Payments were never meant to be pleasurable. Perusing the aisles for a $3,000 85-inch Samsung QLED 4K UHD Smart TV, now that’s fun, but when it comes to the checkout … not so much!
That is, unless you’re making a payment to an online retailer that knows how to make the customer experience one of wonder and discovery.
Take the e-retailer Bestbuy.com. If you visit their site in search of a new TV, you are first informed that you will save $800 on the Samsung Smart TV—fantastic! Next, you learn that you can sign up for payments based on 24-month financing at around $83 a month. Even better. But wait, you also get 30 days of free FuboTV Pro.
All these goodies are presented to you before you click on your cart to check out where you are encouraged to enroll for a Best Buy credit card and receive 10% back in rewards. Wow! See how much fun paying can be?
In this article, we explain how payment touchpoints can ensure the last mile of the customer journey is not only frictionless but one that leads to greater things for both the buyer and the seller.
The Customer Journey
The customer journey is an opportunity for a brand to cement customer loyalty, but only if the customer experience is a good one with few pain points. The journey begins when the customer realizes they have a need for a product and begin to do some research on their phone or other device. The relationship ends when … well, it doesn’t end, because a brand should continue to reach out to their customers post-sale to maintain a strong relationship.
There are many customer touchpoints during the journey, but midway, a purchase is made, and that transaction needs to be as seamless and as engaging as possible to maximize conversions. A payment process that is cumbersome will cause a buyer to abandon their cart and most likely switch to a competitor site.
How Does the Payment Solution Influence Conversions?
If the payment process is difficult or cumbersome, a customer is likely to abandon it out of frustration. What’s more, that experience is not conducive to a return visit at any stage of the customer journey. In contrast, the customer is satisfied if the payment process is streamlined and easy.
But there’s more. The payment solution can do more to ensure conversions. As with the Best Buy example, BNPL options, in-app payments, discounts if the customer signs up for a branded debit or credit card, and educating the customer on other products and services should all be a component of payment with a direct effect on customer uptake and retention.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
Markets estimate a BNPL option for payments boosts retail conversion rates between 20% to 30%,. Research shows that a BNPL option also lifts the average ticket size between 30% and 50%. The reason is that customers have more choices when it comes to paying.
BNPL means that consumers can assume ownership of an item now but spread the cost across several months with no interest or hidden fees. In most cases, payment can be delayed by 30 days. Moreover, the merchant does not assume the credit risk because it becomes the domain of the BNPL provider. That renders BNPL a risk-free additional revenue stream for merchants.
E-wallets basically speed-up the payment process for consumers by allowing them to pay within their current ecosystem. When purchasing on Amazon, for example, all users need do is click “Pay Now” at checkout and payment goes through. E-wallets store payment information digitally so that customers can use mobile devices to make contactless payments.
Apps like ApplePay and GooglePay use e-wallets that allow consumer to just tap their phone on near-field communication (NFC) hardware at point-of-sale (POS). No fumbling for a credit card and no need to carry a physical wallet. All the card information is stored in the phone.
E-wallets are critical to mobile payments. According to e-Marketer, in 2020, U.S. mobile payments in stores grew by 29%, and some estimates state that 45% of all eCommerce transactions were done via mobile payments in the last year. By enabling mobile payments, companies are answering consumer demand for convenience and, at this point, their expectations.
Payments with Rewards
Rewards and loyalty programs are drivers of customer uptake and retention, which means future sales and higher conversion rates. For proof, just try to find an airline or large retailer that does not offer a branded card with a reward program.
Most large retailers use the payment process to educate customers on payment options like using a branded credit card linked to a reward program.
Easy Shipping and Returns
The customer journey for one item ends at payment, but the relationship between purveyor and payer continues. For example, there will be repeat visits, purchases, and, sadly, returns.
A UPS survey found that 44% of U.S. consumers have returned an item they bought online, and their experience with those returns affects future decisions on purchasing from a retailer. In fact, customer satisfaction with a return experience could have a similar effect on your repeat business as the initial purchase experience.
Returns should be as easy for the customer as digital payments; for example, the customer should be just a few clicks away from a printable return label. Amazon has aced the art of returns now that customers need only fill out a field or two to get a confirmation of a return. They can then take that confirmation to a UPS store, and the UPS store will package and ship the item for them. The whole process is also mobile-driven.
All of these are common strategies applied during the payment process to encourage customer acquisition, loyalty, and additional revenue streams. But just how complex and costly is it to implement an effective payment method as part of the check-out process? Not very.
How to Integrate Payment Options
By partnering with a solutions provider like Cartis, the work is done for you. We have a suite of tools along with onboarding support for integration. Whether you need a simple check-out page or you’re building an online store, our online payment services allow you to easily accept multiple payment options, add-on services, and make your customer experience a frictionless and enjoyable one.
Security is top of mind when it comes to accepting payments. Our solutions are fully PCI Level 1 compliant, the highest level of security protection in the industry, so merchants minimize fraud liability, avoid data breaches, provide peace of mind to customers, and improve merchants’ bottom line. Partner with Cartis, and you’ll soon be out of stock of all your core products, not just the Samsung QLED 4K UHD Smart TVs.