A seamless checkout experience – whether in store or mobile – is a key driver of business success.
No merchant wants to lose potential customers at the very point they are trying to handover their money. Positive conversion rates are enhanced by smooth payment experiences and the ability to offer customers popular payment options such as purchase on account or instalments, without default risk.
So how can merchants satisfy customers and grow their business?
1) Offer options at checkout
Studies show that a purchase is more likely to be cancelled if only a few – or the wrong kind of – payment methods are offered. According to a report from vouchercloud, 40% of consumers say they have more confidence in an online retailer when more than one payment option is available, while 60% would even cancel a purchase if their preferred payment method is missing. There are a plethora of payment methods for merchants to take advantage of, ranging from digital and mobile wallets (such as Skrill & NETELLER), to prepaid cards and cash vouchers (paysafecard), and the buy-now, pay later concept provided by payolution.
2) Clearly show prices and T&Cs
Apart from the price of the goods, shipping costs are why the majority of customers don’t complete an online purchase, according to a report from Forrester Research which shows that 44% of all discontinued online purchases are for this reason. 25% leave an online shop because a product is too expensive and 22% leave because the shipping costs were displayed too late in the purchase process. Another essential is a wide selection of payment options at the checkout such as instalments, purchase on account, and electronic direct debiting. Prices and Terms & Conditions should be stated clearly. The image of an online shop can suffer enormously if customers get the impression that certain information has been hidden deliberately – even if it wasn’t intentional.
3) Make contact phone numbers easily visible
Retailers should not overlook the value of including hotline numbers. By simply displaying a hotline number (ideally a free phone number), companies can increase the trust in their online shop significantly as they appear tangible and physically present. In the event that a customer actually wants to make use of the number provided, the hotline must be working, of course, and provide reliable information. The number should be displayed prominently in the same place throughout the entire online shop.
4) Build trust
Do everything you can to make your store trustworthy – including showing your credentials. Independent certificates and quality seals are essential decision-making criteria for more and more shoppers (and for reports and evaluations in traditional and social media). The effort always can really pay off. Don’t forget to feature logos of awards and quality seals prominently in the online shop. An informative ‘about us’ page reveals the story behind the retailer, which can help to increase the buyer’s trust. A wide range of payment methods can also reassure potential customers.
5) End offers and campaigns on time
Many companies offer special deals and run their own campaigns, e.g. around start of summer holidays or Christmas. But it is also important to end them on time. For instance, Pre-Christmas advertising should no longer be online on December 26. Campaigns for ‘end-of-year’ sales which run until February are unhelpful and a variety of smaller activities, which can be controlled flexibly, can be more effective than large and unwieldy campaigns.