Online shopping has come a long way, and retailers have constantly been looking for ways to develop their site’s user experience. However, up until recently one area that always seemed to remain stagnant were payment options available to customers – will it be credit card or PayPal…
Recently, there seems to have been an explosion of new payment options appearing on the market. What are the advantages of having more options, why should retailers offer them, and what effect will the rise of Mobile Commerce have on the future of payments?
By increasing the number of options available, retailers have an opportunity to gain an advantage over its competitors. A survey by YouGov found that 50% of customers abandoned their cart when their preferred payment method wasn’t available, so it’s crucial to offer payment services that customers feel confident in. For example, a customer that frequently uses Amazon Pay will choose to shop where this payment method is available, and if this option isn’t available to them, there is a strong potential for cart abandonment.
Access New Markets
More payment methods = potential new markets. Adding localised payment options can lead to higher conversion rates, but there are cultural nuances that must be considered when adding local payment options to a site. Certain services are more popular than others in particular markets. In the Netherlands, for example most consumers [56%] prefer to pay with local payment method iDEAL (see adidas.nl example below), in Germany the preferred online payment method is post-purchase invoicing with 58% of customers ordering online and paying afterwards, meanwhile in China the market leader is Alipay, with over 500 million users using this payment service.
Language & Currency Localisation
Offering local payment alternatives helps to maximise global conversion rate. Through greater customer reach, talking their language, both in terms of literal translation, currency conversion (see PayPal conversion from GBP to AUD below) and a recognisable local payment solution, will all resonate with the customer.
Remove Reliance on Current Payment Services
Whilst it’s great to have one really popular payment service with a customer base, it’s beneficial not to become solely reliant on that method. What happens if the service decides to increase its commission or fees per transaction? Or if the service becomes temporarily unavailable? Or further still, what happens if the service ceases to exist? As the old adage goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, hedge your bets and offer more payment options to reduce the risk.
Trusted Buying Process
Merchants can benefit from adding trusted buying processes to their site which are well recognised and help build the trust of the site by associating with globally or locally trusted payment brands and institutions.
Ultimately all of the above will lead to an increase in sales which is the prime objective for any retailer. The combination of gaining a competitive advantage, accessing new markets and acquiring customer trust are all going to increase the number of transactions through the site. This means the conversion rate will rise and in some cases (see deferred payment options such as afterpay) the AOV will increase, as payment in instalments makes higher ticket items more affordable.
Trusted Payment Method/Trust Builder
One of the most important touch points is at a site’s checkout. It is important the customer feels comfortable parting with their money for the goods on offer. With 40% of online customers saying they feel more comfortable purchasing from a retailer with multiple payment methods [YouGov], displaying multiple payment options to the customer at this touch point is an effective way of gaining customer loyalty and trust.
No Credit/Debit Card or Bank Account Required
Bank accounts and credit cards are not as accessible in some markets and therefore restricts online purchase capability. For example, according to the World Bank, only 28% of the population in the Philippines has an account at a financial institution. By offering e-wallets, mobile payment solutions and deferred credit options, the customer is empowered to shop online without the existence of a credit card or bank account.
Convenience plays another critical role for the customer. Increasingly, Mobile Commerce is driving a large amount of traffic to sites with 55% of ecommerce traffic in Australia coming from mobile. Therefore, being set up for success to convert all site visitors means that digital wallets (Amazon Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, AliPay) are set to play a larger part in conversion in the future.
Access to Unaffordable Items
Online deferred payment options allow customers the opportunity to purchase items that may have been unavailable to them previously. An example of a deferred payment service that has ascended over the last year is Afterpay. Afterpay offers a buy now, pay later option – this model has seen great success with a growing retail client list that includes Myer, Topshop, 2XU, Typo, Country Road and more.
_Alternative payment options are essential for any ecommerce site.
_Retailers benefit from increased conversion and sales, gaining a competitive advantage, accessing new markets, building site/customer trust and removing the reliance on limited payment options.
_Customers benefit from the choice and convenience that trusted payment options offer.
_Mobile payment options are set to rise in popularity alongside the rise of Mobile Commerce.
_Deferred payment solutions have become very popular, with the buy now, pay later option appealing to customers.
In summary, alternative payment methods are a vital part of any retailer’s website and to be competitive, retailers need to be offering multiple trustworthy payment options that suit the markets they trade within.
If you would like Practicology to review your checkout or help select the right payment options for your market please contact us today.