Digital payments are on the rise, with an expected growth rate of 12 percent by 2023. That’s great news, but there’s room for much more, and the best way to achieve further growth is to make the process of actually paying for something easy and quick.
So what defines the perfect payment experience? Start by getting rid of the idea that one solution will work for everyone. It is also important to remember that you’re not just taking money; you’re also engaging with your audience.
Below, we share our recommendations for making the payment process easier.
1. Educate Your Customers
Despite this upward trend, some consumers are still cautious about diving into digital. In 2018, 77 percent of payments were made in person, and 39 percent of those were made in cash.
But the more you proactively educate your customers, particularly on the reliability and security of swiping or tapping, the more comfortable they will be. Consider putting up a sign in your business or pinging your email list to explain the benefits, and safety, of digital payments.
2. Cut out the Red Tape
Do everything you can to make the transaction as easy as possible. No one wants to keep track of yet another username and password. Ask yourself what the value is of making customers jump through these hoops when they put up barriers between them and their purchase.
Most shoppers don’t know or care about your internal business reasons for collecting this information. Minimize (or eliminate altogether) opt-ins and marketing pushes and let them get right to the business of payment. Once they see that it is a smooth and easy process, you can hit them up with a request to leave a review, sign up for an email newsletter, or join a loyalty program.
3. Give Them Multiple Payment Options
It is important to accept many forms of payment, but it is certainly not necessary to offer an endless laundry list of every option under the sun. Get to know your audience and see what they want. If their preferred payment method is there, checkout will be simple, reducing the chance of an abandoned cart.
You will also set your company up to exceed customer expectations: They likely envision a limited set of options at checkout, so imagine their delight when they see a wide variety. They’ll leave on a positive note and be more likely to come back.
4. Keep the Payment Experience on Your Site
You put a lot of time, money, and people power into getting customers to your website. Why then leave the last step of their visit to a third party? If they click “checkout” and it takes them to a new company with a new layout, they may end up feeling lost at sea, and even abandon the purchase altogether.
Don’t squander your last chance to make a good impression before users complete their interaction with your company. Your business’s website should be the last thing they experience.
5. Reward Customers Instantly
Shoppers will be more inclined to use their digital wallets if they get a bonus out of it. A comprehensive loyalty program shows your customers that you’re willing to give something back in order to earn their repeat business.
It is easy to get caught up in the logistics of loyalty, with points, tiers, levels, and the like. Keep the process simple and let them start earning immediately after a purchase, right at the POS terminal.
6. Personalize the Buying Experience
Customer data is a wonderful thing—it lets you use factors such as purchase history, loyalty status, and even billing address to customize the payment experience. Buying a swanky new pair of pants? Make sure there’s an offer in their inbox for 15 percent off a matching shirt. Long-time loyal customer? Encourage them to spend those loyalty points before the Christmas rush.
7. Let Them Pay by Text
This will not only be convenient for your customers, but will also significantly reduce the time you need to wait for payment. As it is in comedy, timing is everything for successful SMS payments. Avoid Mondays (everyone wants to get in touch after the weekend), rush hour (who’s going to pay you from their phone while driving?), early mornings, and late nights, and always be aware of the local time zone.
8. Protect Customer Data
Do everything you can to protect your patrons. Keep up with the latest security trends so you can be proactive instead of reacting after there’s a problem. AI and machine learning can certainly help, but each member of your staff also needs to be an advocate for data security.
9. Partner with a Modern, Connected Payment Solution
Your customers deserve an efficient payment encounter that adds value to their shopping experience and keeps them coming back. Poynt provides user-friendly transactions to your patrons and back-end systems that allow your staff to serve them well.