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Consumer e-commerce remains strong despite economic headwinds

Despite a challenging economic environment, the 2022 holiday shopping season exceeded projections, according to e-commerce research from ACI Worldwide.

Global B2C e-commerce market

E-commerce remains strong despite headwinds

The research analysed millions of e-commerce transactions on an annual basis to assess year-over-year growth. From October through December 2022, e-commerce transactions saw a 21% increase, beating estimates by 6%.

Consumers spent more on gaming and travel, as both sectors saw a significant uptick in transaction volumes during Cyber Weekend 2022.

The gaming sector experienced a 153% increase in transaction value, and the travel sector experienced a 57% increase.

Meanwhile, the retail sector experienced a 4% increase in volume over Cyber Weekend, driven by general retail, which saw a 14% increase, and sports and athletic sales, which experienced a 13% increase in transaction volume.

“Consumers upped their spending this holiday season despite increasing economic pressures,” explains Basant Singh, head of merchant segment, ACI Worldwide.

“While inflation accounted for much of the year-over-year rise in holiday spending, our data shows a steady uptick in transactions, with many consumers buying goods and services via mobile devices, and in many cases using digital wallets as a preferred payment method. We expect to see these trends continue in 2023.”

Mobile shopping surged on Black Friday

Consumers used their smartphones to make key purchases as deals dropped over Cyber Weekend. In total, mobile devices drove a 17% increase in transaction volume throughout the course of the weekend. 36% of all transactions were processed via mobile devices during Black Friday.

Cyber Monday played an equally significant role in driving the uptick in mobile usage, with transaction volumes over smartphone devices soaring by 43% in comparison to last year.

E-commerce shopping is becoming more secure

Fraud attempts decreased by 0.5% during the Q4 holiday shopping season. Mobile fraud attempts saw a decline of 0.6%, and eWallets saw fraud attempts declining by 0.8%.

Merchants are increasingly investing in better fraud management and prevention capabilities, as many now look at fraud prevention as a revenue generator.

As a result of added security measures by eWallet providers (i.e., biometric authentication, encryption, etc.), this category saw the biggest decline in fraud attempts.

Venturing in-store to save costs

Data from ACI finds that shoppers actively sought out Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store (BOPIS) options as a cheaper alternative to shipping and waiting for products to deliver.

Transaction values for BOPIS increased by 18%, with the average ticket value (ATV) increasing by 26%, or $26.

Buy now, pay later options continue to lure holiday shoppers

The go-to payment method for Black Friday — BNPL — rose by 87%, with the ATV increasing by 42%, or $57.

For high-value products, credit and debit cards were the top choice. Transactions for credit and debit cards experienced an 8% increase, with the ATV climbing by 43%, or $49. eWallets saw a comparable increase in transaction volumes, rising by 32%.

“Use of digital wallets during the last holiday season signals a broader trend that we expect to play out in the year ahead,” adds Singh.

“Consumers, especially younger shoppers, are embracing digital wallets as a mainstream payment method.

More than half of consumers (52.7%) used a digital wallet in 2021, according to our data. This represents a 33% increase over the last five years.”


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