Electronic commerce has taken a run during the past years to establish itself as an essential form of consumption of goods and services. But the real turning point in consumer and business buying and selling trends occurred last year, when the way we live, work and shop fundamentally changed. As a result, many consumers and businesses understood, for the first time, that having an online presence is now an essential requirement rather than something “convenient.”
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In fact, many physical businesses, especially those that lacked an e-commerce platform prior to COVID-19, were forced to close. During the first half of 2020, in Spain more than 207,000 companies closed, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). However, others saw the opportunity to adapt to a situation that caused the sale of products in that period of time to skyrocket and highlighted the need to streamline and promote online payment platforms.
The arrival of COVID-19, together with the celebration of key days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Singles Day in 2020, caused a massive increase in e-commerce sales worldwide, according to data from the 2020 eMarketer report . Now, more than ever, online businesses and secure and reliable payment platforms are necessary for the prosperity of these businesses.
The Business Challenge Of Ecommerce: The Lines Between The Physical And The Digital Have Disappeared
However, the future of e-commerce is not a yellow brick road. Instead, consumer behaviour and different environments condition it. Today, attracting new customers, increasing the loyalty of current ones so that they buy more regularly, reducing cart abandonment and opening up to new markets to expand the customer base are just some of the great challenges that companies face.
The ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences - such as the increased preference for omnichannel experiences - is crucial. Companies have to question whether their current operations will fit future needs.
In this sense, companies are facing an environment in which consumers are increasingly demanding. The acquisition of new customers online and the need to convince sceptical consumers forces retail companies to take their demands into account: from offering attractive content with detailed and reliable product information and with multimedia support (with quality images or augmented reality for a more complete experience); personalized attention 24/7; easy-to-navigate shopping channels, as well as delivery, collection, return and payment methods that facilitate the online shopper experience.
Likewise, companies must adapt to the needs of a customer who regularly changes devices and sales channels throughout the purchase process. Nowadays, people do not need to choose between buying in a physical store or online, but can search for information on a new clothing collection from their computer, go to the store to try on the pants they have liked and, while they are in the dressing room and to avoid queues, buy them on the website. This is what industry experts call " Showrooming " (testing the product in the physical store and then buying it online). According to the IAB ecommerce study, in 2020 the preference to combine online and offline purchases was 52%, in the coming years the trend points to this formula being an option for 78% of users.
Simplify Checkout To Help Improve The Shopping Experience And Reduce Cart Abandonment
However, regardless of the device chosen and the place of purchase, companies must be able to connect these channels (web, mobile, app, marketplace or a social network where it would be interesting to emphasize social selling) to offer a shopping experience fluid, consistent, easy and fast.
When shopping online, customers want two things: that their information is safe and secure and that the purchase process is fast and comfortable. That's why simplifying the checkout process - for example, not asking customers to register to check out, or any unnecessary steps - and offering a reliable and secure payment method helps reduce cart abandonment now. that visitors become buyers.
This is demonstrated by data from a recent Nielsen report, commissioned by PayPal, from October 2019 to September 2020, according to which consumers who see the PayPal logo at the checkout stage are 36% more likely to complete your purchase compared to other payment methods. This percentage is higher in the case of beauty and cosmetic products, in which customers are 57% more likely to make the purchase, followed by food products, with a percentage of 27%, and clothing, which stands at 23%. And this is, especially, because among the advantages of PayPal is the convenience of not having to enter payment information when making the payment and the confidence of having the “Buyer'' on eligible purchases.
But this does not happen only in the last stage of the purchase process since, often, when customers visit a website, before they start navigating between the products, they check how they will have to pay.
No doubt, increasing conversions and sales is the main objective of an e-commerce site. However, to encourage your customer to make payments seamlessly, you need to make the whole process easier.
One of the ways to ensure that the payment process for your customers is to give more attention to your checkout page. The checkout page is the last page a customer who wants to shop on your platform sees. Adding a trusted and safe payment method like Stripe, Google Pay, Braintree, Paypound or Paypal is not enough. You need to control the checkout process to increase sales and conversions.
5 Ways To Make E-Commerce Payment Process Easier For Your Customers
Provide Lots Of Secure And Safe Payment Options
Outlining just a few payment methods on your checkout page is not enough. Your customers need to make choices from several payment options. Although this seems like an obvious tip, several e-commerce websites still have a handful of payment methods.
Don’t forget, some payment methods are not accessible in certain locations. Therefore, if your prospective customer doesn’t see a payment method that is accepted in their location or region, the customer will leave your platform.
Allow Payments Without Accounts
Unfortunately, a lot of e-commerce websites request their customers to open an account with them before using their platform. As much as opening accounts seems ideal, studies have shown that some customers don’t want to go through the stress of creating usernames and passwords all the time.
Also, the fear of being flooded with various emails and promotional content seems to wade some customers away. Therefore, make your website easy to transact on without necessarily opening an account. Most customers just want to shop and leave.
Deliver A Seamless Design
E-commerce website design and layout are crucial. Also, you need to make sure your choice of colors, fonts, design, etc., is consistent with your brand. Consistency in your design makes it easy for your customers to recognize your brand anytime.
Again, if your checkout page doesn’t correspond with the website design, it may raise suspicion. Remember online scams are rift, therefore customers want consistency in design and layout.
Don’t Redirect Customers
Redirecting your customers to another website when they click on the payment option will raise suspicion. To a large extent, very sensitive customers may opt-out and go to another website. Also, use payment methods that don’t redirect customers to another platform. Customers may have doubts.
Besides, your customers will feel that their money is going into another platform. Therefore, avoid redirecting your customers to another website for payment.
Request For Only Essential Data
On your payment or checkout page, only request essential data. Requesting too much data from a customer may create fear and suspicion. In other words, keep your checkout page simple.
Finally, don’t provide complex payment options on your websites too. Make sure you opt for a simple payment method.