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Saturday, December 3, 2022 | 06:54 am

Even As Inflation Hits and Stores Struggle, Consumers Are More Optimistic About the Future of Ecommerce, According to Checkout.com Study

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Even As Inflation Hits and Stores Struggle, Consumers Are More Optimistic About the Future of Ecommerce, According to Checkout.com Study

New research released today details how, in the current economic climate, consumers express significant interest in the benefits of eCommerce for managing spend and ensuring value for money. The data comes from “The Global Retailer’s Handbook”, the latest industry report from a leading cloud-based global payment solutions provider which gathered the views of 9,000 U.S. and European consumers and 500 enterprise merchants.

The study shows that across the U.S. and Europe, consumers possess increasingly positive sentiments about the benefits of shopping online and utilizing new digital payment methods, with 81 percent of consumers saying that the future of retail is online. This reality reiterates how important it is for retailers to optimize their online infrastructure so that their businesses can thrive in the evolving digital economy.

Building resilience in retail
Merchants invested heavily in eCommerce and digital infrastructure during the pandemic (60 percent of retail merchants have seen a significant increase in their tech budget in the past two years), and there is a great deal of opportunity to ensure their digital presence remains a competitive superpower.

However, data from the report shows that retail is facing a challenging environment. High costs are causing 76 percent of retailers to be worried about the financial health of their businesses. And more cautious shoppers are creating revenue concerns, as 80 percent of consumers say they will abandon their purchase if worried about the security of the payment. This makes it all the more vital that retailers ensure their payments are absolutely water-tight so that money is not left on the table.

Attitudinal data from the report shows that positive sentiment toward digital commerce and payments has continued to significantly increase over the past 12 months. Moreover, 33% of consumers report that eCommerce is appealing to them as part of their budgeting strategies, as it makes it easier to identify savings, while merchants see the opportunity to divest from physical and ramp up digital as a way to shore up their business when money is tight.

All of this is good news for retailers because it means their significant investment in digital commerce (triggered by the pandemic) will not go to waste. With over 60% of retail merchants reporting an increase in their tech budgets of 20-50% in the past two years. Consumers have an increasingly digital mindset and merchants can turn this to their competitive advantage if they are able to meet the needs of their customers and optimize the wider reach eCommerce offers their business.

“Retailers and consumers around the world are feeling the crunch of inflation and economic uncertainty,” says Leela Srinivasan, Chief Marketing Officer at Checkout.com. “Yet against this bleak backdrop, there’s ample reason for optimism about the digital economy. Consumers are emphatic that the future of retail is online. For retailers, unlocking growth is all about balance: finding ways to deliver smooth and delightful experiences while staying hypervigilant in a time of heightened fraud and chargebacks.”

The Global Retailer’s Handbook explores numerous additional topics, including how consumers want to engage with brands they can trust, discouraging impulse buys, increased appetite for digital payment methods and digital wallets, and consumer interest in purchasing from sustainable brands.

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