Beth Thompson
16/07/20

Future of eCommerce: 4 key insights from Sage Pay's “Open up for business: Operating is the new normal"

Back in May, we launched our Future of eCommerce series to discuss with key partners what the Future of eCommerce is starting to look like and what the following months look like.

Sage Pay's Martin Pitcock joined us to discuss how our purchasing habits have adapted during the Coronavirus pandemic, new expectations in consumer behaviour and explore the landscape of post-lockdown opportunities.

If you missed the session, worry not? We’ve rounded up some key points for you:

eCommerce Data

Since we went into lockdown, there has been a dramatic increase in eCommerce - seeing a boom in both the volume and value of orders being processed. As shops were closed for an extended period, it was no surprise that we saw shoppers turn to eCommerce to fulfil their shopping needs, whether essential or for a feel-good treat.

One of the biggest things for eCommerce retailers to consider in the current period is whether this change in behaviour will persist, and if so how long for? Understanding how to react efficiently to these changes in behaviours and being able to predict changes in trends as accurately as possible will be key for eCommerce success.

A vast number of new adults have entered the payments market in the last couple of months as they are unable to get to the shops, so ensuring that you can cater to a brand new demographic, making their shopping experience as seamless as possible will be key to the retention of these new users.

Many businesses have reported that they have seen as much digital transformation in the last 3 months, as they would have expected over the next two years, and Sage Pay expects that we will see this acceleration continue over the next number of years.

Lockdown, 3 months in

The biggest opportunity that lockdown has presented for retailers is the ability to, when done effectively, deliver consumer confidence.

At present, people want to know that they are being considered and thought about. Amidst the global pandemic, health and safety concerns are at the forefront.

What do people want?

  • Consumers want to know how clean your stores are - is the environment they will be going into safe and clean through utilizing perspex separators, floor markers, hand sanitizer, gloves and masks?
  • Consumers want to know that you are minimizing contact. Consider rejecting cash payments, facilitating deliveries or click and collect, are you able to allow your customers to book appointments to visit the store?
  • Consumers want convenience. In a time where many are shielding, or avoiding contact as much as possible, if you can provide a door to door service you are also providing a memorable experience for your consumers, creating a sense of ease, comfort and confidence in your service.

With the lockdown having been extended, and the potential for it to be reinstated to avoid a second wave, some of these considerations may need to ‘stick around’ for an extended period.

Retailers who consider implementing these measures for the long-term, and who continue to answer the pressing questions of consumers within marketing messaging and level of service provided will continue to thrive throughout uncertain times.

Uncertain times, uncertain behaviours

It goes without saying that with fewer people visiting physical stores, there has been and will likely continue to be a slump in cash payments. Customer behaviours changed very quickly and many new online shoppers quickly adopted eCommerce throughout lockdown - contributing to the increase in the increase of the transfer of money electronically through online stores. This is something that is unlikely to change in Q3 and Q4.

In a post-COVID world, Sage Pay is not currently expecting an immediate rebound in consumer confidence, as it’s predicted that consumers may want to save more money post-lockdown, making it difficult to avoid a recession.

Because of this, consumer behaviour will likely accelerate over the next decade, driving payment providers to have to deliver better tech, more conveniently and more creatively.

Rise on online local

There is also a huge opportunity for local businesses to thrive throughout lockdown and in a post-COVID world.

After being ‘denied’ it for so long, people really want to shop at their favourite businesses, and they desire the comfort of things they know and items that they enjoy.

With retailers having to enforce 2 meter distancing and a limit of customers allowed in store, businesses will have to adapt - with many having already turned to eCommerce to keep their companies thriving.

eCommerce enables small local businesses to facilitate the running of their businesses, allowing orders to be placed for delivery, arrange to click and collect slots or even allow customers to be able to arrange an appointment to safely visit the store.


As lockdown is eased, there are huge opportunities for retailers who are able to put their consumers first and provide end-to-end, seamless digital services.


If you missed the session and want to access the webinar, don't worry - we know how busy it has been recently! We’ve recorded the session for you, and have made it available for anyone who missed out.

Simply fill out the form below to access the webinar.

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