Checkout.com (credit image/Pixabay/ Mohamed Hassan)Checkout.com’s new report, The Global Retailers Handbook suggests retailers need to analyse and optimise every aspect of their eCommerce experience. The report notes that consumers have become more deeply connected to digital shopping and payments. Checkout.com’s report suggests retailers must adapt to the changing nature of digital consumption.

Ecommerce maintains its bounce

Despite stores reopening their doors post lockdowns, eCommerce has retained its recent converts. Indeed, consumer attitudes to eCommerce are emboldening. 33% say that shopping online allows them to budget more effectively and make their money go further. At the same time, 15% more people than last year recognise the benefits of ease and safety.

For eCommerce only businesses, the challenge is to meet the expectations of this increasingly mature audience in what will inevitably become an increasingly competitive market. For retailers with bricks and mortar stores, their eCommerce business must now be the star of the show.

Payments must follow

Checkout.com’s research found significant year-over-year growth in the number of consumers engaging in digitised payments experiences. From using digital wallets and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options to opting for biometric authentication. Consumers are showing fast-growing maturity regarding new and emerging digital payments. Their expectations are also growing. 56% say that they would abandon their cart if their preferred payment method was unavailable.

The rise and rise of marketplaces

Ecommerce marketplaces are a segment of the digital economy that has shown particular growth in recent years. And that growth is expected to continue. Experts predict up to 70% of digital commerce will occur on marketplace platforms by 2025.

Unsurprisingly, those eCommerce brands yet to join the marketplace revolution are considering doing so, and fast. 38% tell us that they’re planning to increase their use of third-party marketplaces to reach more customers. While 26% of retailers with revenues over $1 billion are planning to add a marketplace offering in the coming year.

Retailers are winning on trust, not tricks

Whereas 2021 was about meeting consumers’ desire for exciting online experiences, shoppers tell us that trust has become more critical. Payment security has become more of a priority for consumers with 80% will abandon their cart if concerned about security. Innovations such as personalisation, gamification, and social media shopping have faded into the background of needs. The last of these is particularly stark, with a halving of consumers saying they want to shop via social channels and live-streamed influencer channels, to just 17%.

Retailers have several ways they can demonstrate trust. Checkout.com’s research shows they should start at the checkout. Displaying security information on the payments page has become shoppers’ number one non-price-related priority.

But this is not an invitation for retailers to ignore the customer experience, and expectations rarely stand still. 30% of online retailers plan to improve checkout and payment experience in the next 12 months have the right idea. Additionally, those who demonstrate they understand the financial challenges of their customers. The research also finds loyalty schemes have become increasingly valuable to shoppers.

Fighting false declines, friction and fraud

This year Checkout.com found fewer eCommerce payments are being successfully authorised. Only a quarter of enterprise retailers achieved approval rates of 90% or more, a 6% drop since 2020. This decline in performance couldn’t happen at a worse time. Consumers say they’re less willing than ever to accept a false decline. 44% said they’d give up on a purchase if they experienced a false decline.

The data also unveils a worrying uptick in fraud, especially friendly fraud. 27% of retailers have faced an increase in chargeback rates in the past six months. While 10% are happy to admit they’d initiate a fraudulent chargeback if necessary.

Astute merchants navigate this balance between performance and protection by rethinking their payments technology stack. A payments platform that uses machine learning in conjunction with libraries of fraud rules puts retailers in control. This allows them to define fraud thresholds, set exemptions, and more accurately identify genuine customers.

Detail is critical, with the best strategies considering the individual transaction, customer, product, issuer, and the retailer’s risk appetite. Yet getting the data is a problem, with 80% of retailers saying they can’t access the insights they need.

More than ever, it’s essential that retailers have partners with long-standing experience. Furthermore, partners with deep expertise and an ability to solve for complexity by combining human ingenuity with leading-edge technology.

The bottom line

The research shows the need for retailers to adapt once again. On the front end, they need to prioritize trust. On the back end, they need to optimise every transaction.

Market View: France

Rising prices affect shopping habits. 31% of French consumers are more likely to shop online than in-store to identify the cheapest options and find deals easily.

Market View: Germany

Digital payments gain ground. 57% of German consumers used a digital wallet in the past year, up from 38% in 2021.

Market View: Southern Europe

New rules are leading to false declines. 50% of shoppers in Southern Europe report suffering at least one false decline.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

Retailers across Europe are working in an increasingly challenging environment. The aftereffects of the pandemic, inflationary pressures in supply chains, and the looming cost of living crisis create the perfect storm of uncertainty. This is one of the key findings from the research Checkout.com conducted into the state of retail.

But it is not all bad news. If the past two years have taught retailers anything, it’s that agility and speed can turn adversity into opportunity. Yet, whereas progress in the past has been about making significant investments and bold plans, today’s narrative is around innovation. By focussing on the fundamentals and optimising the basics, Checkout.com’s research suggests that retailers can do a lot more with what they already have.

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