With the rapid adoption of online shopping, the e-commerce industry has been experiencing significant growth in recent years. Although COVID-19 continues to affect businesses around the world, many are embracing their circumstances and challenges as opportunities to pivot, expanding their reach beyond geographical boundaries in staying agile and ahead of the curve.
The New (Normal) Way to Shop
While the digital migration at the start of the pandemic was mostly driven by necessity, online shopping looks set to be the new normal for customers moving forward. According to the 2021 Borderless Commerce Report published by PayPal, which highlights current and upcoming global shifts in commerce, 22% of the consumers surveyed across 13 markets indicated a higher level of comfort with cross-border shopping last year. In overcoming the shortages, budget constraints and social distancing concerns in their own countries, they also showed a greater willingness to try new brands and channels across the globe.
As a result, customers have become more open towards exploring different digital payment solutions to find the one that best meets their needs. This is a key development to note, as a lack of payment options is proving to be detrimental to businesses, with 40% of online shoppers being more likely to abandon a purchase if their preferred payment method is not available on-site.
Merging New Behaviour with Tech
Bearing all this in mind, businesses can aim to differentiate themselves from local offerings by competing on product variations and pricing, while instilling more confidence through a solid logistics system and reliable after-sales support. The report highlights how security, purchase protection and financial anonymity are of utmost importance to shoppers in Australia, the UK, Mexico, Germany and the US as compared to factors like convenience and processing speed – reflecting a collective need to address growing and valid concerns around data privacy, online fraud and identity theft.
This will be crucial moving forward, as smartphones are forecasted to account for about 67% of online shopping in 2021. Combined with infrastructure and tech developments such as nation-wide 5G rollouts, the Borderless Commerce report foreshadows the big part they will play in kickstarting economies, particularly across Asia. Such shopping innovations are forecast to generate up to 20% of China’s total e-commerce sales in 2022, up from 10% in 2020. That’s potentially a 100% increase in just two years!
Across all the markets surveyed, 85% of online shoppers said that their spending would stay the same or rise, while 28% intended to start or do more shopping on international websites in 2021/2022 – making mobile optimisation a priority.
This content was produced in partnership with PayPal.