The quality of your brand depends on more than just your website’s look and feel. While amazing UX design and information architecture are the gold standard for keeping your online customers happy and encouraging them to convert, many businesses and global brands are missing a key element of the customer journey – payment processing.
In short, your payments should be as slick, seamless and brand-focused as the rest of your website, content marketing and social media output. It’s all part of the holistic experience you offer to your audience. With poor payment systems, you could be tripping yourself up at the last hurdle and seriously harming your checkout success rates.
So, to help you fine-tune your online customer journey and improve your brand integrity across all your consumer touch points, we’ve outlined some of the most important fundamentals for creating an effective payments network for your brand.
Accept more payment options
People expect a variety of payment options during checkout. Most of all, they want to see that they can pay using the methods and currencies they know best. While you don’t need to offer every single payment option under the sun, it’s important to identify who your audience is and how they like to pay.
If you’re not offering payment options from a particular card scheme or method popular among your core target market, you’re making a mistake. The big risk is that these customers will go to your competitors who can offer them easier payment experiences for the things they want.
- Accept all digital payments
- Offer payment processing in local currencies and methods
Better payment options
Are you finding it difficult to sell your most expensive items? Are you experiencing low checkout success for big ticket purchases? To overcome customers leaving their shopping carts because they’re not comfortable with large lump-sum transactions, simply offer installment payments to them.
By letting them spread expensive items over multiple payments, they’re much more likely to buy your product and will be more content with their overall customer experience. This is just one of the many ways you can adapt your payments processing to match your products and users.
The same goes for recurring payments. Are you offering easy and straightforward recurring payment plans that let your customers pay for items on an ongoing basis, reducing manual processing tasks and securing a constant stream of revenue for you? If not, you should be.
- Offer flexible payment options
- Make expensive items more affordable with installments
Security and reliability has long been a concern for online shoppers. As well as card fraud from harmful entities, people are increasingly concerned about how their data is being used internally by companies. If you haven’t already, you should address these issues by implementing encryption and tokenization (while letting your customers know that you have done so).
These might just seem like abstract technical words if you’re not aware of their purpose, but in reality, they add another level of protection by safeguarding and removing sensitive data from your servers, also reducing your PCI scope and liability.
The real question is, why wouldn’t you do this? As well as reassuring your customers that their payments are safe and secure, you’re reducing future fraud issues – saving you a great deal of time and energy on handling payment issues.
- Fully protect your customers’ card details
- Actively address fraud and risk management issues
Match payments to your brand
When it comes to branding, you’ll want to keep everything as consistent as possible, even when it comes to your online payments. This means using the same themes, tone of voice and design features on your payment gateway as you do for the rest of your website.
Whether you’re sending them an instant payment link to process through SMS or email, or hosting your own payments gateway on your site, you need to be sure that your brand integrity never breaks down.
There are a number of payment providers who will not only give you access to their full network of payment features, but can also help you take payments directly through your site, rather than having to redirect customers away to complete their payments.
The biggest fear you should have is customers reconsidering their purchases because they’re faced with a checkout page that looks different from the website they were shopping on – conjuring up all sorts of ‘scam’ and ‘fraud’ concerns.
- Match payment pages to your brand
- Don’t redirect – host payment processing on your site if possible
Track your payments performance
By using the right tools and online payment providers, you can access a huge amount of information about your customers’ payment preferences. You’ll also be able to record your payment performance over time and identify any areas where your payment processes might be failing you.
For example, why are some of your customers bailing on their carts just before putting their card details in? There could be a number of reasons for this, such as unnecessary advertisements on your checkout page distracting them, or unnecessary payment redirections. Whatever it is, addressing these issues all starts with having a better oversight of your payments network and tracking the behaviour of your customers.
- Track the way your customers behave
- Look for payment weaknesses and opportunities
Build better payment processes
The most important piece of advice to remember is never lose sight of how important your checkout page and payment processes are.
For any business or brand that generates revenue through online payments, this is the final step of your conversion funnel and an unreliable, faulty or inconsistent experience at this stage could waste all your valuable efforts to get your users here in the first place.
Noteworthy payment providers
- Google Checkout
- Amazon Payments