A record 33% of UK purchases took place online in May, according to the Office for National Statistics. Yet with average conversion rates at less than 3%, firms are still missing out on billions of potential income.
The likes of better, persuasive sales copy on websites can help firms profit more from the fast-rising interest in e-commerce in the post COVID-19 world. But CEOs and CMOs at PSPs and banks must ensure that their organisations are supplying clients and their
customers with seamless checkout experiences. Payment platforms should be mobile-friendly and instantly offer an alternative payment method when the customer’s first choice did not work out. And of course it should send out second-chance emails if a customer
has prematurely abandoned the payment page. Moreover, they should let customers use their native currency, if possible. However, if firms are to really compete, platforms also need to make heavy use of recent innovations.
Firstly, customers should be given a wide variety of ways to pay, beyond credit and debit cards. Many like the convenience of QR codes, for instance. Several nations have particular methods they prefer to use, such as iDeal in the Netherlands and WeChat
One-tap payments allow returning customers to pay quickly, perhaps using a secure
token, rather than having to fill out their details again. Some people feel more comfortable transferring their money via phone or email, so a payment platform that can send out payment links via SMS, email or WhatsApp is very useful.
By providing platforms that allow customers to split payments between several cards or buyers, PSPs can
make it easier for many, perhaps less well-off, online browsers to become shoppers. Embedding payment platforms in product posts on Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites reels in casual, often younger, customers too.
The rapid changes in customer behaviour during the COVID-19 lockdown has made it more necessary than ever for payment platforms to have detailed but accessible analytics dashboards to keep ahead of the competition. This allows PSPs and retailers to see which
checkout pages or methods drive the highest conversion rates, for instance, and which types of customers aren’t completing payments and so need incentives, such as discounts.
Lastly, reliable security tools are important, particularly during a pandemic that has seen almost £9 million lost to virus-related scams in the UK. Platforms must be quick, easy to use and ready to filter out as many of the newest scams as they can.
The buy-in solution
Though creating a payment platform in-house may seem to PSPs like the best way to make sure it’s maximising conversion potentials, a ready-made platform is often a better solution.
These payment platforms are likely to be equipped with the latest dropout analytics features and intelligent routing processes. They can generally be embedded in social media easily, too. A good ready-made site may improve a retailer’s conversion rates by
as much as 50%.
They can also take just days to integrate with clients’ existing payment systems, keeping disruption to a minimum, and tend to be equipped with up-to-date streamlined security measures. They’re often cheaper than building from scratch, too.
With current conversion rates so low, a small improvement — just 2.5 to 3.5%, say — could have a huge impact on a client’s bottom line. A
platform that provides the right tools and insights for a smooth customer payment experience is, therefore, vital to PSPs and their clients’
growth and success.