Today, a number of interesting trends have emerged in fintech and eCommerce. Without fintech, many aspects of eCommerce that we take for granted would not exist. In this article, we’ll take a look at the biggest trends coming out of fintech and influencing eCommerce.
Buy Now Pay Later
If you shop online, chances are you’ve seen options from brands like Afterpay, Affirm, or Klarna to pay for your favorite brands using installment payments. Even Amazon has offered this service for a number of years. The phrase ‘buy now pay later’ is becoming almost ubiquitous. Extending credit to a customer to buy something is nothing new, but eCommerce has reinvented this idea by making it simple and accessible to anyone shopping online.
Unlike traditional personal loans, which can trigger a credit score drop, ‘buy now pay later’ only makes a soft inquiry, which means that there is no decrease in your credit score.
Some advocates of buy now pay later claim that it helps advance financial inclusion for people who don’t have access to traditional credit products. Additionally, it can also give buyers enhanced control and flexibility over their spending.
However, criticisms of buy now pay later have become more vocal.
Recent controversies have cropped up, including in Australia, where regulators are moving in to regulate these services like other traditional credit offerings. “Let’s start working on regulating [them] within the credit space. We welcome the fact that they’ve introduced a code, [and will] move to legislate it and fill any gaps,” said Stephen Jones, the financial services minister.
Financial novices in Gen-Z have gotten hooked on these services in the U.S. too. Amelia Schmarzo, a junior in college in San Diego, recently told NPR’s Planet Money about falling into a trap with buy now pay later, where she racked up $2,000 in credit card debt and drained her bank account.
Many of these controversies come on the heels of Apple announcing its own buy now pay later service. Despite the controversies, buy now pay later will probably not disappear, and the Fintech companies offering these new credit options will continue to grow as their share of the economy continues to grow.
Explosion of Payment Options
Related to ‘buy now pay later’ is the expansion of mobile payment systems. Mobile payments have gone from typing your credit card into a form online and hitting submit, and have expanded to allow smartphones and other mobile devices to be used.
Single-click checkout has also expanded as a result of mobile payments expansion. Single-click checkout means that customers can simply click one button, and their checkout is done. Companies like Paypal with One Touch, and Shopify’s Shop Pay, have helped resolve many common eCommerce platform problems with single-click checkout.
Customers often give up checking out when it requires an account, there are complicated forms, or there are hidden costs. One-click checkout eliminates these problems and helps prevent cart abandonment– leading to higher sales.
Single-click checkout isn’t the only revolution in eCommerce payment options.
Rather than relying on invoicing or checkouts, chat commerce has enabled real-time payments while customers utilize chatbots for various services. Often, chatbots can help customers quickly resolve issues without having to contact support directly. In addition to this convenience, chatbots can also remember customer preferences and personalize the experience.
All of this boils down to AI-powered services that can remember what size jeans you wear and what styles you prefer. AI-powered chatbot services enable richer engagement and connections, all while empowering mass personalization and customization.
Payment processing is undergoing a revolution, with more and more payment options being delivered all the time. SMS payments have also recently taken off. SMS payments allow customers to make payments via SMS text messages.
Today, fintech eCommerce innovations are all about capturing any potential missed sale. SMS payments mean eliminating burdens to customers making purchases and therefore reducing cart abandonment and page abandonment. SMS payments are also fast, safe, and convenient.
Data-driven Marketing and Sales
When it comes to data-driven innovations, the fintech sector has seen huge strides; whether it’s in utilizing software to monitor employee work or finding ways to leverage data analytics to understand customers’ purchase behavior, companies today are using big data to make the most out of their data.
Some of the most significant uses of data-driven innovations have been to develop personas for customers. This way, companies can help personalize the shopping experience and improve the overall customer experience.
By using data, teams can optimize their pricing and deliver dynamic price adjustments in real-time. Data-driven insights also allow retailers to better deliver advertising to consumers too.
In the end, data-driven innovations are only going to expand, and companies that are able to leverage them for eCommerce will see major growth as access increases.
Democratizing access to sales
Ongoing development in fintech and eCommerce is the democratization of sales platforms. Today, small businesses have a number of options for selling their goods thanks to eGiants like Shopify and Amazon.
One area that is lacking is adequate platforms and financial solutions for small to midsized international merchants.
Social Media Commerce
One of the most rapidly expanding areas of eCommerce is the expansion of social shopping. Instagram is a leader in this area, with influencers and brands connecting with one another to help sell products. Instagram seamlessly allows you to tag products and brands in posts and then shop directly on the platform, all without leaving the app.
This type of social shopping has enabled smaller brands and creators to take off. Essentially, social shopping allows creators to generate content about their brands and also sell their products. Big brands are taking advantage, with everyone from Nike to Gucci taking to social media to sell and market their products.
A few final trends are worth mentioning. QR codes, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain are all increasing in usage and are spreading out from being novelties to being standard parts of the eCommerce landscape.
One trend is the constant cybersecurity threat. As more and more systems move online, they become vulnerable to hackers and other bad actors. This means that for every new payment processing system that crops up, another attack vector appears. In response, fintech companies will just have to continue to develop greater security features.
There are a number of interesting eCommerce trends that exist today, thanks to fintech. As the industry evolves, more innovative products and services will emerge in the coming years. Above all, fintech has reduced the friction between customers and checkout and allowed brands to better sell their products and deliver them to more people.