Merchants Beware: Consumer Revolt Brewing

Merchants' shift of payment methods could cost dearly

Nov 23, 2010, 08:30 ET from Market Strategies International

LIVONIA, Mich., Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Merchants Beware: Consumers will revolt and stop shopping with merchants who try to shift them to payment vehicles that are less expensive for the merchant but less convenient for their customers.  The warning comes from Market Strategies International, a global market research and consulting firm.  

"If merchants decided to stop accepting the consumer's preferred credit card, a full 30 percent would simply stop shopping with that merchant," said Mark Willard, senior vice president of Market Strategies' Financial Services Division.  

The information, which illustrates consumers' impatience with merchants, comes from Market Strategies' new Consumer Financial Outlook study, conducted September 23-29.  When asked a series of questions regarding what they would do if merchants stopped accepting various methods of payment, or introduced minimum charge amounts, many consumers' first response simply would be to "stop shopping at that merchant."

"Alternately, if merchants decided to stop accepting debit cards, 32 percent would stop shopping with that merchant," said Willard.

"The concern for merchants is that they are being squeezed by rising merchant transaction fees from financial institutions without being able to raise prices to compensate," Willard goes on to say.  "With retail sales already depressed, merchants can't cavalierly limit payment flexibility and convenience without the risk of losing a full third of their customers."

The pressure on merchants will continue as they are forced to consider even more new methods of payment including the increased use of mobile "smart phone" technology and their evolving fee structures.  

Market Strategies' Consumer Financial Outlook study was conducted online using the uSamp online panel, with 2006 respondents from U.S. consumers between the ages of 21-70.  The data were weighted to reflect the U.S. Census demographics.

For more information about this study, contact Mark Willard at 734.542.7644 or

Market Strategies International

Market Strategies International is a market research and consulting firm specializing in communications, energy, financial services, healthcare and technology.  Our expertise includes Customer Experience Management, Product Development and Optimization, Segmentation, Messaging and Communications Testing and Brand Development and Positioning.  Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is the 17th largest research firm in the U.S. according to "Honomichl Top 50," published in the June 2010 issue of Marketing News.  Visit for more information.

SOURCE Market Strategies International