How to reduce friction in your customers’ journey

- October 20, 2020 3 MIN READ
frictionless ecommerce

About seven in every ten online shoppers (69 per cent) will add something to their cart and then leave without ever purchasing it.  While some of that may be down to uncontrollable consumer cold feet, much of that cart abandonment can be avoided with just a few small payment optimisation tweaks, writes By Mac Wang, Head of Australia and New Zealand, Stripe.

It’s time to streamline your online sales

As the flight to eCommerce continues to grow, it’s never been more important to ensure that all that money is flowing easily into your store. Now is not the time to be leaving money on the table.

Businesses invest heavily in getting customers through the virtual door, only to throw the sale away because the customer experience isn’t up to scratch. This applies to all businesses — whether huge enterprises or plucky startups — which need to focus on ensuring that they are reducing friction in their customers’ online journeys. It sounds daunting, but the good news is that you can reduce cart abandonment with these few simple changes.

Keep it convenient

Think about your own personal experience with online shopping. Everyone can relate to a time when they’ve been annoyed at the experience: too many fields to fill in, too many pages, too many actions. It can get overwhelming, and online shoppers have very little patience.  Customers that are asked for too much information are less likely to complete a purchase. So, if you can auto-populate certain crucial fields for consumers, even better!

One in five (21 per cent) businesses don’t have auto-fill set up correctly.A checkout experience, which integrates auto-fill, digital wallet payments and more, means checking items out of their cart is both secure and convenient for the customer. This allows them to breeze through checkouts with payment details securely saved in their browser.

Spot avoidable errors early
A 2020 study from Stripe found that in the UK (the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe), one-third of the busiest eCommerce stores were allowing customers to submit transactions with invalid card numbers, meaning they went through the entire user experience process only to realise their purchase could not be completed. By building in real-time validation you spot these errors early in the buying process, this frustration can be avoided.

Additionally, if you accept international payments, ensuring that your checkout flow localises based on where the buyer is paying from allows fewer clicks and a smoother transaction — allowing for greater conversion.

Speed is everything

Many small business owners who operate an online store may be all too familiar with the abandoned cart alerts that trigger when a shopper fails to complete their checkout. Data has shown that sites that load in three seconds have a 40 per cent increase in conversion drop-off, compared to those that load in 2 seconds. The difference between losing a winning sale can be, quite literally, seconds.

Ensuring your payment partner can process your incoming payments in a fast and efficient fashion will help curb cart abandonment. Ultimately, consumers are turning to ecommerce for speed and efficiency. Your payment experience needs to match consumer demand.

To ensure this is the case, online businesses should ‘upskill’ their payments process to ensure it’s best in class. This means agile, responsive, streamlined and predictive.

Offer choice

Consumers are paying in a variety of different ways today — credit; direct debit; digital wallets; buy now, pay later — and it’s even more pronounced internationally. For your store to get ahead and tap as much of this market as possible, you need to cater to these new payment demands.

Those that win the checkout experience build on this by tapping into their data — to get closer to customers and understand their payment behaviours. Do some research in advance to know which payment options your existing and potential customers prefer. If they’re not on board with something, then you may not have to offer that as a payment option.

Whatever the size of your business, the case for optimising your online customer journey is clear, but it’s particularly true for small businesses who are venturing online for the first time. At a time when the world is more online than ever, the reward for getting the payments process right is substantial.

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