62% of consumers say they will continue to reduce spending in the face of persistent inflation, underscoring retailers’ need for better payments, intelligent returns, diverse fulfillment options and marketplace strategies.
The twin traumas of rapidly rising inflation and dramatically disrupted supply chains are taking their toll on U.S. consumers who now describe a significant portion of their online shopping experiences as poor, according to a new survey by commerce protection provider Signifyd.
The survey, conducted by market researcher OnePoll, found that 66% of respondents had cut back on spending in 2022 in the face of persistent inflation, while nearly that many (62%) said they would continue to rein in their purchases for the rest of the year.
The findings, based on a poll of 1,005 online consumers in the U.S in June, could have serious implications for online brands and merchants, who have seen significant growth during the COVID-19 era, but now face a series of headwinds.
Nearly two-thirds of shoppers, for instance, said that supply chain problems have affected their ability to get the products they want and 58% said shipping disruptions have affected the speed at which they were able to get goods, when they were able to get them at all.
The survey results are a part of Signifyd’s State of Commerce 2022 report, which digs into the challenges and trends defining retail as the industry embraces a new post-COVID normal. The report showed that while overall online sales are slowing in the post-pandemic world, permanent changes in the way consumers shop contributed to the annual 33% growth rate in ecommerce sales for 2021. Beyond taking the measure of retail today, the report also lays out prescriptions from retail experts who are charting the future path of retail in four key areas:• The transformation of online payments
• The online returns reckoning
• The need for fulfillment diversity
• The rise and evolution of online marketplaces
“Retailers and brands need to stabilize their operating costs while optimizing their conversions and revenue given today’s economic challenges,” Signifyd CEO Raj Ramanand said in releasing the commerce report. “Consumers are being cautious when it comes to spending and choosing whom to shop with. Providing a best-in-class customer experience has never been more important. This report, produced with the help of some of our key strategic partners, will help guide merchants as they complete their pivot from a pandemic footing to a new era of ecommerce.”
The report relies on Signifyd’s data to provide a reality check on the digital linchpin of the retail sector, which accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic activity and is a leading source of employment for American workers.
The data shows that despite the current headwinds, ecommerce remains strong, building on large gains in sales realized during the pandemic, even as its rate of growth slows. Expert voices — from Worldpay from FIS, Loop, Quivers and Marketplacer — included in the report provide strategies for merchants and brands to fortify their businesses and propel further growth by embracing innovative technology and strategies in the face of change.
Among the challenges retailers and brands face moving forward is the need to provide a top-flight experience for customers from the time they land on a digital site through the time they receive and make use of their purchases. On that count, one-third of consumers surveyed by OnePoll for Signifyd say more than 30% of their online shopping experiences are “poor.”
And in a bit of a dark turn, the State of Commerce report and its underlying survey found that a significant number of consumers were willing to break the rules in order to take advantage of retailers and their policies. More than one in five of those surveyed, in fact, admitted to lying or otherwise being dishonest when requesting a refund.
The State of Commerce includes recommendations from retail experts on how merchants can improve their customers’ shopping experiences and how they can stay ahead of the coming changes in consumer behavior and the competitive landscape.