Whilst the Corona virus pandemic has pushed almost all sectors of the global economy into unprecedented decline, some sales of digital goods and services have never been higher, as consumers seek to fill their days with digital content and on-demand services. Accordingly, the digital goods market is facing never-before-seen levels of demand which, whilst obviously a very positive development, is causing its own difficulties for digital sellers as they fight to win the new part of the digital sales pie from their competitors, and to reduce the ever increasing amount of digital sales fraud.
Understanding the specific pain-points that digital sellers face in this segment, is key to helping them drive revenue growth and new customer acquisition globally. This short briefing outlines some of those pain-points and potential solutions to dealing with them.
Digital Goods’ Outsized Importance
When you expand your vision beyond the sale of physical goods, you can see a vast marketplace of sellers that need to be able to securely process online and mobile payments. This category includes many different segments such as on-demand services like grocery delivery and ridesharing, as well as digital products like online video games and media subscriptions. Each segment presents a different challenge; however, there are similarities in the characteristics of digital shoppers who expect content to be delivered quickly and securely, with a frictionless buying experience in their native language, currency and preferred payment type.
Subscriptions and One-Offs
Each digital good or service sold provides revenue for the seller and for the payment processor. This is only part of the picture, though. Perhaps the larger opportunity in digital goods comes from subscription services.
The Fiserv survey found that approximately 47% of consumers worldwide have at least one video or music streaming subscription. For payment processors, this represents monthly transactions for every single purchase, for as long as the customer maintains the service.
Payment service providers play a key role in supporting sellers to maintain subscription payments by for example, ensuring that card details are kept up to date by implementing card updater (ABU/VAU) as well allowing customers to switch to alternative payment types. By facilitating faster payments and providing localisation support and customer journey optimisation, the payment service provider can also improve conversion from non-paying to paid subscribers.
Selling digital goods can help to overcome some of the geographical barriers that remain in place for physical goods. According to a Shopify study, e-commerce sales should exceed $4.2 trillion in 2020, with much of this coming from outside of the United States. These growth patterns benefit sellers of digital products. Sellers avoid many of the difficulties and costs of exporting products by providing digital products.
If they can develop an offering that overcomes linguistic and cultural barriers, the physical borders themselves provide fewer challenges for digital goods.
Security and Flexibility
Doing business all over the world creates both risk and opportunity. Sellers must develop more sophisticated fraud prevention and cybersecurity tools to accept a broader range of transactions and prevent security problems that naturally arise from a larger pool. Sellers must also consider the additional risk when selling digital goods as fraud attacks tend to be more sophisticated and automated.
Sellers also need to consider implementing tools to convert currency via dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and take payments in a larger group of currencies and payment platforms. The processing barriers cannot take the place of physical barriers to seller success. In a world where more people can purchase and receive digital products, your opportunity reaches as far as your preparedness and technology allow. The right partner for payment services can help sellers sell more digital goods and services, and boost revenue for themselves and their business partners. If you are selling digital goods and would like to improve your payment system capabilities and expand your local and global customer base, contact me today to discuss your options together and to find the ultimate solution for your business.
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