That is what a global payment firm predicts based on yearly global e-commerce data, notwithstanding unpredictable pandemic uncertainties.

Over the period of October through Dec 2020, the leadup to—and the actual holiday shopping season, is expected to result in some surges in already-bountiful e-commerce transactions due to the pandemic.

One digital payments institution has ventured predictions of the quantum of increase in sales. New benchmark data from ACI Worldwide, based on hundreds of millions of global e-commerce transactions,  projects a 27% increase in global transactions over the period. The data also projects a 40% increase in the buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) or click-and-collect channel.

In September 2020, the transactions monitored by ACI showed a year-on-year increase of 21%, while fraudsters continued to purchase higher-value items such as electronics, increasing in value by US$9 over that of 2019.

BOPIS to be the primary delivery channel

Said Debbie Guerra, Executive Vice President, ACI Worldwide: “Although a number of brick-and-mortar stores have closed due to the pandemic, their e-commerce sites remain available. On the other hand, some stores that have reopened haven’t seen much foot traffic due to consumers’ concern about large crowds. Therefore, as consumers spend more time at home, we expect BOPIS to be the primary delivery channel that consumers use to do their holiday shopping this year.”

Moreover, Guerra said, consumers are likely to begin their shopping in early October as a result of concerns over inventory shortages, as well as shipment delays. Also, the hard times have caused merchants to provide sales and deals earlier in the year.

“We expect the BOPIS delivery channel to grow for both genuine and fraudulent consumers as merchants both large and small continue to add this as a new option due to the pandemic. The accelerated use of digital payment channels due to the pandemic has resulted in both cross-channel journeys such as BOPIS as well as the blurring of the channels themselves—such as the usage of mobile devices and mobile check-out inside physical stores. This digital swing has opened a way to expand merchants’ market reach by enhancing the buying journey experience—but it also means more exposure to fraud, which merchants must be prepared for as we get further into the holiday season,” she said.

Other observations and predictions by ACI include:

E-Commerce purchasing trends:

  • Sectors that continued to experience major increases in purchases in Sep included gaming (71% increase especially with two major gaming consoles launching) and retail (45% increase).
  • Sectors that continued to experience major decreases in purchases in Sep included travel (21% decrease) and ticketing (75% decrease).
  • The average ticket price of genuine purchases dropped by US$26 in 2020 compared to 2019.

Fraud trends:

  • Transactional value of fraud attempts increased 0.4% in Sep, driven by purchases of electronics, with buy online, pick-up in-store being the channel of choice for fraudsters.
  • Driven by electronics, the average ticket price for fraud attempts increased by US$9 in the period Jan through Sep 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Non-fraud chargebacks increased by 12% in Sep 2020 compared to that in 2019; this has been increasing at a declining rate based on months between Mar and Jul.

Note: as chargebacks take approximately 45 days to process, the most current complete data is from August 2020.