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How COVID-19 has changed perceptions of e-commerce

780 520 Guest Contributor

By BridgerPay

COVID-19 has changed the way consumers relate to e-commerce and that according to this recent survey, the pandemic has accelerated a greater global shift toward online stores and digital solutions, especially in emerging economies.

This means that online platforms are faced with the need to provide seamless, speedy transactions that can be completed by anyone regardless of their location. As the market continues to grow, if you’re a merchant and don’t manage to adjust to suit the increase in digital traffic, you may find that you lose customers or become irrelevant.

Challenges today

While e-commerce has grown significantly over the past 10 years, it is expected to grow even further as the pandemic lingers. During this time marketplaces like Amazon, AliExpress, Rakuten, and eBay are all platforms which have needed to make adjustments. While their sites are used to heavy consumer traffic, online buyer behavior during the pandemic has stretched their capacity to handle the volume.

Medium to enterprise sized sites are going to face new challenges with the global increase in digital sales. Payments integration, transaction failure, and speed are three specific challenges that growing websites face today. These are challenges which need to be met immediately as according to this PwC study “in the first 6 months of 2020 US retailers online sales grew to US $347 billion, an increase of 30% from the same period in 2019.” In order to meet those challenges BridgerPay offers solutions that can help you address these issues.

Transaction Failures

Research shows that 62% of customers who experienced a failed payment will not return to the website the failure occurred on. Moreover, if a visitor has a payment failure, their chance to convert drops by 70%. These are startling figures you need to understand as they show the importance of successful transactions. As your site grows during this time you may find that your current payment solution can’t keep up with the new influx of customers, and as a result, transactions may fail. Loss of customers due to something that can be fixed isn’t a risk your growing business should take.

With BridgerPay’s Router, merchants can designate their desired cascading order for any transaction. Specific volumes can be customized according to payment solutions, countries, and currencies, and the solution also offers its own built-in routing models. The results are boosted approval ratios and a reduction in transaction failures in each region.

Payments Integration

When your online store wants to make its products available in another country, offering a local payments solution in that country can encourage customers to complete their transactions. Local solutions offer speed, convenience, and the potential reduction of shopping cart abandonment, and occurs 68% of the time in online shopping.

Which is why BridgerPay’s payments software, a proprietary smart cashier software that allows consumers to select their preferred payment method on a site is important in those markets. Cashier partners with global payment methods like major credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies as well as with local payment methods so that merchants can offer their customers all the convenience of local transactions. Many platforms’ users are comfortable using local payment methods such as Boleto (Brazil), China Union Pay, Interac (Canada), and Sofort (Europe), and as a merchant you must find ways to accommodate users purchasing behavior.

Speed

Today, consumers expect transactions to occur in milliseconds, and anything more is considered unacceptable. According to a 2018 Google report, a page that takes between 1 to 5 seconds to load increases the probability of bounce by 90%. Can you as an online retailer afford that kind of loss in this ultra-competitive market? Merchants must work with a solution that allows them to offer speed-of-light transactions for local and global customers such as BridgerPay, which boasts an average load time of less than 0.5 seconds.

The above three challenges are not the only ones that exist for e-commerce sites, but they are certainly among the most pressing. The solutions covered above help deal with the challenges of data management, settlement tracking, and security. As an AI neutral supergate, BridgerPay

offers online merchants an easy, seamless way to meet your needs and the needs of your customers. To learn more about how these solutions can help transform your e-commerce business click here.

Businesses transform during Coronavirus

640 427 Guest Contributor

By Ordo

New year, new you? What about your business? Are you fit for rapid recovery whilst weathering political turmoil, new virus strains and vaccines? The planet transformed to move online to fight to survive, both personally and for businesses.

But now’s the time to keep innovating and transforming to be as efficient as a stretched economy is going to require you to be. And payments are the quiet frontier of that evolution.

New ePayments solutions give you everything you have today, just better…we’re talking not just eCommerce and electronic payments, but Ordo eCommerce and electronic payments.

