6 minute read
7 ways to increase ecommerce sales
*Editor's note: This article was updated on July 28, 2021 from its original publish date of July 15, 2019.
"Electronic commerce", "ecommerce", "e-commerce, Ecommerce"—no matter how you spell it, conducting business online has become the norm for consumers and businesses alike. In fact, if there were a word of the year in 2020 when it comes to commerce, it would likely be "ecommerce."
In the accelerated shift to digital, ecommerce sales worldwide jumped to nearly $4.29 trillion last year, representing a 24.1% increase from 2019. And 2021 isn't slowing down. Statista reports that an estimated 2.14 billion people will buy their goods and services online this year.
Despite this significant increase in consumers buying online, most are abandoning their shopping cart at checkout. According to the Baymard Institute's latest assessment, the average shopping cart abandonment rate on ecommerce sites is 69.8%. A large portion of these shoppers are "just browsing" and not ready to buy, but of those that are ready to hit "submit," they ended up exiting for easy-to-fix reasons.
- 18% of online shoppers experienced a long and complicated checkout process
- 17% didn't trust the site with their card information
- 7% said the company didn't offer enough payment methods
You can greatly increase your chances of converting consumers from browsers to buyers–and increase ecommerce sales—with these seven simple payment optimization strategies.
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 options as well.
In fact, Gen Z–those born between 1996 and 2010–are using digital methods of payment far more than other generations. A study from ContentSquare, which analyzed 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 among a large portion of online shoppers.
2. Think cross-border
When you're looking at online payments, don't forget to think globally. Your ecommerce business probably already attracts customers from outside of your own market. 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. We live in a globalized world where your customers are doing business across borders, not just where you are locally-based. Accepting many forms of payment as well as currencies will help you reach even more customers.
3. Offer favorable purchasing terms
It's not a "one-size-fits-all" world. And your payment options shouldn't be either. Do you sell:
- Large ticket items?
- Frequently-purchased items?
- Shareable items?
Deferred billing, recurring billing, and installment payments are options to consider offering to your customers in situations such as these. Did you know that over one-third of consumers between the ages of 18-37 say that installment payments have influenced their decision to make a purchase, according to 451 Research's Q2 2020 Voice of the Connected User Landscape survey?
Think about what favorable purchasing options you can offer to your customers to let them pay their way, and provide them that option in your online checkout.
4. Streamline the checkout process
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 create an optimized shopping experience, increasing the likelihood of repeat business. Having this payment convenience, often called card storage, makes it easier for consumers to come back again for a checkout experience that is fast and easy. The result? Increased revenue potential and a great customer experience.
5. Ensure Accuracy
It's bound to happen; in fact, more frequently than you may think. Your customers' payment details will change, which can insert friction into the payment process. When expiration dates pass, customers must then update card details stored from previous transactions, slowing the checkout process. Changing payment details can also interrupt any automated payments customers have previously 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 the checkout process–or to their on-going service–reinforcing a seamless customer experience and allowing you to get paid on time.
6. Deliver a seamless, branded 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, hindering 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 colors and design elements are a part of the payment experience as well. This will give your customers confidence that they are buying from you, a trusted business.
7. Analyze to optimize ecommerce sales
All of these front-end payment strategies can lead to improved customer experiences and more revenue for your business. But don't forget about the wealth of valuable information you have at your fingertips on the back-end. Reporting tools provide important insights to help you optimize checkout conversion. Imagine knowing the reasons behind declined transactions, chargebacks, and disputes. You can use this intelligence to optimize your business. You can also analyze 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.
With these tips, you're bound to lower your online shopping cart abandonment rate, increase ecommerce sales, and create a scalable online payments strategy this year and beyond. Download our ebook titled, "Your guide to increasing sales with effective ecommerce payments," or contact us to start optimizing your ecommerce business today.
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