Lisbon and greater Porto area. This combined with a regular influx of tourists eager to spend means there’s no shortage of home-grown and international retailers in these bustling areas.

For consumer goods, the decisive selling factors may be price and brand but for many Portuguese quality is a key factor. It’s reflected in their food, wine and love of designer fashion.

With high footfall, lots of competition and a desire to deliver a great experience, Portuguese retailers are hungry for checkout innovation that ensures fast, seamless and smooth payments for their customers. Segments like hospitality, are also eager to meet expectations of travellers by giving them greater payment choice including options like currency conversion.

Card and contactless payments on the rise

Merchants are investing to keep up with local payment habits which are also changing. More people are using card payment methods rather than cash. And contactless is on the rise with 1 in 4 (40%) of all card payments in Portugal now made this way. In addition, the use of smartphones and digital wallets is growing rapidly. The country’s Mobile POS Payments are projected to grow by 18.49% (2022-2027). This is being driven locally by new online and mobile banks such as N26 and Revolut, by traditional Portuguese banks such as Millennium BCP, Novobanco, and Banco BPI, and by smartphone payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Portugal’s retailers are hungry for POS innovation

Given the importance of their physical channels, and diversity of payments used by customers, having the right acceptance devices is vital. Retailers have a strong desire for innovation, a fact highlighted at this month’s InRetail Congress in Lisbon, where the focus was on ‘connecting with the customer’.

At Castles we’re expert at this. Our cost-effective world class solutions are particularly appealing to the Portuguese market where quality and value count. Able to accept a wide variety of payment methods as well as offering formfactors and apps that help power experiential selling, we’re ready to help Portugal’s retailers click with local consumers and visitors.

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