Why online merchants should prioritize the consumer checkout experience
In today’s hyper competitive marketplace, online businesses must look beyond offering unique products and services to gain a competitive advantage. As more consumers shop and transact online, merchants will need to focus on providing a fast and seamless checkout experience that drive sales and helps them standout.
This article explores how customers' attitudes towards online shopping are shifting, and why it's never been more important for businesses to focus on enhancing the checkout experience.
With more people shopping online than ever before, conveniences that originally emerged out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic have quickly become the expectation among consumers, including enhancements at the checkout. As a result, online merchants are finding that they need to be more in tune with consumer expectations and eliminate relevant pain points at the checkout or risk significant revenue loss as customers take their shopping elsewhere.
In a recent study commissioned by Paysafe, which surveyed over 1,100 online merchants in 12 countries, 74% of respondents confirmed that their checkout actually offers a competitive advantage for their business. Out of the merchants surveyed, 89% also agreed that payments play an important role in attracting new customers, while 88% see payments as an opportunity to retain customers and deepen loyalty.
Adding to this, 85% of merchants see enhancements made to their checkout as vital for their overall growth strategy, and 83% regard payments as a key tool to enter new markets.
The competitive advantage
Online merchants recognize the need to eliminate relevant pain points at the checkout. Understanding how the landscape is changing, the technology that’s available, and which solutions are right for the business can help more merchants achieve the growth they desire.
More ways to pay
Preparing for seasonal surges in sales
When it comes to meeting the demands of today’s online shoppers, offering flexibility at the checkout is imperative to protect against the loss of a potential sale and can help drive higher conversion rates. The acceleration of eCommerce since the early days of the pandemic has seen a mix of merchants transition their business online for the first time and equipping their checkouts to process a variety of payment methods.
While debit and credit cards continue to be the primary payment methods offered, merchants are increasingly adopting new and emerging solutions, such as bank transfers, digital wallets, and online cash, or eCash. By offering customers the option to pay based on their preference, this enables people to have a say in the transaction process, which fosters differentiation in an otherwise noisy and saturated landscape.
More than three-quarters (76%) of the merchants Paysafe surveyed run online businesses that depend on the revenue they receive from seasonal sales, and for these companies, being able to handle surges in demand and customer spending is vital. Failure to effectively mitigate these challenges may result in lost revenue but could also wreak havoc on the business’ reputation and impact future sales.
In rising to the challenge of coping with seasonal surges, merchants view their payment partner’s role as vital, with 84% agreeing that their payment provider’s support is key in helping them handle periods of high demand. The fear of having an issue and being unable to quickly process transactions are worth noting as 52% of surveyed merchants bemoaned having experienced issues with their online checkouts during surging shopping periods. Working with a reliable payments partner during these peak times is therefore essential for online retailers.
Understanding how the landscape is changing, the technology that’s available, and which solutions are right for the business can help more merchants achieve the growth they desire. This means working with the right payments partner to create a fully optimized online checkout where customers return again and again.