There’s no question, payments are a critical part of the ecommerce journey. All marketing activity, personalisation and point of sales promotions are driving people to convert, and payment is the last step. Yet, despite segmenting the audience and driving highly tailored messages and media throughout the entire journey, the payment experience often gets left behind.
Payments may have traditionally been a hygiene factor, yet with technological advances, global expansion at the click of a button and an ever-more discerning customer base demanding new payment methods such as e-wallets and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), to compete you need to adapt and evolve.
So what exactly do merchants want and need from their end-to-end payment journey?
Check out our 4 key factors and features to strengthen and empower your customer-focused payment experience.
A streamlined checkout experience
The checkout is arguably the most important page on your website, without it no one can purchase. Although it is widely understood that the checkout look and feel needs to echo the wider site, to ensure trust and resonance, as 18% of users state if the total cost of the purchase is not displayed well they will abandon their cart, however there are other factors impacting the ease of conversion for customers.
Managing your website user experience and point of sale messaging drives customers to your checkout and reducing friction for the customer should be an absolute priority, to ensure those purchases are successful. Your customers want to feel recognised and remembered, whilst purchasing at leisure and with ease. Alongside offering a great choice of payment methods and loyalty rewards (which we discuss later!), you need returning customers to not have to repeat the administrative process of inputting card details and one-way merchants can remove the friction is through tokenisation of card credentials.
Due to the sensitive nature of personal financial details, tokenisation was created to ensure customer card data was processed in a secure and efficient manner. Traditionally, this data is stored with your payment gateway and often this results in challenges when you are looking to change provider. Consequently, returning customers will have to input their details again and you could run the risk of potential customers being put off by the added layer of friction at the checkout.
Centralising your tokenisation gives you greater flexibility to move providers or add new suppliers to ensure your end-to-end payment process is working for you and your customers. The tokenisation of a customer’s credit card data ensures no matter what future transformation your business goes through they will never need to enter their details again, showing you remember them and value their business.
At BR-DGE we work with clients to utilise our ‘universal token’, which enables merchants to direct card payments to any payment service, reducing the risk of supplier lock in and the chance of customers being deterred by re-entering their card details for every transaction.
Payment choice and flexibility to suit all customers
Over the last ten years, convenience has become a driving factor for encouraging online sales. The last few years of the pandemic has only exacerbated this and online shopping has become the norm, giving consumers more choice in purchasing than ever before. Being able to compare products, prices and reviews all from the comfort of their screen, puts the customer in a very strong purchasing position and means merchants need to take their online presence seriously. And that includes the payment offering too.
As convenience and ease powers people to pursue digital spending, there is greater expectation on the choice and options available at the checkout. Your customers want to use a method which is convenient to them and this demand has led to a surge in new ways to pay online, such as BNPL, E-wallets and crypto.
Merchants need access to these new payment methods to cope with consumer demand and offering more payment options has a direct effect on sales due to convenience, brand trust and audience growth. This personalisation of payments gives you a competitive advantage against other online merchants in your target market. Often overlooked, the most attractive payment method can be a deciding factor in where a consumer purchases from.
For example, digital wallet technology goes back to 2005 and since then has become the worlds preferred payment method, taking 36% of all online payments. Imagine if merchants had not have embraced digital wallets to attract and convert mobile customers.
Merchants need to adapt and evolve to growing customer demand. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a great example of this, as it has grown in prominence over the last few years. The ability to give everyone the chance to pay over longer periods not only makes more products accessible to consumers, but also is proven to increase basket size and conversion rates. The benefits of innovation go much further and impact loyalty and repeat custom too.
Yet it is not just as simple as switching on a new payment method; or is it?
Speed to adapt to these trends is critical to keep a competitive advantage online and for merchants, this is often a costly, time consuming and tech heavy integration. With payment orchestration, the time-to-transaction can be just a few clicks away.
BR-DGE gives you the capability to make these changes at pace and through one single integration, you can have access to countless payment methods and effectively future proof themselves against trends which do not even exist yet.
Detailed data to drive decisions
In order to act on customer insight and innovate at speed, you need access to solid reporting information and insight. However, gathering your payment data and then applying it to your practices is notoriously tricky.
Many merchants are collating data across multiple different payment channels, disparate systems and sometimes even from a wider group of brands. This can result in fragmented reporting and a lack of tangible, useful and real-time data. Many Ecommerce businesses may not even be conscious of all the types of data they can monitor from their payments. These data types are an untapped resource which enable you to optimise your performance, and maximise the customer experience and chance of conversion.
With payment orchestration, all your data can be consolidated into one, actionable report.
Having all your payment data available enables you to identify and manage trends, assess technical outages, cart abandonment challenges or what payment methods are most popular with certain demographics. It can also help you to make accurate decisions in regard to what payment service providers and acquirers are best suited to your needs, with reports on average transaction value, frequency, and geographical peaks.
This data can also be applied beyond the website with application for marketing campaigns, discounts and loyalty rewards, encouraging repeat conversion and building resonance and trust with your retail audience.
By using data to personalise the experience and inform payment decisions, you can easily manage margins and optimise your payment experience for your business and your customer.
At BR-DGE we understand that knowledge is power and payment orchestration can provide a 360 degree view of all transactions in one centralised location. With aggregated insights, you can make real-time choices to best optimise your business for the future.
Fluid Cross Border Payments
Mass globalisation has caused borders to become blurred, especially online. Increasing demand for a wider range of products and services has driven consumers to purchase from further afield. Merchants are no longer confined to national borders and those that fail to act on this opportunity are depriving themselves of an ever-expanding global marketplace.
Cross border transactions are growing at a fast rate, with our partner Worldpay stating that 55% of online shoppers worldwide have made a purchase from a different country in the last 12 months. On average international Ecommerce is growing at double the rate of domestic. The international E commerce space has a wealth of potential for merchants.
The ability to take cross border payments is key to entering this new market, but without the right strategy there are several barriers to entry.
Not only are there are more compliance checks and competitive merchants to handle, but you also have to navigate a number of new payments challenges, from offering local payment methods to managing increasing transaction fees for cross border payments. Complying with foreign local payments regulations is also a challenge with 39% of E commerce businesses stating it is a significant pain point.
Merchants need the ability to process cross border payments as easily as they would domestically.
Utilising payment orchestration, you can connect to a wealth of payment partners to ensure a streamlined payment experience no matter the geography. With greater flexibility and choice, you can further design a competitive multi-acquirer workflow, using commercial leverage and intelligent routing to ensure you get the best rates for your international customer transactions.
At BR-DGE we enable our clients to access over 200 payment methods and over 100 PSPs and acquirers. Operating on a global scale often requires a great deal of resources and new technical integrations, but with BR-DGE we have your payment infrastructure covered. With the power of payment orchestration, you can operate cost freely regardless of where in the world you choose to do business and expand into new markets with ease.
As customer expectations and demand drives change, it is vital that you and your organisation are primed to evolve and adapt to compete online. Both the consumer and retailer expect more from payments, with international transactions now being expected to be as fluid as domestic.
From delivering a streamlined checkout and offering the latest payment methods, through to maximising the power of your own transaction data and building intelligent payment workflows that work for both your business and your customer; with payment orchestration you have the flexibility and choice to deliver an exceptional checkout experience.
What you really want and need as a merchant, is greater control of your end-to-end payments, as online transactions really are at the fuel that drives your ecommerce business.
Contact our BR-DGE Builders to find out more about how you can maximise your online payment experience, with payment orchestration.