Why wouldn’t you want instant access to your income, automatic reconciliation, minimisation of fraud risk and up to a 90% saving on your costs?

Cards and emailed invoices are so 2020, step into 2021 with the confidence of knowing you’re doing your best for your business. Manage your payments with Ordo, it’s reckless not to.

Find out more at www.ordohq.com/enterprise or try for free at www.myordo.com

INTERVIEW: Retailers will be left behind if they don’t increase their digital presence

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

As the UK entered into a second lockdown, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are facing difficulties in conquering the e-commerce space. Pete Reis-Campbell, CEO and Founder of Kaizen, a performance marketing agency based in London, warns that traditional retailers who haven’t shifted their focus to e-commerce platforms face being left behind if they don’t begin to make drastic changes to their approach…

Why do traditional retailers have to invest more in digital? 

As we’ve seen with the nature of the pandemic, we can’t be sure how long it will take for brick-and-mortar businesses to return to “normal” and if we do what will that be like? In the US, Google’s latest report showed searches for “online shopping stores” increased by 100% compared to last year. It is clear that customers are shifting their attention to shopping online, and whilst it has been a steady increase over the past few years or so, the pandemic has definitely increased this demand.

During the first lockdown, we noticed some businesses made the effort to shift their budgets on digital strategies and implemented changes in case we would go back into another lockdown. Whilst other businesses, justifiably, wanted to protect their revenue and didn’t invest in their e-commerce strategy, meaning they’ve now impacted their growth. For instance, familiar brands of the UK high street such as Woolworths, Debenhams, and Littlewoods have all been forced to close down over the years due to their negligence to e-commerce and thinking about innovation.

What do you think the biggest issue is when it comes to retail stores and online stores?

Customers often remember the experiences retail stores give them and this isn’t often translated online. Whilst brands should make an effort to separate their in-store experience from their online stores, they should also remember what consumers are looking for when using these mediums. For example, Apple has a great in-store experience that is focused on allowing customers to test out their products, attend training sessions, and receive hands-on customer support. However, their online experience translates this in a different way – as they know they cannot replicate everything they do in-store and it needs to be tailored differently.

The high street has become more focused on these types of experiences, for example, growth in independent cafes, grooming salons, and restaurants, as going in-store is the only way you can actually experience them. Whilst with e-commerce, there is an opportunity to create an online space to generate sales. In my experience, I’ve found the most difficult e-commerce websites to navigate are ones trying to replicate their entire in-store experience, and haven’t thought about a digital strategy, which can make their UX confusing and frustrating for users.

What are some of the areas retailers should be turning their attention to during this time?

  1. SEO – Retailers should be looking at the way their customer searches for their products via Google and optimising their website accordingly. From an agency perspective, we often notice that retailers can get caught up in the importance of ‘brand tone of voice’ and this can compromise on SEO as this isn’t the common sense way consumers search for products – meaning they miss out on thousands of opportunities each month just because they aren’t thinking about optimising product descriptions or landing pages.
  2. Create better online experiences with integration and visibility – Most online retailers have great user experiences, however many are missing out on the trick of integrating payment solutions such as Amazon and Apple Pay. By creating one-click experiences you can increase conversions and expect returning customers.
  3. Swoop in on SEO opportunities that affiliate content marketing is profiting from – In theory, affiliate content marketing shouldn’t even exist, but thousands of brands miss out on SEO traffic because of this and essentially lose out on sales too. Ecommerce brands should look at the search terms their affiliates rank for and try to fill in those content gaps themselves instead – your own ‘discount codes’ page for example.
  4. Create evergreen seasonal occasion pages – Retailers have a tendency to create new pages for an event each year, i.e Valentine’s Day 2019, Christmas 2020, or Black Friday 2021. However, these pages should just be a singular URL that’s updated each year in order to retain its SEO value and visibility – otherwise, you’re just resetting your efforts each time. Google recently published an article on best practices for this.
  5. Review your product description pages – Of course, shopping online will never be the same as shopping in-store, but there are some ways you can include features to help create that experience. A favourite of mine is 360 video, which allows potential customers to view the product in 3D. This might be a tedious and time-consuming project, but if you even did it for your top ten products, you might see a difference in conversion rates. Ensuring customer reviews are displayed is a huge bonus too – no matter how bad or good they are!
  6. Explore shopper personalisation and influencer marketing – Most traditional retailers are beginning to implement this into their e-commerce strategies, but many are missing out on the trick. Ensuring you’re trying different methods to engage with your audience is crucial, so exploring Instagram and influencer marketing is also a viable option for many larger brands.

