Payment Solutions to Fuel the Growth of E-CommerceScott Pipia
E-commerce transformed the idea of shopping in the 1980s, and since then, it’s only developed and increased its possibilities. Then, in 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread worldwide and impacted e-commerce even further. Fortunately, payment technology solutions are helping fuel the growth of e-commerce platforms. By investing in this technology, e-commerce merchants can future-proof their businesses. In this white paper, we’ll explore the challenges facing e-commerce businesses after the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and how payment technology can empower merchants to provide positive online shopping experiences for their customers and clients.
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Overview of E-Commerce
E-commerce (or electronic commerce) encompasses online payment platforms and mobile shopping. During the 1960s, businesses used primitive computer networks to conduct electronic transactions. In the 1980s, CompuServe hosted the first Electronic Mall. These systems began transforming the way people gather information and interact with brands and products. Companies like Amazon and eBay further revolutionized e-commerce.
Over the years, the possibilities for shopping for necessities and luxuries continued to evolve as digital wallets then digital currencies began to take shape in the e-commerce space. In recent years, stores like Amazon have started to experiment with invisible payments, eliminating checkout lines and hand-to-hand payment. Then, COVID-19 broke out, and online storefronts saw exponential growth, hinting at a completely new shopping experience.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Online Payment Industry
The outbreak of COVID-19 proliferated the number of users choosing to shop online due to a discomfort with shopping in-person. An Acosta report showed that 58% of U.S. shoppers are comfortable with online platforms for buying groceries, which is up from the 35% of shoppers reported in 2015. Additionally, 68% of grocery e-commerce shoppers claimed they would continue to shop online even after the pandemic is over. As research indicates, online shopping is projected to grow throughout 2021, even when more stores begin to reopen their doors.
We also saw more shoppers choosing to use contactless forms of payments during the pandemic, such as mobile wallets and BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store), instead of cash or cards. Consumers preferred contactless options to decrease their chances of contracting the virus. This change in consumer behavior presented merchants with the opportunity to update their payment technology and support their customers’ concerns.
Several other trends continued to develop, showing the growth of the importance of e-commerce. One of these trends is the use of coupons through mobile devices rather than paper printouts. Additionally, shoppers are using store’s apps to find product information and participate in loyalty programs. These trends are opportunities for retailers and e-commerce businesses to engage with their customers and meet them where they’re at.
How E-Commerce Segments Performed in 2020
COVID-19 had a big impact on e-commerce grocery and apparel stores and wholesale companies with an e-commerce platform.
E-commerce grocery stores have seen a 22% growth in sales over 2020 in the United States. During the pandemic, consumers’ priorities changed; instead of physically selecting their own groceries and shopping in-stores because delivery prices were too high, they now opt for safer, more convenient options (such as BOPIS). As an example of this boom in grocery e-commerce, Walmart had a surge in online orders in 2020. In May 2020, Walmart reported that their most recent quarter had e-commerce sales that were 74% higher than the previous year’s corresponding period. Walmart’s offering of online ordering, curbside pickup, and deliveries helped their e-commerce business thrive while many other retailers struggled.
The apparel industry saw a significant decline in retail sales. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in April of 2020 apparel sales were down 16.4% adjusted. However, as the stay-at-home order remained in place and more businesses decided to keep work from home schedules, the loungewear industry saw an increase in sales, such as Browns loungewear line. Despite these declines, the apparel and fashion industry is still projected to reach a market size of $1003.5 billion by the end of 2025.
B2B companies enjoy e-commerce platforms because they can automate manual processes, reach customers across the globe, and sell through mobile devices, among others. The wholesale industry has shown a trend towards e-commerce. Then, the global pandemic of 2020 hit. In the first quarter of the year, B2B e-commerce saw a rise in sales. But as the pandemic continued, sales were all over the place, with lows and highs. The pandemic made wholesale companies realize the need for flexible e-commerce platforms.
