With abundant choices in many aspects of their lives, consumers expect a range of options when it comes to online shopping, ranging from picking out clothes to making travel plans. And, to meet their day-to-day needs, more consumers are tapping into digital platforms seeking top-notch customer support and seamless service.
By 2021, close to 90 million – or 86.5 million – consumers will be participating in the digital platform ecosystem, per the PYMNTS and the Platform Economy Playbook. It will be increasingly critical, then, for firms to offer frictionless and simple service experiences to this diverse customer base.
From Fiverr to GO-JEK, digital marketplaces around the globe are connecting consumers with gig workers. These are just a few of the ways that digital marketplaces are making these connections with digital payments and commerce, in an age when consumers are looking for more choices when it comes to their shopping experiences:
One-hundred and sixty-two U.S. and European workers participate in the gig economy. And digital platforms are handling tens of millions of transactions: Fiverr, for instance, recently reported that it has facilitated more than 50 million transactions between 830,000 freelancers and 5.5 million buyers who operate in industries such as website development, logo design and blog writing. The company previously raised $111 million in venture funding from Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Square Peg Capital, Qumra Capital and others. The company recently filed paperwork with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Fiverr says in the filing, “We started with the simple idea that people should be able to buy and sell digital services in the same fashion as physical goods on an eCommerce platform.”
Half of global online transactions are expected to take place in Asia this year. And some marketplaces in Asia are growing their services through tie-ups. Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company GO-JEK, for instance, is expanding its financial technology services through partnerships with peer-to-peer (P2P) lending firms Dana Cita, Aktivaku and Findaya. GO-JEK President Andre Soelistyo said in a statement, according to a September Reuters report, “We believe that a strong collaboration between financial services providers and technology companies can reach a wider range of people who have difficulty accessing financial services, such as unbanked communities.” GO-JEK’s payment system GO-PAY rolled out last year, accounting for more than half of the startup’s transactions. The company integrated GO-PAY into the GO-JEK app, which lets customers store money on their mobile phones, much like a digital debit card.
Just under $3 billion – or $2.7 billion – of funds were lost to card fraud in 2018, up from $1.4 billion in 2017. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) said in a report, for instance, that online fraud, theft and exploitation led to $2.7 billion in losses around the world last year. That marked an increase from 2017’s $1.4 billion. IC3 Chief Donna Gregory said in an announcement, according to reports, “The 2018 report shows how prevalent these crimes are. It also shows that the financial toll is substantial and a victim can be anyone who uses a connected device.” The FBI notes that IC3 took in 351,936 complaints last year, with a daily average of more than 900. The most frequent complaints included personal data breaches, extortion and non-payment/non-delivery scams.
Smartphones contributed one trillion dollars to overall retail sales in the United States during 2018. And when it comes to mobile payments, Apple is teaming up with partners like the Bonobos clothing store and Bird scooters to reduce friction for purchases such as clothing and scooter rides. Special tags can trigger purchases with Apple Pay without the need for a special app through the function. iPhones will be able to read a near-field communication (NFC), for instance, that displays a purchase interface for Apple Pay when someone holds a device near it. Additional setups or third-party apps are not needed.
Just under 40 percent – or 39.1 percent – is the total compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the mobile payment transaction market from 2015 to 2020. Mallzee, in one case, has been informally designated the “Tinder of fashion” in the U.K. Through the platform, users can find the right handbag or the perfect outfit. Mallzee created a digital mall where consumers can compare many different retail brands. Instead of needing to open and toggle between various brands’ mobile sites or apps, consumers can peruse a platform where those comparisons can be easily made. Mallzee has just over a million downloads of its mobile app, according to reports. Brands can learn about their consumers by showcasing their goods on Mallzee and gauging response.
From Mallzee to Fiverr, digital platforms are connecting consumers and freelancers in a world of digital services. But these companies can’t focus on just one type of customer service offering: They must cater to the unique payments and commerce needs of millennials and older generations that are tapping into their platforms.