Long gone are the days when simply having an online shop guaranteed sales for your business. The larger retailers have caught up with eCommerce and are increasingly competing with smaller businesses across a wide variety of products and services.
That’s why it’s so important that you optimise the entire purchase process for your customers. We all know the importance of good product photography and descriptions – but what about the less obvious elements that affect the shopping experience for your customers?
In this blog post, we will help you with 4 top tips to optimise your shopping experience and increase your profits.
1. Let your customer pay the way they want to
If you’re selling high-value goods, it should come as no surprise that many of your customers will want to pay via American Express. Similarly, if you’re targeting younger consumer, it’s important to offer alternative payment types like PayPal.
Although credit and debit cards are the payment method of choice in UK, if you’re selling to other markets you might consider implementing local payment types.
- In Germany (Europe’s 2nd largest ecommerce market) you should consider offering Sofort Banking and GiroPay – as only 34% of online payments there are made by credit or debit card (Forsa, Feb 2014).
Offering a choice of payment types helps to improve the customer's experience on your site. Similarly, offering browsers the opportunity to pay in their own currency will help your online sales conversion rates. In fact, 53% of businesses agree that a choice of payment methods drive customer loyalty (Payments Landscape Report, 2014).
So consider your customers and their location, then ensure you offer them appropriate options.
2. Be consistent, and inspire trust
If visitors don’t trust your site, they won’t make a purchase. These days most merchants have consistent branding across their website; using the same fonts, colours and layouts on each page. However, when it comes to the payment pages, many businesses fail to hit the mark.
Whether you have a fully customised payment page or a simple form-style re-direct to a payment service provider, it’s important that the page is clearly an extension of your website.
How important? You might be surprised to find that for a third of businesses, the most common drop-out points on eCommerce sites are the payment pages (Payments Landscape Report, 2014). Sage Pay offers customisable payment pages for businesses using Form, Server and iFrame integrations; allowing you to personalise your payment pages.
3. Reduce friction and make it easy to pay
Making it easy for customers to pay you online will dramatically increase your online conversion rates. Consider the checkout process – how long does it take customers to enter the personal data you have requested from them? The general rule is the fewer steps the better.
- Whilst larger businesses with strong brands and customer engagement can afford to capture more data with additional payment pages in the checkout process, the optimal number for small businesses is 2 or 3 pages to complete a transaction (e-Business Benchmark Report, 2013).
Another thing to consider is implementing a ‘single-click’ checkout. This will help you offer a fast and seamless shopping experience.
- ‘Single-click’ checkouts use tokenisation to convert sensitive shopper card data into an encrypted series of digits (the ‘token’). This token is recalled on subsequent purchases – removing the need for the shopper to re-enter their card details.
- Reducing the number of steps to make a purchase is particularly beneficial when it comes to the steadily increasing numbers of shoppers browsing and buying through mobile and tablet channels. People can simply recall their card, rather than typing numerous digits into a small screen.
- The secure technology that Sage Pay provides for ‘single-click’ purchases also has the added bonus of dramatically reducing the cost of PCI Compliance for merchants. In fact, tokenised payments save businesses an average of £6,010 on their PCI regulation expenditure (Payments Landscape Report, 2014).
4. Keep the cost of fraud down (secure your profits!)
Even if you have achieved high conversion rates from your online shop, you still risk losing profits from fraud. The average business has lost £4,500 to fraud over the last 12 months (Benchmark Report, 2014), and although we only hear of high profile retailers in the news, it’s a problem for small businesses too: 38% of small e-businesses have lost out to fraud in the last 12 months (Payments Landscape Report, 2014).
Fraud is a REAL threat to your business - that’s why it’s so important to use fraud screening tools when taking payments. Sage Pay offers an advanced suite of tools for free and can arrange a bespoke service for larger retailers.
If you’re looking for a secure payment service provider, with all the tools to optimise your payment process, consider Sage Pay’s online payment services.
We’ve secured a special offer for OpenCart’s customers; 3 months free payment processing - so you can keep your costs down and your profits high!
This blog post has been sponsored by Sage Pay.
Please note that whilst OpenCart recommends Sage Pay, all views and opinions in this blog post belong to Sage Pay, and are not those of OpenCart. OpenCart is not responsible for any opinions or claims made in this blog post.