E-commerce trends 2022: increase loyalty with instant payouts
E-commerce trends for 2022 have been rapidly evolving. Consumer trends and merchant
priorities are quickly changing to keep pace with the new retail landscape they are operating in.
With the high market saturation in the e-commerce industry, instant payouts offer brands a way to differentiate themselves and increase customer loyalty. In this blog, we will explore how consumer demands for instant payments have grown, and the benefits offering instant payouts brings to e-commerce businesses.
The appeal of instant payouts
COVID-19 has majorly impacted many areas of day-to-day life, but none more so than consumers’ shopping behaviour and preferences. Continuous lockdowns, social distancing, and other regulations have all impacted how and where people shop, what they buy, and how they want to pay.
Restrictions have been lifted in many locations, but it has become clear that many of the behaviours consumers formed over the course of the pandemic are here to stay.
E-commerce businesses have been forced to change their operations and strategy to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour. Closure of brick-and-mortar stores and restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather in one location during lockdowns pushed a shift to online shopping. Businesses that operated in brick-and-mortar locations had to upscale their e-commerce and logistics capabilities.
In this rapidly changing landscape, the key to e-commerce success has been meeting the demands of their audiences. But this is a tough challenge.
However, this challenge has also presented an opportunity. Fast-reacting e-commerce businesses have been able to appeal to modern shoppers and increase loyalty by offering a seamless online shopping experience through digital payments.
Brite Payments consumer research shows that 43% of Gen Z, 31% of Millennials, and 33% of Gen X found instant refunds important when shopping within the e-commerce industry.
With more people shopping online, e-commerce retailers must appeal to customers and differentiate themselves at every touchpoint. This especially important when it comes to payments and returns.
Why offer instant refunds for your customers?
There is high market saturation in the e-commerce industry. While a saturated e-commerce market can present challenges, it also implies increased demands, opening the doors for more brand opportunities.
As brands look for ways to stand out among their competitors, offering free returns is important in fostering customer loyalty.
Strong refund policies are becoming increasingly important to online shoppers. Walker Sands found that 54% of consumers cite free returns or exchanges as key for where and how to shop. This implies that many consumers intend to use the refund or exchange policy when they do their online shopping.
E-commerce businesses need to have robust and seamless returns and payout processes in place to deal with the growing volume of returns and exchanges that are happening.
Increases in returns do not necessarily present a problem for e-commerce retailers. It simply observes a change in the way consumers shop. For example, where previously a consumer may have gone to a brick-and-mortar store to try multiple pairs of jeans to find the right size, they may now order them to their home and return the pairs that do not fit.
Retailers need to be able to cater to this new way of shopping, guaranteeing that refunds will be processed fast.
How often do consumers return items?
According to the NRF, retail return rates soared to an average of 16.6% in 2021 compared with 10.6% from the previous year.
Shoppers regularly return items they have purchased online. It should come as no surprise that instant payouts are an essential business tool.
Waiting three to five banking days for a refund will not ensure a returning customer anymore.
Shopify research shows that consumers ranked ease of returns highly when they are considering where to do online shopping. 62% Of customers expect an exchange or refund within 30 days of purchase.
Thirty day refunds have now become an industry standard with almost two-thirds of consumers expecting them. This presents an opportunity for strategic e-commerce businesses to differentiate themselves. It willdelight their customers by offering a faster and more reliable returns experience with instant payouts.
With the changing landscape of online shopping, consumers are focusing more on merchants’ refund and return processes. Retailers have legal responsibilities, but it is the way that businesses put these regulations into practice at the checkout that matters to shoppers.
Having a free 30-day return policy is not enough, that policy needs to be implemented seamlessly. Consumers want to see their refunds back in their bank accounts quickly. Without friction from having to deal with clunky and difficult-to-use platforms.
Creating a seamless instant refund experience
As many businesses expand their online shopping operations, you also need to ensure that you can handle increased online sales along with increased refunds and returns.
As the volume of returns increases, you need to optimise your systems. This to be able to automatically handle the processing and settling of refunds. You need to look at your returns process from a customer perspective. This way you can identify the bottlenecks in your current policy.
For example, to increase customer loyalty and speed up settlements, you may want to consider refunding returns for lower value items from loyal customers instantly. Rather than slow and clunky processes that take 30 days and leave customers to deal with your customer support or chase you for their payout, you can offer an instant alternative. But this requires retailers to remove their reliance on legacy systems and laborious internal processes.
Instant refunds with Brite Payments
Offering instant payouts presents a clear competitive advantage for online retailers and a strong way of capturing customer loyalty. Consumers are more focused than ever on returns policies when they are making decisions about where to shop. As returns are increasing across the e-commerce industry, the speed at which consumer behaviour is changing means that there is no time for merchants to be complacent when it comes to offering instant refunds.
Make instant payouts simply and securely with Brite Payments – the next generation of payment solutions.