The Role of Payment Technology in E-Commerce
With electronic transactions expected to increase to 83% by 2022, the evolution of payment technology is instrumental to the growth of e-commerce. Not only are the latest payment solutions making it easy for customers to shop online, but they’re also making it easy for merchants to support e-commerce. With e-payments taking the world by storm, merchants are in a place where they need the technology and partnerships to support not only credit card payments but payments from digital wallets and buy now, pay later transactions. Payment technology has several benefits for both the merchant and the customer.
Benefits of Payment Technology for the Customer
Not only does implementing the most current payment technology improve business on the merchant’s end, but it also enhances the customer experience. There are several benefits to using e-payment systems for the customer, including:
Electronic payment systems simplify the purchasing process for the customer. Click to Pay options and digital wallets are just a few of the ways consumers can quickly pay for a business’s products or services. Additionally, if customers need to fill out payment or shipping information, payment technologies can streamline this process by allowing customers to enter this information once rather than re-entering it every time they make a purchase. The system will automatically fill in the information on the next order.
Less Human Contact
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, consumers were looking for ways to work around needing to interact with staff members – for the simple fact it slows things down. Now, consumers want even less human contact with employees for health reasons. Electronic payment technology can help e-commerce merchants provide information on transaction histories, account balances, and credit without customers having to call a staff member during business hours.
More Purchasing Options
Convenience is key for consumers, and by accepting payment through credit cards, digital wallets, bank transactions, and cryptocurrencies, e-commerce businesses are gaining the favor (and loyalty) of customers.
Having more flexible payment options means merchants will need to enhance their security measures. Working with a third-party service provider can protect the business from hackers and build a strong reputation as secure.
Benefits of Payment Technology for the Merchant
Integrating e-payment systems into a business model can help merchants improve their operations and increase their bottom line. Here are some of the benefits payment technologies offer merchants:
Support for Different Payment Types
Implementing the latest e-payment systems allows businesses to accept various payment types, including credit and debit cards, currency from digital wallets, digital currency, and global currency.
By working with trusted payment processing providers, e-commerce stores can ensure transactions are protected from fraudulent activity. Many providers even offer fraud detection and prevention measures to detect fraud early, saving merchants money.
With electronic payment technology, merchants have greater flexibility to offer discounts, change prices, and support loyalty programs.
Humans make many errors, but by utilizing current payment technology, e-commerce businesses can reduce some of the mistakes made by employees and customers. Recurring payments, such as subscription programs, can save companies money and time by automating the payment process.
Recent Trends in E-Commerce
Payment technology has propelled the growth of e-commerce. After all, without the streamlined process of checking out securely online, shopping for essentials, non-essentials, and luxuries on websites and mobile apps would not be possible. Over the years, several trends have surfaced that helped advance the popularity of e-commerce. Let’s a look at some of those trends.
Protecting consumers’ information has always been a priority for merchants. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the need for more online shopping platforms, there’s an even bigger need for advanced security options. Fraud and identity theft have grown during the global pandemic. Online payment fraudsters targeted 81% of organizations in the United States in 2020.
Attackers use several methods to gain customer credit card information, including attacking APIs that connect payment processors to online carts. They also frequently use account takeover techniques to begin making purchases on sites as if they were the actual customer who set up the account with the e-retailer. Merchants with an e-commerce platform should also be aware of chargeback fraudulent activity, friendly fraud, and false positives. If merchants do not implement strategies that increase their payment processing securities, they could risk losing their customers’ trust.
Mobile Commerce and Digital Wallets
The outbreak of COVID-19 brought a surge in online and mobile orders. As people practice social distancing, they’re looking for the most convenient ways to shop. Consumers are enjoying the convenience of Click to Pay from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. This online checkout is based on Secure Remote Commerce (SRC), and it allows consumers to make a purchase simply by clicking a button on a website or mobile app, reducing friction in the payment process. It also protects confidential information since shoppers do not have to enter bank account numbers at the time of checkout.
