Five ways to optimize the checkout stage to avoid lost revenue

Payment is an integral part of the customer experience and must be taken very seriously or you risk missing out on significant revenue.

Until ten years ago, shopping meant spending half a day or more in a mall or downtown stores.

Now customers are shopping from their smartphones, on the way to work, moving from a TikTok ad to a seamless mobile experience where they can checkout at their fingertips.

However, this is where the problem lies and where the payment experience, subject to unnecessary friction, is not as smooth as the business trip that preceded it. It takes more than three minutes to checkout on most e-commerce sites. Long, three minutes? Yes, 51% of French consumers say they abandon a purchase if the payment process takes longer than 3 minutes[1]🇧🇷

The financial impact for online merchants is huge. While the global e-commerce market is expected to reach 5.55 billion euros this year, the smallest percentage of abandoned purchases represents a shortfall of tens of billions of euros. In the current economic climate, this is unacceptable.

Collecting a payment is an integral part of the customer experience. Rather, it’s a formidable effective lever to generate more business and encourage repeat customers.

Payment consultancy Edgar, Dunn & Company tested the payment processes of 1,600 sites around the world this summer. She found that 85% of e-commerce sites in France make at least five mistakes that complicate the payment process. Here are some tips to immediately improve your customer experience and increase your revenue.

1. Build trust with your customers

Customers expect an online purchase to be secure. However, 22% of European shoppers say they will abandon a purchase if they don’t spontaneously trust the merchant’s website.

Offering a payment page with an elegant and sophisticated design is a guarantee of credibility, as well as displaying security logos. Likewise, offering a selection of relevant local payment methods is a great way to reassure customers.

While there is no silver bullet for gaining customer trust, merchants can make subtle optimizations to signal that the checkout process is secure.

First, display icons for payment methods such as “Verified by Visa”. They indicate that the merchant can legitimately process transactions. Then format your mobile payment page. If the user experience is not smooth on mobile devices, in addition to making it difficult for customers to enter information, the site may also appear less legitimate. Finally, be transparent about any additional costs or fees customers will incur when making a purchase, including taxes, shipping, and service fees.

2. Let customers pay however they want

Customers expect merchants to offer common payment methods in their country: 20% of French e-commerce sites do not offer customers to pay by Cartes Bancaires (CB), our most popular payment method. However, customers know that they can easily find another site that sells the same product, with better payment options.

For an e-merchant, adapting the payment methods offered to each customer can immediately increase your revenue. A Dutch customer making their purchase on their iPhone will be more likely to complete their purchase if the e-merchant offers them to pay via iDEAL or Apple Pay by default. Likewise, a French customer using an Android phone will be delighted to see that same merchant immediately offer to pay by credit card or Google Pay. Even small improvements increase conversion.

3. Let customers pay when they want

Customers increasingly want the ability to pay in installments with buy now pay later (BNPL) offers such as Klarna, Alma and Clearpay. 51% of French people say they are more likely to complete a purchase if a BPNL offer is available, while 90% of French e-commerce sites do not yet offer it. Companies offering BNPL options experience an average 27% increase in average sales volume.

4. Reduce friction at checkout

Every additional click or step reduces the conversion. In the mobile era, a customer may need 40 or more clicks to enter their address. Enabling customers to automatically save and fill in their details speeds up the checkout process and reduces the risk of the customer entering incorrect information or discontinuing their purchase. Customers are also more likely to complete a purchase when integrated payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay are available.

5. Increase average order value on checkout page

Supermarkets boost sales by offering popular products, such as chewing gum and candy, close to checkouts. Ecommerce sites can achieve similar results with upselling and cross-selling at checkout. For example, it’s very useful for a bike dealer to let their customers choose puncture-proof tires or add complementary products, such as a helmet, before checking out. Thus, still according to the same study, 41% do not offer cross-selling, while 82% of the French say they are likely to add an additional product to their basket.

Consumers are increasingly demanding when it comes to online payment and ill-prepared merchants are likely to lose their feathers. On the eve of a more frugal-than-usual holiday season, it’s not too late to optimize your checkout page and maximize your sales.

[1] State of checkouts France report, Stripe, 2022

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