Retail digital transformation and the digital-first shift

What does “digital first” mean?

“Digital first.” The term has been thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean and how does it relate to your business? “Digital first” refers to the ever-changing need to be, think, and create commerce experiences with a digital-first mindset. This approach recognizes that the digital landscape and buyers’ expectations are changing faster than ever, and that businesses must innovate to keep up with them.

Why is digital commerce important?

Effective digital strategies are especially important to merchants right now given the major changes in shopping behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the 2020 Global Digital Shopping Index, consumers view the friction associated with in-store shopping not just as an inconvenience, but as a real safety concern, leading to a digital shift in retailing. Retailers in this environment must do more to ensure that consumers’ shopping journeys—whether online, in-store, or omnichannel—feel seamless and efficient, from browsing to order fulfillment.

March 2020 vs July 2020 shopping behaviors

Payments have taken on singular importance amid greatly diminished foot traffic and heightened anxiety. Robust and integrated digital payment processing systems may not only ensure that customers have smoother shopping journeys, but they may be the key to keep them coming back.1

With these online shopping trends continuing into 2021, read more about why a digital transformation strategy is key right now.

The Global Digital Shopping Index

We’ve seen a dramatic evolution in how consumers shop in the past year. They’ve turned to online channels since the start of the pandemic, and they intend to maintain many of the digital shopping habits they have adopted as the economy recovers. To learn more about the digital shift in retailing, the 2020 Global Digital Shopping Index, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Cybersource, reveals factors that influence customer buying behavior in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Brazil.

U.S. shopping index

Based on surveys of more than 2,170 U.S. consumers and 500 U.S. merchants, this edition looks at the factors that influence customer buying behavior.

Australia shopping index

There has been a digital shift in retailing. Digital shopping journeys have increased in Australia by 25 percent since the pandemic.

U.K. shopping index

Forty-six percent of U.K. consumers now prefer to start their shopping trips digitally.

Brazil shopping index

Consumers in Brazil are highly mobile-oriented, and this is reflected in their shopping behaviors.

U.S. Global Shopping Index highlights

  • There's been a digital shift in retailing and consumer shopping trends, and more consumers are starting their purchases in digital channels
  • Top retailers keep up with these trends by offering a cross-channel shopping approach  
  • To keep up, retailers need to resolve the disconnect among shopping channels so that the customer experience is seamless  

White paper

A winning digital payment processing strategy

According to 451 Research analyst, Jordan McKee, the pandemic has permanently elevated the role and business value of payment technology. The need for agile, adaptable payment infrastructure and modern strategies has never been greater to accommodate the elevated role of digital commerce in consumers’ daily lives.2

The right payment partner will prove their value by driving a variety of favorable business outcomes that optimize costs, revenue, processes, and the overall customer experience. Most importantly, they will help to shoulder the complexity of interfacing with the global payments system to allow merchants to maintain a steadfast focus on their core business.

Why Cybersource?

Cybersource is a fast track to a successful, single digital-first payment solution

It works because you finally get a solution that puts as much emphasis on the merchant experience as the consumer experience–so you can make way for better experiences inside and out. To accomplish this, you need:

More options

A modular platform gives you the building blocks needed to easily do business with anyone, through any channel, using any payment type, with any acquirer (while seamlessly working with your unique systems and processes all around the world).

More intel

A clearer view shows what’s coming next and a single, 360-degree view of your customers and their buying behavior across every channel and region (plus global best practices and expert help with building better experiences).

A more complete approach

A payment platform helps you manage and monitor all your transactions through a single cloud connection (and backs it with a white-glove service, plus the strength and reliability of Visa-grade architecture).

1 Global Digital Shopping Index, U.S. Edition, p. 3.
2 Gaining a competitive advantage with a strategic approach to payments, 451 Research.

The Global Digital Shopping Index is based on surveys of consumers and merchants conducted by in 2020. The U.S. Edition survey was conducted between Jul. 13 and Jul. 26, 2020. The Australia Edition survey was conducted between Jul. 31 and Sep. 7, 2020. The United Kingdom Edition survey was conducted between Oct. 1, 2020 and Oct. 13, 2020. The Brazil Edition survey was conducted online between Nov. 25, 2020 and Dec. 16, 2020, and Nov. 4 and Nov. 18, 2020, respectively.

Find out why 468,000 businesses around the world all rely on Cybersource for digital-first solutions.