Why payments are a key part of the customer journey

A seamless payments process can mean the difference between winning and losing an online sale, yet all too often retailers are failing to make it easy.

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In the UK, ecommerce grew by 46% year-on-year in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. That has been difficult even for websites with a mature ecommerce offering. For retailers that previously only had a physical presence, they had to adapt by setting up websites at lightning speed. That, in turn, has had an impact on payments. Trends that had been progressing steadily have suddenly leapt forward, leaving some retailers struggling to keep pace.

  • As shoppers increasingly head online they have become pickier, showing greater willingness to abandon their purchases if the process takes too long.

  • Fraud concerns have also risen because cyber criminals have a much wider pool of potential victims to target.

  • Concepts such as ‘contactless’, ‘cashless’ and ‘buy-now-pay-later’ have moved from the margins into the mainstream, forcing retailers to rethink their offers.

What do you need to do?

Elavon, our payments acceptance partner, is seeing changes in the entire payments ecosystem, and expect those changes to remain, including a seamless payment journey for customers. So, what can you do to keep ahead of those changes?

  • Review the payment options you currently give your customers. How flexible and convenient are they? How satisfied are your customers with your current payment options? What could you do to build better customer relationships and create more customer loyalty?

  • You can contact Elavon to explore ways to take payments from your customers, including face to face, over the phone, online or on the move with Elavon’s payments acceptance solutions. Or if you’d rather request a callback from a specialist at Elavon, they can guide you through the options available.

  • Buy-now-pay-later payments are increasing in popularity. Can your payments provider help you integrate this into your strategy? Is this a viable option for the industry you’re in?

  • Maybe you need to gain a better understanding of your existing customers, so your first step might be in carrying out some customer research.

  • Could an app help you give your customers more options to purchase and pay? AppInstitute is a DIY app builder platform making it easy and affordable for any business to create its own app, available through the Apple and Google app stores.

SMEs must respond to changing customer expectations or face being left behind. Offering a truly flexible and secure payment experience will be essential to achieving this.

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