There is a golden rule in e-commerce: make it easy. Customers don’t want to spend hours filling in online forms or be worried about how safe their personal information is because they’ve been redirected to another site before making a payment.
They want simplicity, security and speed.
But the latest estimates from UK-based research firm the Baymard Institute suggests that shopping cart abandonment is now around 68% – and it’s mostly down to the fact that the longer customers spend filling in payment forms the less likely they are to follow through with their purchases.
For merchants that suggests that sales – no matter how good they are – are only a third of what they could be.
So no matter whether you’re a start-up or an established online player, cutting shopping cart abandonment by just 2% or 3% could have a huge impact on your revenue.
Companies such as Uber, Hungryhouse and Hornby have nailed their markets because they bought into making payments as simple and easy as possible for their customers.
For example, a Hungryhouse customer simply has to enter their card details once upon downloading the app and they are able to order takeaway as many times as they like from different restaurants without repeating the process.
Payments are taken automatically when an order is placed with no fuss because payment details are stored in a secure vault ready to be accessed quickly every time they use the service.
It makes the payment process invisible and no hassle – vastly increasing usage and therefore profit for the firm.
Customers are also increasingly aware of the security (or lack thereof) of their personal data online.
Having a payments system that reduces the number of people who have access to private payment details improves the likelihood of customers buying, purely on the basis that they feel safe in their purchases.
Firms such as Braintree use software to protect customer data; using their v.zero drop-in UI, developers can integrate a pre-built checkout form that consumers can use to input payment details which offers safe and encrypted storage.
As a merchant, there is no need to repeatedly handle any sensitive data, instead offloading that part to Braintree.
Additionally there are rules that start-ups must adhere to in relation to data storage, including increasingly stringent requirements on PCI compliance.
Last year, the PCI Council released new requirements regarding browser-based checkouts and now to meet the simplest set of requirements (called SAQ A), firms must delegate “all cardholder data functions to PCI DSS validated third-party service providers”.
In effect, this means that if the fields in in a merchant checkout are not hosted on a domain controlled by a payments provider, like Braintree, merchants may be responsible for a much larger assessment than they would have otherwise completed.
For start-ups, ensuring compliance with this type of regulation can be a headache, taking their focus off doing what they do best – running their business.
Integrating with a payments provider that incorporates the requisite compliance – including all updates as a matter of course – can enable start-ups and established tech-based firms the space they need to ensure their core business gets the attention it needs.
If customers are left waiting too long to make a purchase, the likelihood is they’ll walk away. The same thing applies for online and mobile purchases.
Page loading time is obviously an important part of any website’s user experience but merchants can forget about their customers’ frustration when adding on the bells and whistles they feel “make” their brand.
That is a big mistake: research cited by Sean Work, minister of propaganda at Kissmetrics, suggests that 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load.
Some 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less while 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
Incredibly, a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions and when you add that up over the course of a year for a business making millions the impact is staggering.
BI Intelligence estimates that approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year and it claims about 63% of that is potentially recoverable by savvy online retailers.
The question for retailers – whether you are turning over £100,000 or £100m – is how to take the easy wins by getting your payments process right.
Sarah Davidson is writing sponsored content for Braintree for Tech City News. For more information on how Braintree can help mobilise your payments and globalise your business, please visit the website.