(Finance) – Technology can make the difference in a macroeconomic scenario marked by inflation. Consumers are looking for convenience and tend to reward companies that have adopted unified commerce solutions, i.e. integrated management of the various sales channels and all payments (in-store, e-commerce and mobile) in a single interface. This is what emerges from the data of Retail Report 2023 disseminated by the financial technology platform Adyen. According to the research, conducted by the Center for Economic and Business Research, omnichannel companies with unified business management, saw revenue growth of 8 percentage points higher during 2022. If this model were more widely adopted by retailers, it would bring the sector a turnover of 54.2 billion dollars. Globally, the development of a multi-channel approach could generate revenues of $1.5 trillion. The economic models used by Cebr thus reveal how the unified tradewhich provides for the union of online and offline payment management in a single system, favors greater resilience of the retail trade in a complex context such as the current one.
For report development, Adyen commissioned two different surveys which involved 36,000 consumers in 26 countries and 12,000 merchants in 24 countries to understand how the current scenario, characterized by growing inflation, is influencing the behavior of buyers and how companies are adapting to the changes taking place.
Italians and convenience – In Italy, the vast majority of consumers (83%) said they spend more time looking for convenient offers and prices due to the current economic scenario. A higher percentage than the aggregated international data, where this trend emerged for 78% of the interviewees. Furthermore, more than a third of Italians (37%) say they wait for key moments during the year such as Black Friday or seasonal sales before making a purchase. Adapting to new needs, 48% of Italian retailers believe that the impact of inflation is such that they have to offer discounts to consumers all year round. In line with global data, the survey also found that as the cost of living rises, personalization of the shopping experience and brand loyalty have become increasingly important to shoppers in Italy. More than two-thirds (68%) would like to be able to take advantage of more discounts on products and almost half (48%) say they prefer companies and brands that register the browsing preferences made during previous online purchases, in order to take advantage of a of personalized purchase. Despite the growing demand for tailored experiences, 42% of retailers say it is increasingly difficult to classify customers based on behaviors, failing always to meet individual needs, rising to 52% internationally.
The benefits of technology – Analyzing consumers’ purchasing preferences, it emerges how the integration between online and offline significantly favors the bond of customers with brands and pushes them to return to the store for new purchases. In fact, a high percentage of those interviewed in Italy affirm that they remain more loyal to those who offer hybrid services such as the possibility of buying online and returning to the store (60%) or the convenience of evaluating a purchase in the store and then concluding the purchase online. or vice versa (42%). Furthermore, the in-store shopping experience integrated with technological tools and services such as self-service checkouts, the QR code or the use of applications during check-out is positively evaluated by Italian consumers: more than a third (35% ) said they were satisfied that technology makes shopping faster, and a quarter (25%) said they would visit a store more often that offers shopping services integrated with technology solutions. Despite the results, the research showed that only 20% of Italian brands have already started investing in solutions to support unified commerce. 33% say they are starting to invest in this direction and 39% are in the evaluation phase. Results similar to those that emerged at an international level, where it emerges that 17% of
companies is already investing in Unified Commerce.
Technology as a lever to expand into new markets – Investment in technology can also support companies’ expansion into new markets. With a local market that offers limited opportunities, internationalization represents the first option for growth, whatever the sector. The propensity of companies to leave the Italian borders is in line with the global average,
66% (against 68%) of Italian companies plan to expand into new markets in 2023, most (40%) through e-commerce and 26% through the opening of physical stores. In particular, from Italy we go to Germany (42%), France (42%), Spain (22%) and the UK (19%). If the ambition goes beyond European borders, the reference markets are the United States (18)%, the historic market for Made in Italy products, China (12%) and Canada (12%). To try to adapt to the needs of foreign customers, some companies are expanding their services related to payment methods: 25% for example accept international payment methods such as AliPay or WeChat Pay and 34% are also equipped for the new digital wallets .
“Consumer behavior has evolved rapidly in recent years and the strategies retail companies are now taking regarding technology investments are more important than ever,” he said. Roelant Prins, chief commercial officer of Adyen –. Our research has highlighted how the use of technology, and in particular unified commerce, can support the growth of companies with a more agile and sophisticated approach that helps them understand customer trends and changing demands. Adyen’s financial technology platform is built on unified commerce, which means it brings together all of a company’s payment data into the same
system. In this way, you get an effective overview of your customers, allowing you to meet their expectations at the time of purchase. Retail is one of the fastest evolving industries in the world and technology is emerging as a key factor in ensuring business resilience in today’s environment.”