Merchants continue to lose customers by failing to consider Alternative Payment Methods outside of credit and debit cards
Online retailers are continuing to lose out on sales by failing to address customers’ preferred payment methods. According to research by PPRO Group, one of the fastest growing global FinTech providers, 67% of UK consumers have abandoned an online retail transaction due to the payment process, only down 1% in the past four years from 68% in 2014.
With the biggest reasons cited as 22% didn’t recognise the payment process up from 6%.
However, there have been some improvements in checkout processes; previously over half (57%) abandoned the payment process due to it being too complicated, four years later this has reduced to 21%. Yet, a quarter still abandon processes as the retailer doesn’t offer the option the pay the way they want to.
Consumers increasingly expect a variety of payment methods to be made available when they shop online, in fact this demand is up 10% in the past four years to 90%. Yet 15% claim their expectations aren’t met and 77% stated they would not be happy to pay for goods online if they only accept payment methods they hadn’t heard of. The statistics demonstrate that retailers must align their checkout processes with customers preferred payment methods. For example, half of UK consumers state that PayPal (is their most popular method of online payment, while more unfamiliar methods, such as Direct Debit at 3% up from 0.3% and e-wallets at 1%, are creeping into the UK market for the first time.
“Payment methods play a huge part in the online customer journey and all it takes is one bad experience in a first transaction with a new retailer and a potentially loyal customer is easily lost to a competitor. The first step to securing consumer confidence and driving sales as well as global business growth, is to understand the culture of payments. Not only must the website be designed with the customer journey in mind to make it easy to navigate, but if the customer reaches the checkout and their preferred payment isn’t available, all that investment to get them to the site in the first place is wasted,” comments Jack Ehlers, Director of Payment Partnerships at PPRO Group.
“By removing the boundaries and complexities of Alternative Payment Methods, consumers can ultimately buy what they want, where they want and how they want, increasing opportunities for retailers. If these barriers aren’t addressed, the future for new online retailers is severely limited,” adds Ehlers.
Cycling boom pushes Halfords annual profit towards 100 million pounds
(Reuters) – Halfords forecast an over 60% jump in its annual profit and said it would repay the near 11 million pounds it received in government furlough support as the bicycle retailer benefits from a cycling boom during lockdowns.
Shares in the company jumped another 16% to 335 pence by 0830 GMT on Monday, having surged more than six-fold from pandemic lows hit in March.
The company, which also does motoring services and sells car parts, said its overall business has been performing stronger than anticipated despite volatile trading in the first seven weeks of the fourth quarter.
Halfords estimated annual underlying pretax profit of between 90 million pounds and 100 million pounds ($125.78 million and $139.75 million) for the year ending in March, compared with 55.9 million pounds a year earlier.
Peel Hunt analysts raised their annual profit estimate to 95 million pounds from 76 million pounds after the unscheduled trading update and suggested that Halfords was likely reinstate its dividend sometime this year.
Halfords, which availed 10.7 million in furlough support from the government, had said in July it could make a loss of 10 million pounds for fiscal 2021 under a worst-case scenario.
But in the first seven weeks of the fourth quarter, Halfords’ like-for-like sales for cycling rose 43%, offsetting a 14% fall in its high-margin motoring businesses.
Cycling also drove a more than doubling of interim profits in November as Britons took up the hobby to avoid public transport, as well as for its appeal as a healthier alternative.
($1 = 0.7156 pounds)
(Reporting by Chris Peters and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Aditya Soni)
Eurofins launches prescription-free COVID-19 test, eyes further growth
(Reuters) – Eurofins Scientific announced on Monday the launch of a prescription-free at-home COVID-19 PCR test, as the French laboratories and diagnostics company eyed further growth.
The group, which has launched an array of COVID-19 testing products it sells to governments, airlines and transport hubs, said the nasal swab test could be ordered online for $99 or bought at pharmacies across the United States.
It specified that although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had authorised the at-home test under an emergency use authorisation, it had not cleared or approved the product.
“We are also working very closely with European authorities for the approval of similar direct-to-consumer products,” said the group’s chief executive Gilles Martin in a statement.
The group also reported 2020 results ahead of its own targets as it lowered its 2022 guidance and set out new goals for 2023.
Eurofins estimated that its COVID-19 testing and reagents brought in over 800 million euros of the 5.44 billion euros ($6.57 billion) in revenue for 2020.
However, Eurofins said its other businesses had been hit by lockdowns, social distancing and travel restrictions, particularly impacting its sales to clients in the travel industry, events, restaurants and clinical trials.
The group confirmed its forecasts for this year, but said results could be materially higher should COVID-19 testing continue at the current levels.
A level of coronavirus testing and market disruptions could well continue into 2022, it added, if vaccination programmes do not build sufficient immunity in many countries by summer, or if the more infectious variants reduce their effectiveness.
Excluding further COVID-19 revenues and assuming markets return to normal by the start of next year, it lowered its 2022 revenue target to 5.45 billion euros from 5.7 billion, and its core earnings forecast to 1.30 billion from 1.35 billion.
For 2023, it forecast sales (excluding COVID-19 products) of 5.73 billion euros and core earnings of 1.38 billion.
($1 = 0.8275 euros)
(Reporting by Sarah Morland in Gdansk; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Louise Heavens)
Ladbrokes owner Entain raises offer for rival Enlabs to $440 million
(Reuters) – Ladbrokes owner Entain on Monday raised its cash offer for rival Swedish sports betting firm Enlabs AB to value it at around 3.7 billion crowns ($440.16 million) and said it would not increase the price further.
The British company raised its cash offer to 53 crowns per share from an earlier 40 crowns per share, an 18.6% premium to Enlabs shares’ last close.
Shares of Entain were up 1.7% at 1,437.5 pence in early trading.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a flurry of deals in the bookmaking sector, with potential buyers seeking to capitalise on a surge in online betting from customers confined to their homes during lockdowns.
“In a highly competitive and regulated industry, where consolidation is a key theme, Entain is able to provide the scale and platform needed to further support Enlabs’ long-term growth,” Entain’s chief financial officer and deputy CEO, Rob Wood, said in a statement.
Baltic-focussed Enlabs, which operates brands such as Optibet and NinjaCasino, has recommended shareholders accept the increased offer.
Under the leadership of former CEO Shay Segev, Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings, planned to expand in sports betting and gaming entertainment, while exiting unregulated markets by 2023.
($1 = 8.4060 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
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