Kaizen is a creative-focused performance marketing agency based in London that provides digital PR, social and search marketing services across the UK, EMEA, and the US. Other clients in Kaizen’s portfolio include Adidas, Lastminute.com, and TUI.

Creating your own marketplace: A project to be taken seriously

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Limonetik

Marketplaces were born out of the so-called platform economy. This new form of commerce first appeared about twenty years ago, just after the explosion of the Internet.

Having witnessed the success of Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo, many businesses now want to create their own marketplace equipped with an efficient and global payment platform – a tempting but expensive business model, difficult to set up and risky.

Limonetik shares with you why Brands do not have to underestimate the complexity of what should be considered a full-fledged business project.

Read “Creating your own marketplace: a project to be taken seriously!” by Limonetik

UK consumers set to stick to online stores post-lockdown

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Lockdown has led to the UK becoming a nation of online shoppers – with millions planning to continue their digital spending spree despite restrictions being lifted.

A study of 2,000 adults found 61 per cent shopped online more than usual during lockdown, with a staggering nine in 10 planning to shop as much online, if not more from now on.

Groceries, and home and garden products were at the forefront of items purchased online, with 41 per cent of adults making at least one of these purchases during lockdown.

And three fifths of the adults polled now plan to buy groceries online in the future, with sales figures of meal kits purchased over the internet soaring by 114 per cent when people were urged to stay indoors.

Stefano Rossi, packaging CEO at packaging firm DS Smith, which commissioned the research, said: “There has been a seismic shift in the way consumers are shopping.

“What’s clear is that as lockdown eases further, these trends aren’t likely to fall away.

“Consumers have found new confidence and convenience in the way they shop, buying a whole range of items online – everything from the family food shop, to toiletries and home and garden products.

“If companies are not already transforming their business to meet this new age of e-commerce, they risk being left behind.”

The study also found shoppers are buying in new ways and from new suppliers, with nearly a third signing up to a new shopping website that they hadn’t used before lockdown.

DS Smith also saw packaging demand double for food, flowers, and hygiene products sold online since the start of the pandemic.

Reasons for buying online differed both by age and gender, with men and younger people prioritising convenience – while women and older generations focused on safety.

But some of the in-store habits remain despite the switch to online shopping, with a third saying they still ‘window shop’ by browsing websites and keeping a wish list of the items they want to buy.

And more than one in three enjoy bargain hunting even when shopping online.

However, sustainability has become an increasing concern with almost a quarter more likely to buy online if items are delivered with less or more environmentally-friendly packaging.

Another 21 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, are more likely to shop online if their products arrive in more recyclable packaging.

Those aged between 25 and 34 were most conscious about sustainability, while women held this as a higher priority than men.

Why brands and manufacturers shouldn’t ignore Direct-to-Consumer eCommerce

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Andy McCaul, Director, The Bigger Boat

COVID-19 has hit all kinds of sectors hard and fast. Businesses struck in particular – such as travel, restaurants and pubs – have a long and hard road ahead of them which, for many organisations, may seem impossible.

Retail is right up there too. A lot of businesses saw sales drop to zero overnight, but others have been privy to the exact opposite – a complete reversal of fortunes following COVID-19.

Why such variation? Some of it is purely down to sector-specific good fortune, but a key factor concerns ecommerce.

