Long live the High street: 40% of ecommerce businesses in Europe plan to open a physical store

A new report launched by Tribe Payments today reveals that two in five (40%) ecommerce businesses in Europe plan to open a physical store in the next three years.

With governments across the continent backing initiatives to save and promote high streets, a reversal of fortunes for brick-and-mortar stores could be on the cards.

The move to open physical stores is being driven by a number of consumer and payment trends that merchants will need to adapt to in the next five years.

The report, which surveyed bot online and multi-channel merchants across Germany, Lithuania, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK found that the majority of merchants believe there is an increased desire from shoppers for a better customer experience (84%), cross-border shopping (81%), to pay using multiple device types (80%) and for greater personalisation (79%).

To meet these demands, merchants recognise they must overcome some challenges. Overall, 50% of merchants say that they struggle to compete with larger chains who offer an innovative customer experience at the checkout. 46% of all merchants say regulatory compliance is a challenge, 46% struggle to navigate consumer trends such as BNPL, multicurrency and contactless. For 27% a challenge lies with reducing fraud, with these issues being more acute for ecommerce merchants.

34% of merchants across Europe plan to overcome these challenges by offering consumers more ways to pay. Surprisingly, physical stores (13%) are leading the charge on payment methods with ecommerce (10%) players playing catch up. Just under a third of merchants expect to launch their own branded store cards, mobile apps and increase range of payment options to better compete. Expanding geographically is another tactic being considered (59%), mostly by British (88%) and Spanish (80%) brands.

“Reports of the high street’s death may be premature… or even just wrong,” said Alex Reddish Managing Director of Tribe Payments. […]

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