Return of the Highstreet? 40% of ecommerce businesses in Europe plan to open a physical store



  • New research from Tribe Payments shows two in five (40%) ecommerce businesses in Europe plan to open a physical store in the next three years.
  • Around a third of online merchants also expect to launch their own branded store cards, mobile apps and add payment options to better compete.
  • But half of ecommerce brands struggle to compete with large chains that offer an innovative customer experience at the checkout.

London, 19th July 2022 – A new report launched by payments technology provider Tribe Payments today reveals that two in five (40%) ecommerce businesses in Europe plan to open a physical store in the next three years. With governments across the continent backing initiatives to save and promote high streets, a reversal of fortunes for brick-and-mortar stores could be on the cards.

The move to open physical stores is being driven by a number of consumer and payment trends that merchants will need to adapt to in the next five years. The report, which surveyed bot online and multi-channel merchants across Germany, Lithuania, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK found that the majority of merchants believe there is an increased desire from shoppers for a better customer experience (84%), cross-border shopping (81%), to pay using multiple device types (80%) and for greater personalisation (79%).

To meet these demands, merchants recognise they must overcome some challenges. Overall, 50% of merchants say that they struggle to compete with larger chains who offer an innovative customer experience at the checkout. 46% of all merchants say regulatory compliance is a challenge, 46% struggle to navigate consumer trends such as BNPL, multicurrency and contactless. For 27% a challenge lies with reducing fraud, with these issues being more acute for ecommerce merchants.

34% of merchants across Europe plan to overcome these challenges by offering consumers more ways to pay. Surprisingly, physical stores (13%) are leading the charge on payment methods with ecommerce (10%) players playing catch up. Just under a third of merchants expect to launch their own branded store cards, mobile apps and increase range of payment options to better compete. Expanding geographically is another tactic being considered (59%), mostly by British (88%) and Spanish (80%) brands.

“Reports of the high street’s death may be premature… or even just wrong,” said Alex Reddish Managing Director of Tribe Payments. “Merchants are responding to consumer demand and want to deliver a multi-channel, highly personalised shopping experience. This includes launching their own financial offerings via cards and embedded finance options. It’s up to acquirers and infrastructure partners to provide the technology and innovation to enable merchants to compete with their rivals, both online and in-store and keep up with consumer demand.”


Notes to Editors

The report, Solving the post-pandemic payments puzzle surveyed 400 merchants across Europe (including online and multi-channel).

About Tribe Payments
Tribe Payments provides modular technology to banks, fintechs and acquirers, enabling them to offer innovative payments services without compromising on speed, scalability or quality.

Tribe’s core platform – ISAAC – supports issuer and acquirer processing and offers a range of API-led enhanced services including a proprietary 3D Secure solution, data insights fraud and risk monitoring. Tribe’s technology stack also includes its Digital Banking, Bank Connect and Open Banking solutions which give fintechs and payments companies fast, easy access to banking rails and financial services capabilities.

Tribe’s cloud-based services provide clients and partners with enhanced flexibility and rapid speed to market, along with the ability to scale, expand across borders, and work better in complex regulatory environments.

Launched in 2019, Tribe is a pioneering payment technology provider. Tribe was the first processor to allow service providers to harness the power of Open Banking without developing their own APIs. As Europe’s first issuer processor to work with Mastercard, Visa and UnionPay International, Tribe supports unrivalled connectivity for card payments. And with PCI Level 1 compliance and supported by Level 4 data centres, Tribe builds global scale, safely and securely.

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Media Contact
Kaif Siddiqui/Ryan O’Leary


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