If a company had embraced digital methods and was set up pre-COVID-19 to handle online sales effectively – and was lucky enough to be in a sector where demand for products remained high – then there has been a golden opportunity for sales figures to achieve mind-blowing results.

However, for a manufacturer or brand owner that traditionally sold through retail only, there may have been an immediate pain during the pandemic – and for many organisations sales will have unfortunately dropped off a cliff. Why? Because this is essentially an ‘all eggs in one basket approach’ which, in times of crisis, can perhaps lead to a real struggle to maintain a resilient and flexible approach when challenged to adapt swiftly.

If there’s one take home from this whole moment in history, it’s that organisations need their own ecommerce offering – they must be more in control of their own destiny.

The pros and cons of DTC

But, as with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to any approach. Having a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) channel provides an improvement in product margin and it can also sell the entire range, not just part of it. But there are logistics involved and an ecommerce website to invest in, to maintain any form of success – and achieve a consistently healthy bottom line.

However, there doesn’t need to be a total shift towards diving right in at the deep end. Brands should start with a simple ‘set up and scale up’ strategy as sales and traffic builds. It’s essential to get experienced assistance throughout – whether that’s via an internal ecomms team or by hiring an external agency that the organisation can outsource everything to.

With two partners involved – logistics and a digital agency – the business should have enough resource to get going with minimum hassle. With any kind of digital or technology, there’s often the fear of the unknown or a ‘we’ve always done it this way’ mentality that perhaps holds companies back from making this move. However, now is the time to adapt and embrace positive change.

Why critical partnerships matter in a true time of crisis

This doesn’t mean that organisations should be walking away from retail – it’s not an ‘all or nothing’ situation. In fact, the relationship with this industry should continue and maintain strong relationships through initiatives such as retailer ‘exclusives’.

Keeping those key partnerships going whilst running a DTC offering can be a difficult balance to strike, but there must always be an element of flexibility if a brand is going to survive – especially during a crisis. And, for many, this has shone a light on why the traditional model may not always provide such agility when it’s vitally needed.

Have organisations missed the boat or is it too late to explore DTC ecommerce? No. There has been a huge increase in online shopping activity, and that’s likely to continue. At the moment, no-one really knows when life will return to ‘normal’ and it’s possible that some restrictions will exist in such new territory. Additionally, who is to say another crisis like this won’t happen again in most people’s lifetimes? Of course, let’s hope that won’t be the case.

For many people, they may prefer to keep ordering their products and services online to maintain a level of safety and security, but people will return to the shops and High Street and so retail must be ready. Throughout all this, lessons must be learnt. Brands should be adaptable to vast change where necessary and be in a position meet the strong demands that ecommerce presents.

Any business that focuses entirely on physical stores – and ultimately has no backup plan – will never be in a healthy position to tackle the modern-day needs of consumers and the unpredictability of everyday life. The solution for many will be ecommerce because it offers both a strategic way to provide calm in the storm and a vital opportunity for critical organisational growth.

It’s takes Brits 43 minutes to commit to an online purchase

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The average Brit will spend just under 43 minutes ‘shopping around’ online before committing to a purchase, with almost four in 10 also reading online reviews before finally hitting ‘buy’.

Insurance and white goods are the top items shoppers are most likely to look for a good deal on, along with energy providers and clothes.

But Brits are more likely to shop around for a new mobile phone contract than a new car.

The study of 2,000 people, commissioned by mobile network provider O2, also found half of those polled are having to be more careful with their spending than ever before, as a result of the current pandemic.

But a lucky four in 10 feel they have had MORE disposable income during lockdown.

A fifth have spent more time than usual shopping around for the best bargains over the last few months because they have had more time on their hands while being stuck indoors.

However, 80 per cent say they have always looked for a good deal no matter what their circumstances or income have been.

It also emerged that 48 per cent hate feeling they’ve been ripped off, but this doesn’t simply mean parting with the lowest amount of cash possible.

Less than a quarter (24 per cent) feel the cheapest offer is always the best value.

