Today’s online payment experience has become very complex.

Among other factors complicating payment, consumers can choose from a plethora of payment types including credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Wallet, Bitcoin, store credit, gift card and buy now, pay later options such as Klarna and Affirm.

At first glance, a large number of options may appear to be good for the consumer, but too many choices create friction in the checkout process, adding to an average e-commerce cart abandonment rate yet. too high (which, according to the Baymard Institutealways fluctuates around 70%.)

A simplified payment model can help reduce the number of potential buyer “bounces”. Forward-thinking online merchants can take a few steps to ensure their checkout pages are as smooth as possible, increasing the number of successful buyers with their purchase.

Be selective with soft types
Online retailers need to constantly test, especially at the critical moment when a shopper has put items in their cart and is ready to buy, to determine if offering too many checkout bids lowers conversions. Ongoing testing and evaluation of additional payment options should be done to ensure that the additional options are useful to the customer.

If less than 5% of checkouts are using a newly added payment method, a merchant must decide if that mode is worth sticking with, even if it took a lot of time and resources to add a new payment method.

To make a final data-based decision on removing a payment option, a retailer should perform tests to determine if removing that option negatively impacted conversion rate against shoppers who still had of the option.

Are we compatible?
With an eye on the bigger picture, merchants also need to make sure their e-commerce sites are viewed from a broader perspective. This means that a site’s checkout flow is kept simple. Constantly adding new types of tenders and changing the process can interrupt the checkout flow for buyers who may be using new tools, such as digital wallets, intended to simplify their checkout experience. The same can happen if a merchant experiences a new shopping cart journey that has degrees of separation removed from most common shopping cart experiences.

By keeping it simple and consistent, a merchant’s site will remain compatible with future shopping and payment solutions.

Payment options through alternative providers
Savvy shoppers are already onto the next evolution of shopping tools, and the most ubiquitous among them are shopping companions that offer e-commerce rewards. These companions are usually browser extensions, and they often have built-in payment types so the buyer doesn’t need to be presented with every possible payment option on every site they visit.

As long as the brand’s site “plays well” with the browser extension, these savvy shoppers will be able to use any payment option they want.

Strengthen Affiliate Programs
If a retailer hasn’t implemented an affiliate marketing program yet, they’re missing out on new opportunities, including these shopping companions. Because shopping companions and their rewards programs rely on affiliate networks’ existing tracking infrastructure, a merchant’s lack of an affiliate program means they are already missing out on new marketing opportunities. additional sales.

But running an affiliate program is only the first step. A Retailer must also make a conscious decision to allow their Affiliate Program (e.g., site and products) to be available to Buying Partners/Rewards Publishers. As a category, browser extensions are also referred to as “toolbars”, and some merchants choose to exclude their program from participation in this category altogether.

Allowing an affiliate program to extend to toolbar publishers isn’t entirely risk-free, but there are thousands of highly rated legitimate browser extensions out there. With a watchful eye, a marketer can still participate in the toolbar category and benefit from the increased reach and sales resulting from these publishers. More importantly, merchants can help shoppers who want to use companions by ensuring that toolbars work well on their site.

Data Flows and Privacy Considerations
A well-structured affiliate program means these shopping companions provide opportunities to keep shoppers engaged throughout the checkout process. To this end, merchants can ensure that the data they enter into their affiliate program is accurate, up-to-date, easily readable and as complete as possible.

Indeed, retailers should consider having their affiliate program data used by software to power the next generation of shopping tools, not just social media influencers or bloggers.

Additionally, merchants should continue to pay close attention to their affiliate program to ensure that their site and program comply with new privacy initiatives and the upcoming removal of third-party cookies from Chrome Browser. To ensure that an affiliate program is available to as many publishers as possible, retailers should keep programs compatible with these data protection initiatives and new browser versions.

Refining, streamlining and optimizing the payment experience requires constant efforts to make the customer experience as seamless and smooth as possible. Retailers who provide shoppers with the right choices and offers at the right time will be two steps ahead of the competition.

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