By Ralph Dangelmaier
It's no secret that more consumers are turning to online shopping for the convenience it offers, but the truth is that online shopping is hardly without hassles. In fact, it can be a nightmare for merchants. While giant online merchants like Amazon Inc. and eBay Inc. have mastered the process of capturing an online sale, most e-commerce sites continue to limp through the process.
In the complex world of payments – including leveraging promotions effectively, automating subscription renewal and website optimization – the struggle for small to midsize merchants can seem unending. According to the latest research from Baymard Institute, the online shopping cart abandonment rates are as high as 67 percent – a startling percentage given the increasing number of consumers who like to shop online. Indeed, online retail sales are expected to grow between 9 to 12 percent in 2013.
Studies have shown that shopping cart abandonment rates increase when the payment complexities of the global marketplace come into play. Language barriers, alternate payment types and currency issues all make up the reality of today's online shopping experience.
In the real world, there are many reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. Following are three of the top reasons why shoppers close out before making those shiny new toys their own:
E-commerce can be a great medium for businesses to open their doors online and offer goods and services worldwide. However, many businesses are leaving money on the table by alienating the global audience because they do not have the provisions to accept payments in multiple currencies and payment types.
Businesses typically like to receive payments in the currencies they are comfortable accepting, not the currencies their customers are interested in paying with. While it is understandable that trying to process payments from around the world in different currencies and payment types can be a logistical nightmare for merchants, it is a simple obstacle to address. The easiest way to overcome this is to integrate with a third-party payment platform that handles the complexities of payment on a merchant's behalf so that the merchant can be more productive in fulfilling and processing orders rather than figuring out payments.
If customers can understand exactly what they are buying and being charged for, they will be more comfortable paying online. Unfortunately, most online payment platforms do not offer a fully localized checkout experience that includes local languages and currencies. This leads to customer confusion and a high rate of cart abandonment.
For returning shoppers, filling out personal information each time a purchase is made can be frustrating, especially if customers are using mobile devices. Single-click encourages shoppers to come back and easily purchase again. They don't need to re-enter their information or even have a credit card handy. Including a Buy Now button on any page can go a long way toward encouraging repeat buyers (think "iTunes" buying on e-commerce sites).
There are dozens of reasons why customers leave a website empty handed, but following these simple tips, can help increase actual checkouts and, ultimately, a merchant's bottom line.
Ralph Dangelmaier is Chief Executive Officer of BlueSnap. He has more than 25 years of experience in the payments industry. Most recently, he served as the President of Global Markets and Services for ACI Worldwide, and prior to ACI, he was the CEO of P&H Solutions, leading the business from its early stages to more than $40 million of revenue before its acquisition by ACI in 2006. Contact Ralph at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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