Here’s a newsflash: Money and the way that we use it are changing right in front of our eyes.
Businesses have taken notice. In order to reach their full potential and lock in loyal customers in this environment, they need to provide shoppers with payment options that allow them to pay however, whenever and wherever they want. But, with the digitization of cash, the disappearance of checks and transformation of credit cards, and with the proliferation of connected devices, it can be difficult to know where to start.
To help lighten the load, here are a few tips on how to focus your payments strategies to help grow your business.
Simplify and secure online checkout.
First and foremost, it is critical to offer your shoppers a seamless and secure checkout experience. Customers now demand simple and beautiful ecommerce experiences. So, the more steps to your checkout process, the higher the likelihood for cart abandonment – especially for high-priced electronics. Simplifying your checkout experience with a single-click or one touch payment option that eliminates the need for password re-entry is proven to increase sales, average order values, customer adoption and loyalty.
According to a recent IPSOS study, mobile commerce is growing at three times the rate of traditional ecommerce and poised to make a significant breakthrough over the next few years. Consequently, many successful ecommerce businesses are taking a “mobile first” approach in their development. Optimizing your mobile website and/or app checkout experience should be a priority, as it will allow mobile shoppers to check out conveniently and securely with just one touch.
Today’s payment options allow your business to be “mobile” as well. A simple, portable card reader, a mobile device and some software are all you need to take your business with you and sell your products. Whether you’re working the store floor or miles away at a tradeshow, you can quickly and securely accept debit/credit cards, record cash and check payments, send electronic invoices and send instant receipts from a card reader and tablet.
As more and more consumers across the world shop online, businesses of all sizes need to think globally when it comes to sales and marketing. Consumer electronics businesses in particular should be sure to accept payments from shoppers abroad. It is the second most popular industry for international commerce, making up 26 percent of all international online purchases.
Pro tip: Resources from the Federal Trade Commission, the Small Business Association and PassPort are out there to help guide you through the ins and outs of cross-border trade through customs, regulations, shipping, currency exchanges, holidays and even translations.
Let credit power your business and your customers.
Securing capital continues to be a top challenge for small businesses. But smarter, technology-based lending solutions now provide near-instant access to capital for businesses and their shoppers online. Providing shoppers with flexible credit at checkout not only gives them more purchasing power for high-ticket electronics, but it is also proven to drives sales. A recent Forrester study found that offering shoppers this type of credit results in a 17 percent increase in incremental sales and 21 percent lift in average order value.
Choose a payments partner, not just a processor.
Over the next few years, the commerce experience will be completely rewired. Thankfully, you don’t have to juggle half a dozen payment processers to keep up. The key is to collaborate with the right payments partner to help streamline and unify all of your payment processing needs to better enable business growth. Look for a scalable platform that is able to optimize your payment processing end-to-end, and always keep pace with this thriving and dynamic industry. It is alongside these types of partners that you will truly connect with your shoppers to grow and thrive.
Steve Fusco is VP/general manager of North American distribution for PayPal, leading the team responsible for developing commerce-enabling relationships with millions of small businesses and the network of global technology-platforms partners that enable them.