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Research reveals 85% of Brits anticipate a cut in online spending

Mollie today unveiled UK findings from its European Ecommerce Report. As Brits buckle down and plan to cut back their online spending in anticipation of an economic downturn, Mollie’s survey of 3,000 ecommerce shoppers across Europe (including 500 from the UK) offers key insights into how ecommerce retailers can continue to grow and attract UK shoppers despite climbing consumer pessimism.

More than half (51%) of UK consumers believe that the economic situation will worsen in the next 12 months, and 23% believe it will worsen significantly. Because of this, 85% plan to cut their online spending, and only 15% said they wouldn’t change their spending habits at all. With such potential for volatility, ecommerce merchants must prepare to meet these shifting consumer expectations if they’re to thrive in the face of tough trading conditions. 

Ecommerce merchants can lean on preferred payments

Mollie’s research has found that merchants should focus their attention on providing preferred payment methods to encourage loyalty and drive sales amidst economic headwinds. The survey shows that British consumers are more likely to stick with shops that offer their preferred payment method. In fact, 84% of UK shoppers say that available payment methods are the biggest factor in their decision to purchase again from an online retailer. Credit/debit card payments, and PayPal are the preferred payment methods for UK consumers looking to purchase from both domestic and international retailers. 

In addition to preferred payment methods, UK shoppers prioritise free delivery and getting the lowest price when it comes to choosing their online retailer. Trust in that retailer also matters significantly, as 81% of consumers say that seeing good reviews or previously buying from a brand would entice them to make another purchase from a retailer. 

Driving sales through low consumer confidence relies on key retailer capabilities

Mollie asked UK shoppers to identify the top three capabilities that online retailers can offer to increase their likelihood to purchase:

  1. Efficient shipping times: 77% reported that quick shipping times were a major draw for them when picking a retailer
  2. A quick and efficient payment method: 76% of UK consumers said this was among the most important capabilities that an online retailer can offer to earn their business
  3. Free return options: 75% wanted free returns in their retailer

Ecommerce turnoffs

While there are a number of factors that entice shoppers to a particular merchant, there are also a few turnoffs retailers will want to avoid:

  1. High shipping costs or taxes: 56% of consumers said that high shipping fees and taxes would turn them off a retailer, a potential hint at the implications of Brexit and added fee pain points.
  2. Payment security worries:  51% reported that concerns around whether their payments were secure could prevent retailers from getting their business
  3. Price higher than at larger retailers: 50% said they were less likely to shop with a retailer if they found the prices were higher than at larger retailers

Cart abandonment

Trillions of pounds per year are lost due to cart abandonment. Respondents shared three main reasons they’re likely to ditch their cart:

  1. High shipping costs or taxes: 58% of UK shoppers said that high fees around shipping and taxes put them off their purchase
  2. Payment security worries: 51% reported that concerns around whether their payment was secure might cause abandonment
  3. Lack of preferred payment method(s): 36% said a lack of availability for their preferred payment method would result in ditching their cart, slightly lower than the European average (45%)

“Today’s ecommerce retailers need strong, seamless, and easy-to-use payments more than ever as they try to navigate a shifting retail landscape. Whether they can secure a shrinking share of consumer spend will hinge heavily on their ability to deliver frictionless, pleasant shopping experiences,” says Josh Guthrie, Mollie’s UK Country Manager.

“This is especially true for SME retailers, who often rely more heavily on third party relationships to support their payments, shipping and returns, and other needs than their bigger competitors. Retailers need to choose partners that will support their business with reliable, efficient, and flexible services, or risk leaving money on the table.”