Checkout page mistakes can hurt your sales, drive down revenue, and ultimately ruin your business.
Even if you already have a good eCommerce site that accepts credit cards and/or other types of digital payment, not making the right choices and being savvy enough when it comes to online payment processing can be detrimental to your online business success.
See what mistakes many small businesses make and things you can do to ensure your e-commerce store is on the right track.
6 Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Selling Online
1. Not providing multiple payment options
Having multiple payment methods naturally makes it more convenient for online shoppers to pay. So to improve your payment page conversion rate, you need to facilitate your customers by accepting not only the more conventional forms of payment like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, but also the newer online payment methods like Sofort, iDeal and ACH, as well as mobile wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, Alipay, Visa Checkout, MasterPass and so on.
Small businesses tend to struggle and face challenges with regard to converting mobile shoppers, particularly given the fact that payment page conversion rates are usually lower on mobile – averaging around 20%. Accepting mobile wallets may help you overcome this challenge, at least to some extent, since some of them provide a mix of free marketing tools like coupons and discounts.
2. Failing to optimize their cross-border ecommerce payment processing
Throughout the world cross-border e-commerce has grown exponentially in recent times. In fact, it is now worth $400 billion and counting. If you’re not taking proactive measures to attract international shoppers, then you’re missing out on a big piece of the pie.
But you can reverse this by optimizing your online store for cross-border e-commerce. The first, and the most important, thing you need to do is make sure you have a robust, speedy and globally-minded payment processor/gateway. Such a payment processor should enable you to offer prices in local currencies, present your checkout page in local languages, and provide popular local payment options for multiple countries. This will ensure that you’re able to satisfy the online shopping needs of customers from Italy, UK, Japan, or anywhere in the world.
3. Failing to utilize built-in intelligent payment routing
Utilizing intelligent payment routing and failover capabilities is crucial to achieving an increased percentage of approved transactions, or payment conversion rate; and, therefore, must be an integral part of your store’s payment processing engine.
Intelligent payment routing refers to the process involved in sending (or “routing”) transactions to the acquiring bank (the bank responsible for processing transactions on behalf of the merchant/online store) where it is most likely to be approved. When a customer buys something from your store, the request for payment is sent through your payment processor/gateway to the acquiring bank where it is either accepted or declined.
Intelligent payment routing, sometimes referred to as automatic transaction routing, involves sending transactions to the best acquiring bank that will most likely approve the request for payment. When this happens, you’re able to realize maximum payment page conversion rates.
As well as intelligent payment routing, your payment processing engine should support automatic fail-over transactions. This simply means, if one acquiring bank is not able to complete the transaction, it is automatically sent to another – which might allow it to go through. This, in turn, increases your percentage of approved transactions.
4. Failing to provide free shipping, coupons and other fulfilment services
Coupons and free shipping are some of the most effective ways to increase your conversion rates.
Coupons, like any other form of discount, give customers an extra incentive to purchase, thereby boosting conversions. They are also a great strategy when it comes to attracting repeat customers.
But free shipping is even more beneficial
A 2015 survey conducted by Statista showed that 78% of the respondents were lured into joining Amazon Prime by their free 2-day shipping. And according to another study, 56% of online shoppers leave their filled shopping carts before making the purchase because of unexpected costs, mostly shipping charges, at the checkout. So it’s recommended to provide free shipping if you can; but if you cannot do this, be sure to reveal any shopping charges upfront.
5. Failing to ensure a smooth checkout process
Facilitating a frictionless checkout has been shown to increase online sales by up to 40%. This typically involves creating a less demanding checkout that requires shoppers to fill out as few fields as possible in order to complete their purchase. When your customers have filled their baskets, you need to ensure that they have a smooth and seamless checkout experience. So make sure your checkout is well optimized and doesn’t have too many form fields that could lead to abandonment.
6. Using social media correctly
Social media is huge for businesses today and can make a big difference with their success. While it’s easy to open up an account at a networking site, that doesn’t mean that it’s being managed correctly. In fact, social media has to be used correctly in order for it to be effective for a business. If you’re looking to better your business and want to know if you’re using social media correctly, then ask yourself the questions below.
Are You Using Analytics?
It’s important to know what posts on your Facebook get you the most likes or what search engine searches get you the most clicks. One thing you can easily do to find out what is working for you on Facebook is use the Facebook analytics tool, which shows you what people respond to the most. After that, use Google Analytics to find out how people are getting to your website. By understanding these things you will be able to learn more about your customers and what it is that they want. If you’re not using analytics you could be missing out on a lot of business opportunities.
What’s Your Title Online?
It’s important that you have a professional appearance online if you want to make a good impression with marketing. Whatever you do, don’t label yourself a guru. This is something a lot of people call themselves, including those who really don’t know what they are doing when it comes to marketing.
Are your Departments Connected?
Within a business there are a lot of different departments, from e-mail and website to social media and advertising. It’s important that you make sure all of the departments are working together, which will create unity and ensure everything is linking together. For example, e-mails should have links to your website and your Twitter account should have posts that link to your website. All that you do to market your business needs to connect with each other so people can easily find you and you get more leads!
Are you Keeping an Eye on the Competition?
Competitors are out there no matter what field you’re in, and it’s up to you to keep an eye on them. You can do this by looking at their Facebook and Twitter pages so you’re aware of what direction their marketing is going in. You should always be aware of the major influences in your industry so you can connect with them and get conversations going in your direction.
Do You Have a Social Networking Strategy?
When you update your Twitter feed or a Facebook account you have to have a strategy. You can develop this through analytics, which will tell you what your audience likes and needs. After you have a plan you will likely be a lot more successful with the campaigns that you post through social media. If you didn’t have that plan you would likely end up not seeing the response that you wanted to.
Are You Listening to Fans?
If you’re not responding to your fans on social media then you’re definitely not using it right. You absolutely have to respond in order to address needs, answer questions and find solutions to complaints. While you don’t have to answer every single person, you should make it a point to respond frequently and have someone to at least offer a phone number for them to call. Treat your fans right and you will find that they stick around for a while, especially if you have a lot of contests or interactive posts. Just make sure you learn the balance between talking enough and talking too much.