A further six in 10 believe ‘good value’ is simply a matter of getting more product for your money than offered elsewhere.

And one in four count additional benefits beyond the initial purchase, such as exclusive offers and discounted access to third party services, as good value.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 70 per cent of the population have bought something – only to feel annoyed seeing it for sale later on.

Of the O2 customers surveyed, 71 per cent use Priority to take advantage of pre-sale tickets and exclusive deals.

And nearly a third (32 per cent) of shoppers say an ability to adjust the service to meet their personal needs or the flexibility to manage their payments is key for them to commit to a purchase.

With O2’s customisable plans, customers can choose how much they want to pay upfront and the length of their device plan (anywhere between three and 36 months), as well as having the option to flex their data allowance up or down every month to suit their needs.

Top 10 list of what Brits look to get a good deal on:

1. Insurance (58 per cent)
2. White goods (52 per cent)
3. Energy providers (gas, electric etc.) (51 per cent)
4. Clothes (49 per cent)
5. Mobile phone contract (47 per cent)
6. Furniture (45 per cent)
7. A new car (43 per cent)
8. Days out such as a trip to the zoo or theme park (31 per cent)
9. Meals out (27 per cent)
10. Tickets such as to gigs and sporting events (21 per cent)

Lockdown cements UK eCommerce buying habits

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Just 16 per cent UK consumers intend to return to their old shopping habits post-lockdown, signifying the lasting change that COVID-19 will have on the retail industry and the cementing of eCommerce habits.

The COVID, Commerce and the Consumer research conducted by Wunderman Thomson – which surveyed 2,000 UK consumers on their shopping experience during the COVID-19 pandemic – found that the need for safety during lockdown has resulted in a huge shift in shoppers’ habits and traits with a particular trend towards online channels.

Online purchasing accounted for 62% of all shopping during lockdown, compared to 43% before the pandemic. Although online shopping is predicted to account for over half (51%) of all spend moving forward, it will remain higher than it was before the pandemic. Fear of contracting the virus will also play its part in driving online spend with 48% of shoppers scared about shopping in-store.

Shopping habits may have had to change during lockdown, but familiar factors have emerged: 61% of shoppers identified free delivery as a key purchase driver, with availability (57%) and price (53%) coming in as close second and third choices. Yet, when asked what consumers would like to see change most in their online shopping experience, free returns (28%) topped the list.

Amazon’s share in the eCommerce market swelled with over a third (35%) of all online shopping conducted through the marketplace during the lockdown period, reinforcing the company as a big retail winner in the wake of the pandemic. One-in-five (20%) said their net intention to purchase with Amazon post-COVID-19 will increase, despite 21% of people expressing worry about Amazon’s ever-increasing dominance.

Not the sole retail winner, Tesco led the battle of the supermarkets and saw a significant 23% improvement in net perception; while the net intention to purchase post-COVID-19 rose by 9%. Competitors Sainsbury’s and Morrisons both saw a 12% net rise in positive perception respectively.

Other winners include corner shops with a quarter (27%) net increase in positive public perception as they played a pivotal role in providing essential goods. In comparison, the Government’s net change in perception decreased by 30% while the NHS is up during the COVID-19 outbreak by a significant 62%.

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “COVID-19 was always going to have a big impact on retail, particularly on high-street brands; in many cases, retailers have had to shift entire operations online. With many consumers looking for assurances on safety and reliability, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see the likes of Amazon and the ‘big four’ supermarkets resonate highly with their ability to provide services to consumers in the way they want. They also all adapted quickly by emphasising stock availability, competitive pricing and customer safety. But corner shops played a vital role too. As consumers look to keep their purse strings relatively tight and as a more digital-first retail future materialises, the brands and retailers that are able to pivot their business models to accommodate this rise in online spend will ultimately get a greater share of shoppers’ wallet.”

On consumers’ desire for digital, one in five (21%) would like more of their products to be digital and instantly downloadable, a noticeable influence of lockdown measures as shoppers have been forced to purchase various goods without leaving home.

