Purchasing items on social media is a growing international trend with huge potential. During the COVID-19 crisis, 42% of people in an international Global Web Index survey reported spending a greater amount of time on the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
And with social distancing continuing for months, that trend is likely to continue.
According to PayPal, around eight million Britons currently buy items through social platforms and less than a quarter of businesses sell through them. It’s an underappreciated way of trading that CMOs at PSPs, along with banks and other financial institutions,
should help clients concentrate on much more.
Firstly, PSPs need to make sure that their platforms can embed a payment method easily and quickly into social media posts. This means that when customers see an item they like on a company’s feed they can pay for it instantly, without having to click through
product pages of the merchants website, leading to far fewer dropouts. Firms will also capture larger numbers of casual, impulse buyers and a younger market. Some 30% of US social media users aged 18-34 have bought something through sites such as Twitter and
Retailers and sectors selling products with strong visual appeal, such as clothes, furniture and ornaments, tend to do particularly well on social media. But there’s no reason why everyone from artisan bakers to tool manufacturers can’t too. PSPs must ensure
that payment processes are smooth and quick. Whatever their industry or background, social-media audiences are used to generate instant results. PSPs should also supply platforms that integrate seamlessly with retailers’ existing sales channels.
It is important to give the option of alternative methods of payment.
QR codes, for instance, are simple but engaging and popular with younger consumers. “One-tap” payments speed up the buying process for returning
customers as they don’t have to fill in their details again. They build company loyalty.
With so many people accessing social media when commuting or out and about, it’s vital that payments platforms work well on mobiles. And it is essential they demonstrate high-levels of security. One of the main reasons many Britons are reluctant to pay via
social media is the perceived ease with which hackers can access their personal details. PSPs’ and banks’ checkout systems should, therefore, make good use of things like PINs and biometrics for authorization and push notifications warning banks when a payee’s
name doesn’t match the account number provided. PSPs should be careful that their platforms meet Level 1 PCI DSS and other data-security regulation requirements.
The ready-made option
One relatively quick and easy way for PSPs to be confident that their platforms will work well for social-media payments is to purchase one ready-made.
These will usually have many of the necessary security systems built in and comply with the latest security laws and rules. They may also feature a variety of payment options, such as QR codes, and tend to be reasonably straightforward for consumers to use.
What’s more, particularly at a time when companies shouldn’t be wasting any time they could spend building up their social media and online presence, they can be swiftly integrated into a firm’s payment processes.
Often cheaper overall than an in-house solution, a ready-made platform can enhance customer experience and allow businesses to increase social-media
payment conversions —sooner rather than later.