This month, we caught up with Mark to find out a little bit more about one of our most senior members of staff.
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Let’s go back 25 years to 1994. It was a pretty big year. The Channel Tunnel had just opened, you could catch classics like Forrest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption at the cinema, and Wet Wet Wet’s “Love Is All Around” dominated the charts for 15 weeks at the top spot (we have the popularity of Four Weddings and a Funeral to thank for that one…).
It was a memorable year – and a pivotal one for eCommerce too (see, it IS on-topic, this isn’t a blog about Wet Wet Wet. If you’re here for that, sorry, you’re in the wrong place.) 1994 is when the first eCommerce payment transactions started taking place. Sting album ‘Ten Summoners Tales’ was sold on NetMarket, purchased for $12.48 by Mr. Brandenberger who used encryption software to send over his payment details. Ecommerce giant Amazon was also founded in 1994 and began trading just a year later as an online bookstore. And, quite unbelievably, Pizza Hut started taking online orders in 1994, too.
We’ve come an awfully long way over the past 25 years when it comes to buying and selling online. There are more payment options out there than ever before, and with recent FinTech booms, this is showing no signs of slowing down.
Consumers have so many ways to pay for their goods, credit and debit, apple pay and digital wallets, PayPal and p2p, shared payments – these varieties are boosting eCommerce sales as convenience reigns. You need to leverage this and use it to your advantage when deciding on which online payment methods you should use, and what kind of checkout and payment experience you want to offer your customers.
Here are some things to think about when introducing a variety of payment methods onto your website.
Presentation of payment methods
It’s a good idea to include as many options as possible to maximise the chances of customers making a purchase, however with loads of payment options comes choice overload and you don’t want people to be put off.
What can you do to strike the balance between multiple-choice and great usability?
Display payment methods close together so customers can make a decision from a single viewpoint of options. Even if you have many choices, displaying them in this way will minimise the feeling of being bombarded.
Use a default selection (the most popular one) to speed up and simplify the process.
Once an option is selected, make sure that this is highlighted so when proceeding, the user knows what they have selected.
International payment options
The number of payment options you accept is likely going to go up the further afield you sell in. Widening your market is great for business and in keeping with today’s growing global economy, but it’s also something you need to prioritise getting right so as not to alienate any potential overseas customers. Knowing your market is key and what payment methods are favoured.
Visa, Mastercard credit cards, bank transfer, eWallets, cash on delivery
Mastercard, POLi payments, Payment Express Account2Account, Masterpass, PayPal, cash on delivery
Gift cards and eVouchers as payment
The great thing about taking gift cards and evouchers on your checkout is that it enhances an enjoyable customer experience – when done right. It also supports customer loyalty and retention as you can use these as a great marketing tool for both new and returning customers. When it comes to the payment side, however, this often translates into partial payments. Customers will often have to use multiple payment methods to complete the order as gift cards and coupons may only cover part of the value.
Offering the chance to purchase for people who may not have the immediate funds for larger or higher value items is really taking off for retailers. Buy now pay later payment methods are definitely getting more popular. Klarna, for example, is a financial service provider allowing a ‘buy now, pay later’ option, used by big retail names like ASOS, Topshop, and Michael Kors. They’re hugely popular and this kind of flexible payment model is allowing retailers to sell more items and increase average order sizes.
Subscription models and continuous payment
In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in subscription models across many different types of business. From meal kits and beauty boxes to pet supplies – there’s a subscription for pretty much any service or product you can think of. Amazon offers subscription on items that you’ll likely need to repeat the purchase on; like groceries, toiletries and health, and beauty. You can select a delivery schedule and the items are often discounted when subscribed to.
If your product or service could be sold using a subscription payment method, then it’s definitely high time you incorporate this into your strategy. People love the convenience and you’ll see an increase in your ROI of customer acquisition, and less of a headache when it comes to inventory management – knowing your number of subscribers, you’ll know how much stock you need.
How secure do your payment options look?
Did you know that 17% of users have exit a checkout due to security concerns according to Baymard? Of course, your site needs to be completely secure, but you also need to consider how secure it looks.
Users will instantly doubt the security of your website because of how it looks on the whole – in other words, how much they trust your brand. You can have the most secure online payment processes on the back end, but if your site design doesn’t match up to this, you will see a decrease in the number of conversions you make.
Here are some ways you can do this:
Display well-known security seals and badges like Thawte and Google Trusted. Bear in mind that lesser-known ones may convey the opposite to users and make your site seem less trusted.
Make the card details field stand out, apart from the rest of the page content; this gives a feeling of security according to Baymard’s testing.
Test out your payment page on all browsers and that no warnings like ‘untrusted connection’ will appear.
Ensure your security certificates are always kept up to date.
Offering more ways to pay on your website is a great way to boost sales and give a fantastic customer experience. But you need to make sure you do it right to reap the rewards, and hopefully, this short guide has gone some way to help you do so. Security, design, knowing your market, and offering a variety of payment options are key to providing the best purchasing experience.
Venditan have a partnership with Global Payments to ensure all our clients, and their customers are receiving the best payment experience possible. If you’d like a chat about how we can help you achieve more, get in touch.