News • 25.03.2021

Retailers cite conversion optimization as the #1 ecommerce challenge

State of payments across retail in Europe

A silver credit card is standing between the buttons of a laptop keyboard...
Source: © PantherMedia/lemonpink

Mollie, payment service provider in Europe, has published research unveiling the state of payments in retail today as well as the challenges and opportunities in the retail market following a turbulent year. 

For example, when asked the biggest challenges in online retail, 65% retailers cited converting shoppers to purchase, 43% rated high costs for shipping or payment providers and 41% selected low margins. And for a third of online retailers (34%), cart abandonment is the biggest challenge with 30% reporting that 6-10% of carts were abandoned.

Additional key findings include: 

  • EU and UK merchants rely on a multitude of channels to sell

As bricks and mortar shops closed their doors, online has become far more important. Specifically, 46% of all revenue now comes from an online webshop. And on average, 37% of sales occur via third-party marketplaces such as Amazon. Finally, as much as 16% of annual revenue now comes through social media platforms like Instagram. 

  • Issues with the payments process can hurt sales and growth

31% said that an issue with the payment service offered or the range of payment service options provided was the reason for abandoned carts. 41% cited a lack of innovation in payment systems as hindering growth. 

  • ‘Buy now, pay later’ now offered by more than a fifth of retailers

With many consumers looking for more flexible ways to pay during the pandemic, 22% of retailers now offer ‘buy now, pay later’ or Apple Pay payment methods. And 20% offer Google Pay. This is set to increase with 31% looking to improve payment systems to help grow online revenue within the next 12 months.

  • Two-thirds of retailers had revenues impacted by the pandemic

The pandemic has had both a positive and negative effect on retail sales. 23% of merchants saw sales increase last year. Conversely, 29% either saw no change or had sales decrease somewhat. And 17% saw sales decrease significantly. Of those who reported an increase, revenues went up on average by 29%. The average decrease in revenues was 27%.

Source: Mollie

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