As an online entrepreneur, your top priority is keeping customers happy. That’s because when people are unhappy, they tend to take their business elsewhere. Keep your sales coming in and your website patrons satisfied by enhancing and streamlining your online payments experience.
1. Offer a Seamless Payment Process
Once the time has come for payment, you may think you have the sale in the bag. However, many merchants fail to realize one of the biggest pitfalls to closing the deal: the offsite payment. If at all possible, set up your system so that customers never need to leave your site to complete their payments.
There are many directly integrated payment gateway solutions that enable the entire process to take place on your own e-commerce location. Other gateways let you customize their payment page with your own color scheme, fonts, etc. so that it resembles your site and customers do not feel jarred or jerked from one place to another.
2. Consider Currencies
If you sell your products internationally, it is important that you make currency conversion as seamless as possible even if the vast majority of your customers pay via credit card. This is because customers prefer to know exactly how much they are spending in their currency of choice. Optimize their payment experience by offering a clearly marked and easy-to-use currency conversion tool.
3. Make Checking Out Easy
Have you ever left a website in disgust when it seemed as though a survey or a transaction was taking far too long? You’re not alone. The smoother and faster a customer’s payment experience is, the more likely it is that he or she will complete it. To that end, let people pay for their products without being required to set up an account. Of course, you can give them the option to do so in order to make future buying even faster, but don’t force the issue.
4. Make Site Navigation Transparent
After a customer adds an item to his or her cart, spell out in clear terms that he or she can either continue shopping or go to checkout. If potential buyers lose sight of where they are in the shopping process or forget what they have already added, they may abandon the cart altogether.
Furthermore, set up your site to save shopping carts for at least seven days. People have busy lives and may have had to interrupt their shopping experience for any number of reasons. They are much more likely to complete the sale when they return if their items remain in their shopping cart.
Keep your checkout page efficient and uncluttered, with a design that is consistent with the rest of your site. Only ask for necessary information to maximize your chances of converting the sale. If you want an extra piece of data such as a phone number for a specific reason, provide an explanation to your customers.
5. Allow for Maximum Convenience in Checking Out
At one time, the desktop computer was king, and people did most of their work and shopping in a seated position while at home or work. The recent mobile phone and tablet revolutions have put an end to the necessity of being tied to a stationary PC. For that reason, it is vital that you make it as easy and convenient as possible for your customers to access your site and make payments via their mobile phones and tablets. A quick online search will enable you to find tools to test your site’s mobile accessibility. Be sure it is not only possible but easy to buy products from your site via a phone or tablet.
6. Help Customers Fix Their Mistakes Quickly
Errors happen, particularly when customers are typing long series of letters and numbers. To keep frustration to a minimum, clearly indicate exactly where the error occurred, highlighting precisely what needs to be changed. At the same time, retain the rest of the data that the customer entered. No one likes to redo fields that were correct in the first place.
7. Flaunt Your Security Measures
Customers frequently fail to go through with the purchase process for one reason: concern about the safety of their data. To assuage their fears, be sure to highlight the measures you have taken to keep their data out of the hands of hackers. Obtain a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your site that shows customers that the connection to your merchant account is secure and their data is encrypted. Prominently display badges that show your SSL and PCI Security Standards Council compliance. Many integrated payment processing solutions take on the burden of security compliance for you.
Your website is a vehicle that enables customers to examine your selection of products at their leisure and select their products on the go or in the convenience of their own homes. The more you can enhance and streamline their shopping and payment experience, the better chance you have at turning a window shopper into a paying customer. And for you as an entrepreneur, that’s what it’s all about.