Over the past 18 months, we’ve monitored insights related to consumer and business economic outlooks, financial well-being, online behavior and more. One of the most significant insights was the accelerated shift toward e-commerce and digital financial services. In fact, there has been a 25% increase in digital transaction across the globe since the start of the pandemic including shopping, banking, and transacting online. Our latest 2021 Global Insights Report found that the increase in online activity held steady, even with the return of physical shopping and banking.
The study also found that consumers are spending again. Nearly 10% of consumers are spending more and putting less away in retirement or emergency savings than from one year ago. However, even though customers are spending more, loyalty to online businesses is declining. We found that 61% of consumers say they are staying with the same online service provider they used prior to COVID-19. This a decrease of 8% from one year ago.
The continued increase in online activity, coupled with heightened consumer expectations, dwindling customer loyalty, and increased competition, could lead to potential revenue loss or gain. Businesses must find solutions to improve digital engagement and customer acquisition.
Fortunately, improving digital engagement and customer acquisition are companies’ top priorities as they maneuver the pandemic-accelerated boost in digital transactions. They are leveraging advanced technologies like digital credit risk decisioning, passive authentication, and artificial intelligence to improve the digital customer experience and grow their business. According to Experian’s report, 90 percent of companies are investing in business automation, 76 percent are improving or rebuilding their analytics models and 65% intend to increase fraud budgets. Adoption of AI has risen from 69% to 74% and machine learning from 68% to 73% in one year. We also found that 50% of companies are exploring the use of expanded data sources.
To develop the study, Experian surveyed 3,000 consumers and 900 businesses across 10 countries around the world including Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. This report is part of a longitudinal study and published series that started in June 2020 through October 2021 exploring the major shifts in consumer behavior and business strategy throughout COVID. Access all global research reports here.