The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people buy and pay for their purchases. At the height of the pandemic, we have seen customers make the switch to online payments. But even before COVID-19 struck, there has been a preference for cashless transactions for the convenience it offers. For this reason, you need to make sure that your customers will have a seamless experience when buying and paying from your online store.
One of the most frequently overlooked aspects of e-commerce is payment processing. According to the 2019 Payment Methods Report, global online transactions will surpass $4.6 trillion by 2022 with online shoppers using over 140 online payment methods. But enabling online payments isn’t enough, you have to ensure an easy and user-friendly payment experience as possible.
Making the payment method convenient can help boost the customer experience. Online shoppers will quickly abandon their shopping cart if they find it difficult to checkout with their purchases. Having a complicated shopping journey is one of the top reasons for cart abandonment. In a recent survey conducted by Baymard Institute, 18% of online shoppers have abandoned their orders due to a long and complicated checkout process.
In order to retain the business of your online shoppers, you need to take steps in making it convenient for them to complete their purchases. Here are 10 steps you can take to ensure a successful online purchase for your customers.
- Provide Multiple Payment Options
- Keep Payments Safe and Secure
- Stick To Essential Information Only
- Allow Guest Checkout
- Avoid Redirects During Payment
- Provide Clear Error Messages
- Have Clear Call To Actions
- Display The Visitor’s Progress
- Place Trust Indicators
- Make Your Website Easy To Navigate
1. Provide Multiple Payment Options
When it comes to e-commerce transactions, customers expect that you will allow them to pay with their preferred method. Credit or debit cards as forms of payment are no longer adequate. Let’s face it not everyone owns a credit card and not everyone is comfortable paying using their debit card. So you need to offer them alternative payment methods.
Data from a study by CyberSource Corp revealed that e-commerce websites offering 4 or more payment methods reported a sales conversion rate of 12% or higher compared to those that offered just one option. However, it is not necessary to accept all payment methods. You need to identify which payment method is used by the majority and accept only those in your store.
There are a plethora of online payment channels that you can implement in your e-commerce website. Also, it would be advisable if you can accept payments in different currencies. Offer diversity in your payment methods to ensure that you will get your shopper’s business.
2. Keep Payments Safe and Secure
While offering different payment options, you want to make sure that each method is safe and secure. Customers want to know that their money will be in good hands whenever they purchase from you. If they see signs that your e-commerce website isn’t safe, they will likely avoid buying from your store.
It is understandable for customers to be concerned about the security of your website. They will be entrusting their credit card details and private information to you so they need assurance from your end that their data will be kept secured and protected. According to Security Intelligence, 27.9% of user information is at risk of being breached which could compromise as many as 10,000 records.
To erase any doubts about the safety and security of online purchases on your website, make sure to display your secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate. In addition, seeing that you are PCI-compliant would give your customers some peace of mind. Once you have the security measures in place, customers will be more comfortable shopping and enter payment information.
3. Stick To Essential Information Only
One of the top reasons customers abandon their shopping cart is because they are required to provide a lot of data when checking out. A Forester study revealed that 11% of customers abandoned an online purchase because they did not want to register or the website was asking for too much information. Another study revealed that 55% of customers will abandon their order if they have to keep on entering credit card or shipping information.
It may be tempting to ask for more than the information required when processing payment. By asking for additional information, you are adding an extra step to the checkout process. The more information you ask users, the more friction you create increasing the likelihood of abandonment.
To ensure a successful checkout, keep the required information to a minimum. Ask for only the essential data such as card number, expiry date, and security code. If it is necessary to ask for extra information, include an explanation of why it is required. Keep your checkout method short and simple. Use Google Autofill to make filling up forms quick and easy for your customers.
4. Allow Guest Checkout
There are instances when your website visitors may not yet be ready to register or create an account on your e-commerce website. Some do not even indicate their emails for fear of being flooded with promotional emails. While the issues are reasonable, you still need to see your customers through the checkout process.
First-time visitors on your website often dread signing up for a new account. They are worried about being bombarded with emails, sales pitches, and additional passwords to remember. In addition, they don’t trust your store yet to join your ranks.
By allowing them to purchase without creating an account, your visitors will be more comfortable and more likely to convert. A 2013 research by Invesp revealed that 64% of the top 200 e-commerce websites allow anonymous/guest checkout. Letting them do so will reduce frustration and friction and eliminate any undesirable obstacles and improve the feeling of privacy.
