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New research available: The continued impact of Covid-19 on businesses and consumers

November 9, 2020 by Stacy Schulman, Sr. Director of Global Marketing, Decision Analytics

As the world faces another resurgence of the coronavirus, businesses will again be tested on their response—but this time consumer expectations will be much higher. In the beginning of the pandemic, businesses scrambled to set up remote workforces and new ways to support customers as everything locked down. In the short-term, many consumers stayed loyal to businesses they frequented before Covid-19. However, our recent research shows that loyalty may not be a given going forward.

Download Global Insights Report – September/October edition

Key insights:

  • 1 out of 3 consumers is only willing to wait up to 30 seconds before abandoning an online transaction, especially when accessing their bank accounts.
  • Half of the businesses surveyed have either mostly or completely resumed operations since Covid-19 began but only 24% are deliberately making changes to their digital customer journey.
  • 60% of people have higher expectations of their digital experience than before Covid-19.

In mid-September 2020, we surveyed 3,000 consumers and 900 businesses in 10 countries, including Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This report is the second of three in a longitudinal study exploring the major shifts in consumer behavior and business strategy pre- and post-Covid-19. Our first report in the sequence, published in  July/August, can be found here: Global Insights Report – July/August edition.

Though businesses worldwide have started to see their operations stabilize, moving from survival mode toward sustainability, growth still presents a challenge. High expectations for security and convenience compounded by the increased demand for online payments, banking and shopping are pushing businesses to re-imagine the customer journey—and the investments they make to drive future growth.

Top 5 initiatives amongst banks, payments, and retailers that have been accelerated by Covid-19:

  1. Use of AI to improve customer decisions
  2. Strengthening the security of mobile and digital channels
  3. Increasing digital acquisition and improving engagement
  4. Automating customer decisions
  5. Understanding customer profiles (e.g. affordability, preferences, behaviors)

Most consumers reported a positive experience in their sudden shift to the digital channel and plan to increase their online transactions. The pandemic has also accelerated the move toward contactless payments for when shopping in-person is essential. The result has been a merging of consumers’ online and offline worlds calling upon businesses to create a fluidity between cross-channel interactions.

  • 61% of people surveyed now regularly order groceries or food delivery online. This is a 7-point increase in this type of online payment since July.
  • Adoption of mobile wallets has jumped +11% since July as consumers continue to increase their online activities and contactless in-person transactions.
  • 70% of businesses have a plan to move customers out of Covid-induced collections but the implications of that impact on the balance sheet and future provisions are not yet clear.

Regardless of where they’re transacting, consumers expect a secure, convenient experience—and they’ll quickly abandon financial transactions if they’re let down. Are businesses adapting the customer journey as quickly as customers are expecting more from their digital experience?

Keeping up with consumer expectations:

  • 77% of people said they feel most secure when using physical biometrics, and 62% of people said it improves their customer experience when managing finances or payments online.
  • Consumers are most concerned about protecting their financial data over other types of information (e.g. personal, contact, web history). The concern is highest in France (46%) and Japan (43%).
  • For the past 3 years, consumers trust payment system providers (e.g. PayPal, WePay, Apply Pay) the most for consistently providing a secure and convenient digital customer experience.

Find out what top 3 solutions businesses are using to help improve the customer journey.

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