June 24, 2019

The Future of E-Commerce (UK)

The rise of online shopping shows no sign of slowing down, with Statista predicting the number of people participating in e-commerce activities globally will hit 2.14 billion in 2021.

Opening up even more opportunities for online retailers is the expansion of PayPal’s e-commerce platform for marketplaces. Used by Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace, it is now available to businesses of all sizes, meaning more global marketplaces will be coming online soon, providing ever more places for brands to be listed.

The solution enables sellers to accept transactions in more than 100 currencies and simplifies compliance needs across the 200+ markets PayPal operates in – helping connect brands to 277 million PayPal users worldwide.

But as it becomes easier to trade, competition gets stiffer. Amazon is driving the retail industry forward in terms of customer expectations; the company’s Prime two-day free shipping program is being upgraded again into a one-day shipping program. And this will definitely make it harder for other retailers to compete.

A more pressing issue could be the EU’s Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) initiative, which comes into force in September. According to the Financial Times, the new security regulations, which require an extra level of verification for online payments over €30, could result in “large-scale abandonment of transactions at the checkout”.

Smaller retailers are seen as particularly vulnerable due to lack of preparedness – SCA requires every European merchant to fundamentally restructure their checkout flow. Research commissioned by Stripe and conducted by analysts suggested the EU could lose €57bn in economic activity in the first year after SCA takes effect.

Whatever the impact on internet shopping, Amazon is making sure it still comes out on top by opening 10 pop-up stores across the UK. Launched in partnership with small business organisation Enterprise Nation, the ‘Clicks and Mortar’ stores will provide locations for customers to see and try out products from online-only brands. Amazon says the pilot scheme will run for one year to test the viability of the concept.

With such changes to the e-commerce landscape, Attest surveyed 1,000 nationally representative working age consumers to understand how these developments might affect consumer behaviour. Read on to find out where online retailers need to be focusing their efforts in order to maintain and grow market share.