The impact of COVID-19 may also be a tipping point for ethical concerns with nearly three-quarters (73%) wishing that retailers and brands would offer better environmental practices. Over half (55%) of consumers say that a company’s ethics and morals play an important part in their purchase decisions, another element that retailers need to contend with as the ‘new normal’ becomes a reality.

Download The COVID, Commerce and the Consumer report

Online shopping behavior: What COVID-19 changed and how to test it

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

When it comes to e-commerce, the current pandemic fortified the already booming position of online shopping in the daily life of an average consumer. The past few weeks have seen a change in behavior, with 45% of consumers opting for online shopping. But how lasting will these new habits be? What is different now, in comparison to how adopters of online shopping used to behave and experience it before the crisis?

Check out the full webinar here to learn more about the entire study and get all the insights!

The replicated study included 500 respondents split into 2 cells, with each cell exposed to one retailer (Amazon or Walmart) and 4 categories, both food ones (coffee, chocolate, and cereals) and one non-food category (cleaning products). They completed 2 eye-tracking & click tasks (which served to determine which products participants considered and what elements of product pages they found useful).

The first wave of the study was conducted in June 2019, and the second in April 2020.

Here’s what we found that could help brands gain competitive advantage:

Shoppers saw 36% more products compared to purchases before COVID-19!

Both prior and during the COVID-19 crisis, positioning is crucial for product noticeability, as our study showed that items placed in one of the top 10 positions on a PLP have a 34% higher chance to be noticed. Also, as a rule of thumb, the middle columns of the PLP perform better in terms of visibility than the lateral ones in a grid layout. Overall, a simpler PLP layout that is showcasing fewer products per page, with clear organization, ensures that a greater portion of content will be seen and explored.

The most significant change in the way respondents behaved was in the time shoppers spend on the retailer’s product list. It is substantially longer – from half a minute on average to almost 50 seconds! Not only is the exploration of product lists prolonged, but the average time spent per product is also higher – 0.17s more, or 11% longer. With an extended browsing time, comes higher visibility of PLPs – there’s a significant increase in the number of noticed products.

Purchase interest stays on a more or less same level – with a slight decrease in some categories (chocolate, cereals), but with leading brands remaining the same among the tested categories.

Consumers are scrolling further and noticing more on a PDP

The difference in product detail pages exploration is notable – they were explored for almost 20 seconds longer during the COVID-19 crisis. Respondents also scroll through the page much deeper, ensuring that a more significant portion of the page is seen – nearly 60% of shoppers reach the page end compared to usual ~5% who did in our other tests. This results in twice as many areas seen on a PDP, compared to the usual, pre-COVID browsing.

The areas above the fold – product image, product name, price, short description & add to cart – remain most visible and among most useful in reaching a purchase decision. However, some other areas are gaining in importance for shoppers, primarily – suggested products and customer reviews.

Basket size is the same, but its contents have changed

Pages for the four categories included in the study were all browsed longer, with coffee and cleaning products keeping the same purchase intent, and chocolates and cereals having a somewhat decreased number of considered products. Lesser-known brands that provide value at a lower price were taken into consideration for both cereal and coffee categories, while the interest for healthy cereal products and ‘greener’ packaging options for coffee increased.

In contrast, sanitizing properties and convenience of use rule our choices when it comes to cleaning products, while value packs, family, and variety packs that offer a bigger assortment of products at a competitive price in the chocolate category are two tendencies clearly influenced by the ongoing crisis.

Previous research has shown that, when unaffected by a crisis, consumers notice only a fraction of the products during normal browsing. So what are the ways you can optimize your website to gain a competitive advantage? From an online shopping strategy, or testing shopper behavior on specific websites, to tactical impact studies, know how to choose the right type of study to up your e-commerce game!

Here are the key takeaways – make sure to listen to the full webinar for more insights:

  • Shoppers spend more time browsing during COVID-19, on the lookout for new info and best value
  • This might be the right time to optimize your e-commerce strategy and assets
  • Consumer behavior is changing, so change with it!

