When you go into business, you expect to spend a large sum of money and copious hours on perfecting your offering and marketing it. You likely also think about the customer experience and how you can better serve your target audience.
With time, it becomes obvious that all your systems, including your payment solution, also play a huge role in your success. A slow or difficult checkout process is a major turn-off for customers, and you stand to lose sales as well as customer loyalty. Luckily, improving your payment experience is fairly easy - here’s how.
What Do Customers Look For in an Online Payment Experience?
Customers have simple expectations when it comes to paying online: they want a fast, secure checkout experience. It seems easy enough - yet many companies get it wrong. We can look at cart abandonment data to better understand what customers need.
Research from the Baymard Institute shows that the most common reasons people back out of a purchase include:
- Expensive added costs
- Account creation required to checkout
- Long checkout process
- Website seemed untrustworthy
- Total costs were unclear
- Website errors
- Minimal payment methods
- Credit card declined
While you can’t control all of the above factors, there are many you can easily address. What’s more, they boil down to a simple message: customers want a transparent, speedy, easy, and safe checkout.
Why Is the Payment Experience So Important?
Throughout the customer journey, shoppers are getting to know, like, and trust your brand. By the time they get to the checkout page, they feel a sense of connection and security. When you provide an excellent payment experience, you cement that relationship and convert shoppers into loyal, paying customers.
Unfortunately, a poor checkout experience can destroy all of the hard work you’ve done to connect with your target audience. It’s one of the most sensitive steps along the customer journey. If they notice any red flags, they form doubts about whether you can provide the experience they’re looking for, a worthwhile product, or safety when sharing sensitive payment information.
Those doubts lead to lost sales. Research shows that ecommerce brands lose $18 billion in revenue every year due to cart abandonment. Put simply: when you improve your payment experience, you save sales and increase revenue.
7 Ways to Improve the Payment Experience for Your Customers
1. Offer Guest Checkout
Customers want to check out as quickly as possible. Requiring shoppers to create an account to checkout slows down and complicates the process. Adding that extra step between the decision to purchase and completing the transaction creates friction that leads many customers to walk away.
Plus, by asking them to create an account, you’re also asking them to form a relationship with you. This breaks customers out of the purchase mindset - instead, they begin deliberating if your product or brand is worth it.
2. Avoid Denied Payments
When a customer experiences a denied payment, they’ll likely walk away rather than try again. There are many reasons that a customer’s card or payment method can be declined during a transaction. While some of them are out of your control, there are some strategic measures you can take to avoid this issue.
First, make sure your checkout form clearly spells out what information you need and where to enter it. If the system does encounter an error, be sure to clearly point out which textbox holds the error so the customer can easily reenter information correctly.
Second, use a payment system that can resolve these issues on its own. Pay.com can collect updated information from Mastercard and Visa if a customer enters expired credit card information. Pay.com also uses a smart routing system to send transactions to the payment acquirer that’s most likely to approve them. This way, you never lose sales because a payment server is down.
3. Offer More Payment Methods
Shoppers are often loyal to a few different payment methods, each of which they prefer for different reasons, like ease of use or security. By offering a variety of payment methods, you allow customers to pay on their own terms.
The right payment methods will depend on your target audience. That said, it’s generally best to accept credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal are the most popular options aside from major credit card companies.
4. Display Security Measures
Shoppers want to know that their payment information is safe with you. If your checkout page appears untrustworthy, they’ll bail on a purchase. Even if you do have security measures in place, it may not be obvious to customers.
All businesses that accept credit and debit cards must comply with the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). The standard includes a variety of regulations that ensure you protect card details, like utilizing tokenization and multifactor authentication.
You can display the PCI DSS logo on your checkout page to show customers that you’re taking such measures. As a result, they’ll feel confident when shopping with you.
5. Map Out the Checkout Process
Customers are quick to back out of a long or complicated checkout process. Even if your payment experience is simple, they may not be able to see that at first glance.
You can show customers the entire checkout process with a progress bar. Display each step in the process and where they’re at on the continuum. For example, your progress bar might have four steps:
- Order review
- Payment details
- Shipping information
- Order complete
6. Use Price Transparency
As we discussed above, customers often abandon a purchase after finding out about added costs during the checkout. One way to avoid this and build trust with your customers is to be transparent from the beginning.
You can display an estimated cost breakdown for customers ahead of time, including tax. You can also allow them to enter their zip code before checking out, so they can see an accurate shipping cost.
7. Keep Customers on Your Site
Your payment system may redirect customers to another site for a few reasons during checkout. This causes friction, which sometimes leads shoppers to abandon their purchase. It’s your job to limit redirects and keep customers on your website during the checkout process.
For example, your security tools may flag their information as fraudulent and trigger a challenge that pushes them to log into their bank. Instead, you can use 3DS2 (3D Secure 2.0), which uses multifactor authentication to ensure each purchase is legitimate. If a customer does face a challenge, 3DS2 keeps them on the page and asks for a biometric to confirm their identity.
Another example is PayPal, which sometimes redirects customers to another window to login to complete a purchase. You can embed PayPal checkout into your website or app, which keeps them in the same environment even while logging into their PayPal account.
The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider
Pay.com makes optimizing your payment experience effortless. In fact, our payment solution comes pre-loaded with a variety of features designed to create a seamless customer experience, including:
- Frictionless checkout: Pay.com’s solution only asks customers for necessary information and allows guest checkout, making for an easy, fast experience. Plus, customers can choose to save their payment information to speed up future transactions.
- Easy-add payment methods: Adding your customers’ favorite payment methods is easy with Pay.com. Simply toggle them on with the click of a button to add them to your website.
- Advanced security: Pay.com maintains Level 1 PCI DSS compliance so that you don’t have to. Plus, we support 3DS2, offering a smooth and secure checkout for each customer.
- Custom checkout pages: Pay.com offers an option for users with all levels of experience. You can add your branding to our hosted checkout pages, or integrate with our APIs to add payment fields to your website. Either way, your customer gets a seamless experience.
The Bottom Line
Improving your customer experience isn’t always easy. Luckily, adjusting your payment system is fairly painless and can yield big results in customer satisfaction. Mapping out your checkout process, adding payment methods, and allowing guest checkout are just a few simple ways to make your customers happy.
If you want to ease the burden of improving your payment system, switch to Pay.com. We’ve built our solution with the goal of creating an optimal customer experience. Whether you want to use our APIs to keep customers on your website during checkout or utilize our impressive security features, we’ve got you covered.