More and more shoppers are picking digital wallets

(Image credit: One Photo / Shutterstock)

Consumers have changed their e-commerce shopping habits over the pandemic and are now looking for easier ways to pay, according to a new survey. 

The study from BigCommerce and PayPal gathered data from 3,000 shoppers in the US, UK and Australia, finding that buying online 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. Key to the decision was being able to choose their preferred payment method, such as using digital wallets, while 66.7 of those surveyed revealed that they’ve made a purchase using their phone at least once in the last month.

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. 

Digital checkout

Consumers are also warming to buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions. Indeed, 20% of US merchants now offer BNPL options at the checkout. However, the range and ease of e-commerce options out there are also driving the demand for online shopping. 

Recent announcements by the likes of Facebook and the e-commerce platform Shopify will make it increasingly easy for consumers to shop and pay online, with multiple routes to the point of sale terminal 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 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 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.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.