According to Baymard Institute, nearly one out of five shoppers have abandoned a cart online due to a long or complicated checkout process. Forrester also found that consumers cringe at slow in-store checkout, with shoppers revealing that short lines and a fast and accurate checkout experience are as important as location, price, and assortment.
With online and in-store checkout being such a vital part of the overall customer experience, retailers must prioritize enhancing their payment processes to ensure a smooth and frictionless journey. Improving payments processes can lead to lower online cart abandonment rates, larger in-store basket sizes, higher retention rates, and ultimately, an increase in overall revenue. To start driving customer loyalty today, you need to focus on the following three critical elements of your payment processes.
Optimize the Back End
Whether a transaction occurs online or offline, payments can be far more complicated than one may think. Once a customer initiates a payment, several parties and systems are involved that can lead to complex settlement and funding requirements. As a result, payment integrators must handle multiple connection points and specifications properly. Additionally, different regulations and compliances dictate technical and operational standards.
To deliver seamless front-to-back-end customer experiences, first look at your back-end payments system to ensure a simplified process. From there, you can manage complexities by streamlining operations and simplifying your payments infrastructure. This focus will help future-proof the system for new and emerging technologies and help build robust shopper loyalty programs that keep them coming back.
Create Value for Omnichannel Customers
According to Insider Intelligence, click-and-collect boomed in the U.S. last year at $72.46 billion and will continue to sustain double-digit growth rates through 2024. And this is only one example of the many ways consumers are adopting omnichannel shopping. This uptick in consumer demand means retailers need to focus on digital transformation that supports omnichannel payments.
You can create value for omnichannel customers by making the payments experiences across channels faster, easier, and more secure than ever. For example, retailers can store payments data to recall information at the POS at the time of pickup. They can also allow customers to save their payments data within their customer accounts for future purchases.
To configure this payments setup, you need to securely store cardholder data as part of a tokenization scheme. Tokenization, or the process of switching out sensitive payment data with randomized data, is a secure solution for supporting transactions from any channel in the merchant’s ecosystem. This discipline is key to ensuring the checkout experience is fast and seamless across all channels, driving value for omnichannel shoppers.
Develop a Customer-Centric Payments Strategy
Sound strategies focus on the customer first and foremost. That’s why it’s essential to look at the elements necessary to make the checkout experience as enjoyable and frictionless as possible.
One way to develop customer-centric payments strategy is by providing several payment options that appeal to customers’ needs. During the pandemic, there has been a growing demand for contactless transactions for in-store purchases and QR code-based payments. Consumers are also looking for ways to use digital currencies as a form of in-store tender. 57% of consumers say they would choose where to shop based in part on whether they have suitable payment options. You need to provide more flexibility to meet shoppers’ demands for a broad range of payments options.
Another way to focus on the customer experience with payments is by ensuring there’s no delay in the payment acceptance experience. As mentioned before, no one likes long lines in stores or slow processing online. Therefore, you must complete transactions as quickly as possible by increasing functionality, updating infrastructures and simplifying payments connectivity.
Sound Payment Processes Ease Customer Pain
No matter the channel, shoppers are looking for a frictionless purchase journey from start to finish. Retailers have an opportunity to remove a significant pain point for customers at the checkout by enhancing their payments processes. A fast, seamless, and customer-centric payments strategy across all channels builds a strong path towards improving customer retention.
With the right capabilities, retailers can enable a better checkout experience that exceeds shoppers’ expectations and cultivates loyal, satisfied customers.
Andy Orrock is COO of OLS Payments