Using payments to take eCommerce to the next level

mobile ecommerce
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Often viewed as the “end” of a customer’s purchase journey, payments are frequently overlooked as an opportunity for incremental improvements in a business’ eCommerce operations. With mobile commerce forecasted to account for 70 percent of digital commerce sales globally by 2022, businesses will be hard pressed to consolidate their eCommerce functionalities across multiple purchase channels.

By exploring how payments factor into a grander eCommerce operation, companies may be able to reduce costs while simultaneously meeting customer expectations and increasing cart conversions.

Consider how customers want to pay

Consumers want to make purchases with payment methods that are familiar to them. As such, businesses with a successful digital presence accept payment options that are trusted and common in local markets.

For example, in Sweden, about 40 percent of all eCommerce sales are made through Klarna, an alternative payment method (APM). If a business wants to operate or provide payment services in that region, accepting Klarna is as crucial as accepting Visa in the U.S.

Globally, APMs aggregate a larger portion of eCommerce sales compared to credit cards. And digital wallets are predicted to account for almost half of global eCommerce sales by 2022. Offering customers a variety of ways to pay online can make them feel more secure about their purchase decision, thereby influencing their loyalty and, in turn, cart conversions.

Structurally, if a business is using multiple platforms to accept a variety of payments, it must build different processes around each tool, and integrate fraud and APM support add-ons that are specific to each region where business is conducted. Using a single integrated eCommerce platform with one API, one settlement contract and one financial statement eliminates the friction and costs caused by multiple setups.

Accepting a variety of payment types, and consolidating the technology used to accept and process those payments, can help businesses meet customers where they are without adding complexities to the back-end.

Use one token for each credit or debit card, in-store and online

Tokens that represent a customer’s credit card information help keep critical customer data safe from hackers. But when in-store and eCommerce systems assign different tokens to the same credit card, a break can occur in the business’ operational processes resulting in a gap in channel data, incomplete customer tracking information and inaccurate operational reporting.

Choosing a payments provider that can map multiple tokens together can help resolve some of those operational challenges.

Technologies that share a token between two systems can give companies a comprehensive understanding of their customers, including data showing their shopping habits, preferred payment methods and their use of reward points and loyalty programs. This information can then be used to create effective marketing campaigns and more personalized shopping experiences.

The customer experience can also greatly improve when a business that sells in-store and online selects a common token service. For example, if one token is linked across online and in-store transactions, a customer can complete an online order with a credit or debit card and then return the item in-store by swiping the card, thereby reducing any friction in the returns process.

Consolidate vendors

Many large companies find themselves juggling multiple vendors as they try to add functionalities to their eCommerce websites. The complexity only increases for companies that operate in multiple countries (due to APMs and currency conversion), and they often waste money paying for overlapping services.

For example, a company may find it’s paying one vendor to host its eCommerce payment gateway, another to manage multi-currency processing, and a third to aggregate data from each payment channel…while incurring an additional IT cost to implement each feature.

Reducing the amount of vendors to manage can help reduce costs financially and operationally. Consolidating payment functionality to a unified system with one provider lessens the complexities to maintain and provides a direct map for support – consider the time saved when contacting one person as opposed to several.

The right technology can greatly help businesses reduce costs and run more efficiently. When it comes to eCommerce, fusing technology systems can help eliminate the overhead needed to manage a complex, disjointed back end, resulting in integrated experiences for consumers and fewer headaches for businesses.

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