A Seamless Online Payment Process: 7 Fail-Proof Ways to Craft A Smooth Experience
The online payment process can be deciding factor as to whether or not your visitors will become paying customers. Having a smooth and effective online payment process can bring a lot to the table, and having a clunky and distracting one can run people away. But how can you create an efficient online payment process, or perfect what you already have? Well, we have come up with seven core factors you need to consider.
- Accept many different forms of payment
- Don’t require membership to make a purchase
- Make sure your website works really smoothly
- Don’t ask for more information than you need
- Keep it short, keep it simple
- Clear and visible CTAs
- Guarantee customer security
1. Accept Different Forms Of Payment
If someone wants to give you their money for your products and services, you take it. It is very simple. However, this money may not always be in the forms you are used to. Not everyone is going to give you a wad of cash or pay with their credit card. We now live in the digital age where people can pay you with many different methods and if you want to keep up, you’ll need to integrate these methods into your website.
People can pay you with cryptocurrencies, bank transfers, etc. This point also requires you to analyze your customer base and consider their needs and habits. For example, if you sell accessories and apparel targeted at teenagers, you might also look into adding a pay at the door option. An inclusive and diverse online payment process means more potential customers.
2. Don’t Require Membership To Make A Purchase
So, a customer saw an ad for your product. They clicked on the ad which took them to your website. They look at the other photos, they check the materials, the price, and they decide they are going to buy what you’re selling. So far, so great. This is what the business is all about.
So, they add the product to their cart and click on checkout, and this is where things start going awry. Your website demands they open an account in order to complete the purchase. They don’t feel like filling out a form, because that’s not what they clicked on, so they leave your page.
I think you understand what I’m trying to say. If you make accounts mandatory for making a purchase, you might be losing customers and nobody wants that. People don’t want to spend 5-10 minutes to get a membership unless they have nothing better to do, and they usually have better things to do. Keeping this process short and to the point is going to help you greatly.
3. Make Sure Your Website Works Really Smoothly
Let’s say they want to fill in a form and get an account. Then you have to make this part run smoothly. There are several things that can go wrong here that will frustrate the customer to the point of leaving.
They might make a simple mistake like spelling their street name wrong, forgetting to add a .com to their email address, things that are very small but can cause a lot of grief. Your website should pick up on these errors and guide your customers to fix them. You can add an error message that keeps them from saving the information and that will direct them to the right box. Another thing you can do is to not reset the entire form for a simple mistake. Making people fill out the same form over and over again is not going to help your business. Instead, create a website that is optimized for the customers’ needs, works smoothly, and looks good.
Looks are also a factor. When we say smooth, we also mean in appearance. Your checkout page should be an extension of your website in design. This will help people feel a lot safer when they are entering their payment information and everybody likes a good-looking website.
4. Don’t Ask For More Information Than You Need
The long, never-ending information forms to make a payment are nobody’s best friend, neither yours nor your customers’. You should only ask for the information that is absolutely necessary. This is because your customers will likely not feel comfortable sharing things that they find unrelated to the matter at hand.
If you are asking for information that is not essential, people may question your motives and the things they might come up with are going to be much worse than why you are actually asking. This might make people doubt the security of your website.
You have to consider the details people are putting in already. They have to enter sensitive information about their payment and this is usually enough to cause some uneasiness.
Additionally, you have to keep this mantra in your head when you are designing your checkout page: Less is more, especially here. You don’t want to give people reasons to not complete the transaction. The online payment process should be quick and to the point.
5. Keep It Short, Keep It Simple
When a customer is at the checkout, the intent to buy becomes crystal clear which can make some people greedy. You might be tempted to add advertisements or other things that can be distracting. We recommend you don’t add these things.
You can be cross-selling, and we get it, it is a pretty great method. But, you should avoid doing that at the very last step. The checkout page should be as plain and simple as possible. Distracting your customers from other products at this stage in the online payment process can actually work in the opposite way and stop them from making a purchase.
Think of it this way, your customer has added a product to their basket. Let’s say you sell bags and wallets, and they added one already and heading for the checkout. Until that point, you can recommend as many products as you wish. But, let’s say you do so at the checkout, and they are tempted. They click on it, they like it, they add it to their basket.
At this point there are several directions this can go: They can forget they were already about to buy something, they may remember and complete the transaction, or they want this new purse as well, but buying them both at the same time is going to be too expensive so they decide, I’ll do it at a better time. And, voila, you lost a customer. Now, of course, they might remember to come back, but they also may not. Conclusion: Keep it short, keep it simple.
6. Clear And Visible CTAs
CTA’s are Call to Action buttons. These are basically the directions that will lead people where you want them to go. These become very important in the online payment process as there is nothing more embarrassing than losing customers because your CTAs were too small and obscure, which happens every day.
You should design these buttons to be very clear in meaning. That means to summarize the action to the best of your ability while keeping it very easy to understand. There should be absolutely no doubt in the customers’ heads as to what that button means. For example, instead of “Continue” or “Return” write “Continue Checkout” “Return to Previous Step.”
Visibility is also very important. The buttons should be large and placed in a way that it is impossible to miss them. We don’t mean you should cover the whole page with them but still, keep it a little bigger than you think is necessary. In general, always go for a bit more than what you think will do, because you might be surprised.
7. Guarantee Customer Security
This might go without saying, but it is so imperative that we’ll say it anyway. You should always, vocally and visibly, guarantee your customers’ safety and security during the online payment process. This could even include not redirecting people to another page to pay during the online payment process. Having an integrated online payment system in place will always trump working with a third party when it comes to assuring customers’ trust.
An SSL certificate is pretty much a necessity at this point and you can usually obtain it from your website hosting provider. You may also comply with PCI Security Standards.
But what is really important is to communicate the extent of your efforts regarding security to your customers. Always include the measures you have taken on your page, and especially on each and every step on the way to the checkout. Your customers will naturally feel a lot safer if they know their information is in safe hands.
These 7 components can make or break your online payment process and you will definitely see results if you take them into account. We hope that this list improves your conversion rate and if you are interested in all things e-commerce, you might enjoy our blog. Thank you for reading!