With today’s fast-paced world, almost everyone seems to always be in action. Most of the people of today, especially the working class, live within a schedule.
Everyone wants everything to be fast and smooth, including business transactions and purchases.
Living in such a condition where demands are high and production can be aided by technology, businesses should be able to keep up and adjust with the changing pace of their chosen market.
Take online shopping for example:
More and more people opt to purchase online primarily because of its convenience. It is not as time and energy consuming as going to a physical store or outlet.
This gives an advantage to people who are living with tight schedules because they can shop and do their work at the same time.
Taking advantage of this demand for convenience by shifting to and creating an option for customers to shop for the brand’s products online is the smart course of action to take.
Aside from the erratically shifting customer demands, the emergence of businesses providing services designed to assist other brands in their digital marketing strategies is also rampant.
Several of these businesses provide a lot of options to fit varying online marketing needs and visions. The key is to select the best and most capable firm that’s flexible enough to address the business’ objectives and requirements for digital expansion.
Creating an online business is not as easy as people think it is. For starters, building a positive online image and maintaining it is a must to acquire and retain customers.
A good image for the business is a basic premise for online success because it has a lasting effect on customer feedback and satisfaction.
Next to building a good image for the business is devising ways on how products and services can be conveyed or delivered to customers as conveniently and as hassle-free as possible.
Reputations are not just earned with words alone. It is built with transparent and genuine action that customers experience and witness with their own eyes.
Where should businesses start in order to achieve the aforementioned, anyway?
At the moment, payment processes are becoming more and more seamless thanks to the continuous development of online shopping software that make it easier for customers to checkout and pay for goods that they fancy.
Seamless payment processes go well with a business’ transition to digital marketing and online shopping. It enables business owners to boost the satisfaction of their customers while slowly earning their trust through employing a secure and user-friendly method for customers to acquire the products and services they need.
Listed below are some effective tips on how companies can make their payment process easier for online customers:
1. Optimize Payment Methods
The first step to optimizing payment methods is to acquire significant buyer data. Determine what modes of payment are commonly used by repeat customers especially when purchasing products online.
What payment terminals do they prefer the most and which payment option is more prone to errors and malfunctions?
In a study conducted by comScore, it has been found that a lot of consumers tend to leave a website that offers limited or a single payment method only. The reason for this is that the limited option creates a feeling of limited freedom on the part of the customers.
Optimizing payment methods means giving customers a variety of options! It benefits both the business and its customers.
It may not seem as necessary at first, but the truth is people tend to like online businesses that offer different payment options. Give them the freedom to choose the method that they prefer.
It increases the chances of a successful purchase and also generates higher satisfaction from customers. It can also help businesses get to know their customers better, particularly those who spend the most time on their website.
2. Maintain a Consistent Design
As the famous line goes: Consistency is the key!
Avoid creating a different design for the website’s checkout page because it could potentially raise the notion that the site and the business is a scam or fraud.
Nowadays, people often get skeptical about a different looking checkout because this is commonly a sign that hackers and scammers are working behind the curtains.
Consistency in the overall design and common scheme of the website helps maintain security and assurance for site visitors. Make sure that the design of the website accurately represents the company’s identity.
It is best to implement consistent colors, fonts, and elements all throughout the website—and that includes the appearance for the checkout page.
Aside from contributing to assuring customer trust, consistent website design prevents confusion between companies and also helps reinforce brand recognition. If ever that updates in the design is needed, see to it that the original theme is still maintained.
At best, consulting with professional web designers also helps add better insight in the implementation of the site’s design. It also enables business owners to translate their ideas and vision for the website into a more concrete and systematic final design.
3. Create a Simple Section for Filling Out Information
Ideally, business websites should avoid forcing site visitors to register and fill out long forms. After all, nobody has time for that.
Remember: People resort to online shopping to save time.
It is best to ask for important information only, the lesser the boxes to be filled-up the better. Limit the information asked to only what is needed in the purchasing process.
Nowadays, people dread long forms and often leave sites even when they are only halfway through with filling out the form. It will cause a decrease in the business’ sales and will also likely garner negative feedback from customers.
If any additional information is needed from the customer in order to complete a transaction, make sure that the reason behind it is explained clearly and concisely.
If possible, the business can provide two options for their online customers: They can either choose to create an account on the website and use it for all their future purchases, or purchase items as a guest on the website.
It should be noted that the pros of each option should also be enumerated briefly. Registering on the website allows customers to keep track of their purchases more easily, while checking out as a guest will require customers to input their information once again the next time they make a purchase on the site.
Whether customers choose to register or not, it is the business’ responsibility to ensure that their transactions are carried out securely from start to finish.
In addition, it also make customer’s errors easy to fix. Put up an easy to use error detector. If customers commit an error while adding an item to their cart or while filling out the information sheet, directly guide them towards the option where they have committed it.
Don’t forget to explain what type of error they have they committed or why it was deemed as an error by the site.
4. Guarantee Customer Privacy
Assuring privacy and security for customers is a crucial part in running an online business. On the other hand, privacy and security are also the source of discrepancies in online transactions.
People usually do not give their 100% trust to online sellers especially if they have yet to try shopping on the website first-hand. The goal for all online sellers is to deliver trustworthy and satisfying assistance right from the very first time that a new customer tries to shop on their website.
Provide a step by step demonstration of how transactions are carried out on the site, what payment methods are made available and enumerate what information are required by the website from the customers.
It would also help to add a disclaimer involving the use and limitations of how customer information is used by the website for every transaction.
There are certificates and badges awarded to websites telling consumers that their information is safe, and these include the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate and PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC).
Check out what these badges represent and how it can be attained. Displaying credentials significant to the online shop adds credibility to the company.
5. Provide Clear Instructions
Once customers have pushed through with their purchase and reached the website’s checkout page, avoid giving vague and unclear instructions on how they can complete their purchase or payment.
Here’s a simple pro tip: Use easy to understand, precise, and direct words. For example, if the website uses direct words such as “proceed to checkout”, it makes customers prepared and enables them to have a clear expectation of what steps will follow.
Another thing to avoid when in the middle of completing payment processes for customers is to redirect them to the previous page prior to being checked out.
Being redirected leaves customers wondering whether they payment has successfully pushed through or if it had been blocked by suspicious third parties lurking secretly around the website. Redirecting also has the tendency to disrupt the flow of checkout and payment.
People will feel that they are paying to a different company. Another crucial thing to avoid is to eliminate distractions such as unnecessary ads and pop ups during checkout as this can diminish customer satisfaction and convenience.
Always remember that the goal of every payment process should be to make customers complete their transaction!
By following the tips in this blog, businesses can expect an increase in sales and the likelihood of more customers coming back.
At the end of the day, the initial aim of online businesses should be to decrease shopping cart abandonment. It may require testing out different payment methods and options in order to find one that best suits the company and its target customers.
Given that it is the last stage in online shopping, the checkout process serves as something akin to a deciding stage of a successful online transaction between the business and the customers.
Was this blog helpful? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions! For more helpful tips in running and maintaining your online business, subscribe to our weekly updates.