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How to choose the right extended payment method system

Posted By eStar, Thursday, 28 June 2018

The concept of ‘buy now and pay later’ – the ability for customers to purchase products and pay for their goods over a pre-defined period of time – is far from a new concept in retail. Having the option to pay later is popular with many consumers and is becoming increasingly so for customers making purchases online. The benefits are obvious for the customer but what about the retailer?

Increase online Average Order Value

The major benefit of extended payment methods for retailers is that they have been shown to increase sales. Research suggests that they not only help attract new customers to a website but also encourage them to spend more while they are there. According to a March 2018 survey conducted by European payments provider Klarna, extended payment methods have seen increases in both average order value (AOV) and new customer acquisition. Some retailers have reported increases of between 30-40% in AOV.

Considerations for retailers

As these payment options have becoming increasingly popular there has been a significant increase in the range of options available, and these can vary considerably in both cost and functionality.

The challenge for retailers is to select the right payment partner and one that can integrate with your eCommerce platform. A poor customer journey, or an increase in page load times may provide a negative experience to customers and could impact sales. Leading eCommerce platforms have extensive partner networks with multiple payment providers, ensuring the implementation of a new payment system will provide a seamless customer journey.

Where are your customers?

If the target demographic extends across more than one country, then you need to make sure the payment method allows for this. Some products are specific to one country, either New Zealand or Australia, and some will cover transactions from multiple countries.

Does the payment method handle returns and split orders?

Some products handle these transactions elegantly within the product and some require these to be handled manually. This can cause considerable manual effort and definitely be a trap for the unwary.

What are the payment options for the customer?

Different products allow the payments to be split over a variety of time periods. If the majority of your customers are placed in a socioeconomic group likely to be paid weekly, then a product with a four-week option would allow the payment to be split over four pay periods, making it an attractive option for them.

How does the payment option impact the customer journey?

Verifying credit ratings can take different forms and sometimes the customer can be redirected to another site to complete an application, the speed at which this happens and the length of the process can be different depending on the payment type. This process needs to be well designed and occur fast to minimise interruption to the user journey. Before committing to a payment option you should speak with your eCommerce provider. An eCommerce provider with a strong payment solutions partner network will be able to provide a solution designed to minimise impact to the customer journey.

What are the costs?

The costs involved vary quite considerably so it is important to carefully research the options available. Some of the payment options have transaction fees only, while some have both ongoing monthly and transaction fees. Some payment methods can be set up by your eCommerce provider at no cost to the retailer while others charge for this service.

Choose wisely

Extended payment methods are becoming increasingly standard on eCommerce websites and consumers are starting to expect to see them. Retailers are coming under increasing pressure to provide these options but need to ensure they choose the right one for their digital store to maximise sales.

Download the PDF here: Pay to play - Ragtrader Etail 101 May

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eStar Senior Technical Design Lead, Dena Emanuel, outlines the importance of design to the success of your digital store

Posted By NORA Admin, Thursday, 1 March 2018

First published in Ragtrader February 2018

Design, at its heart, is about planning and communication. It is an essential element in any eCommerce project. Design done well will communicate effectively to your customers, foster their trust, and ultimately lead to a higher converting digital store.

Love at first sight

First impressions count. You can have the best product in the market but if your site design doesn’t accurately represent your brand, or is not designed well, it will be all for nothing. You only have one chance to make a good first impression on your customers, so make sure they feel comfortable and confident shopping with you by investing in a professional user interface.

Think of your  eCommerce  site as you would a physical store. A bricks and mortar shop with a well presented front window, clear  promotions and easy to find stock is going to inspire customers to enter and increase repeat custom, compared to a store that has poorly crafted signage and chaotic inventory. The same is true online.

Whether it’s fair or not, new customers will judge the quality of your product on how your site looks. This is crucial in overcoming the dreaded early exit (over 50% of consumers typically leave a website within viewing three pages of content).

Also, customer loyalty will come more naturally when you make them fall in love with a stunning eCommerce site that they want to revisit over and over again.

All style but no substance

Having said that, great design is not just about how it looks. A well designed site will be intuitive, easy to navigate and have optimised and well planned code.

Thinking about coding standards and user experience isn’t as sexy or exciting as the visual aspect of a project, but these things are just as important when it comes to taking your online presence to the next level. A recent survey of 2,000 UK respondents found 41% believe “easy navigation is the most important feature while shopping online”.

Prominent designer and user interface expert Jared Spool said “Good design, when done well, should be invisible”. Fast loading times and forms that are easy to complete are features that create subconscious positive experiences that go unnoticed when designed well.

Considering these things from the start, as part of a full design process, will make for a smoother, faster, more accessible shopping experience for your customers.

Art for art’s sake

Your designer has just created a truly unique masterpiece for your new site launch. It has cool interactive content, an innovative new site menu with nice animations and a completely redesigned product detail page that is exclusive to your site. Exciting!

Although it’s tempting to run ahead with something new and different, take the time to consider best practice and how your customers will be using your site. Ask why is the design so different from other  eCommerce  sites? Is it for a clearly defined purpose or for the sake of being creative? Will it improve the customers’ experience or confuse them? Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your designer’s decisions.

As stifling to creativity as it may seem, best practice design principles exists for a reason. We have learnt over time what works and what doesn’t when it comes to customer’s eCommerce shopping habits. Going against best practice principles will cost you money in the long run.

By all means, make bold design decisions. However, ensure you have a clear purpose (taking into account best practice) for why you are implementing those designs and have ways to test the impact they have on your customers. Implementing creative design decisions without purpose and neglecting to gauge their impact can be an expensive mistake.

Successful retailers and brands are investing in design for their digital stores and making sure their customers’ overall online shopping experience is considered alongside brand. Seeking the services of eCommerce design professionals will put you ahead of your competition and have your customers coming back for more.

Go to eStar's website to find out more.

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