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5 Tips to Streamline Ecommerce Payments and Improve Customer Experience at Checkout

Digital payments are on the rise, and if you’re an ecommerce merchant, you’ll want to capitalize on this growth. But as this sector continues to become more popular, payment processing systems have the potential to become ever more complex. Between credit card companies, banks, retailers, and consumers, the payments processing landscape represents a fine balance between several parties. However, one feature unites the goals of all these different stakeholders, and that is streamlining online payments and checkouts.

It’s simple, when you think about it. A more streamlined process means happy consumers, which means happy retailers. This also creates a ripple effect reaching credit card companies and banks, who are getting used more often. Streamlining the payments process is simply good business for everyone involved. Below are tips for how to streamline your checkout payment processes. 

1) Don’t force registrations

An easy check-out process is key to securing conversions, and avoiding mandatory registration can go a long way towards simplifying the whole process.

This doesn’t have to mean your membership rates have to take a nosedive. If you want both sales and account registrations, it’s totally possible to have your cake and eat it too. Just about all the information users need to register for an account is already collected during a transaction, so simply make it an option at checkout to add a password and create an account. Highlight the benefits of creating an account, and make sure it’s obvious that it’s optional. The easier you make it to sign up, the more customers will do it — and they’ll appreciate that it’s a choice, not a requirement. 

2) Simplify user flow
Being user-friendly as possible can have a big payoff—in one study, improving navigation of an ecommerce site improved the site’s conversion rate by 18.5 percent.

There are a lot of ways to accomplish this. Try to keep users on your site, rather than redirecting them to an outside gateway like PayPal, which can be confusing or even alarming to cautious customers. Don’t put any confusing pop-ups or distracting ads anywhere in the checkout process — you want your consumers to be focused on finishing their purchase. Once they’ve paid, redirect them back to your homepage, so they have the option to keep browsing. And don’t underestimate the power of consistency! Keeping your logos, fonts, and color schemes the same everywhere on your site (including checkout) is not only aesthetically pleasing, but builds trust with your customer. Customers worry about phishing or fraud if they’re redirecting to a page that doesn’t look like the others, so they’ll feel more secure with visual cues that they’re on the same site.

3) Keep it clear and concise

The last thing you want is a confused customer that wants to check out but can’t figure out how. Make sure to give clear directions and calls to action at every stage of the checkout process, so that they can follow the process seamlessly. This isn’t the time to be verbose or long-winded: short, concise directions (preferably in a clean, bold font) are the way to go. You can also offer information buttons to clarify what you’re asking from your users and how you’re going to use it.

It’s important to keep the customer feeling like they’re in control and that they understand what’s happening. Make payment forms intuitive to decrease friction and increase customer trust in the process. One way to do this is to offer a progress bar at the top of the page, so users can always understand where they are in the process.

4) Email a receipt

The checkout process doesn’t end when the customer pays. Sending a receipt is one easy way to make the end of the process pleasant for your customers — and you can use this chance to upsell or cross-sell, or offer a coupon to encourage a purchase the next time they visit your ecommerce site. Emailing an easy-to-understand receipt offers a natural ending point for what was hopefully a cohesive and sleek payment process.

5) Learn about new digital payment technology

Finally, don’t just focus on the present — keep an eye on where digital payment is heading, so you can get in early and provide the best technology for your customers.

For example, Visa recently launched its Digital Commerce program, with the goal of standardizing end-to-end digital payments process flow across browsers and devices. This streamlines the payment process by removing the framework that requires passwords by leveraging EMVCo’s Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) technical framework. The goal is for a device or browser to recognize a consumer when they log onto a merchant site using biometrics or passcodes to identify them. Eventually, the payment experience will just involve clicking one button and a drop-down menu with all the customer’s payment credentials. In the meantime, Visa is planning to move its Visa Checkout base of 33 million customers, 350,000 merchants and 1,600 financial institutions to the Visa Digital Commerce Program beginning in late 2018.

If you’re a merchant that already accepts Visa Checkout, converting to the new standard will be simple. For everyone else, it’ll just require a one-time integration. If you have Visa Checkout, it’s worth following this digital payments experience evolution — and even if you aren’t other card networks won’t be far behind.

Conclusion

Offering a great experience for your customer means you should offer a simple, streamlined payment process. From start to finish, your users should feel like their transactions are frictionless and easy. There are many ways to simplify your current checkout process — these tips are only a starting point. Remember that implementing these changes is an important investment in your online business.

 

 

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