Analysts Say Massive Consumer Shift to Online Shopping Will Continue

For some time now, consumers have been showing businesses that they prefer to shop from the convenience of their mobile devices. So much so that physical businesses are having to close their doors. This unending growth of online shopping has forced businesses of all types and industries to take another look at the customer experience in order to save their business.

According to Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2017-2021 Retail Point of Sale Payment Forecast, point of sale in the stores that remain is changing. But it is not just the stores themselves that are adapting to these changes, payment providers are also changing in order to better help the merchants they serve. This is evident in the number of alternative providers available for the booming ecommerce industry.

Will these changes be enough? Michael Moeser, director of payments at Pleasanton, Calif.-based Javelin does not think so. According to him, as consumers continue to increase their spending online rather than in stores, retailers and their payment providers will have to adapt even more than they already have. Recent findings have revealed that this shift from physical stores to online ones will come at an expense for in-person transactions.

Information released by the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce revealed that:

  • E-commerce sales will grow from $518 billion in 2016 to $708 billion by 2021
  • Retail sales in physical stores will go from $4.46 trillion to $4.36 trillion
  • E-commerce sales made up 9.1% of all third-quarter 2017 U.S. retail sales (nearly a full percentage point increase from 8.2% in the same quarter a year ago)

So how can businesses prepare themselves for the predicted explosion of mobile-wallet use in 2018? They will want to make sure there is coordination between physical POS and their digital presence. The goal is to create as seamless of an experience as possible.

Moeser explains that “Oftentimes, the Web site by a ‘storefront’ merchant has a different acquirer, which can make it difficult when a consumer buys something online and brings it into a store for a return or exchange. Having the same acquirer can often help solve the payment side of this transaction.”

This need has led many providers to step forward and offer the many solutions the ecommerce industry needs. In addition to cash advances, they offer safe payment processing options, multiple payment gateways, electronic check processing and chargeback protection programs. As the opportunities for credit and debit cards grow and expansion of mobile payments continues, you can expect to see more and more merchants turning to the fast, flexible options these providers offer.

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