The last thing any online or in-store retailer wants is for their customers to abandon their shopping carts. That means a lost sale in the present and the potential for lost sales in the future if the customer decides to not return. However, some retailers have been so accustomed to controlling the transaction process that they have lost touch with what their customers want out of a checkout experience.
To combat that, retailers need to understand why customers leave. HubSpot produced an infographic that described some of the many reasons why customers abandon their shopping carts. The reasons included concerns about transaction security, no guest checkout option, minimal payment options, and no mobile-friendly payment options.
One way to combat these issues and ensure customers complete their transaction is to provide a frictionless payment experience. This is where alternative checkout options can make the difference. With only a certain amount to invest in making payment system changes, here are some ways you can strategically increase alternative checkout options.
Before adding more checkout options, get feedback from customers about their ideal checkout experience. After all, they are essentially now in charge. This feedback will tell you if you need to focus on mobile checkout options like a mobile app or mobile wallet, or if there are other alternatives they want.
They may enjoy the idea of having an employee approach them in an aisle to finalize the purchase there. Or, they may expect new store concepts like Amazon’s walk-out model, where customers take their products after scanning the QR codes and then sensors send the bill to the customer’s mobile phone where payment is issued.
Look Beyond the Payment Component
Their responses may also provide insights on other aspects of checkout where an alternative option will provide the specific value they seek. For example, you may want to focus on an alternative checkout option that provides a way for customers to order and pay online and then pickup in the store, following what’s known as the on-demand model.
Or, it may be good to select checkout options where the customer can redeem your brand’s loyalty points to pay for part of all their purchase. This can be part of a mobile app or available online or at in-store checkout to give customers a way to see more value in the rewards points.
Add Alternatives That Make Sense for Your Retail Format
Consider what alternative checkout processes make sense for your business. If you are a storefront, then focus on mPOS and other tools that simplify checkout, including employees who can walk around and complete transactions for customers so they don’t have to stand in line.
Or, if you are online and have a storefront, then the on-demand checkout options make sense. If you are only online, you’ll need to consider other options for desktop and mobile shoppers, including guest accounts, integration with Visa checkout and similar services that auto-fill the information, and auto-reorder features.
Ask Your Payment Processor Partner for Direction
Discuss available options with your payment processor partner. As your long-term provider, they should be able to make recommendations on what to add to your checkout options that will best serve your customers and their expectations.
The best payment processors are those that have upgraded their solutions with the latest technology and tools that address these checkout expectations, providing their clients with a way to seamlessly increase the options for shoppers.
Leverage User Testing and Pilot Programs
To be sure you are taking the best approach with increasing checkout options, it helps to test drive some of the potential options and get feedback.
User testing programs enable online checkout while a contactless payment, tap and pay, or mobile pay pilot program would be directed at the in-store experience. This provides a way to try different options and identify one or more that achieves the best response, thereby maximizing the investment.
Continually Review and Assess
As more companies understand customer expectations around the ideal experience, more alternative checkout solutions are being added to the market for use by physical stores and eCommerce organizations. This means that you should designate a quarterly or semi-annual review to assess your checkout experience and determine what else you can add for customers.
Determine if the latest options have provided the intended return, or if you need to add further processes to the checkout experience. By doing so, you’ll prioritize customers’ needs, which has become so critical with today’s generations of shoppers.