How to keep customers happy with smooth payment solutions

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E-commerce stores are continually working to make customers complete their purchases. Yet, in 2019, retail had a cart abandonment rate of about 79%. As scary as this number might be, a big portion of cart abandonment can be explained by how customers shop online, which is outside of the merchants’ control.

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Many window-shop, others compare prices and shipping costs, while some save the items to buy later. However, 17% of customers abandoned their carts due to payment-related issues, which is something that can be improved by the right payment gateway strategy.  

Choosing a payment gateway means you’ll have to grasp and accept some limitations, but most important is understanding what your customers are looking for when they are shopping online. 

What customers care about when they shop

Now, removing all payment-related problems is hard, but you will come a very long way by focusing on security and having a wide variety of payment solutions.

Access to their preferred payment solution

It is important to understand where your customers are coming from because 6% of carts are abandoned due to a lack of payment options.

Are your customers coming from the US? Think about offering Paypal, Apple Pay and maybe even Venmo.  And, of course, all major credit cards. Are you focusing on the Nordic countries? Vipps and Swish are a must; maybe Klarna, as well. Are you trying to enter the Chinese market? Then get to know Alipay or WeChat Pay, just to name a few.

The main point is to have high-quality payment gateways that fit your customer demographic. Once you’ve solved the problem of payment options, it’s time to think about security. 

Security

According to Experian, about 27% of customers have abandoned a cart due to security concerns. 

While many established payment gateways have a high level of security, you should keep in mind the following security vulnerabilities: 

  • Data breaches. Think about where the payment information is stored. Once it’s on a server, it might be at risk. 

  • Mobile payment issues. Some payment gateways are not very mobile-friendly. They are built around card usage, which is cumbersome to use on a phone.

  • Malware. Fraudulent transactions can get sent through a secure payment gateway with stolen account information.

Three options of payment gateways

There are three ways you can accept payments from customers using payment gateways:

Redirect customers to a third-party website 

The gateway will take the customer to the website of a payment provider, such as PayPal. This can be beneficial for small or new businesses that want to offer the convenience of big payment platforms, as the integration is simple and there is no need to worry about security. However, the merchant has no control over things like error messages, customer service, and payment confirmation, which might disrupt the overall customer experience. For the customer, redirect payment gateways is a trade-off solution. They might get more payment options and security, but they will also have an additional step in the check out process.

Allow for checkout on-site, but process payments off-site 

This solution allows you to add the payment step of the checkout process to your website, thus eliminating a step from the previous point. Stripe is a good example of this kind of a payment gateway. They allow merchants to still benefit from the security of some of the bigger payment gateways while keeping the whole check-out process on their website. This solution still offers little in terms of support and customization. All payments are 100% done by the payment gateway, so you won’t have much power to change the design to fit a certain brand or offer support in case of errors.

Accept on-site payments using API hosted payment gateway

This a fully customizable solution that gives you the power to control the whole user experience. It is ideal for large-scale businesses that handle a high volume of sales.The merchant can design the payment journey to match the rest of the website, which can increase the conversion rate by up to 32%, according to Baymard. However, the merchant is also 100% responsible for customer data and must make sure that the security protocols follow the right regulations. No one wants to tell their customers their data was stolen.

How to pick the right payment gateway

The good news is that you don’t have to choose just one payment gateway. By stacking payment gateways, you can maximize the payment options your customers have to choose from and maintain a high level of security. 

You will also be able to have a backup in case one of the gateways has issues. And you get more data about your customers, which hopefully will inform business decisions further down the line.   

Remember, not all cart abandonment issues are within your control. In the study cited earlier, the most common reason was that extra costs, like shipping, were too high. But even this can be mitigated by making sure the customers can calculate the total cost upfront. A lot of other issues you can fix with design, for example, not making the customer create an account to complete their purchases. 

Don’t let the lack of the right payment method stand between you and your customers. We’ve helped many clients navigate how to implement payment gateways. If you’re looking to create a seamless payment experience for your clients with minimal headache, reach out to us.

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