Global retail spending fell dramatically throughout the 2020 lockdown as governments asked virtually all non-grocery retailers to close. Consequently, 2020 saw the biggest decline in in-store sales over the last 25 years. However, this was partially offset by the surge in panic buying essential goods at the start of the lockdown restrictions.
With lockdowns lifted, governments encouraged consumers to limit in-store shopping. This boosted global online sales by an annual growth of 9%. In Europe, online retail spends on physical and digital goods increased by USD116 billion in 2020 to reach a total of USD832 billion.
E-commerce will continue to play a critical role and businesses will need to accommodate this. To retain a competitive edge, retailers have been investing in digital transformation: chatbots, voice assistants, and messaging apps etc. In 2020, conversational e-commerce grew by 171% and reached nearly USD60 billion in transaction value globally and is forecast to reach USD200 billion in 2022.
Ellerd Liem, Director POS and Payvision, comments: “The key to a truly customer-centric shopping journey is in integrating all your sale points onto a single platform. Convenience, personalization, and seamless checkout should be at the heart of your customer’s experience – no matter whether they’re in a physical store or online.”
International shipping and sales are a staple of future growth. Ultimately, this means competing with popular marketplaces and global retailers, so they’ll need to meet consumer demand while offering fast delivery turnaround and specific payment methods for each market. OEM and invisible payment methods will eventually be expected alongside the traditional, as a 13% increase in the popularity of digital wallets for e-commerce has already been seen.
Ellerd Liem of Payvision explains: “Paying must be as easy and natural as possible. The customer should be able to checkout whenever is handy for them, at any point in the process. If they’re not able to, this can lead to unnecessary friction, which means a risk that the customer could get frustrated and turn away from the brand.“
A way around it is enabling subscription purchasing, increasingly popular. Across Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands 35% of respondents stated that they had increased the number of online subscriptions. Subscription transactions in Europe will exceed $51billion in 2021 and are set to reach $84 billion in 2025.
Payvision’s findings are clear: it is time for retailers to adjust to the new post-pandemic climate, as 44% of consumers are convinced that their new buying habits will not change post-COVID-19.