Frictionless Commerce – The Future of Payments Isn’t about Payments

frictionlesscom

It’s been a very exciting year for us at DalPay and CCNow, and for the e-commerce industry as a whole. We’ve shared some of that excitement with you here on our blog as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages. With our E-Commerce Growth Report 2014, we looked back on how far the industry has come and where it stands today. Now, however, is the time to start looking ahead at the future of payments.

Is there any doubt what payments of the future will look like? Mobile and contactless payments are poised to sweep up whatever is left of traditional point-of-sale (POS) payments, while alternative payments are outgrowing traditional methods, such as credit cards, year after year in the e-commerce sphere.

So, as far as merchants are concerned, the future of payments isn’t about payments anymore – it’s about optimising those payment methods to provide a better user experience and higher conversion rate. Moving ahead, it’s no longer about developing new payment alternatives, it’s about developing frictionless commerce.

What is Friction?

Friction is anything (anything at all) that slows down or otherwise disrupts the online shopper’s journey from ‘browse’ to ‘buy’. Whether it’s a slow-loading site, confusing design, pop-ups, or an unwieldy checkout process, any amount of friction is going to have a negative impact on your conversion rate. The less friction you have, the more conversions you’ll make – it really is that simple.

E-commerce has the potential to be the perfect payment landscape because it makes frictionless commerce attainable. With online shopping, information can be transferred instantly, prices can be easily compared, and transactions can happen anywhere the shopper is located. So what is preventing e-commerce from taking over completely?

Online businesses of all kinds face a predicament. Because credit cards remain the most common online payment method, merchants need to accept credit card payments or risk alienating the majority of their potential customers. But credit cards are also easily exploited for fraud.

The difficult part is finding the right balance between security and ease-of-use. If you’re too permissive, you run the risk of losing a large portion of your profits to fraudsters and of developing a reputation as an unsafe place to do business. If you’re too restrictive, you could turn away customers by forcing them through too many security checks and making them feel like a criminal.

One of the reasons for the rise of alternative payments is the need for more secure ways to make and receive payments online. For example, DalPay’s e-commerce platform is favoured by merchants because it allows them to accept payments from their customers without the friction-causing security requirements necessary to mediate the inherent risks in credit card payments.

How to Reduce Friction

The modern digital economy is driven by rapid innovation. Cloud computing and on-demand scalability at a low cost allow new market entrants to compete at a global scale. But what makes a business stand out in a crowded marketplace is simple – does it feel good to use? Shopping cart abandonment is at a whopping 67%. You can’t underestimate how many more customers you can convert by simply reducing friction.

Friction is literally anything that slows down a customer’s journey from ‘browse’ to ‘buy’, so there’s a nearly endless number of causes, but just to help you get started here are a few reliable ways to reduce friction:

  • Increase your loading speed. Consumers won’t wait very long at all for a website to load before opting for a competitor. 40% of consumers have said that they would leave a site after only 3 seconds. Regularly test your website’s performance and upgrade your hosting services to ensure that it loads as fast as possible.
  • Integrate dynamic shopping cart software. There are nearly as many different consumer habits as consumers, so a dynamic shopping cart that allows people to shop however they want is a sure fire way to make more people happy. Multi-item checkout is expected to be a given, while additional features (such as saving your cart) can encourage repeat customers. DalPay offers several free shopping cart modules to suit your business’ needs.
  • Streamline navigation. A website that is difficult to navigate is an unsuccessful one. Make your webstore simple and attractive, with easy-to-find search tools, category pages and buy now buttons placed in clear and expected locations. Eliminate clutter and ensure that browsing feels comfortable and intuitive.
  • Perform A/B testing. Every time you make a change to your website, however small, compare the before and after conversion rates to gain valuable insight into what is causing friction and what is relieving it. Depending on the payment habits of your clientele, there could be many unforeseen sources of friction that A/B testing will allow you to identify and eliminate.

