Practical tip: Choosing the best payment methods for your online shop

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A customer visits your shop for the first time, connects with your brand, finds their perfect product and is excited to make a purchase—the cat is in the bag, or so one would think.

According to numerous case studies, customers too often abandon their purchase during the checkout process. We’re talking big numbers here: nearly 70% of customers ditch their basket and leave your shop without a trace. That’s pretty brutal.

Some contributing factors which affect the number of abandoned sales include cumbersome usability, unexpected surcharges and of course, absence of a preferred payment method.

As an online shop owner, your role is to provide the quickest, easiest and most secure option for the digital transfer of money. These options come in various shapes and packages. Here we will shed some light on a few payment points to consider so that your customers says “yes” to the basket. Your conversion rate and turnover will thank you for it.

 

1. Know your customers

Identify the payment culture of your target market. Let’s start on a global level with an example of a country-specific target group: when selling to the Dutch, it’s important to know that 60% of Dutch customers trust iDEAL for making online purchases. Equally important to know is this payment method is relatively unknown outside the Dutch market. Therefore if you wish to sell internationally, do a bit of research, step into the shoes of every customer group (“Klompen” for your Dutch customers) and make your payment options as culturally diverse as your customer base.

Working down to more specific customer groups, even different age groups and genders have individual payment preferences. So once again, take a closer look into the purchasing preferences of your specific target market.

Professional tip: in most cases, it would be wise to offer more than one payment method—this route acts as a safety net, catching potential customers who might not completely align with the payment interests of your target customer group.

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2. Behavior of the checkout process  

Hosted or non-hosted, that is the question.  

Let’s look at a popular hosted example: PayPal. Easy to implement and well known across diverse markets, PayPal redirects the customer from your shop to their hosted login page. All the customer has to do is enter their PayPal login information. This option safe, convenient and simple for the PayPal user. However, the key word in this scenario is redirects, meaning the customer’s end-to-end experience with your brand is disrupted to care after the least enjoyable aspect of online shopping. So if the customer journey and experience are staples of your business—for the love of brand identity—please consider the impact of sending your customer away from your online shop.

Hosted options also mean you are not able to execute A/B tests in order to improve the checkout process. Depending on the gateway, you might have customization options (i.e. placing your logo on their payment page), however these options are often not flexible enough to meet unique business requirements.

On the other side of the payment rainbow are non-hosted gateways. Through API, these gateways are integrated like camouflage in your online shop, which creates a consistent shopping experience for your customer. This also means the payment process can be customized to meet your needs, which includes providing areas for discount codes, additional payment options (i.e. credit card v. invoice) or information that is specific to the products being purchased.  

Shopware already has integrations with numerous hosted and non-hosted gateways. In most cases, it is possible to easily offer both: several payment service providers include hosted gateways within their scope supported payment options.

 

3. The device being used to make a purchase

If you’ve taken a dip in the digital commerce pool, you know mobile is a sink-or-swim topic. Therefore before considering the payment solution for your customer group, be sure your store is prepared for mobile shopping. Without mobile capabilities, a customer might leave your store before they even place a product in their shopping basket. But fear not: as a Shopware customer, you’re fully prepared to swim. The responsive template that comes standard makes your shop ready for shopping on any device. 

One advantage of mobile is that it encourages both a continued connection with your brand and impulse shopping. Customers prefer the convenience of shopping on the go—and in often cases, they also prefer the convenience of very lean checkout processes. This means you need to consider offering the straightest path for your customers to get from “Add to shopping cart” to “Submit order”. Several payment gateways specialize in optimizing this path for you.  

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4. The goods you are selling

To facilitate the exchange of money for products in the smoothest way possible, it is good to know that some product groups are best paired with specific payment methods. For instance, do your goods have a high return probability, as is often the case with clothing? In this event, paying by invoice is often the preferred method. Going back to the first point—customer groups—you must consider that for some, inclusion of this payment method is a make-or-break deal for purchasing clothing online.

In addition, you should also consider the average transaction value as well as the fees associated with every purchase (i.e. are the fees percentage based or one-time). This varies dramatically between payment providers, so it’s best to speak with them directly about these associated costs. Depending on your product range, you might also want to ask the provider about return / chargeback fees.

When relevant, it’s also important to check the terms and services of your PSP, as they might not permit the sale of services or digital products. Some other deemed “high risk” products include: tobacco, adult material, magazine subscriptions, E-cigarettes. On the other side of the spectrum, with Shopware, you have the option protect yourself against “high risk” customers during the checkout process. Risk management is a feature that allows you to restrict certain customer groups from paying with deemed “high risk” payment options.

You can take a closer look into this feature right now in our Shopware demo (simply follow Configuration > Risk management). It's also possible to arrange a live presentation of the software with one of our Shopware specialists.     

Conclusion:

In order to increase the conversion rate in your online shop, you should consider the following when choosing your payment methods:

  • The diverse expectations of your customer groups – offer the payment methods they are most comfortable using
  • The overall payment experience from the customer’s perspective and how this impacts their interaction with your brand
  • Mobile optimization – does the checkout process match the fast-paced, impulsive nature of mobile shopping?
  • Consider your average transaction value, transaction costs and any corresponding fees
  • How will you protect yourself against fraud  

Every Shopware installation comes with 8 different payment providers already integrated into the core, all of which you can easily activate and set up an account with only a few clicks. Their scope of services and pricing options vary, so check out our overview to decide which option best meets the needs of your business.

You can also have a personal conversation with one of our fabulous Showpare specialists. Click the button below and let's start a conversation about your webshop requirements! 

Get in touch now! 

 

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