By Tony Preedy, Managing Director of Fruugo
The last decade has seen major shifts in the retail sector. Online retail sales are growing at a substantially faster rate than in-store, the global economy is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the world has encountered a series of unforeseen circumstances which have continued to impact business strategies. The retail climate remains an unpredictable one, and any purveyor of a product or service must be flexible in their planning to ensure they keep up with their competitors – one key adaptation being the use of new payment platforms.
As the retail landscape remains fast-changing, so too does the payments landscape. For example, according to a survey from payments provider Mollie, 93 per cent of consumers have abandoned up to ten shopping baskets this year because their preferred payment method was not accepted. This highlights the importance of providing several different payment methods to encourage customers to complete their online shopping experience. Whilst cash in hand and card payments remain popular for some, the rise of ecommerce has seen the creation of several new methods that are on the rise. More importantly, these methods are proving popular in different online markets across the world. So, for retailers looking to expand their business on an international scale, they firstly need to identify which methods are proving popular, and where.
One of the strongest growing methods is the option to ‘buy now, pay later’. This short-term financing solution – allowing consumers to make purchases upfront, with the option to pay for them in the near future – is beneficial to consumers and businesses who are looking to take more control over their expenditures. It is continuing to grow in popularity through the likes of Klarna. Indeed, on Fruugo, Klarna has become the most popular payment method in the Nordic region since it was first founded in Sweden, with additional countries including Austria, Switzerland, Finland, and Norway now all utilising the buy now, pay later option.
Consumers are also preferring online payment methods that offer security without compromising on convenience. According to Mollie’s research, 38 per cent of consumers surveyed would abandon an online shopping cart if PayPal was not a payment option. This may seem rash, however consumers who share their card details through several different websites every time they make a purchase can feel more susceptible to fraudulent transactions. Not offering alternative payment solutions can therefore put them off completing their purchase. The use of secure and simple payment methods, such as a PayPal, is growing globally and is already proving most popular in Luxembourg, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and the United States on Fruugo.
Some consumers also prefer a sense of locality in their payment methods. The ability to make purchases through a trusted brand that is well known to the nation adds an additional sense of security, especially when making cross-border purchases. On Fruugo, Netherlands-based e-commerce payment system, iDEAL, is the most popular method within that market, whilst Portuguese interbank network, Multibanco, is the preferred option there.
With such a diverse selection of payment methods now available, and cross-border purchasing easily accessible to consumers across the globe, it is essential for retailers to be strategic about the payment methods they opt for in their online strategies. While many consumers still opt to pay by debit or credit card, if retailers only offer this as a payment method, they are likely to be losing interest from customers, leading to a loss in sales opportunities. Customers may shop with a less preferred method – but more likely, they may just shop elsewhere.
In an increasingly unpredictable climate, consumers do not want to be tied down to one process. People want simple, safe, and easy access to their online shopping, and having several secure payment methods can not only help to retain loyal customers but can also attract new, international customers. With online retail continuing to expand, it is important for retailers to not fall behind their competitors.
There are several ways that retailers can easily adapt their payment procedures. Modern platforms such as Ayden can work with retailers to update their website and help add new payment solutions to their checkout. However, retailers also need to consider cross-border complications. Once the new methods are set up, sellers still need to deal with repricing to local currencies, translating content to local language, local marketing and search engine optimisation, foreign exchange risk, local fraud screening and local sales tax compliance. For independent and start-up businesses, this can prove too much of a challenge and can restrict international growth.
However, there are platforms that not only simplify payments, but also handle the marketing of the products in those international markets and deal with the other localisation complexities too. Online marketplaces offer a fantastic solution for retailers looking to expand internationally as they are able to support businesses in overcoming these complications. Many marketplaces provide sellers with services such as content translation and local digital marketing, as well as converting currency and providing localised international customer service, helping retailers to gain quick and simple cross-border access to multiple countries. Those marketplaces that specialise in international selling provide fully localised Checkouts, optimised to local preferences, so that sellers don’t have to worry about adapting their own websites to do so. Retailers should opt for marketplaces that operate on a no-sale, no-fee basis, so that they can start selling internationally with very low risk and investment.
The growth of ecommerce shows no sign of slowing down in the coming years and accessing global markets is an enormous business growth opportunity. It is therefore imperative for brands, distributors and retailers to stay on top of changing consumer habits in different international markets. With such a diverse range of payment methods proving popular in different regions, sellers who are aiming to seize their cross-border opportunities must ensure they adapt to these new systems, putting consumer security and convenience first.