The ecommerce world becomes bigger and more innovative each year – and customers’ expectations are growing alongside it. That means consumers expect better experiences at every stage of their journey, including when they reach the checkout.
Offering payment processing solutions that meet your customers’ needs and expectations is crucial to driving growth and success. Here, we’ll explore how payment processing platforms impact business growth.
Read on to examine the benefits and considerations of today’s popular payment solutions and get a peek at the direction the ecommerce world is heading.
The importance of payment processing for business growth
Offering the right payment processing options for your customers can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart – 9% of shoppers have failed to go through with a purchase because payment methods aren’t satisfactory.
A poor checkout experience extends beyond the payment section – the top reasons people fail to convert are:
- Extra costs at checkout
- Having to create an account
- Page speed too slow
- Too many steps in the checkout process
- Coupon code errors
In order to ensure they’re not losing customers at this crucial stage, retailers need to consider every one of these pivotal aspects and optimise accordingly. That includes auditing their payment processing strategy and ensuring they’re offering the right options for their customers.
What are the different payment processing options?
There are a variety of payment processing options available to ecommerce retailers, all of which function a little differently and offer various benefits and considerations. We’ve broken down the most common ones below:
- Account for 20% of ecommerce payments worldwide
- Customers must have passed a credit check and been approved through a credit provider in order to possess one
- They allow customers to spend up to their credit limit and pay off their balance at a later date
- Customers usually pay interest on their credit card balance
- It’s one of the most common ways to pay for goods and services, both online and offline
- They also offer customers a fair amount of security and protection from fraud
- Account for 12% of ecommerce payments worldwide
- Customers just need a bank account with funds in order to possess one (no credit check required)
- Customers only have access to their existing balance (unlike a credit card, where they have a set amount of available credit)
- They don’t have the same level of fraud coverage that credit cards do
Digital wallets (such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay)
- Account for 49% of ecommerce payments, making them the most popular payment solution worldwide
- Customer’s banking information (credit card, debit card, or bank account) is linked to their digital device
- Convenient, secure, and easy to access
- They allow customers an extra layer of privacy, as financial institutions don’t have access to their purchase history
- Account for 9% of ecommerce payments worldwide
- Direct transfer from a customer’s bank account to the retailer
- Customers only have access to their existing balance (similar to a debit card and unlike a credit card)
- They do not offer the same level of fraud coverage as credit cards
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
- Account for 5% of ecommerce payments worldwide
- Buy Now, Pay Later is a form of interest-free credit that allows a consumer to fully purchase a product, and then pay back the loan over three or four installments, with the first installment paid straight away
- Most Buy Now, Pay Later loans range from $50 to $1,000
- They can be used with a debit card or credit card, depending on the provider
- Some BNPL providers require customers to undergo a credit check, pay fees, or pay interest on their purchase
- Fraud coverage varies based on the payment method selected
- Purchases made using a general-purpose credit card that can be split into equal monthly payments after the purchase or at checkout
- Card-attached installments do not require the shopper to take out a new loan, they use their existing credit available on their card
- With Splitit, the installment process is embedded into the merchants checkout offering a seamless customer experience. The shopper does not need to apply to use Splitit, nor do they pay any interest or fees.
- The average value of purchases using this method tends to be a lot higher than BNPL, from $1,000 and above
- Approval rates for card-attached installments are also higher than BNPL, as the shopper has already been approved for their credit card limit. (Splitit approval rates average over 80%)
- Their standard credit card security and protection from fraud is applied
Pay after delivery
- Customers don’t pay for the item until after they’ve received it and decided they want to keep it
- Once they’ve accepted the item, they can choose to pay through their chosen method (based on which options the retailer offers)
- If they don’t want to keep the item, they’ll return it free of charge
The right payment methods for your business will depend on your product or service and your target audience. For example, giving the option to pay via bank transfer may make sense if you’re selling to an older demographic or you have a high AOV, but it could be redundant for retailers that are targeting younger customers or who typically have a smaller AOV.
How to simplify the checkout process
While offering a diverse range of payment options is typically a good strategy, it’s important to ensure they’re incorporated seamlessly into your checkout experience. This means reducing friction at every stage of the process. Some key ways to do this include:
- Reducing the number of steps required to complete a purchase
- Giving customers the option to checkout as a guest, rather than logging in or creating an account
- Enabling autofill features or a one-click checkout system, which populates key information, such as shipping and billing details
- Outlining shipping costs and other associated fees very clearly at the earliest possible stage
- Ensuring the user experience is smooth and seamless
The importance of emphasizing security and trust
As well as creating an easy journey where customers are able to find the payment solutions they’re looking for, it’s vital to show them that you can provide a safe and secure transaction.
Credit card fraud is on the rise – according to a recent study, 65% of credit or debit card holders have experienced fraud at least once and online shopping is a risk factor.
A rise in customer anxiety comes alongside this rise in fraud: according to a McKinsey study, 87% of people wouldn’t do business with a company if they were concerned about its security policies.
