Voice of the Industry

Converting customers across borders - focus on French ecommerce

Tuesday 19 July 2022 10:16 CET | Editor: Alin Popa | Voice of the industry

Nigel Reavley, Country Manager France at ACI Worldwide, shows us how the cross-border challenge pans out in France. What are the implications for ecommerce?

In France, as in many of its neighbours in Europe, a series of movement restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 undoubtedly the year of ecommerce. But, as 2021 saw the easing and then strengthening again of restrictions, a more nuanced picture has begun to emerge of the lasting impacts on consumer shopping behaviours.

Like everywhere else, the COVID crisis has largely contributed to the increase of contactless for payment in-store. According to Cartes Bancaires, contactless transactions represent 56% of card transactions in store. The extended usage of ecommerce; while France was very active on ecommerce prior to Covid, it got to another level due to the first lock-down, where most of physical stores were closed.

ACI data shows that some changes in behaviour enforced by lockdowns look set to endure, blending with pre-COVID behaviours to accelerate adoption of experiences that blur the lines between ecommerce and bricks and mortar, such as Buy Online, Pick-up In Store (BOPIS) and Buy Online, Return In Store (BORIS).

The volume and value of ecommerce transactions in 2021 clearly show the release of pent-up demand from consumers hankering for a return to ‘normal’ life.

The merchant challenge

From a merchants’ perspective, the key takeaway is that you cannot have in-store on one hand, and ecommerce on the other hand. Merchants must provide a consistent, omni-channel customer journey. COVID has shown to retailers that their business should not stop because stores are closed, and they have to provide alternatives to their customers through extended ecommerce and mcommerce experience, click & collect, home delivery, lockers, etc.

On ecommerce specifically, retailers have learned that any friction during the sales process could result in cart abandonment and therefore a bad transformation rate. In this respect, the optimization of the payment stage is a major point: payment should be as frictionless and as easy as possible, so customers stay satisfied and loyal.

The challenge for merchants is to make sure they stay relevant in a time of change and uncertainty. The need to support all the payment methods required by their end-customers (knowing that a significant part of these payment methods are local). They need to know how to optimize payment costs via payment orchestration, multi-acquiring, domestic acquiring, intelligent routing, etc. and make the customer journey frictionless and omni-channel by, for example, taking advantage of 3DS v2’s exemptions to Strong Customer Authentication.

Planning for France

It is worth noting that France has one of the highest fraud rates in Europe, which seems to be associated with limited visibility on compromised customer details, so fraudsters can use stolen cards or other details for longer before being detected. However, a shift to more secure payment methods in recent years has helped to reduce fraud, blocking many unauthorised transactions, but it is essential to have a solid fraud management strategy.        

In the recent years there has been a significant shift in customers behaviour moving to online shopping and fraudsters have taken advantage of that. With a rapidly increasing volume on ecommerce transactions, it is even more pressing to have strong card authentication process and secure payment method to protect the customers from fraudulent activities such as identify theft or account take over. 

When it comes to selling to French consumers, the bottom line is to think local. Adapt to local customer trends, local channels, supporting preferred local payment methods. And, as most French retailers are international, make sure the solution can expand easily to other geographies.

ACI and The Paypers collaborated to produce a detailed snapshot of the insights that matter most when measuring the size and type of opportunities in the ecommerce market in France.

I invite you to read this eBook, where you can get further details on the trends that are here to stay, the sector-by-sector impact as lockdowns ended and were reintroduced and insights into market readiness for vcommerce, crypto payments, and the introduction of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).

About Nigel Reavley

Nigel Reavley is Country Manager France at ACI Worldwide with a scope to develop the banking and merchant business in France. Nigel has 25 years' experience in IT sales and business development in the European & North African payments market having worked in banking authentication at Ingenico, in cards at Oberthur, in certification at FIME and most recently at FIS responsible for the French payments business. Nigel has dual nationality British and French and lives in Rennes. He enjoys golf, French wine and Bruce Springsteen in his spare time.

About ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide provides mission-critical real-time payment solutions to corporations. More than 80,000 merchants around the world use our proven, scalable and secure solutions to process and manage digital payments, enable omni-commerce payments, present and process bill payments, and manage fraud and risk. We combine our global footprint with local presence to drive the real-time digital transformation of payments and commerce. 

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Keywords: cross-border ecommerce, ecommerce, fraud management, COVID-19, multi-factor authentication
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: ACI Worldwide
Countries: France
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce

ACI Worldwide

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