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Friday, July 19, 2013

Payment options for your online shopping site: How many do you need?

Registration reluctance deterred 14% of customers from making purchases
Overly complex payment options deter customer conversions
By Jean McDaniels

How many options should you have on your online shopping site? Well, given the fact that your conversion rate is directly affected by the number of payment types you have on your business website, offering more payment options will definitely work in your favor. So, how does it exactly work? How can you realistically achieve significant business gains by offering multiple payment options? Here's how.

Multiple payment options – Why should you consider it?

Most people appreciate having the freedom to choose. Limited payment options result in low conversion and high abandonment rates. According to BasketAbandonment.com, shopping cart abandonment rate for the first quarter of 2013 reached 73.6%, up from 70.7% during the last quarter of 2012.

What could be the reasons behind this? Well, aside from the fact that majority of the consumers are merely doing some comparison shopping and/or not ready to make a purchase (68%), some people find that the checkout process is too complex (11%), their preferred payment method is not accepted by the merchant (7%) and/or they did not want to create an account with the merchant (14%). Still others have an issue about the product and shipping costs.

Keeping these in consideration, you should be able to accept payments through credit cards, debit cards and gift cards to give your customers enough choices to complete the checkout process.

It enhances your credibility. The more payment options you have at your business website, the more established and more credible you appear to be, especially in the eyes of your customers. This added confidence will work greatly in your favor since it can make your customers feel more secure in making a purchase and encourage repeat purchases.

Working your way to better profits

Taking all of these things into account, you definitely need to clean up your act and optimize your 
checkout page – if you want to increase your conversion rate and reduce your abandonment rate. You need to:
  • Offer multiple payment options. Give your customers the freedom to choose which payment method they would like to use. Make sure to accept all major credit, ATM and debit cards. You should also consider accepting payments through electronic benefits transfer, gift and/or purchasing cards and e-checks. For best results, use a transaction processing service such as PayMeSecure to be able to accept multiple payment methods.
  • Make the checkout process as user-friendly as possible. Don't give your customers any reason to abandon their shopping carts! Keep it simple and you will definitely see a significant increase in your conversion rate.
  • Display security icons prominently. The more secure your customers feel, the more likely they will buy from you.
  • Provide free shipping, when necessary.
Summing it up, offering multiple payment options and keeping your checkout process as simple as possible can work wonders in increasing your conversion rate and in bringing down your shopping cart abandonment rate. Now, are there any reasons why you shouldn't consider using a payment processing service that offers multiple payment options for your online business? Think about it.

Author Bio: Jean McDaniels has owned a quick mart for the past 7 years, but recently took a leap of faith with a food truck business of selling burritos. He has found success with using PayMeSecure’s wireless services to help with credit card processing for his business.

* Image license: Lusi; RGBStock.com royalty free