Consumer expectations are realised
According to Andy Barker who joined Magento Commerce in 2016 as the Head of Payment Strategy for Global Payments, online and offline commerce has merged presenting the need to think outside the box in terms of the complex global payments landscape.
The shift in payment from transaction focus to customer experience heralds the new dawn of transaction payments being made invisible. Businesses such as Uber ride sharing have pioneered and heralded the growing possibility if not likelihood of near future invisible payments being implemented across many other businesses, including the ecommerce industry, paving the way for much safer, smoother and easier means of customer payment. The growing trend is aspirational from the customer’s viewpoint, considering the fact that they simply want a process that is seamless, secure and unobtrusive, allowing them to continue with their daily routine unhindered or preoccupied with unnecessary transaction burdens. This change in consumer expectations in one business sector or industry is quickly invading and spreading to others, especially the ecommerce industry, where customers now expect a payment experience that is uninterrupted, velvety smooth, efficient and secure. This can only be a positive development in terms of improving and speeding up online payments so contributing to greater customer engagement and conversion. Easier payment models can only increase consumer satisfaction with smoother pathways and should tip the balance in favour of increased conversions and fewer cart abandonments.
How can you smooth your customer’s payment experience?
- There are a number of actions you can take to help your customer demographic progress this aspirational payment innovation. Whilst card payments are still popular it is increasingly obvious that the need to embrace online banking as a payment tender is the imperative for faster and easier payment pathways. Changing the consumer payment experience is a stimulating and motivating factor in terms of optimising engagement and compelling sales conversions. A seamless payment experience makes it more likely for a potential customer to complete the ecommerce journey and to even reengage. Like the analogous Uber taxi passenger, no more fumbling for money in their pocket and a resulting pleasant urge to use Uber again and repeat the seamless payment experience.
- Optimising payment methods is something that should be done in tandem with constant analysis of conversion metrics in order to match demographics with the most appropriate and beneficial means of payment. See which payment pathways are converting whilst others fail and take remedial action to optimise around those metrics. It is an evolving process that requires continual monitoring and adjustments and not something that is set and forgotten about.
- Gain new customers and retarget abandoned carts through a strategy of providing the smoothest and easiest means of transaction payment. Readjust your payments to meet the everyday reality of omnichannel consumerism where you buy, fulfil and return anywhere. Orders that start on one particular channel very often finish off on a different one, with purchases made online being collected at the physical store and returned online. Payments need to be adapted to allow this process to flourish seamlessly across all channels with no interruptions or process deceleration.
- You can help foster a more fluid process by reducing the need for customers having to record their payment information many times during a single transaction. There are technologies available such as, tokenisation and secure vaulting, to smooth sharing payment details across your channels in a safe way. Implementing such changes will hasten the process of making payments invisible.
- It is imperative that you ensure money is received and returned on the same payment pathway and that customers are reimbursed by the same means they initially purchased the product. For example a purchase made online and returned to a physical store should be reimbursed through the same payment method and not refunded with an in house credit, which can be a complete turn off for the customer.
- It is up to you to merge the consumer’s online and offline trading experience with a seamless process that removes any burden from the customer. To achieve invisible payments it is essential to work with payment providers who can support the required seamless and secure process.
- To make the most of technical advancement like autofill, PayPal One Touch and Apple Pay, make sure you optimise your checkout for mobile. With the increasing numbers of mobile initiated commerce transactions you have to ensure that customer needs on mobile are fully catered for with your mobile offering.
Minimise fraud by limiting your vulnerability
With a pronounced increase in the past year of “card-not-present” fraud in spite of the new “chip-and-signature” cards designed to provide better protection to merchants and consumers at the physical point of sales, it behoves ecommerce suppliers to adopt a proactive approach to minimising fraud. The lesson is not to wait until it happens but be proactive, irrespective of your fraud protection being in house or outsourced. Any potential breach can be mitigated by following a few simple procedures.
- Use the software technology at your disposal and deploy strategies with an effective blend of people and software tools. These tools can identify both good and suspect transactions in seconds with solutions that provide detailed information. They detect stolen or suspect cards through a global detection process pinpointing suspect cards deemed risky so payment completion can be instantly averted. Fraud signatures can be detected through IP piercing and device fingerprinting which accurately connect individuals to historical purchases. Fraudsters cards can be tracked to identify previous occasions of the card being used in unusual places or on too many devices, flagging up immediate warnings
- A word of advice which may seem a little odd is to track your good customers. It is too time consuming to concentrate on looking for the bad ones who constitute only .9% of total transactions. Through this process of identifying good customers, their purchase patterns and order history you can compare this information with what you already possess on them. The process of disqualifying good customers from your fraud search will ensure a better customer experience with less interruption through fraud checks. There then is a much smaller number of potential fraud transactions to sift through making the process less difficult and more efficient.