7 Ways To Make Payments Easier For Your Customers
If you’re selling online, nothing matters more in your customer journey than that final commitment to purchase.
The checkout process is arguably the most important part of your funnel, because if you can’t seal the deal at that stage, then what hope have you got with the rest of your leads? The key to getting this bit right is making it as easy as possible for people to pay. The clarity, efficiency and agility of your checkout process can make a huge difference to your bottom line.
So in this article, we’re going to give you some checkout best practices. By understanding how to make payments easier for customers, and providing the best checkout UX (user experience), you’ll start to see your conversion rate go up.
1. Use a consistent design and user interface (UI).
First-time buyers, in particular, are likely to be wary about purchasing from a new vendor. If you’re redirecting them to a different site, or if your checkout pages look totally different to everything they’ve seen up until that point, their anxiety is going to peak. At this point many buyers will bounce, simply because they get a bad feeling about it or don’t trust you enough to disclose their credit card information.
Use the same branding and styling as the rest of your site so that they can be sure it’s really you that they’re buying from. If your welcoming demeanour worked to get them to this step of the flow, don’t squander it with a clinical or dubious-looking checkout.
2. Ask for the minimum details required.
Nothing kills buyers’ enthusiasm more than a laborious interrogation at the point of sale. Adding fields to your checkout form that aren’t necessary for the purchase is just throwing your customers more hurdles to jump over. A certain percentage will always decide that it’s not worth the effort, and will look elsewhere.
Don’t force users to create an account unless they actually have to in order to use your product.
You need to strike while the iron’s hot, and by dragging out the checkout process with unnecessary steps you’re only giving them more time to change their mind.
3. Leave out any distractions.
Your checkout pages are not the place for newsletter pop-ups or to showcase your latest blog article. Your primary goal is to process their payment, and you shouldn’t let anything stand in the way of that.
Attention spans are at an all-time low, and the last thing you want to do is distract someone from giving you their business.
It can even be effective to remove your navigation bar during the checkout process. If you’ve done enough to gain someone’s trust up until this point, you probably don’t need it. And you’ll be leaving them with only one destination: a successful transaction.
4. Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs).
Progressing through your checkout process should be an absolute no-brainer.
It should never be unclear to a prospective customer which action they need to take next.
Ensure that your buttons do not fall below the fold, and contain clear instructions for your users. Words like ‘continue’ let users know that there’s still more to be done before the purchase is complete. The copy on your buttons should set realistic expectations of what is going to happen next. If you ask your user to ‘continue to the next step’ and then tell them you’ve processed their payment, they will panic.
5. Make it easy to correct mistakes.
It’s common for people to make typos or miss fields completely when they’re filling out a payment form. It should be immediately obvious to customers what mistakes they have made and how to fix them. If they don’t understand what’s going wrong, or they can’t identify which part they need to fix, they’re far more likely to bounce.
Some credit card pages display error messages at the top or bottom or the page, sometimes requiring a scroll to see them. It’s generally better to display your error message next to the problem field, and leave the field filled with the erroneous information so that the user can see for themselves what they did wrong.
6. Make privacy and security reassurance a priority.
Studies have shown that nearly 60% of customers bounce from a checkout page because of concerns over security. And it’s inevitable for people to be wary, particularly if they’ve not bought from you before.
Constantly reassuring customers every step of the way that their personal information is secure is critical to that final purchase decision. Display your security credentials, including SSL and PCI compliance, so that customers know you’re serious about protecting them. This lets them know that they’re in good hands.
7. Accept multiple payment methods.
While you can’t be expected to cater to every customer’s demands, there’s no doubting the benefits of offering as many payment methods as you can.
The two credit card big-hitters, Visa and Mastercard, should be considered a bare minimum. If you’re able to offer American Express, other credit cards and PayPal, you’ll be opening your arms to a larger group of eager buyers.
Analyzing your target audience can help you to make informed decisions about which payment methods are best to offer.
While these tips will help you best with first-time buyers, they’re also effective for remarketing and upselling your existing customers. By applying these checkout best practices and making your payment process as easy as possible for customers, you can expect to see higher conversions and revenue.
Just remember to keep your checkout process as clean and transparent as you can. Misleading your customers during the flow might increase sales, but you’ll almost certainly regret it when the chargebacks come rolling in.
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