Interested in learning more about e-commerce testing? Reach out to us at info@eyesee-research.com.

Coronavirus: Consumers ‘ignoring online fraud risks’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Consumers in the US and UK aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect their online identity, instead prioritising convenience and speed of access to online goods and services over personal security.

That’s according to research conducted by YouGov in April 2020 on behalf of Callsign that surveyed more than 4,000 consumers in the US and UK, showing evidence of overconfidence among consumers in relation to their perceived strength and level of protection their credentials provide, with 77% believing their banking credentials to be the most secure, followed by online shopping (74%) and work network logins (71%).

Callsign says this overconfidence may also explain why many consumers failed to update their login details with more than half (52%) of online shoppers admitting they have no plans to update their login details, with this figure rising to 55% with online banking customers and 54% for employees that are working from home, remotely accessing their work’s networks and systems.

Key Survey Findings:

  • Risking It All for Toilet Paper – When in isolation and under pressure to buy scarce, staple items e.g. toilet paper, nearly one in four (26%) consumers in the U.S. admitted to overlooking online security concerns – using third-party online merchants – while one in five (13%) UK consumers admitting taking similar risks.
  • Remote Workers More Mindful of Business Credentials Over Own – U.S. and UK consumers (21%) were also found to be more likely to update work network login details over their own online banking (19%) and shopping (19%) credentials. While the disparity was marginal, this could be explained by employers’ willingness to provide staff with information and tools to update their login details, with almost half (45%) of respondents saying they had received this information when the pandemic hit – a figure that is higher (60%) for full-time workers.
  • Frictionless Digital Reality Still in Question – The research also highlights that nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents are struggling with business networks and systems access, while 60% of online shoppers confirmed a similar experience in the past month. This results in many hours of lost time for employees; it also leads to customers needing to call customer service representatives to resolve their issue – a group who are already contending with a limited crew due to social distancing. However, it appears that bank-grade security and authentication should set the precedent, with over half (52%) of people not having had an issue logging in over the last month.
  • Unemployed Struggling Most With Access – People out of work are finding it even harder than their peers to access services online in the last month, with 65% finding it challenging to log in and pay for their online shopping and 54% struggling with logging into their online banking – a concern when vulnerable groups such as this are the people who need these services most.  
  • Pandemic Weighs on Patience Increasing Churn – With consumer anxiety at an all-time high, there is little patience for a poor online user experience. In the last month alone, 20% of consumers switched to other brands due to a bad online shopping experience (e.g. failed payments, complicated log-in, etc.). While numbers were not as high for banking, churn was still considered significant, with 14% of U.S. consumers already agreeing they would make the switch. Although this was only 4% in the UK.
  • Vigilance Varies Among Markets – Americans were found to be more vigilant than their British counterparts, with one in four Americans updating their banking logins compared to just 13% in the UK. This is further compounded by the fact that two out of three (66%) UK banking customers have no plans to update their banking credentials, compared to 44% in the US.
  • Consumers Indifferent Despite Risk When asked ‘Has the COVID-19 pandemic and increased fraud influenced you to use alternative banking or shopping apps or websites with more secure measures?’, over three quarters (78%) of U.S. consumers stated ‘no or they didn’t know’ with 85% of UK consumers sharing a similar indifference about security.

Amir Nooriala, Chief Commercial Officer at Callsign, said: “With fraud escalating at a staggering rate, businesses cannot afford to sit back and watch. Consumers have enough to worry about regarding the pandemic; their security shouldn’t be one of them. As more and more people shift their lives online, businesses need to take responsibility while encouraging customers and employees to prioritize personal security – without adding in extra cumbersome identity checks. Companies must use technology that allow consumers to log in without having to deal with pesky one-time-passwords via text messages or long forgotten security questions which could result in them switching provider. With businesses on the brink they cannot afford to lose customers that way. Instead, they need to make identification and authentication as safe and easy as possible.”

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