Trends number 3 and 4 that I anticipate for the years 2016 and 2017 are as follows:
3.) Success Through Personalisation: The Right Mix of Payment Types
The latest studies show that there is a clear correlation between conversion rates, buyer reach and the mix of payment methods offered. For example, a current survey carried out by the PPRO Group indicates that 48.7% of purchasers have cancelled at least one online purchase because the retailer did not offer their chosen payment type.
Whereas, from a global perspective, credit cards dominate online payments, in Europe (and particularly in Germany) they are by no means the most popular payment method on the Internet. The Finnish like direct transfers, while in the Netherlands two out of three online payments are made using the iDEAL payment system. People in Italy, meanwhile, prefer to pay the traditional way, using cash. When it comes to mobile payments, Kenya is leading the field.
Understanding this type of cultural idiosyncrasy is crucial for both the current and (particularly) future success of German ecommerce on the international stage.
4.) Voucher Programmes in E-Commerce
Brick-and-mortar retailers have long employed voucher programmes as a way of attracting new customers, as well as in customer loyalty schemes, marketing campaigns, and incentives of all kinds. What is new is that e-commerce platforms, particularly online ones, are increasingly implementing voucher programmes, for example as part of national or international expansion drives. This trend will continue to increase in future.
Whereas retailers are handing out paper vouchers less and less often, vouchers in the form of generic codes or barcodes are becoming more common. These can be printed on plastic cards (e.g. prepaid phone credits or credit for purchases in online shops), sent via email (e.g. vouchers for hotel stays or restaurant meals) or made available to recipients via apps (e.g. for in-app purchases or taxi rides). These types of voucher are stored and identified electronically on servers belonging to the retailers or to contracted third-party service providers.