COVID-19 Spurs Merchants to Adopt Contactless and Online Channels

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

From offering delivery options and curbside-pickup to implementing new technologies, businesses across the globe are having to pivot to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Mundane tasks and activities like going to work, buying groceries and grabbing cleaning supplies suddenly became a challenge. As consumers have changed to adapt, businesses have had to shift their approach to their services and processes too.

One of the most noteworthy is small business’ conversion to contactless payments and utilizing online channels. While many large companies have been experiencing the benefits of these options for some time, many small and medium-size merchants are just now jumping on board out of necessity. 

According to recent reports, approximately 48 percent of small and medium-sized merchants shared (in mid-June) that they had observed an increase in the number of consumers either using contactless payments or inquiring about doing so. That was an increase of 27 percent from a similar study completed in March at the start of the pandemic.

In fact, more and more digital-first consumers are becoming digital-only consumers. As stay-at-home orders shutdown physical commerce, shopping, banking, working, working out, worshipping, entertainment and even food services have gone digital.

Small Merchants Adapt to Stay Afloat

The latest survey by the Electronic Transactions Association, Washington, D.C., and The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments consultancy found that the overall sales picture has worsened for merchants since COVID-19. Of the 173 small and medium-size merchants that participated in the survey, 53 percent said they are experiencing lower sales than in the months leading up to the pandemic.

Since then, these merchants have turned to different tactics to satisfy changing customer needs and keep their business afloat. Many have turned to new services or products (49%), new sales channels (41%), or focused on marketing (39%). One of the most popular tactics has been mobile-based delivery, and the most popular e-commerce platform for merchants is Shopify.

“Our survey found that SMBs are implementing new marketing strategies to meet customer demand in a safe and sustainable way,” said Mike Strawhecker, president at The Strawhecker Group, in a statement. “Diversifying sales channels through payments technology is a key part of that.”

New SMB Tactics Lead to Higher Chargebacks

However, the emphasis on eCommerce has come at a price. Twice as many merchants have reported attempted fraud and chargebacks since the start of the pandemic. Now, merchants not only need reputable merchant services to take advantage of online options and contactless payments but also chargeback protection. For many merchants, trying to find the right processor for their business type and industry quickly is a big challenge.

If your business is one of the many trying to navigate these unprecedented times, you can find a wealth of information via Best Payment Providers. Find helpful reviews, industry tips and the latest news on how merchants are handling the changes caused by the pandemic. Get everything you need to choose the right contactless payments provider and chargeback protection services.

Ecommerce is the largest global industry – and growing faster by the day. With the help of our team at Best Payment Providers, you can quickly find payment processors who offer the lowest rates, fast approvals and more. Give your eCommerce site an edge, and ensure your customers have the convenient payment processing options they expect.

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