Retail Exec Lauds Strong Online Holiday Shopping, Predicts Pandemic-Era Conveniences Will Continue

holiday online shopping

Australian global payments platform EML Payments and its North American malls partner, Cadillac Fairview, which operates 35 million square feet of retail and office space, credit digital innovations for powering the surge in retail spend, according to a Monday (Dec. 6) press release.

Jose Ribau, Cadillac Fairview executive vice president of digital and innovation, said partnering with EML has helped in brainstorming ways to market malls, especially when they were closed due to COVID.

“Take Ontario, where we had malls closed for over 200 days of the year, comprising nearly 50% of our total volume, but we still did it,” Ribau said. “Looking back on the 12 months, we sometimes wonder, how did we ever accomplish so much? With the new product lineup on the digital gift card front, we’re now on such a firm footing.’”

Calling the holiday season “our super bowl,” Ribau said his company had more than 300,000 participants on various platforms last year through the holidays as the company worked to expand more digital experiences.

Heading into 2022, Ribau predicts that many of the pandemic-era conveniences — like curbside pickup and mall-based delivery fulfillment — will remain.

“We anticipate creating a service to manage centralized collect and return for shoppers instead of pick up from each retailer as there’s so much volume,” he said. “Here’s what we predict will translate into higher sales per visit. Not treating physical shopping separately from the online experience — bringing these two essential aspects together.”

Regardless of customers’ shopping preferences post-pandemic, EML Payments is working to ensure simpler payments. In September the company received approval from French and U.K. financial regulators to acquire open banking company Sentenial Group, marking the company’s venture into open banking.

The acquisition highlighted EML’s evolution from a gift card company, to now include digital payments, open banking and account-to-account payments.

Read more: EML Payments Buys Open Banking Firm Sentenial in Multi-Million Dollar Deal