Mobile wallets are another solution for providing the convenience consumers are seeking. They turn smartphones into contactless payment mechanisms by connecting the phone to credit and debit cards or banking information. These mobile wallets are not only becoming popular for their convenience, but they are also very secure. The latest payment technology can protect these apps against fraudulent activity. Consumers are even increasingly viewing mobile wallets as one of the safest ways to make purchases. Speedpay reported that 24% of consumers surveyed used mobile wallets because they see it as the most secure option.
E-retailers are constantly seeking ways to improve the customer experience. The 2021 POS & Customer Engagement Survey Report by Retail Consulting Partners showed that 85% of retailers are working to enhance their digital commerce platforms. One way e-commerce retailers plan to improve their digital platforms is by replacing their POS software and hardware. They want POS systems that support omnichannel capabilities, pricing changes, loyalty programs, and low ownership costs. They also want to ensure their systems allow for easy integration with BOPIS and curbside programs. Fifty-two percent of retailers are prioritizing replacing their POS systems in 2021. E-retailers want a seamless integration of payment technology to deliver positive omnichannel customer experiences.
The Growing Value of the Payment Gateway
As merchants increasingly strive to bring customers online and mobile purchasing options, payment gateways take on greater importance. Payment gateways can be integrated with merchants’ existing hardware and software to create an omnichannel experience.
How Payment Gateways Integrate into E-Commerce
A payment gateway is a software application that securely encrypts payment information from credit and debit cards. It transfers payment data between the merchant’s website, the merchant’s bank, and the customer’s bank. The response of whether the payment was accepted or declined goes through the merchant’s website’s payment gateway.
Cardknox’s E-Commerce Features
Cardknox offers an expansive array of payment processing technologies for e-commerce businesses. Whether you need a payment gateway to support mobile wallets or you’re looking for security options that integrate with your existing system, Cardknox has a solution. We offer easy integration, support for various payment options, robust reporting, advanced security, and more.
If you want to integrate a payment gateway into your existing system to support an e-commerce site, Cardknox offers plugins that seamlessly integrate with commonly used e-commerce platforms. We can also help you quickly modify your existing payment gateway URL with our gateway emulators so that transactions are easily migrated to Cardknox.
Support for a Wide Range of Payment Options
Consumers want a fast, easy online shopping experience. Cardknox makes it easy to accept a variety of payment options. We support digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, and SNAP EBT.
If you offer subscriptions, installment plans, or memberships, Cardknox supports recurring payments. Receive on-time payments with our easy to install recurring billing module. Plus, easily update customer accounts and accept a variety of payment methods.
For e-commerce businesses that ship orders in increments, we offer Split Capture, which enables wholesalers and other e-retailers to place a hold on the entire transaction and then initiate funding as each shipment goes out. This gives them control over the flow of payment processing.
Cardknox’s reporting feature allows online retailers and wholesalers to see past transactions. Quickly find and report on transactions by type, such as Refund or Credit, or sort the results by 25 different filters. Find the information you need when you need it.
Cardknox provides advanced security options that are compatible with a variety of platforms. Our tokenization system encrypts data and assigns a unique secure string for each transaction. Our iFields allow you to build secure payment forms while being PCI-compliant. Our online fraud screening software, Fraudwatch, scans e-commerce sales for signs of fraud and answers with a simple Yes or No. Reduce rates of fraud and your liability with Cardknox’s 3D Secure, which helps issuing banks authenticate the cardholder’s identity. Securely accept Click to Pay payments through Cardknox PaymentSITE, an online form that can be embedded into a webpage or shared with customers using a unique URL. When you want to keep customers’ sensitive data safe, Cardknox can help.
Leverage the Power of Payment Technology
Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, e-commerce has been evolving. Consumers want convenience and security while shopping online. To stay current with the e-commerce trends and meet customer demands, merchants need to select a payment gateway with flexibility and security. Leverage the maximum potential of your online platform with Cardknox. Our payment gateways offer hassle-free integration, fraud protection, and support for multiple payment methods. Contact us today to begin your journey towards a payment processing system that works for you, not against you.
Read the full white paper anytime and anywhere.