Understanding how customers experience the online payment process
September 04, 2013

Electronic payment systems are a necessary tool for businesses that want to increase sales and break into digital markets. Customer behaviors have changed dramatically over the last decade, and many people now expect their favorite brands to accept credit card payments online with relative ease.

Before businesses consider incorporating an integrated payment system into their online stores, it's important to understand the customer's expectations when it comes to paying for products on the Internet. Here are some key pieces of information to keep in mind when establishing integrated payment systems:

Cater online payment options to the target audience
Kiss Metrics, an analytics and digital marketing services provider, said businesses should always consider the unique preferences of their customers when designing online payment portals. In many cases, the more options a company provides, the happier customers will be with the overall experience. However, every business attracts a unique clientele. Taking a close look at whether individuals prefer the ability to pay with credit cards or electronic checks is important for setting up a system that customers ultimately find convenient and valuable. Just as businesses are likely to consider their clientele when developing their actual products, the same strategy is essential in offering integrated payment systems online.

Reduce the number of steps required to complete the online checkout
Studies have shown consumers prefer a streamlined approach to processing remote payments. In fact, many people quickly lose patience when online shopping portals feature too many filters before the actual process of payment. According to Smashing Magazine, an online publication for Web designers and developers, the average checkout procedures at some of the top e-commerce websites involve an average of 5.08 steps.

An infographic compiled by Milo, a local shopping service, revealed a large majority of online consumers abandon their shopping carts just moments before the actual transaction is complete. Many of those individuals often attribute their last-minute decisions to not purchase items to the fact that shipping costs were revealed too late in the process. Reducing the number of steps customers have to go through to see the total price of their purchase is one way to improve the experience of electronic payment systems. Smashing Magazine said the need to set up user accounts before making purchases is another frequent deterrent. Many consumers often equate the need to create an account with the potential for spam mail in the future.

Creating an online payment system can be a challenging task for small and medium-sized companies. The right payment processing business can ultimately make the experience much easier for everyone involved.

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