Commerce knows no boundaries in today's interconnected world. Thinking globally is now the norm for businesses seeking new customers, new markets for their goods and expanded growth opportunities.
As global economies adapt to post-pandemic conditions, merchants everywhere are making investments to meet the moment. They're investing in API interfaces, digital experiences and payments capabilities while developing new go-to-market strategies to reach international markets and present a consistent brand experience throughout the world.
That's why we're expanding Carat to a global market, beginning in Brazil. Carat is an ecosystem of omnichannel commerce solutions that delivers expansive sales opportunities across channels, devices and payment methods to large merchants – securely and at global scale.
Sustaining the New Global Commerce Journey
Before the pandemic, many large and midmarket merchants would have said they were ready to deliver an omnichannel experience. But accelerated, monumental changes to commerce and daily operations were a shock for nearly every business in 2020.
Changes to back-end operations, including inventory, payments, sales channels and mobile capabilities, were among the biggest shifts. As consumers come back to stores and restaurants they want contactless digital experiences in physical spaces, too.
Continued adjustments are needed to sustain the integrated, scalable and global omnichannel commerce journey people now expect.
As global economies adapt to post-pandemic conditions, merchants everywhere are making investments to meet the moment.
A Global View of Commerce
The pandemic triggered accelerated innovation in global digital commerce. Carat provides a single entry to innovative, integrated solutions and extensive connections to sales and payment technologies, including those for scan and go, order ahead, voice command, endless aisle and connected car.
In Brazil, there's been a sizable shift from paying with cash and checks to omnichannel commerce and digital payments. Retail eCommerce sales in Latin America grew 63.3 percent in 2020, according to the Latin America eCommerce Forecast 2021, which also shows Latin America to be the world's fastest-growing regional retail eCommerce market.
Those eCommerce experiences include ordering dinner on a mobile app and picking it up curbside, paying with QR codes, and returning an item purchased online to a storefront. Consumers have grown accustomed to starting a commerce experience in one channel and completing it another.
Managing the Challenges of Omnichannel Commerce
While cross-channel technologies may have existed before the pandemic, the level of consumer adoption and penetration for large and middle-market merchants is new and pervasive. The 2021 Carat Insights Report shows year-over-year omnichannel spending volume is up 70 percent across key industries, compared to 2020's first quarter.
But creating seamless, integrated experiences has challenged merchants of all sizes. For example, businesses need a real-time view of transactions in every channel to effectively manage returns, cancelations and inventory.
The Carat ecosystem brings a broad range of commerce and payments capabilities together to provide businesses the flexibility and adaptability they need to operate in today's rapidly evolving world.
Carat helps alleviate pain points and enables businesses to better serve the markets where they operate through access to solutions for global multi-acquiring, payment methods, commerce channels, payouts, prepaid payments, B2B payments, payments optimization, security and fraud, reconciliation, and data insights.
The Carat ecosystem brings a broad range of commerce and payments capabilities together to provide businesses the flexibility and adaptability they need to operate in today's rapidly evolving world. For example, Carat facilitates integration with leading digital wallets and popular local payment services, such as PIX, which enables instant payments in Brazil. A recent Fiserv survey found PIX has rapidly emerged as a preferred payment method in Brazil, selected by 22 percent of consumers and second only to credit and debit cards (28 percent).
Companies doing business in Brazil can also tap into Carat to access a multi-acquirer gateway integrated with more than 200 payment methods, 1,500 commercial automation systems, additional acquiring networks and dozens of secondary acquirers, all in a single environment. That means companies can maintain relationships with other providers while unifying solutions with Carat.
And this is just the beginning.
Carat is trusted by some of the most admired brands in the world, and we're excited to watch its global presence and influence grow to help merchants meet a changing market. We look forward to continued expansion in Latin America, Europe and Asia in the coming months.
Today's consumers expect more options, more ways to pay, more interactions with their favorite brands. They want a better commerce experience that spans channels and borders. The seismic shifts in consumer behaviors will have a lasting effect on commerce far beyond the pandemic. We are committed to helping merchants everywhere navigate and sustain the accelerated, unprecedented changes to digital commerce. We are working to be the center of omnichannel commerce.