6 minute read

Online sales surge, six ways to improve your customer's payment experience

Monday, March 01, 2021

6 minute read

Selling online? That's the first step. But you want to stay ahead right?

Your customers' preferences are always evolving which means that you need an eye on your online payments strategy at all times. This is how market leaders stay ahead.

Whether you're a global brand or a local business newly launching, these six online optimisations will help you keep up and stay up with your customers' evolving preferences.

1. Accept a Variety of Payment Methods and Currencies

Methods of payment are diversifying and your customers are using them all. Credit and debit cards are still popular, but alternative payment methods like PayPal, WeChat Pay and Alipay are on the rise. And don't forget about gift cards and loyalty points as payment as well.

For example, Gen Z, born between 1996 and 2010, are using digital methods of payment far more than other generations. A study from ContentSquare, which analysed over 8 million user sessions, found that Gen Z converts via mobile twice as much as other generations. Therefore, if you don't offer mobile wallet payment options, you're less likely to make the sale.

When you're looking at online payments, don't forget to think globally. Your ecommerce business probably already attracts global customers. But there could be a disconnect if you're not offering their local payment methods and currencies. Doing so expands your market—and revenue potential—immediately. Accepting many forms of payment as well as currencies will help you reach even more customers.

You can be at the forefront of leveraging ecommerce to connect with your customers during this unprecedented time.

2. Offer Favourable Purchasing Terms

Deferred billing, recurring billing and subscription-based payments are strategies to consider for your customers. Think about what favorable purchasing terms you can offer to your customers to help them pay for your products and/or services, and provide them that option through your online checkout.

3. Build In Customer Service

Have you ever had to fill out both the ship-to and billing address fields, even when they are the exact same? Businesses that can auto-fill these fields or, even better, provide a one-click checkout process, will be appreciated by shoppers. Having this payment convenience, often called card storage, is another helpful experience for your customers, making it easier for them to come back again for a checkout experience that is fast and easy.

4. Ensure Accuracy

It's bound to happen; in fact, more frequently than you may think. Your customers' payment details will change, which will interrupt any automated payments they have set up with you. To prevent this from happening, we advise our customers to take advantage of card updater services which automatically refresh your customers' account information when it changes. Having this payment service in place means there's no disruption to their service, reinforcing that seamless customer experience and allowing you to get paid on time.

5. Brand the Payment Experience

It's proven that the less friction you have in your checkout process, the better your checkout conversion rate will be. It used to be the case that when merchants hosted their payment gateway with a third-party, customers making a purchase would be redirected to another webpage owned by the payment processor to accept their card information. This was an obvious disruption to the seamless customer experience that hinders sales. That was then.

Now you can create a cohesive brand experience throughout the checkout process. Make sure your logo is marked on each page and that your brand colours and design elements are a part of the payment experience as well. This will give your customers confidence that they're buying from you, a trusted business, while in the background, the data is being collected by the payment processor's system and routed appropriately to deliver a positive purchase confirmation to your customer.

6. Analyse Data to Help You Optimise

All of these front-end payment strategies will lead to increased efficiencies and more revenue for your business, but don't forget to consider what valuable information you have at your fingertips on the back-end. Reporting tools provide important insights to help you optimise checkout conversion. Imagine knowing the reasons behind declined transactions, chargebacks and disputes. You can use this intelligence to optimise your business. You can also analyse sales trends to better plan for any number of situations like seasonal boosts. Data is power and these are the KPIs to help you manage and grow your business.