Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiApril 22, 2020


The findings of a sample of 278 businesses of new data from Fresh Relevance show a revenue increase of 60 percent for online retail in the last month.

Online sales fairly increased in the first week of March, only to jump in the following weeks of the month when the UK government introduced the national lockdown rules.

Ecommerce businesses that have seen the greatest growth are toys and games with a rise in revenue to 341 percent, then food and drink businesses and tobacco and vaping sector, both rising to over 200 percent of the normal revenue.

Other sectors experiencing dramatic growth are home and garden, technology and sports and hobbies, with the revenue increasing between 150 and 200 percent compared to the beginning of the month of March.

Changing customer habits have affected office supplies, jewellery and luxury goods, as well as insurance and finance business which have recorded a fall in revenue by 20 to 40 percent.

Mike Austin, CEO & co-founder of Fresh Relevance comments: “The COVID-19 pandemic has seen consumers’ day-to-day routines and habits change dramatically as a result of social distancing measures implemented across the globe. Whilst the impact across the retail sector as a whole has been varied, the temporary closure of many physical stores and self-isolation of consumers has created opportunities for a number of ecommerce verticals. For most of us, the home now serves as a place for work, schooling, exercise and relaxation, and shopping habits in March were hugely reflective of this as everyone was forced to adapt.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 26, 2019


UK customers are torn between valuing convenience and security when making purchases online – but they value speed and ease of payment more than their European counterparts.

That is the findings of a new survey of 4,000 online shoppers by payments firm GoCardless, which polled customers in the UK, France, Spain, and Germany.

Almost half of UK consumers (43 percent) said that “speed and ease of payment” was the most important factor when paying for something online, compared to less than a fifth in Spain (17 percent) and one third in France (32 percent) and Germany (33 percent).

Yet shoppers in all markets placed high value on a secure checkout process: French shoppers showed the greatest preference for security (62 percent), followed closely byGerman (61 percent), Spanish (58 percent), and UK (55 percent).

Other findings in the Security vs convenience in the payment experience report were that 44 percent of UK shoppers had abandoned an online order because of complex or lengthy security, while 48 percent had done so in Germany, 40 percent in Spain, and 33 percent in France. Meanwhile, nearly a third of UK shoppers (27 percent) would abandon a purchase and look elsewhere if a retailer offered a secure but lengthy and inconvenient buying experience.

The research is published ahead of the introduction of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) – a new, European-wide, two-stage verification process coming into force from September 2019 as part of PSD2. As a result, shoppers will have to provide two sets of security information – such as a password or PIN, biometric information, or device information like a mobile number – to authenticate an online purchase.

Considering the potential impact of SCA on UK consumers, nearly half (45 percent) of people would be frustrated with a favourite brand that introduced new security processes during online checkout and a fifth (23 percent) would shop less with a favourite brand or retailer if it introduced new security measures.

Almost two thirds (62 percent) would pay for an online subscription with a low risk payment method like direct debit as a way to avoid complex security at the online check-out.

Duncan Barrigan, VP Product at GoCardless, said: “In the eyes of UK consumers, convenience is virtually neck and neck with security in terms of importance when shopping online. Protecting shoppers from fraud when they pay online is crucial, and new regulation which achieves this should be welcomed.

“The flipside is that these measures, if implemented badly, could significantly disrupt consumers and lead to a significant conversion drop off for businesses. Online retailers must work with their payment providers to find the right balance between security and convenience at checkout – not waking up to this new reality could seriously harm e-commerce. Major retailers like Amazon are already sounding the alarm.”

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