It’s often said that consumers are impatient and you shouldn’t have to make them think. We don’t believe that’s quite accurate: it’s not that customers don’t want to think or get impatient with your checkout process. If your website is poorly designed, navigating it is confusing, or there are just too many steps, your customer is going to feel uncomfortable and lose trust in your business. Once you lose their trust, you lose their business.

People want comfort, convenience and a good deal, and when they find something they like and trust, they remain loyal to it. That’s why e-commerce is all about building relationships. The easier you make it for your customers to purchase, the more likely they will return to your website, tell their friends and write positive reviews. When you reduce the friction in browsing and buying, you not only increase conversions, you increase loyalty and keep customers coming back for more.

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How to Reduce Chargebacks: Understanding Why They Happen is Key

ReduceChargebacks

Chargebacks can happen for any number of reasons. Many of us can relate to the experience of not getting quite what we expected when buying a product online. Maybe it’s smaller than we thought or the colour is all wrong, and some of us might be upset enough to contact our credit card issuer and demand our money back. Then the credit card issuer fines the merchant for the chargeback.

When doing business online, you may never be able to reduce your chargeback ratio to zero. However, there are things all merchants can and should be doing to keep that number down. It’s important to consider that each chargeback you receive is from an unsatisfied customer, so the goal of reducing chargebacks is not only to decrease your losses but also to improve overall customer satisfaction.

Whether you’re new to e-commerce or you’ve been online for a while, here are some basic guidelines to follow in order to reduce chargebacks:

  • Be detailed in your descriptions

Product descriptions should do just that – describe. The more details you provide about a product, the more likely it is that your customer will receive exactly what they expected. Think about what your customers really want to know when considering a purchase. While price is important, so too are physical characteristics such as dimensions as well as practical considerations such as when and how the product will be shipped.

  • Be honest with your offers

As the old adage goes, “keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep”. This is as true online as it is when conducting business face-to-face. If you make special offers or discounts through your website, make sure to follow through. If a customer feels they have been cheated, they will be more likely to contact their card issuer for a refund.

  • Be timely when you ship

This is perhaps the most important suggestion we can make. Most non-fraudulent chargebacks come from customers who feel like they’ve been waiting too long for their product to arrive. When you receive an order, it’s important to stay within the shipping times listed on your website.

  • Be available to chat

It’s important for the customer experience that you are always available if they have any questions, both before and after their purchase. This means offering customer support through as many channels as possible. At DalPay, we’re always here to help with customer inquiries, though many customers will prefer to communicate with you directly. Responding to customers’ questions tells them that you care about their satisfaction post-purchase.

  • Be flexible with refunds

We all want each and every customer who visits our store to leave feeling great about their purchase, but there will always be some customers who, for any number of reasons, request a refund. By honouring their request in a polite and timely manner, you can save them the step of contacting their credit card issuer to initiate a chargeback and save yourself the fee. When a refund request comes through, be sure to follow the refund policy according to DalPay’s Terms.

In addition to these tips, it’s a good idea for all DalPay Merchants to communicate what will appear on customers’ credit card statements. To reduce your chargeback ratio, be sure to notify your customers about what exactly will appear on their credit card statement. By communicating this in advance, you can greatly decrease your chance of incurring chargebacks due to confusion.

How DalPay helps to prevent Chargebacks before they happen

At DalPay, we’re committed to providing you with the tools for success. We’re always happy to answer your customers’ billing questions and we will do everything we can to prevent chargebacks.

We would encourage you to set additional settings in your account’s Seller Menu to restrict the option for customers to enter an alternate shipping address. While we always try to confirm a customer’s billing address through an Address Verification System (AVS), it is important that you pay attention to any fraud warnings related to a particular order. If you’re concerned about a specific transaction, you can always contact us to perform a secondary screening at no additional cost.

Finally, remember that we’re here for you. If you need additional help in preventing or dealing with chargebacks, feel free reach out to a member of our team.