Convert customers across borders – focus on French e-commerce
Nigel ReavleyCountry Manager France at ACI in the world, shows us how the cross-border challenge is played out in France. What are the implications for e-commerce?
In France, like many of its neighbors in Europe, a series of movement restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have made 2020 undoubtedly the year of e-commerce. But, as 2021 saw the easing and then tightening of restrictions, a more nuanced picture has begun to emerge of the lasting impacts on consumer buying behaviors.
Like everywhere else, the COVID crisis has largely contributed to the rise of contactless for in-store payment. According to Cartes Bancaires, contactless transactions represent 56% of in-store card transactions. Extensive use of e-commerce; while France was very active on e-commerce before Covid, it went to another level due to the first lockdown, where most physical stores were closed.
Data from ACI shows that some behavioral changes imposed by lockdowns look set to endure, mixing with pre-COVID behaviors to accelerate adoption of experiences that blur the lines between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar, such as Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) and Buy Online, Return In Store (BORIS).
The volume and value of e-commerce transactions in 2021 clearly show the release of pent-up demand from consumers yearning for a return to “normal” life.
The Merchant’s Challenge
From the merchants’ point of view, the main conclusion is that you cannot have in-store on the one hand, and e-commerce on the other. Merchants need to deliver a consistent, omnichannel customer journey. COVID has shown retailers that their business doesn’t have to stop because stores are closed and they need to offer alternatives to their customers through an expanded e-commerce and m-commerce experience, click & collect, delivery to home, lockers, etc.
In e-commerce specifically, merchants have learned that any friction during the sales process can lead to cart abandonment and therefore a poor conversion rate. In this respect, optimizing the payment stage is a major point: payment must be as fluid and simple as possible, so that customers remain satisfied and loyal.
The challenge for marketers is to ensure they remain relevant in a time of change and uncertainty. The need to support all the means of payment requested by their end customers (knowing that a large part of these means of payment are local). They need to know how to optimize payment costs through payment orchestration, multi-acquiring, home acquiring, smart routing, and more. and make the customer journey fluid and omnichannel by taking advantage, for example, of 3DS v2’s exemptions to strong customer authentication. .
Planning for France
It should be noted that France has one of the highest fraud rates in Europe, which seems to be associated with limited visibility into compromised customer details, so fraudsters can use stolen cards or other details longer before being detected. However, the shift to more secure payment methods in recent years has helped reduce fraud, blocking many unauthorized transactions, but having a strong fraud management strategy is essential.
Over the past few years, there has been a significant shift in customer behavior towards online shopping and fraudsters have taken advantage of it. With an increasing volume of e-commerce transactions, it is even more urgent to have a solid card authentication process and a secure payment method to protect customers against fraudulent activities such as identity theft. or account takeover.
When it comes to selling to French consumers, the key is to think local. Adapt to local customer trends, local channels, supporting preferred local payment methods. And, as most French retailers are international, make sure the solution can easily expand to other geographies.
ACI and The Paypers have collaborated to produce a detailed overview of the most important information to measure the size and type of opportunities in the e-commerce market in France.
I invite you to read this eBook, where you can get more details on the trends that are here to stay, the sector-by-sector impact when lockdowns ended and were reintroduced and information on market readiness for the vcommerce, crypto payments and the introduction of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
About Nigel Reavley
Nigel Reavley is Country Manager France at ACI Worldwide with the objective of developing banking and merchant activity in France. Nigel has 25 years of experience in IT sales and business development in the European and North African payments market, having worked in bank authentication at Ingenico, cards at Oberthur, certification at FIME and more recently at FIS responsible for payment activity in France. Nigel has dual British and French nationality and lives in Rennes. He enjoys golf, French wine and Bruce Springsteen in his spare time.
About ACI Worldwide
ACI Worldwide provides business-critical real-time payment solutions. More than 80,000 merchants worldwide use our proven, scalable, and secure solutions to process and manage digital payments, enable omni-commerce payments, present and process bill payments, and manage fraud and risk. We combine our global footprint with a local presence to drive the real-time digital transformation of payments and commerce.