When the ecommerce payment process takes too long or gets too confusing, customers abandon their carts and go elsewhere to shop. While we used to never buy vegetables without seeing them, or shoes without trying them on, brands have amped up their website experience in response to the increased demand on digital. Shoppers are voting with their dollars, and they are resoundingly happy with the conveniences of online commerce.
But when it’s time for checkout, things can go sideways. Many checkout experiences contain unnecessary friction points. A recent survey by Stripe found that 94% of European ecommerce websites had at least five errors in the payment process.
As brands work to streamline and simplify the checkout experience, ecommerce payment solutions are proliferating. For example, large purchases can be paid for in installments over time, and social media platforms are beginning to offer their own payment options (such as Douyin Pay on the Chinese sister app of TikTok). And there are alternative currencies to contend with, like Bitcoin.
It’s a challenge to stay current as consumers gain new ways to pay. But with the right technology, brands can respond flexibly to changing consumer needs and expectations. These tips will help your brand keep up.
1. Think of ecommerce and payments as one
While payment is often the last step in the customer journey, brands need to think about their role from the start. Payment is part of the journey. It affects the shopper’s experiences, your checkout conversion rates, and brand loyalty. It needs to be simple, accurate, and safe — every time.
Product and customer teams should also think about how to improve ecommerce payment interactions. Depending on your brand’s offerings, they might suggest things like mobile wallets, buy-now-pay-later, or revenue models like subscriptions.
Payment is part of the journey. It affects the shopper’s experiences, your checkout conversion rates, and brand loyalty.
Business users also need to have important metrics across commerce and payments, and generate reports and dashboards around them easily. For example, if abandoned cart metrics suddenly increase in a specific part of the world, commerce teams can investigate what’s going wrong during the checkout process and determine the right path forward.
2. Adapt quickly to new ecommerce payment preferences
Companies need to be agile and embrace digital solutions that help them stay current as customers’ payment preferences evolve. Make sure your commerce platform makes it easy to provide new payment types. As new payment options gain popularity, they need to integrate with the platform and quickly become operational.
Make sure your commerce platform makes it easy to provide new payment types. As new payment options gain popularity, they need to integrate with the platform and quickly become operational.
When Smith Optics, a winter sports eyewear and helmet manufacturer, replaced their direct-to-consumer (D2C) infrastructure in 2019, they looked for a premium payment provider that could support ecommerce globally and integrate with various systems. They wanted systems accessible for non-technical users that could support innovation projects. They chose Salesforce Commerce Cloud for ecommerce and Stripe for payments. (The two companies have since formed a partnership that integrates the platforms with Salesforce Payments.)
3. Fight fraud
As commerce goes increasingly digital, bad actors follow the money. Strong fraud detection and prevention is essential; it should accurately target nefarious activity without hampering legitimate purchases. The right balance builds customer loyalty and brand trust. Too many false positives and expensive manual reviews frustrate customers, while too little can damage a brand’s reputation or even take a site offline.
Machine learning goes a long way toward preventing fraud. Once new scams are detected, similar attempts are also flagged. The right payment solutions mine data to constantly improve their fraud detection and prevention.
Machine learning goes a long way toward preventing fraud. The right payment solutions mine data to constantly improve their fraud detection and prevention.
For example, the team at Smith Optics uses Stripe Radar (included with Salesforce Payments) to create risk scores based on multiple attributes. It also adjusts thresholds as needed for transactions that should be reviewed or declined. Teams can also add new rules around verification failures or other specifics, such as when an IP address does not match the credit card address.
As a result, Smith Optics customers benefit from a smooth checkout experience, and they see better merchandising, more personalized content, and product recommendations from artificial intelligence.
Give customers a great experience
With the right payment solution, the customer journey doesn’t fall apart once a customer starts to check out. If finalizing the purchase is quick and easy, the customer is left satisfied with their interaction with your brand, and eagerly anticipating delivery of the product.