e-commerce FINAL
Even e-commerce giants like Amazon, Alibaba and Flipkart face the same problem as a small shop ran by four people — abandoned shopping carts.

It is the scourge of e-commerce, and if you don’t believe me, the stats below courtesy of Baymar Institute are illuminating.

  • 27 per cent of online customers abandon shopping carts due to complicated checkout processes.
  • 18 per cent abandon shopping carts fearing credit card information security issues.
  • 8 per cent of online customers abandon shopping carts for want of alternative payment methods.

As a whole, at least one-fourth of all e-commerce customers abandon their online shopping carts owing to complexities in payment processes.

Bringing customers until the checkout page is a battle of its own. You don’t want to lose the war after winning that tough battle.

So, why make the payment process complex and shoo away your customers? That said, the role your checkout page and the payment process plays in delivering a memorable shopping experience to your customers is pivotal.

Also Read: 4 strategic tips for creating an engaging digital brand

Here are some strategic ways that can streamline your eCommerce store payment process. They will also help in rendering your customers with a smooth and hassle-free checkout experience.

Provide alternative payment methods

Credit/debit cards, online banking, gift cards, promo codes, PayPal, Authorize.Net, etc. are some of the popular payment methods. But, don’t restrict the store with these popular options alone.

Always integrate the checkout page with additional payment alternatives. Some examples of alternative payment methods worth trying include:

  • Google Wallet
  • Dwolla
  • Square
  • Amazon Payments
  • MasterPass
  • clearXchange
  • Bill Me Later
  • Bitcoin
  • Intuit PaymentNetwork

Build the trust factor

Like we said in the beginning of the article, 18 per cent of customers abandon carts if they do not feel assured in handing over credit card information to the website.

To avoid customers bouncing when they are ready to pay for the product, do the following:

  • Process the payment transaction in the same page. Do not redirect them to another merchant website, as it breaks trust.
  • Prominently display online payment security credentials embedded in the website. Examples are SSL certificates, PCI compliance badges, credit card companies association badges, accredited security agencies, data encryption, etc.

A word about payment security in e-commerce

According to eConsultancy, a popular eCommerce knowledge portal, approximately 58 per cent of customers abandon their shopping carts if they feel unsure about the store payment security measures.

Online payment security in e-commerce can be strengthened to protect both sellers and buyers from threats like phishing, identity theft, financial scams and privacy violations.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a network safety protocol that secures transactions between servers and destinations. It is a must-have feature for e-commerce stores because data of multiple forms will be exchanged between customers and sellers.

Websites (including online stores) with SSL encryption begin their URLs with ‘https’. A green ‘lock’ icon also represents whether the website is SSL enabled or not.

Also Read: Fintech, insurtech and institutions in Asia – a match made in heaven?

SSL Certificates contain sensitive information about the user like:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Certificate validity
  • Security issuing authority, etc.

This information in the hands of unauthorized personnel can cause serious financial and data losses.

For an e-commerce store, SSL certificates provide a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Data encryption of sensitive user data like credit/debit card numbers
  • Secures user account information
  • Protection of account transactions (like promo code balances, offers, gift coupons, etc.) stored in store servers
  • Builds trust among customers

There are hosting service providers that provide online store owners with shared SSL certificates. Although shared SSL certificates are economical in nature, in the long-run it is recommended to buy an independent, solely owned SSL certificate. An owned SSL certificate can help assure the customer of the robust security features of the store.

In addition to tightening security, the following measures can be adopted to give customers a smooth payment process.

Enable guest checkouts

23 per cent of users will abandon their shopping cart if they have to create a new user account.

Creating a new account from ground up is a long and painful process and customers often dump their plans of buying than go through that ordeal.

Not to mention, some online stores that wait until the checkout stage before pasting a full screen mandatory signup banner.

Best way out: Enable guest checkouts that will help customers complete their orders instantly.

The provision to create a new account can be offered as an option once the transaction is completed. That way, there is a better change for the customers to become loyal to the online store than be forced out at the checkout process for want of an account.

One-page or One-step checkout

OnePage and OneStep checkouts are far better than never-ending forms that require the customer to fill in unnecessary information.

  • One-page checkout completes the entire process of checkout including payment and account creation in a single window or within the page.
  • One-step checkout is an even reduced form of OnePage checkout which is far simpler and easier from the customer perspective. However, for the store this means capturing far less data about the customer for future data mining.

Opting for either of these checkouts schemes or any other innovative feature that does not require the customer to input repetitive information and is a great way to improve conversion rates.

CTA optimisation

CTAs (Calls-to-Action) are the nerve centres of any online store. In the payment page, which is de facto the last page for the transaction, sufficient CTAs must be optimised and fixed.

CTA optimisation in the payment page will help customers:

  • Find their way out easily
  • Continue shopping after checkout
  • Edit their order before checkout
  • Enter/edit inputs for delivery address, schedule deliveries, etc.

Secondly, choice of CTA buttons — their colour, positioning and even the text — will influence customers.

Bringing it all together

The payment process is the ultimate checkpoint where an unwilling shopper is converted into a paying customer. The payment or checkout page must be kept as simple as possible. It should be distraction free with minimal CTAs, easy to navigate and quick to navigate.

Also Read: For content-driven startups, speed (or the lack of it) can kill

The payment page should not ask for repetitive information. Rather, it should try to auto-fill customer information whenever possible. Alternative payment methods and online payment security will further improve the user’s checkout experience.

So there you have it. With these tips and tricks, you can ensure those empty baskets are no longer left at checkout.

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Image Credit: mayrum / 123RF Stock Photo