As the world starts living a new way of life after the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise in e-commerce sales has emerged as a common by-product across countries in the months of the lockdown. Since physical purchases require social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizers in addition to long queues, consumers are putting their faith in e-commerce and online purchases. Not only does shopping online provide the safety of home, but it also insulates one from possible exposure. This, complemented by technological advancement and innovations have made online shopping commonplace as well as changed the way consumers pay. With one-third of households having increased their e-commerce spends in the pandemic period, a new wave of digital shoppers has emerged.
The India story is no different. With Indian e-commerce expected to touch $98.4 billion by 2023, the rapid growth in internet access across semi-urban and rural markets has propelled the sector. With the increase in online shopping, consider this; Indian customers are transacting in excess of 250 million monthly on various e-commerce platforms. The massive growth in e-commerce traffic and scale have made it obligatory for the ‘rails’ that facilitate this sector to be capable of handling the transaction traffic load securely and reliably and not get jammed when the number of transactions skyrocket.
At a time of overall certainty such as this and as an informed consumer, it’s pertinent and natural to be cautious. The growth in e-commerce is not lost on fraudsters as sophisticated cybercriminals are perpetually digging for cracks in the system. According to a 2019 CyberSource Masters of Balance report, an overwhelming 92% of businesses surveyed screen e-commerce orders manually for fraud. clearly highlighting the need for a reliable automated payment gateway that manages fraud efficiently.
As many small businesses start to embrace digital commerce, they are at higher risk as they look to scale their digital footprint. Managing their online commerce presence day-to-day requires opening the aperture – of bringing sales into the digital pipeline while still protecting them from fraudsters, all without inconveniencing the consumer. This delicate balancing act between security and streamlined experiences is especially important today with the growing number of new-to-digital shoppers. It creates an opportunity to adopt technology that provides multi-layered security in keeping with global standards and helps merchants benefit deliver great customer experiences – even during ‘Mini Peaks’ that are the true test of a gateway’s robustness.
Navigating the surge
As consumers depend more and more on e-commerce, there is a need for retailers to consider key aspects such as managing these mini peaks and seasonal peaks. Globally, there are solutions that major Indian banks and merchants use – giving digital-first merchants access to reliable, industrial-scale payment processing as well as protecting their consumers from fraud and vulnerabilities. With an edge to deliver and scale a unified omni-commerce experience, digital-first merchants can easily access these platforms through APIs and connect to physical stores and point of sale (PoS) terminals that support these transactions. Through a combination of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) solutions and with human supervision, merchants can truly be prepared to tackle peak events like annual sale periods.
Enhanced experience to increase customer stickiness
Traditionally, endless queues have been the reason for cart abandonment in offline stores. With social distancing becoming a new norm and consumers migrating to online commerce, merchants need to find a way to reduce cart abandonment and disgruntlement on e-commerce. Almost 51% of consumers have reported abandonment due to multiple steps before actually completing the payment for their purchases. As users look for secure simplified experiences, payments can no longer be thought of as simply a transaction to be processed, but as an enabler to consumer engagement and top-line growth for merchants, and collaboration among ecosystem players will have a key role to play in achieving this.
As technology reshapes the Indian consumer’s purchasing and payment habits, online commerce has brought a great deal of convenience at the click of a button. In a world where user interfaces are commoditized and risk is fraught, delivering a superior shopping experience with seamless fraud management is imperative in meeting a growing consumer market. Brands that manage this successfully will emerge as the winners in the future.