It is probably obvious to everyone that the end of the pandemic does not mean that we can return to the pre-COVID situation. What were the predictions for 2022, and what are the ones that have been confirmed?
Those businesses that adapted and transitioned to an online platform before the epidemic or even during the first wave were likely to not only survive, but also to experience greater success.
User experience has been a key focus, as the customer has a myriad of options to choose from, it does matter what kind of the experience they have when they choose the merchant/service provider. 'The devil is in the details' - the otherwise seemingly insignificant details that determine who the customer votes for.
Among payment methods, mobile card payments stood out - in autumn 2021, the number of cards registered in mobile wallets in Hungary exceeded 1.1 million (MNB data).
In Hungary, 99% of businesses are considered to be SME's, and these enterprises provide employment for nearly two-thirds of the sector's workforce (data from KSH). Technology and digital transformation, which is evolving daily, also enable small businesses to operate across borders and reach wider markets.
Sustainability, conscious consumption
The European Commission's consumer survey shows a shift towards 'green' consumer behaviour - people are more informed about the environmental impact of their purchases and ⅔ of them choose an environmentally friendly product even if it is more expensive than a conventional one (and as we know, these products are most likely more expensive).
There is an increased interest in artisanal products, consumers prefer to buy products close to their homes, and this wave is particularly beneficial for SMEs, as innovation and adaptation to new needs is way faster and smoother in a smaller organisation.
Contactless payment, online shopping
I don't think that contactless payment and online shopping need much explanation. Both were present before the epidemic, but truly skyrocketed during the epidemic.
Cart Abandonment - a concept that is very much on the minds of e-commerce and UX professionals - covers people who select products in an online store and then leave the site before or during the transaction. The current rate is 68.8%.
What are the most common reasons behind 'cart abandonment'?
- Hidden or extra costs (delivery fees, taxes, customs, etc.)
- The need to create an account to make a purchase
- Delivery would have taken too long
- The site was not reliable enough for card payments
- Complicated checkout process
There are many other reasons for losing a customer, but these are just the most common.
As costs are decreasing, more and more solutions are becoming available to small businesses that use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This translates into the potential for AI-powered services to deliver greater efficiency, more security and ultimately higher profits.