Consumers have changed their e-commerce shopping (opens in new tab) habits over the pandemic and are now looking for easier ways to pay, according to a new survey.
The study from BigCommerce and PayPal (opens in new tab) gathered data from 3,000 shoppers in the US, UK and Australia, finding that buying online (opens in new tab) is still the preferred course for most, post-pandemic. Nearly half of respondents said they were discovering new products on social media at least once a month, fuelled by the convenience factor.
Some 62.5% of those surveyed said they were now committed to shopping online (opens in new tab). Key to the decision was being able to choose their preferred payment method (opens in new tab), such as using digital wallets (opens in new tab), while 66.7 of those surveyed revealed that they’ve made a purchase using their phone at least once in the last month.
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The use of digital wallets surged during the global coronavirus pandemic. Prior to March 2020 digital wallet usage represented just 28.3% of the payment methods used by online shoppers around the globe. The figure jumped to 35.2% after March 2020. The percentage of consumers who use the digital wallet payment option in-store has seen similar growth, going from 12.1% to 22.8% in the same period.
Consumers are also warming to buy now, pay later (opens in new tab) (BNPL) solutions. Indeed, 20% of US merchants now offer BNPL options at the checkout. However, the range and ease of e-commerce options (opens in new tab) out there are also driving the demand for online shopping.
Recent announcements by the likes of Facebook (opens in new tab) and the e-commerce platform Shopify (opens in new tab) will make it increasingly easy for consumers to shop and pay online, with multiple routes to the point of sale terminal (opens in new tab) or digital checkout.
“For years, we’ve seen e-commerce continue to gain ground on traditional shopping. Online and digitized experiences have required retailers to quickly adapt to changing consumer shopping behaviors, and this was expedited in the pandemic,” said Greg Lisiewski, vice president of Global Pay Later Products at PayPal.
“Now more than ever, consumers want to be in control of how they pay, and they have a desire for friction-free, seamless digital shopping experiences regardless of which channel they are shopping in.”
The survey has highlighted the need for companies to ensure they develop an omichannel approach to sales. Everyone from small businesses (opens in new tab) through to large retailers will need to reevaluate their sales and marketing strategies in order to meet the changing mood of their customers.
While in-store shopping is still a pull for some consumers it’s online where the demand to buy is strongest. Of those surveyed, 32.6% of US respondents, 29.9% of UK respondents and 29.7% of Australian respondents said the convenience of online shopping (opens in new tab) still outweighs any drawbacks.
What’s more, convenient new options such as being able to buy online and pick-up in store (BOPIS) are making it even more attractive.
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