Make the checkout easy with a range of payment options

by Andrea del Campo, 29.05.15

The payment options you present to your customers are part of your offer. Displaying them on your home page and product pages is simple to do and very powerful, especially for first time customers. This means: if your customers, either existing or potential, do not find the proper payment methods to checkout, it is very likely that they will abandon your shop without purchasing.

Payment methods: Not all nor only one

The decision for or against specific payment methods is enormously important for your shop when it comes to building the trust of your customers. It sounds obvious, but there are many online shops that make the mistake of offering only one payment method. What if that one method is not the one customers are expecting to use? Needless to say: your visitors will very likely not turn into customers and will end up leaving your site.

In fact, customers expect a smooth and convenient experience when it comes to payments. This means, seeing a variety of payment options on the checkout page for finalising a purchase. But how many are “several”? Two, three? There are many possibilities when it comes to payment integrations, but this does not mean you should try to offer all of them. Knowing which ones your competitors are using may give you an idea on what your shop should be offering.

For instance, starting with the basics is never a wrong choice: PayPal and credit card. But be aware that the payment landscape is dynamic and constantly changing, especially when considering the international markets. What might work in one country, might not work in other ones.

Make it easy for your customers

The checkout page is the final stop when shopping on your site. That is why making it as easy as possible is essential for increasing conversions and encouraging your customers to come back to your shop.

Forcing people to sign up and create an account is not exactly the definition of “easy”. Sometimes it can be misunderstood by first-time customers as an intrusive strategy which allows you to send loads of promotional emails. In addition, online shoppers do not normally understand why they need to create an account to purchase a product when brick and mortar stores do not require this either. Before this becomes a major conversion killer for your shop, ask yourself: when you shop online, would you like to be forced to create another username and password to remember?

We recommend you to allow your customers to checkout products without registration: This may help your business to increase the conversion rate, improve customer retention and reduce cart abandonment.

Do not forget that…

When a purchase is complete, it does not necessarily guarantee a successful sale as the buyer may end up returning the product. However, there may be a direct connection between the amount of returns and the offered payment method. For example, many merchants, especially when it comes to fashion shops, experience more returns when offering payments by invoice. By contrast, when customers pay in advance either by credit card, PayPal or by bank transfer, fewer returns are received.

About the author

was an editor at ePages. With passion for merchant advice, practical tips and commerce news she enriched our Spanish and English blog.

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