68% of UK shoppers abandon sites over this, says PPRO Group co-founder Tobias Schreyer

Poor payment processes are costing online retailers sales

68 per cent of UK shoppers abandon retail websites due to poor payment processes, says Tobias Schreyer, co-founder of e-payment specialist PPRO Group, in this opinion piece.

There are many reasons why online merchants may lose sales. Difficult to navigate web pages, poor choice of products and asking customers for too much personal data are all valid reasons. However, one element which is regularly overlooked comes at the very end of the customer’s shopping journey and is in fact one of the main reasons for basket abandonment.

The payment process.

According to our recent research, 68 per cent of UK consumers have abandoned an online retail site simply due to the payment process (One Poll surveyed 1,000 UK adults). Over half of these (57 per cent) left because the process was too complicated, while 46 per cent didn’t complete the transaction as the merchant didn’t offer them their payment option of choice.

This demonstrates that to succeed online, merchants must consider an omni-payment strategy to keep customers happy and maximise sales. The front-end of a retail website may be beautifully designed, with a vast selection of merchandise, but if customers cannot pay how they want to, products will stay unsold, resulting in low profits. 

Variety is essential

It’s no longer adequate to offer customers one single way of paying – in-store or online. Not everyone has a credit or debit card, so if this is all that’s on offer, merchants automatically lose out on sales from those who prefer to pay by an alternative method.

In fact, 88 per cent of UK consumers expect to have the option to pay by a number of means when they shop via the internet.

It’s key to remember that if payment options are limited, so are sales opportunities.

Globally, credit cards are the preferred payment method, however this is not the case in every country. Payment preferences vary just as languages do and the last thing merchants want is the payment process to be the barrier between customers and sales.

In addition to offering variety, consumers want to know their money is in safe hands. If a payment page doesn’t show that you are taking customer’s security seriously, this is likely to scare people off. By meeting the relevant regulations, for example PCI compliancy and displaying this at point of sale, consumers minds are automatically at ease. 

By offering a variety of payments, meeting international preferences and maintaining customers trust by keeping them secure, online businesses have the chance to flourish both domestically and internationally. If payment issues on online retail sites are not addressed, the implications could be disastrous and ultimately affect sales and revenue.

About the author

Tobias Schreyer is co-founder of e-payment specialist PPRO Group.

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