Having a secure checkout is obviously paramount – but it’s also important to show your customers that you’re prioritising their security. This means:
- Partnering only with secure and verified payment processing providers
- Ensuring you’re up to date with relevant security certifications and displaying them in the checkout
- Making your security and privacy policies clear, easy to access, and easy to read
How to optimize mobile payment experiences
Mcommerce is a term that refers to all mobile transactions in which customers use a cellphone or tablet, including shopping on their phone.
Retail Mcommerce sales are expected to reach 43.4% of total ecommerce sales in 2023, which means Mcommerce is something retailers should be prioritizing at every aspect of their strategy.
Optimizing a website for mobile use isn’t just about creating a good experience for customers – retailers need to stay relevant against competition. This means:
- Integrating mobile wallets into your payment processing strategy
- Ensuring your site and checkout are specifically optimised for mobile experience, with features such as one-click purchasing or autofill payment fields
- Consider whether your online store should have an app, alongside your website
- Build a social media strategy that drives mobile users towards sales
- If you operate brick and mortar stores, create an omnichannel experience in which the in-store experience can be paired with activity or transactions made on mobile
- Consider implementing a loyalty program that customers can access through their phones
Learn more about trends in mobile payments.
How to leverage data analytics for payment optimization
In order to really optimize your checkout experience and payment solutions, you need to know your customers. As well as looking at general data and personas, it’s important to dig into your business in detail. Ask yourself:
Where am I losing customers?
Analyse your data and use tracking tools to understand your cart abandonment journey in detail so you can identify where your customers are leaving.
If you are using 3rd party payment providers in your checkout you should also evaluate if you are losing repeat purchases from those customers who are signing up to the 3rd party providers marketing programmes.
Based on this information, close the gaps, create A/B tests, and continue to monitor and optimize your experience.
How do your customers want to pay?
You already have a comprehensive overview of how your customers currently pay for their transactions.
Explore consumer reports and studies, so you can understand customer behaviour across your target demographic. Consider how your current website caters to how people want to pay for their transactions.
Tailor options to your business
Look at the range of payment options you don’t currently offer and consider how they might connect naturally with your business. This might be based on your AOV or the type of service or product you offer.
Ask yourself if there’s a payment solution, such as Pay After Delivery, installment payments or BNPL, that fits your category and could improve your customer experience.
How to create personalized payment experiences
Personalization is the direction the ecommerce industry is heading – 90% of businesses believe it contributes to profitability. This involves everything from personalized marketing materials to a shopping experience that has been built specifically for a specific customer.
As well as driving conversions and revenue, it’s becoming something that customers look out for: 69% of customers say they want a personalized and consistent experience and 69% of customers appreciate it as long as the data has been shared on their terms.
A personalized payment experience can reduce friction in the checkout and build brand affinity. Some ways to implement this include:
- Giving customers the option to save their payment information (and being sure to communicate the security that you’ll provide)
- Presenting them with personalized offers and discounts within the checkout
- Offering payment plans that can be customized to their circumstances based on their purchasing history and preferences, such as pay on delivery or installment payments
5 retail payment trends in 2023 (and beyond)
As we monitor the fast-paced movement of the ecommerce landscape, there are several key factors that will become more prevalent. These are vital for retailers to consider if they want to offer their customers the value they’re looking for while differentiating from the competition.
Some retail payment trends we expect to continue to grow, this year and beyond, include:
Digital wallets: We’ve mentioned them a few times already, and for good reason. It’s a payment method that’s on the rise – by 2026, 54% of all ecommerece spend is expected to be through digital wallets.
Installment payment solutions: Experts predict that BNPL will account for 24% of global ecommerce transactions by 2026, which means it’s quickly becoming an essential option in every checkout experience. Learn more about our white-label ecommerce installments platform.
Loyalty programs: As ecommerce continues to grow, so does competition to incentivise customers to choose your checkout. Loyalty programs are becoming more sophisticated and refined, and therefore it’s key to develop a loyalty strategy that’s both appealing and easy for customers to access.
Omnichannel integration with mobile: As Mcommerce grows, retailers need to keep ahead of the trends by looking for ways to optimize their customer journey for a mobile experience, both online and in-store. This may include mobile-to-mobile payments, the ability to order online/pick up in-store, and loyalty programs that are accessible via an app.
Innovative personalization: Within the payment space, personalization must be efficient and secure. For retailers, this may involve making personalized product recommendations, offers, experiences, and comms to support the checkout journey.
Having a payment processing strategy that can drive conversion and revenue means retailers must consider a variety of aspects.
It begins with offering payment options that make sense to customers, including convenient forms such as digital wallets and flexible solutions such as installment payments.
From there, it’s about packaging these payment processing options within a seamless and frictionless user experience that’s both personalized and secure.
Once the essentials are in place, retailers must track, monitor, and optimize their strategy on an ongoing basis, keeping up with changing behaviour and ensuring their customers will find exactly what they need at the final stage of their ecommerce journey.