A major misconception is that payments are just a transaction or a commodity, when in fact, payments are a vital touchpoint along the customer journey. Optimizing the shopping experience requires a deep understanding of the payment methods customers prefer to utilize during checkout; meeting the customers’ expectations around security and convenience.
The strategic implementation of a brand’s checkout process leads to better conversion rates, happier customers, increased recommendations, and repeat purchases. According to Infinium Inc, when a checkout process is optimized, that addresses the usual complaints, it can increase conversions by 35%.
Offering the Correct Payment Methods at Checkout
Beyond SKU and assortment, merchants should get to know their customers’ payments needs. Are customers shopping primarily on their phone versus a laptop, or even on a smart TV? Do customers make online payments infrequently or did they sign up for subscription services? Knowing your customers shopping habits, by analyzing sales data and surveying customers, leads to a more convenient and rewarding shopping experience.
Having granular insight into the customer’s preferred payment methods can help merchants avoid a common flaw in payments – offering too many options. A judicious approach, market by market, can prevent merchants from overwhelming their customers. Additionally, it has the bonus of saving time and money by simplifying integrations.
James Booth, vice president and head of partnerships, EMEA at PPRO recently stated in an article for PPRO that with
"...over 450 significant local payment methods in use across the globe... merchants need to know which payment methods are the right mix for their customers and prospects. Shoppers don't expect all 450 payment methods to be offered but they do expect flexibility when closing the sale.”
James Booth, vice president and head of partnerships, EMEA at PPRO
Reducing Declines By Offering Multiple Payment Methods
Payments require certain checks and balances to ensure the security of transactions. However, friction due to issues such as false declines, may lead to a deterioration in customer loyalty and a poor customer experience. Reducing known issues during checkout is critical and leads to more successful digital interactions while improving the customer experience.
Offering multiple payment methods is also a tool to improve transaction rates, leading to longer lasting relationships with customers. Payments Orchestration gives merchants the power to support cross-border purchases with higher success rates because of built-in payments flexibility. This is because merchants who automate the link between payment methods and payment gateways, can route their payments traffic to the right mix of providers who offer the highest success rates and limit declines.
Ditching Overly-Complicated Payment Forms
A report from Smart Insights revealed that 97% of consumers have terminated a purchase because the service wasn't convenient enough. Keeping the payment form simple and convenient can make or break the sale. Merchants can reduce complication by following these simple rules:
- Develop a universal shopping platform for multiple uses cases (i.e., mobile phone, tablet, desktop, laptop)
- Don't force users to create an account
- Only ask for essential payments-related information, using field-validation/error notifications, don't use this time to survey customers
- Be transparent with fees, discounts, and taxes
- Offer the right mix of payment methods and use currency conversion for cross-border payments; Use security stamps to instill trust
- Parse-out the checkout form into smaller more manageable sections and indicate the steps so customers know how long it will take to complete the transaction
As online shopping continues to grow, even after COVID, new categories like building supplies and furniture join traditional apparel retail. Each merchant, fintech, platform or marketplace offering online checkout, must optimize their store by offering a customer experience that is simple yet secure, customized, and offers the payment methods their consumer wants and needs. Driving conversion, increasing retention and improving repeat visits are the result of a well-crafted shopping experience.
Reach out to Spreedly to optimize your payment offerings and checkout process here!