Your payment gateway is one of the most vital components of your online business. With the help of your gateway, you can process all types of credit card payments because it transfers the card information your customer entered into your site to the bank. The quality and ease of use of your online payment page and payment gateway are crucial factors to consider since the better your customers’ experience is with the payment process, the higher your profits will be.
Customers May Leave Your Website or Payment Page if:
• It looks untrustworthy. Quite simply, if your aren’t credible, people won’t give you their money. To communicate your integrity, monitor the ad content on your site. Carefully choose a domain name that is not only easy to remember but connotes respectability and worthiness. Take pains to make your site searchable and easy to use. Make it a point to prominently display security and trust seals as well as warranty and money-back guarantee information. Finally, don’t hesitate to blow your own horn. If customers have given you positive reviews and testimonials, share them for the world to see.
• It is too complicated to use. Don’t lose a sale because a potential customer can’t figure out how to maneuver through your complex website. Keep it as simple as possible by removing all ads from your home page if possible. Seriously consider also nixing sidebars, which most people don’t click on anyway. Tailor your site and homepage to accomplish the one thing above all others that you want the customer to do while there. Limit menus to seven items or less since most people can’t remember beyond that. Make navigating as simple as possible by coming up with ways for people to get where they want to go on your site with just two or three clicks. While an abundance of color tends to overwhelm people, users respond well to images. They are pleasing to the eye and make people feel good about your website.
• It has limited payment options. With such a wide array of commerce choices available today, you can’t afford to limit the ways people pay. There are times when expanding payment options might be inconvenient or even financially challenging, but the benefits speak for themselves.
For one thing, you will gain more revenue by cultivating business from people who formerly went elsewhere to use their payment method of choice. Further, you can win sales from the younger demographic of millennials who tend to prefer to use alternative payment methods. When you accept most all ways to pay, you are sure to enhance the check-out experience of all of your customers. When you remember that happy customers tend to come back and bring their friends, the advantages of accepting numerous payment types speak for themselves.
• It forces customers to sign up or register. Simplicity means giving people choices about how much information to divulge. Sure, it would be nice to have a complete dossier on every customer in order to put them on your mailing list and encourage repeat business. However, some people would prefer to keep their data to themselves by checking out as a guest. You have a choice: Either respect their wishes and get the sale, or demand information they don’t want to give and lose them forever.
Avoid Any Cause for Alarm
Today’s customers are conscious of their security and wary of scams. What’s more, they have many choices. If you give them any reason to become squeamish through a disorganized or poorly written website, failure to display security seals or an excessive demand for information, they will abandon their shopping cart, which is the kiss of death for online businesses.
Make E-Commerce Mirror an In-Store Experience
Brick-and-mortar stores have certain advantages. Since they are housed in solid buildings, they have products and employees that people can see and touch. Potential customers can tell right away if a place looks fly-by-night or disreputable. Your e-commerce site should give people every reason to trust your company and what you sell. Clarity, transparency and friendly, readily available customer support are vital parts of making this a reality.
Paying on a Separate Site — Yes or No?
At first blush, it might seem that sending customers to a different site to make their payments is always a bad idea. After all, that process takes them off your page and requires them to put their trust in another entity. While this is true, there are certain situations where offsite payments make sense.
One of these is if your store is not well-known. Perhaps you are just getting started and have only a small customer base. In that situation, a gateway provider could impart an aura of stability and familiarity that your business does not have on its own.
Another such instance can occur if you are doing business in a country where buyers are used to going off-site to make their payments. In this case, asking them to complete the sale without going to a site they trust might make them queasy about buying from you.
In most instances, going with a third-party provider for your payment page will deliver the data security you can’t easily offer. Some gateway providers offer a payment page that will mimic the design of your website. With this type of hosted payment page, customers will have the reassurance of being connected to you while also having the peace of mind that comes with greater security.
Making Your Payment Page More Trustworthy
1. Don’t be shy about displaying logos and seals. Be absolutely clear about all of the payment methods you accept.
2. Of course, you don’t want to add artificial or fraudulent security logos. It’s all about establishing your integrity.
3. In the spirit of transparency, make your payment processing methods crystal clear. Customers will be far more likely to complete the sale in spite of being taken to a separate payment site if you have given them ample information that it is about to happen and why. Establishing the fact that this is a way to enhance the security of the transaction can be a big help.
4. Your gateway offers settings that, when properly configured, can increase your site’s security and minimize your chances of fraud. Be sure that your gateway and payment page is set to require credit card security codes. Require the customer to input their zip code–it’s a number that does not appear on a stolen credit card but which any legitimate customer would know. Be sure to flag suspicious transaction amounts so that you can review them manually before processing them. Finally, flag according to geography by setting your gateway to alert you if customers from parts of the world where you don’t usually do business are attempting to make transactions.
5. As stated above, use address validation sparingly since it can frustrate even valid customers.
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