5. Avoid Redirect During The Payment Process
Redirects can give your customers the feeling that they are interacting with a different company. The customers already went through a lot just to get to your store and the whole sales funnel. It can be easy and convenient for you to direct the customers to another website and let them handle it. However, it could also push customers away from your store.
As much as possible, utilize a payment method that wouldn’t redirect customers to another website. This could become a frustrating experience for your user. It took them a while to reach your website and move to the next stage of your sales funnel. The last thing customers want is to experience negotiating with another website.
Redirection gives your customers the opportunity to go away and never return. They would end up feeling that they are giving their money to another store instead of from you. This could lead to confusion and discouragement and eventually frustration. It could also lower trust and result in cart abandonment.
6. Provide Clear Error Messages
There are times when people enter the wrong details when shopping. They forget their password or shop through proxies and use different credit cards. Leaving customers clueless about what to do amidst the confusion may force them to take their business elsewhere and abandon their carts.
Don’t keep your customers guessing on what steps they need to take during error messages. For example, the reasons why a purchase wasn’t completed should be clearly indicated. Error messages such as “Something went wrong” aren’t enough. You should let the customer know what happened and what steps they can take to correct their error.
Instead of “Login failed,” replace it with “Password/username is incorrect” and offer to recover it right away. Error messages should be clearly visible, with clear instructions on the next steps customers should take to resolve them.
7. Have Clear Call To Action
Don’t make the buying experience a guessing game for your customers. Address any potential issue that may arise from the payment process. For example, provide a descriptive text next to the CVV field indicating where to find the code on each card. In addition, when adding an item to a shopping cart, make it clear that they can “Continue to checkout” or “Continue Shopping.”
Your call to action should be clear and specific. As much as possible, avoid being ambiguous. Make it easy for the customers to distinguish your primary CTA from the rest of your page. Don’t be afraid to design big shiny buttons that really stand out. A clear call-to-action will help convert visitors into the next stage of the sales funnel.
The placement of your call to action will also contribute to a successful purchase. Also, you should choose a color that stands out and translates to higher conversion. The effectiveness of colors will vary from one e-commerce website to another. You need to constantly test to see which color converts the most.
8. Display The Visitor’s Progress
Your customers can easily get lost in your website especially if you offer a wide range of products. You can make their customer experience much easier by adding a progress bar on your website. This will help the customer know exactly what step they are in the checkout process.
You can implement a timer showing the remaining time until the process is complete especially if you are using a multi-page checkout. Your visitors don’t have the luxury of time so make it a valuable asset for them.
During the checkout process, avoid displaying website navigation as it can distract your customer’s attention from the purchase and can result in abandonment.
9. Place Trust Indicators
One of the things you need to earn from your customers is their trust. With online payments, many customers believe that card-not-present (CNP) payments are not safe. But in reality, it is much safer than cash transactions. Customers won’t leave their financial information to anyone unless they trust you.
For this reason, you need to make sure that trust indicators are displayed throughout your e-commerce website. You should indicate your PCI compliance badge to show customers that it is safe to shop on your website. This way, you will be able to gain the customer’s right and ensure future transactions from them.
Trust indicators will let people know that you are doing everything to protect their information. Implement the best cybersecurity practices like not saving passwords in plain text, using password manager, and using a business VPN to protect customer data. While keeping your online data safe can be a lot of work, it’s one step that you cannot overlook or ignore.
10. Make Your Website Easy To Navigate
Make it easy for your customers to navigate to the checkout page. Your only aim should be to see them through the checkout and payment process. You may have the best website design in the industry but if it isn’t converting visitors to customers, it won’t mean anything. Customers wouldn’t spend a lot of time searching for answers.
According to a survey by Brafton, customers will only spend an average of 2 minutes and 17 seconds on a website. If they cannot find what they are looking for within that span of time, they will leave and search elsewhere. This could lead to a high bounce rate, which isn’t bad at all but means that something is broken or not working.
So make sure that your website has a simple design that customers can follow. Ensure that it has a clear flow and minimal features to help you reach the finish line. The ultimate goal is to ensure a quick and easy customer journey.
In a digital age, making online payments is an inevitable fact every e-commerce retailer should start to embrace. For this reason, you want to make sure that your customers will have a great time browsing and paying for their purchases. Make ensuring a hassle-free payment process a top priority for your website.
E-Commerce Solutions with airisX
airisX has a complete range of individual and complete solutions for e-commerce sellers – our bread and butter. Born out of necessity to help e-commerce sellers scale their businesses and lower their costs, we solve your pain points by bringing all your e-commerce staffing needs under one roof.