The last thing that you would want to see on your webstore is a cart load of items being abandoned at the checkout. After all that effort spent in building your product and marketing it, this is a situation you want to avoid completely! Unfortunately, this is not uncommon; and payment difficulties faced by a prospective customer are often the cause.
What kind of difficulties, you might ask?
Yes, perhaps the transaction could not be completed due to a technical glitch which would require immediate support at your end. However, most often the reason is that your online store offers limited payment options. Or the customer may not be familiar and comfortable with payment terms your store offers.
Understanding Customer Preferences
How the customer would like to pay is his choice and the best that you can do is to provide as many options as possible. It is very limiting to set one default payment option for the online store.
We need to be able to understand the preferred method of payment of the target audience in order to enhance their shopping experience. Industry data reveals that payments through eWallets are becoming increasingly popular with millennials, while those in their 30s/40s still like to use their Credit/ Debit Cards. And then there is still a small segment of the population who prefer to pay Cash On Delivery.
The objective is to complete the transaction and collect the payment immediately and securely. And in a world where people are increasingly used to having a choice, let your customer choose how to pay on your store too.
Customer’s Choices are Changing
While the platform you choose helps determine payment options, it is recommended that you enable all options that are available to you for your store.
Along with the newly evolving shopping patterns, payment patterns are evolving too. Customers these days like to have alternative payment methods such as payments with Credit/Debit Cards and PayPal (the most recognized payment processor in the world), Online Bank Transfer, digital wallets (like PayTM) or Cash based payment options when completing a purchase.
You don’t want that abandoned cart and a lost sale only because of unavailability of the customer’s preferred payment option!
Also, it is important to note that more and more shopping is being done on the smartphone and it is thus necessary to have the website mobile optimised.
Digital Payments Are Gaining Popularity
The millennials don’t like to use cash and are more comfortable in using digital wallets to make their payments. eWallets like Alipay in China and Apple Pay in US are becoming a more popular payment method. These offer users an online payment platform for secure transactions and is seen to be gaining popularity among consumers in many markets.
In India, mobile wallets like PayTM, PayUMoney, Citrus etc that can be used to make mobile, online or offline payments have started to replace traditional payment methods. Such eWallets help in increasing the speed of transactions especially for ecommerce companies.
Apart from Apple Pay and PayLah, eNets is a popular real time bank transfer payment that is widely used in Singapore.
Advantages Of Alternative Payment Options
The unfortunate incidence of shopping cart abandonment can be surely lowered by offering more payment options that will allow people to complete their transactions through their preferred mode of payment.
Electronic payment methods tend to be more secure and trusted. They save you from the uncertainty of a customer refusing or being unable to pay on delivery. It also opens up possibilities of multicurrency transactions, thereby widening your market further.
Offering alternative payment options that are recognized worldwide gives credibility to your brand and opens it up to customers worldwide when they visit your ecommerce site.
As the world changes so does the ways one does business and collects payments. While industry experts believe that “Payments will continue to move towards being fully instant, automated and efficient”, the customer must still be allowed to choose and decide what works best for him.
As a vendor, it pays to be able to provide the whole range of options from Credit/Debit Cards and PayPal payments to e-Banking options and Cash on Delivery. The customer’s comfort and choice is important. Every transaction counts and widening the availability of payment options is perhaps one of the easier changes to implement and see your business grow.
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