Although often overlooked, the payment process plays a key role in e-commerce business success. In fact, as many as 87% of customers will abandon their cart if the checkout process is too long or complicated. By streamlining your e-commerce businesses payment process, you can therefore make sure transactions are easier, faster, and more appealing for customers to complete. A smooth payment process with minimal steps helps minimize friction for customers and ultimately reduces cart abandonment rates.
Don’t redirect to other websites during the payment process
Redirects to other sites during the payment process can be off-putting to customers. Once a customer is redirected from your site to a different one, that’s who they now feel like they’re doing business with. However, it should be your business that leaves a positive, lasting impression on the customer. PayPal, for example, typically redirects customers from your site to theirs to complete payments. While PayPal is generally considered trustworthy and therefore unlikely to deter customers, if your e-commerce business uses a lesser-known payment gateway this may become a problem. So, be sure to integrate the in-context payment experience, which conveniently includes a payment form on your site rather than redirecting to a different one. And, to make sure you leave a positive impression on your customer, display a thank you message after the payment has completed. You want them to return in the future and become a repeat customer, after all.
Offer multiple payment methods
Around 50% of customers abandon online purchases if their preferred payment method isn’t offered. By providing multiple payment methods, including PayPal, credit card, debit card, and bank transfer, you’ll encourage customers to complete their purchases. Ideally, you should partner with direct processors with direct access to MasterCard and Visa’s credit networks — this’ll help ensure you avoid steep markups and get the best rates for your online credit card transactions. E-commerce businesses can also benefit from buy-now-pay-later schemes, which allow customers to pay for goods with credit (usually in installments). Klarna, for example, is a popular buy-now-pay-later scheme integrated by most providers, while PayPal also offers its own service. These schemes ultimately make the payment process more affordable and flexible for customers.
Don’t ask customers for too many details
Customers typically don’t want to provide any more information than they truly need to to complete the payment process. While it can be tempting to collect extra details (like phone numbers) that aren’t really needed to process the payment, this can increase your cart abandonment rate. In fact, 11% of customers abandon online purchases because they’re made to give too many details. Asking for minimal data on the payment page will therefore help decrease your cart abandonment rate. Similarly, don’t make account registration a requirement for checking out — mandatory account creation is the second biggest reason for cart abandonment. Use an anonymous guest checkout with the simple option to add a password and create an account. You can inform customers of the benefits of creating an account with you, while highlighting the fact that it’s optional (something customers will also appreciate). Ultimately, the easier you make it for customers to create an optional account, the more inclined they’ll be to do so.
Streamlining your e-commerce business’ payment process is essential for winning customers and making sales. By making sure your site doesn’t redirect to other websites during the payment process, offering multiple payment methods, and asking for only as many details as needed, you can simplify the payment process for customers and therefore minimize your cart abandonment rates.