Today’s e-commerce payment experience has become very complex.
Among other factors that complicate the payment, consumers can choose many payment types Including credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Wallet, Bitcoin, store credit, gift card and pay later options like buy now, Klarna and Affirm.
On the face of it, too many choices may seem fine to the consumer, but too many choices create friction in the checkout process and still have a very high average e-commerce cart abandonment rate (which is Baymart InstituteIt still hovers around 70%.)
A simplified payment model can help reduce the number of potential customer “bounces”. Forward-thinking online merchants can take several steps to ensure their checkout page is as smooth as possible, thereby increasing the number of shoppers who successfully complete their purchases.
Be selective about tender types
Online retailers must continually test to determine whether offering too many checkout offers reduces conversions, especially at the critical point when a shopper has placed items in their cart and is ready to purchase. Additional payment options should be continually tested and evaluated to ensure that additional options are beneficial to the customer.
If less than 5% of payments are using a newly added payment method, a seller must decide if it’s worth keeping that method, even if adding a new offer takes a lot of time and resources.
To make a final data-based decision on removing a payment option, a retailer should run tests to determine whether removing that option negatively impacts conversion rate and against shoppers for whom the option is still available.
Are we compatible?
Traders looking at the bigger picture should also make sure their e-commerce sites are viewed through a larger picture lens. This means keeping a site’s payment flow simple. Constantly adding new auction types and changing the process has the potential to disrupt the payment flow for shoppers using new tools like digital wallets that aim to make the payment experience simpler. The same thing can happen when a seller tries a new shopping cart journey, which is different degrees of departure from most mainstream shopping cart experiences.
Keeping it simple and consistent will ensure that a seller’s site continues to be compatible with future shopping and payment solutions.
Payment options through alternative vendors
Knowledgeable shoppers are already in the next evolution of shopping tools, and the most common among them are shopper buddies that offer e-commerce rewards. These complements are typically browser extensions and often have payment types built in, so the shopper need not be presented with every possible payment option on every site they visit.
As long as the brand’s site “plays well” with the browser extension, these savvy shoppers will be able to use any payment option they want.
Strengthening affiliate programs
If a retailer doesn’t already have an affiliate marketing program, it’s missing out on new opportunities, including shopping buddies. Because shopping friends and rewards programs are built on the existing tracking infrastructure of affiliate networks, the absence of an affiliate program for a seller means that they are not currently taking advantage of new increased sales opportunities.
But running an affiliate program is only the first step. A retailer must also make an informed decision to allow affiliate programs (e.g., its site and products) to be offered to shoppers/reward publishers. As a category, browser extensions are also called “toolbars,” and some vendors choose to exclude their programs from joining this category altogether.
Allowing an affiliate program to be extended to include toolbar publishers isn’t entirely risk-free, but there are thousands of highly rated legitimate browser extensions available. With a watchful eye, a merchant can join the category of toolbars and benefit from increased reach and sales from these publishers. More importantly, merchants can help shoppers who want to use companions by making their toolbars work well on their sites.
Data flow and privacy issues
A well-structured affiliate program means these shoppers offer opportunities to engage shoppers throughout the checkout process. To this end, traders can be assured that the data they put into their affiliate program is accurate, up-to-date, easy to read and as complete as possible.
In fact, retailers should consider affiliate program data used by software to power the next generation of shopping tools, not just social media influencers or bloggers.
Also, merchants should continue to pay close attention to their affiliate programs to ensure their sites and programs are compatible with new privacy initiatives and the upcoming removal of third-party cookies from the Chrome browser. To ensure that an affiliate program is available to as many publishers as possible, retailers should keep programs compatible with these data protection initiatives and new browser versions.
It takes a consistent effort to improve, streamline and optimize the checkout experience, making the customer experience as smooth and seamless as possible. Retailers that offer customers the right bidding options and offers at the right time will be two steps ahead of the competition.