The state of online shopping, just in time for Christmas

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If we were to assign 2020 its very own buzzword, it’d have to be “Coronavirus”. Yes, we’re all tired of hearing it but globally the impact of the outbreak has been immense – and it’s far from over. For e-commerce and digital banking, though, there has been an undeniable silver lining: an upsurge in online activity.

With that in mind, and in a prequel of sorts to our recently published holiday fraud checklist, we wanted to find out for ourselves exactly how much the global COVID-19 pandemic had affected consumers’ shopping behavior.

So, in early November, we commissioned a poll in the populous UK and had 1,000 consumers of all ages answer a series of questions – online, of course, in the most socially distanced way possible. We wanted to know how people were shopping, to what extent they’d taken their shopping online, where they were choosing to shop and why, and what their priorities were when scouring the web for goods.

And, since we’re in the business of reducing fraud, we were especially interested in their attitudes towards e-commerce fraud and digital security, and how they felt about added (sometimes unexpected) security measures at checkout. Let’s just say, we weren’t disappointed by the results…

Fraud is here to stay, but perceptions are changing

A major takeaway from the survey was that over a quarter of respondents claimed they were shopping less in physical stores than they were before the pandemic. Related to that, 29% said they weren’t using as much cash as before – code for an increase in digital transactions.

Sadly, criminals are quick to catch on, so the risk of e-commerce, digital banking, and payments fraud would have risen in parallel. Fortunately, when it came to the respondents’ answers about e-commerce fraud and security, all indications were that awareness had grown:

  • One in every ten respondents said they were more concerned about fraud and identity theft than they were before the pandemic.
  • A similar number (11%) indicated that security had grown in importance to them when shopping online.
  • Reassuringly, over 42% of respondents said that security was the most important aspect of their online shopping experience.
  • For 31%, unexpected security measures at checkout made them feel safe and like their banks were looking out for them.

The full effects of COVID-19

We’ve captured the full results of the survey in our newly released state of online shopping report. It provides valuable insights into the ever-changing world of consumer behavior – a must-read, especially for retailers and financial institutions looking to keep the online shopping experience safe, secure and user friendly.

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