New year, no more for one in five online retailers if they fail this festive period

Despite this festive period promising to be the most online ever, fears of failure threaten a fifth (21%) of online retailers. A new study from London-based online payment company, Checkout.com, shows one in five (19%) online merchants don’t think their e-commerce offering will cope with this year’s online festive sales rush, rising to 22% for smaller retailers*.

Those retailers that don’t sort their ecommerce and digital payments infrastructure in time could miss out on part of the £10.5 billion estimated to be spent, with the average person expecting to spend £278 on the digital high street this Christmas and Black Friday with clothes, food and drink and books set to be the most purchased items. 

A quarter (26%) of online retailers expect to take less revenue than last year during this Black Friday. But despite retailers’ fears of consumers reining in spending, 14% of shoppers intend to spend £500 or more over the festive period – presenting a great opportunity for retailers to recoup sales lost from the first half of the year. 

Misconceptions between retailers and consumers 

Amidst rolling local lockdowns the pandemic has led more people online, ultimately changing retailers customer demographics. This misconception between what retailers think consumers want, and what consumers really want means shoppers could take their money to savvier online retailers. 

One in 10 (9%) consumers intend to pay using a mobile wallet like Apple Pay when making an online purchase during the festive period sales. Despite this, 40% of online retailers say the payment infrastructure they have in place does not allow them to accept different alternative payment methods like Apple Pay, despite customer preferences.

Bradley Riss, Chief Commercial Officer and retail expert at Checkout.com said: 

“The upcoming Christmas period, which looks set to be the most online quarter ever, will be the real test on the digital high street. Convenience is king and that’s as true of payment systems as it is online deliveries. It’s a busy time of year for consumers, and they won’t wait for archaic ecommerce infrastructure or limited payment choices when a competitor is only a few clicks away. 

Despite this year promising to be the most online festive period, mobile commerce could slow with fewer people commuting and moving around, instead opting to make their purchases on a desktop or tablet. That provides a unique opportunity for retailers. 

But our research reveals that three in 10 (30%) retailers say the pandemic has meant updating their payments infrastructure has taken a back seat. At such a crucial time for retailers, it’s essential they find the right solutions to make the most out of this period. For those that don’t, they may find their consumers shopping elsewhere this Christmas.”

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Bradley Riss Checkout.com

Author: Lauren Towner

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