As many businesses continue to struggle financially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still difficult decisions that must be made in order to determine their ultimate destiny.
Specifically, they must pay close attention to how the pandemic has ultimately changed how consumers shop. E-Commerce, already growing before the viral outbreak, is no longer a trend but ultra necessary for businesses to adopt as more consumers feel safer shopping online than in-person.
Not only has e-Commerce accelerated at an unprecedented pace, but it has given many clues as to its potential permanency, even post-COVID. As a result, businesses will be forced to evolve to keep up with this new reality. Being forced to evolve means a hefty investment, one that can no longer be ignored, or risk losing their business permanently.
The Dilemma At Checkout
Businesses have undoubtedly reached a critical point when it comes to their checkout offerings. They have a critical decision to make: either bite the bullet and invest in more modern payment solutions or keep things the same, in hopes that there will be a radical return to “pre-COVID in-store shopping habits”.
In PaySafe’s “Lost In Translation” survey, it was found that 49% of in-store businesses reported that the pandemic was the reason why they have delayed their plans to upgrade their checkout. They also cited “conflicting priorities”.
According to the research, there are still many in-store businesses that are hesitant to invest their money in innovation. This could be attributed to the fact that only 57% view the checkout experience as a “competitive advantage”.
On the other hand, those businesses that did move forward with the upgrades did see positive results. It was found that 88% of stores began offering another form of payment since the beginning of the outbreak, this includes contactless payments on delivery. Also, 35% integrated a new payment method within their store’s checkout. Of these businesses surveyed, 80% reported an increase in sales due directly to their checkout upgrades.
Opportunity For Online Growth
The survey clearly demonstrates how innovation in payments and online expansion can lead to potential growth, even in the midst of COVID-19. This was demonstrated by 39% of businesses reporting that their sales had increased since the beginning of the outbreak. It was found that only 17% experienced an increase in revenue at their in-store locations. On the other hand, 64% of businesses attributed online purchases with their overall boost in sales. Sixty-percent of these businesses had launched their online checkout during the pandemic.
Although online shopping is becoming more mainstream, more businesses should feel the pressing need to move forward and move their business online. They should also see it as a means of differentiating themselves from their competitors.
The Road Ahead
Without question, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused untold damage to our businesses nationwide and around the world. The key to business success in the current landscape is to ensure that there is a firm resolve to continue to adapt and evolve. This will increase the likelihood for long-term stability in these uncertain times.
Businesses should see the pandemic as a key opportunity to implement new strategies and provide customers with a more “modern checkout experience”. Ultimately, they will be fulfilling a growing customer need that is not destined to disappear anytime soon.