Voice of the Industry

How to craft an ecommerce strategy for the post-COVID boom

Thursday 1 October 2020 08:48 CET | Editor: Andra Constantinovici | Voice of the industry

James Booth of PPRO shares the company’s latest findings and learnings on the most prolific ecommerce segments and trends to be considered post-pandemic

As we all know, ecommerce is one of the few sectors enjoying a boom in 2020. In the US, online sales are set to increase by 18% this year. In Europe’s three largest markets – France, Germany and the UK up to 80% of shoppers now make over half of their purchases online. And there’s every sign that this shift will be permanent: 74% of UK shoppers, for example, say they will continue shopping online even when life returns to normal.

If at this point, you’re thinking ecommerce’s time has come and we can all afford to relax, you’re only half right. Because although this great shift in consumer behaviour has disrupted existing retail-brand loyalties, it has not yet created new ones. Locked-down shoppers moved away from their favourite brick-and-mortar stores, but they don’t yet have online favourites to replace them. 

Consumers are still trying online shops out for size. That’s perhaps why cart-abandonment rates during lockdown have gone as high a 94%

To ensure that merchants emerge from the 'great digital shift' as winners, they must find ways to stand out from the crowd and engage a market in flux. 

What e-commerce segments are thriving? 

The first step toward an e-commerce engagement strategy for 2020, is to know what customers are buying and want to buy. Here, PPRO can help. According to our global transaction engine, these are the segments which showed the biggest increase in the first six months of 2020:

  • Women’s clothing up by 311%

  • Food and drink up to 285%

  • Healthcare and cosmetics up by 160%

  • Furniture and home furnishings up by 143%

  • Electronics up by 123%

  • Jewellery and accessories up by 83%

The pattern is clear. The pandemic has prompted people to buy goods that make this stressful time more comfortable and convenient: home furnishings to make time at home more enjoyable or home offices more functional, food to avoid trips to the market, and so on. 

And, according to the data we cited earlier, they’re overwhelmingly happy with the experience. So, what should merchants do to build customer loyalty and make themselves the destination of choice for their category? 

Identifying the reasons for cart abandonment

To develop a loyalty strategy, we need to know why shoppers fail to complete purchases or bounce to another retailer. Fortunately, a recent study of consumers in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Germany asked just this question. Here are the top-5 reasons:
  1. Shipping costs too high: 40%

  2. Price comparisons led to abandonment: 33%

  3. Preferred payment method not available: 20%

  4. Delivery time too long: 15%

  5. Website too slow: 12%

What jumps out here, is that the key factors are not things such as security or data confidentiality (they come further down the list). The things that really sway consumers’ decision, come down to price and consumer experience. Pricing strategies are a whole separate topic that we won’t get into here. But there are things that merchants can do, quickly and with relatively little overhead, to improve their user experience. 

One of the main reasons why customers find a site off-putting and don’t complete their purchase, is the absence of a preferred payment method. To win trust in new markets whether that’s new geographical markets or demographics new to online shopping merchants must quickly and responsively adapt and localise the customer experience. 

Get this right, and they stand a good chance of winning the massive and lucrative new audiences brought their way by the great lockdown shift to digital commerce.

To find out more about how to win at ecommerce in the wake of the pandemic, download PPRO’s free whitepaper Payments in a Time of Social Distancing

About James Booth

James Booth has over ten years of experience in the financial sector, eight of those in fintech. In his current role as VP, Head of Partnerships for EMEA, he leads the new business and partner development teams in managing PPRO’s new and existing strategic partnerships. In addition to helping PPRO partners grow their business, he acts as PPRO’s internal advocate for aligning the company’s product roadmap with the needs of its customers. James has been actively involved in various projects during his tenure at PPRO, including establishing PPRO’s presence in North America and managing the development of the PPRO Partner Portal. 

About PPRO

PPRO enables integrated electronic payment processing on a global scale spanning the entire payments value chain from acquiring through processing, collection, and settlement. PPRO acts as a B2B payments hub, connecting PSPs and other merchant aggregators, such as acquirers and processors, with local payment methods.

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Keywords: James Booth, PPRO, ecommerce, ecommerce strategy, ecommerce trends, worls, electronic payment processing, COVID-19, social distancing, online shopping, merchants, delivery time, payment method, Europe, UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, cart abandonment, global transaction engine
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Europe
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