When it comes to the customer payment experience, it’s all about faster checkouts, secure checkouts, and convenience. In ecommerce, speed and convenience are the rules, not the exception. Consumers want immediate access to goods and services – from groceries and food delivery to rideshares, and even paychecks. As consumer expectations for ‘get it now’ grow, more and more businesses are being pushed into the ‘on-demand economy’ – critical to this trend is a fast, seamless, and secure checkout process and outdated legacy payment systems can hold businesses back from achieving some, if not all, of these requirements.
Many ecommerce merchants have, or may still be, working off an archaic and fragmented payments infrastructure comprised of stitched-together systems and legacy frameworks. But when real-time demand is the norm, merchants cannot afford (literally and figuratively) to operate in this manner. Ecommerce merchants need to ask themselves whether they’re adapting quickly enough to meet their customers’ preferences and whether their payment stack is hindering their growth.
1. “38% percent of shoppers blame the brand for slow payment processing.”
In a 2018 Checkout.com survey on UK consumer spending habits, over one-third of shoppers between the ages of 16-29 blame the brand if their website exhibits slow payment processing. Moreover, 47% of those surveyed in that age group said they would not return to a brand if the payment process was too slow – or would return but only after exploring other options. In a slightly older group (ages 30-44), 22% worried that a brand was compromising their financial data if they experienced a slow checkout process.
Clunky payment stacks may not only be preventing viable customers from converting, but they may also be damaging a brand’s reputation. The average consumer will not make the distinction between a brand and its payment service provider, so it’s up to the merchant to choose the right payment technology partner that will offer their customers the fastest, smoothest buying experience or risk losing the sale, and their good name.
2. “55% of shoppers cite speed as the top reason for paying on mobile.”
Offering a digital wallet payment method is no longer optional. In a recent study, 55% of Americans cited speed as the number one reason for using a mobile wallet to pay bills and for online purchases; convenience was cited as the number two reason. Smartphones have become an extension of the individual, and consumers need the ability to make instant transactions from their devices.
According to another study, mobile commerce is set to overtake ecommerce in the coming year. Consumers are spending more time shopping on their mobile devices than their computers – and when a customer is ready to buy, retailers better be prepared with digital wallet options like Apple Pay or Google Pay at checkout. In addition, consumers are exposed to more social media ads than ever before, which has also contributed to higher mobile purchasing rates. Businesses that spend marketing dollars on social ads do well to include mobile payment options at the end of the ad journey to achieve higher conversion.
If your payments service provider (PSP) does not offer digital wallet payment methods or requires complicated integration or add-ons to the payment stack, consider choosing a PSP with a simplified API that allows you to add more payment methods seamlessly as you grow.
3. SCA doesn’t have to be the enemy
With the roll-out of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), consumers will face an added layer of friction during their checkout experience. While this adds more protection for both the merchant and the customer, instant gratification seekers will see their frustration levels rise. Businesses can get ahead of this by communicating expectations to their customers and readying them for what’s to come, which can help mitigate cart abandonment rates.
As for streamlining the payment stack, merchants should work with a PSP that meets the SCA and PSD2 regulatory and technical requirements to ensure minimal disruptions in service during the transition, similar to Checkout.com’s platform that has a built-in 3DS2 solution designed to comply with the new regulation. Businesses using a legacy payment stack may find themselves adding yet another component to their already-fragmented stack, slowing down processing times even more.
4. More APMs means faster transactions and more customers
In today’s on-demand economy, patience is a virtue that many consumers don’t have. Luckily, ecommerce merchants can lean into their customers’ demand for instant fulfillment by offering more alternative payment methods (APM) that support the speed and convenience desired. For example, offering Klarna’s ‘buy now, pay later’ and installment options allows customers to order and receive their purchase without paying in-full upfront. For European customers, offering popular real-time bank transfer payment methods, like iDeal and Giropay, allow customers to complete their purchase quickly and safely.
Global businesses should offer as many alternative payment methods as possible to ensure that their customers receive the fastest checkout experience, with the added benefit of capturing a wider audience. With Checkout.com’s unified API, businesses can easily add any payment method from an extensive suite of APMs as and when they need without any additional integration work. This means ecommerce merchants can focus on sales rather than spending weeks or months on complicated development work each time a new payment method needs to be added to their checkout.