Thanks to technologies like AI and automation, customers now have the most personalized, intuitive, and streamlined shopping experiences ever. They expect convenience at every step in the shopping experience, especially the one that matters most: checkout.
But when the ecommerce payment process takes too long or gets confusing, customers abandon their carts and shop elsewhere. In fact, 17% of U.S. customers abandon carts due to complicated checkout processes, while 9% don’t complete their transactions due to a lack of payment methods. According to the State of Commerce Report, 41% of commerce professionals cite disconnected payments across systems as a major concern when implementing new methods. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, 64% of companies already offer at least one mobile wallet option. Shoppers are voting with their dollars, and they are resoundingly happy with the advantages of online commerce.
But when it’s time for checkout, things can go sideways. Many checkout experiences contain unnecessary friction points. To course correct, there are a variety of methods that businesses can use to win back abandoned carts and increase conversion rates.
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As brands work to streamline and simplify the checkout experience, ecommerce payment solutions are proliferating. For example, large purchases can be paid for in installments over time, and social media platforms are beginning to offer their own payment options (such as Douyin Pay on the Chinese sister app of TikTok). And there are alternative currencies to contend with, like Bitcoin.
It’s a challenge to stay current as consumers gain new ways to pay. But with the right technology, brands can respond flexibly to changing consumer needs and expectations. These tips will help your brand keep up.
1. Think of payments as an integral part of ecommerce
While payment is often the last step in the checkout process, brands need to think about the process from the start. Payment is part of the customer journey. It affects the shopper’s experiences, checkout conversion rates, and brand loyalty. It needs to be simple, accurate, and safe — every time.
Product and customer teams should also think about how to improve ecommerce payment interactions. Depending on your brand’s offerings, they might suggest things like mobile wallets, buy-now-pay-later, or revenue models like subscriptions.
Business users also need to have important metrics across commerce and payments, and to generate reports and dashboards around them easily. For example, if abandoned cart metrics suddenly increase in a specific part of the world, commerce teams can investigate what’s going wrong during the checkout process and determine the right path forward.
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2. Adapt quickly to new ecommerce payment preferences
Companies need to be agile and embrace digital solutions that help them stay current as customers’ payment preferences evolve. Make sure your commerce platform can easily accept new payment types that gain popularity. If you can seamlessly integrate them with the platform, they can quickly become operational. In today’s environment, digital leaders recognize the need to adapt, and 61% already offer installment payments like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), while another 32% plan to add it in the next two years.
When Smith Optics, a winter sports eyewear and helmet manufacturer, replaced its direct-to-consumer (D2C) infrastructure, it looked for a premium payment provider that could support ecommerce globally and integrate with various systems. It wanted systems accessible for non-technical users that could support innovation projects. It chose Salesforce Commerce Cloud for ecommerce and Stripe for payments. (The two companies have since formed a partnership that integrates the platforms with Salesforce Payments. See a demo of Salesforce Payments in action.)
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3. Prioritize fighting fraud
As commerce goes increasingly digital, bad actors follow the money. Nearly three-fourths of fraud and data breach cases investigated by Visa’s Global Risk team involved e-commerce merchants. Strong fraud detection and prevention is essential; it should accurately target nefarious activity without hampering legitimate purchases. The right balance builds customer loyalty and brand trust. Too many false positives and expensive manual reviews frustrate customers, while too little can damage a brand’s reputation or even take a site offline.
Machine learning goes a long way toward preventing fraud. Once new scams are detected, the system can flag similar and subsequent attempts. While fraud ranked as the number one concern for business leaders considering implementing a new payment method, the right payment solutions mine data to constantly improve their fraud detection and prevention.
For example, Salesforce Payments customers can use built-in fraud prevention to create risk scores based on multiple attributes. It also adjusts thresholds as needed for transactions that should be reviewed or declined. Teams can also add new rules around verification failures or other specifics, such as when an IP address does not match the credit card address.
4. Connect payments across the commerce and post-purchase journey
Connecting payments throughout the commerce and post purchase experience provides consistency and flexibility for customers, leading to a better experience at checkout and beyond. When a customer has a positive shopping experience, they’re likely to become a repeat customer– even if the product they initially purchased wasn’t the right fit.
A post-purchase transaction is a great opportunity for upselling and to potentially increase average order value. Make it even easier for customers by equipping them with payment options like the ability to use their credit from their return toward their new purchase, or to check out with Pay Pal, Apple Pay, or gift cards. Luckily, for businesses, the installation can be simple. With a variety of payment options, customers won’t have to second guess their decision to buy.
5. Create positive customer experiences by using connected platforms
Digital leaders in commerce agree: the top benefit of digital commerce is improved customer satisfaction. And those leaders recognize the impact of customer relationships on loyalty metrics such as retention and share of wallet. With the right payment solution, the customer journey doesn’t fall apart once a customer starts to check out. If finalizing the purchase is quick and easy, the customer is left satisfied with their interaction with your brand and eagerly anticipating delivery of the product.
And a solid payment approach is not just a win for customers; the checkout process presents a key opportunity for companies to collect data and gain insights on the shoppers while building trust.
Allow your teams to work efficiently by connecting your commerce, payments, and order management platforms. The more seamless the transaction, the better customer experience will be and the greater the opportunity to build loyalty and lifelong customer relationships.
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