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SOURCE: Bambora, an Ingenico Group Company

More than half of Australians regularly abandon their carts when shopping online. This frustrating stat means the time and effort used on customer acquisition hasn’t been best spent. We’ve found seven tips to help you reduce friction in your payment process and convert more sales online.

For online retailers, it’s a frustrating fact of life that 57% of Australians regularly abandon their shopping carts. That means more than half of your potential conversions walk away before finalising the deal.

This figure represents a huge missed opportunity for conversions on your site. It also represents a waste in customer acquisition costs if more than half of your potential customers drop off before completing a sale.

All businesses want to improve their conversion rates, but it is often easier said than done. However, one of the best places to start is to reduce friction in the payment process.

What Is Friction?
Reducing friction means that you remove as many barriers as possible in the checkout process. You make it easier for customers to complete the sale, which lowers shopping cart abandonment.

Reducing friction across your entire site is also the key to improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. This is what Jennifer Arnold, VP of Marketing with SAP customer experience, found from a survey of Australian consumers.

"Customers want the basics done right," Arnold says. And if you don't meet their preferences, customers are willing to buy from competitors who do.

Creating a frictionless experience should be a top priority for online retailers. That applies to everything from page speed - bounce rates increase by almost a third when page load speeds rise from 1 second to 3 seconds - to payment functions.

So how do you know if you meet the criteria for a frictionless payment process? Here are a few guidelines to aim for:

• Customers have the ability to complete payments quickly
• They spend as little time waiting as possible
• A minimal number of steps must be taken to complete the payment process
• The checkout process feels like a natural extension of the overall customer experience

7 Ways To Reduce Friction
The average online retailer is missing out on a huge volume of sales, and working to remove friction from payment processes can lower that number. Here are some tips for getting started.

1. Keep it simple
The more information you require customers to enter, the less likely they are to complete the sale. That’s why you should only ask for what’s necessary to process the payment and shipment.

You really only need the following information to complete the sale:

• Name
• Address
• Credit card number
• Expiration date
• Security code

If you ask for too much information, customers are more likely to get frustrated and give up on the purchase. Consumers are also security conscious today, making them suspicious of organisations that ask for seemingly unnecessary information.

2. Let customers define their relationship with you
Ideally, consumers will sign up for an account or subscription with your business. A customer account gives you additional opportunities to market to them in the future. It also ensures their future experiences with your business are seamless.

But not everyone wants that level of commitment. Some customers prefer never to have an account. Others may need to quickly complete the purchase and don't have time to set one up today.

That’s why you should always give an option to check out as a guest. This puts the consumer in control of their relationship with you. That builds trust for the future and helps ensure more people finalise their purchase today.

3. Create authority and trust
One of the quickest ways to eliminate trust is to surprise consumers with unexpected information at checkout. According to the SAP survey mentioned above, this is one of the biggest reasons many Australians engage in cart abandonment.

Around 60% say they abandon payment processes because of unexpected shipping costs. More than 30% don't finalise the purchase because items they want are out of stock. And around 29% stop because shipping times are longer than expected.

When consumers go through the shopping process and take the effort to make a decision, they can feel their trust is misplaced if information is different when they arrive at the cart.

That’s why it’s so important for businesses to focus on creating authority and trust with transparency. For example, keep your site updated so consumers know when items are out of stock.

Someone who sees an item isn't in stock may move on to select another item. But if you wait until they've done all that work and tell them at checkout, they're more likely to abandon the purchase altogether.

4. Further support trust with flexible payment options
Every consumer has different financial needs and preferences. They may also have unique feelings about what payment methods are safest when purchasing online.

That’s why it’s important to offer a variety of payment options. This includes credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets and more. By allowing customers to pay with their preferred and most-trusted payment method, you create trust in your brand.

5. Support secure, convenient mobile shopping
According to PayPal's 2019 mCommerce Index, 73% of Australian shoppers have shopped and paid for goods and services with a mobile device. And more than half do so at least once a week.

If your website and cart processes aren't optimised for mobile, you could potentially lose out on half or more of potential sales. Spend the time and money to create mobile checkouts that are optimised fur user experience.

This includes inputs that are tap-based versus those that require typing and information designed to display well on smaller screens.

6. Continuously integrate best practices
The internet and technology evolve at a constant and rapid pace, and online retailers must keep up. What works for payment procedures today may not be best practice tomorrow.

So you should always be looking for ways to improve your processes and meet current market and consumer needs.

Pay attention to who the market leaders are, and analyze their approach to online payments. This will help you stay competitive in an ever-changing digital environment.

7. Use technology integrations to your advantage
Frictionless payments make the sales process easier for the buyer and the seller. They give the customer more freedom and flexibility, and help you improve efficiency during the checkout process.

Reducing friction isn’t always easy, but you don't have to do all this work alone. A technology partner can help you keep pace with advances in eCommerce while protecting your brand and the experience of your customers.

Want to know more?
The team at Paymark are here to collaborate and help create the ideal payment experience for your business.
Visit our website or contact the Paymark Customer Care Helpdesk, available 24 hours, 7 days a week: 0800 PAYMARK (0800 729627); support@paymark.co.nz.