Seven Ways To Make The Payment Process Easy For Your Customers

May 30, 2019 2:07 pm

Making it as convenient and as easy as possible for your customers to pay when shopping on your website is essential for increasing conversions and sales.

This is why your checkout page is essential. It is the final stop for people shopping on your website. It is the place where they hand over their credit card information and finally part with their hard-earned cash. It is where window shoppers become paying customers.

It is all too easy to slap PayPal on your site and think that is your payment options resolved – but if you are serious about making it easier for your customers to pay and increasing sales for your business, you need to have full control of the payment process.

In this article, we explore seven different things you can do to make it easier on both you and your clients.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

1. Provide a variety of payment methods

It sounds unbelievable, but there are websites out there that offer only one payment method. For many people – up to 40% – this is offputting and looks suspicious and unprofessional. A YouGov survey found that more than half of people would abandon their cart and look elsewhere if their preferred method of payment was not offered. This shows how important it is to have a range of payment options available to your customers. There are so many out there now, from traditional debit card payments to PayPal, vouchers and credit cards. Direct debit for small businesses is also a good option, making it easier for recurring purchases and payments – and is likely to retain custom.

While it is certainly not necessary – nor practical for that matter – to offer every conceivable payment method available, you will want to take a look at your target audience to see which payment methods they use and capture the majority of people visiting your website.

2. Allow customers to pay without creating an account

We have to sign into accounts for pretty much every single thing we need to do online these days – which is all well and good until we realize we have no idea what our username or password is for a particular site. So many people will give up if they can’t remember how to log into an account, as the hassle of retrieving their details is too much to bother with.

It also puts off new customers as giving you such a massive amount of details can be intrusive, making it a real conversion killer. Many people hate setting up accounts and giving their email addresses ad they expect to be flooded with promotional emails and junk. After all, a brick and mortar store does not require so much information – why is online any different?

To prevent potential customers from abandoning their cart and finding someone else to give their money to, give them the option as purchasing as a guest with the possibility of signing up for an account at the end, if this is what they want.

3. Don’t redirect them to another site

While it can be tempting a third-party site handle the payments for you, especially if you are a small business worried about the security,  but remember, you have worked hard to get your customer to visit your site. Don’t give them the chance to click away! This is the main disadvantage of using a service like PayPal, which redirects people away from your website to a third party checkout page.

Since you have no control over the design of the checkout page, customers end up feeling as if they are giving their money to a business other than you.

Checking out and paying will be the last thing people do, which is why you want your business’s name to be the last thing on their minds, not PayPal or another third party!

4. Make errors easy to fix

It is a given that people make mistakes. Sometimes a zip code gets overlooked, or someone forgets the “@” in their email address, especially if they are in a rush or using a small device such as their cell phone. Whatever the reason, you need to point out the error and get the would-be customer to correct it.

Some checkout pages display an error message at the top of the page, but people do not realize they need to scroll up to find out what went wrong. Ideally, you want an error message to appear in the field in which it occurred. Make it really clear which field is not correct.

Another handy tip for making it easier for people to pay is to save the information they submit so that they do not need to keep retyping correct information if they make a mistake somewhere else.

5. Only ask for essential information

Just like when you are building an email list, you want to limit the amount of information you request to the bare essentials!

Nothing is more likely to kill a sale than having to fill out a form with information that is not necessary for making a purchase. And adding a long list of fields to fill out adds more hurdles for people to jump over in order to pay you. If you trade within the European Union, you need to make sure that you are meeting GDPR, which stipulates that only the bare minimum of information should be collected for security reasons. If you absolutely need the extra information, such as a telephone number, make sure that you include an explanation for why it is required.

6. Provide reassurances on security and privacy

Whenever personal information is involved, you always need to go out of your way to showcase the security measures you have in place. Two-thirds of customers have dropped out of a purchase due to having concerns about payment security.

As pointed out earlier, not redirecting people to a third party checkout page are important steps in building up trust with potential customers. However, you need to do more to reassure folks their data is safe from the hands of hackers.

You will want to have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your website in order to provide a secure connection and encrypt credit card information, and, as we mentioned above, you will need to make sure you are PCI and GDPR compliant.

7) Keep distractions to a minimum

Your checkout page is the very end of the sales cycle – the final step. With us having shorter attention spans than ever before, you do not want anything to distract them from completing the checkout process. And that means absolutely no advertisments whatsover. The last thing you want to do is get them all this way and then encourage them to click off to a potential competior.

Your objective here is to see people through to making the final payment so eliminate everything else, including the navigation bar at the top and requesting only essential information

While these tips are almost definitely going to decrease shopping cart abandonment and make it easier for people to pay, it is always a good idea to test different designs to find out what works best. As mentioned earlier, your checkout page is where window shoppers turn into paying customers.

Follow the tips mentioned above, and you will not only increase sales but also create an enjoyable experience that people will come back to and recommend family and friends.

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