By Eran Feinstein is the CEO, Direct Pay Online
These days, fast technological developments have made it possible for ecommerce merchants to sell to customers from all over the globe. Targeting overseas customers is an opportunity too great to be missed, as it allows you to offer your products and services to a much wider audience than before. However, to serve these customers best, you need to ensure you provide a superior payment experience no matter where the customer is located.
Start by looking for problem areas. There are two key signs that international customers are unhappy with your payment process. When looking at your data, you may find that in contrast to local customers, international customers have:
- Higher return or chargeback rates
- Higher shopping cart abandonment rates
Why these problems occur, and what you can do about it
There are many reasons why your international customers might not go through with their purchases, or they change their minds after a payment has been made. Usually, it is either because of a lack of payment services offered, or an unsatisfactory checkout experience. By taking a few extra steps to improve the payment experience, you can make sure your online store is as appealing as possible to international customers.
Here are some things you can do to lower abandonment and chargeback rates, and encourage your overseas customers to make purchases on your site:
Enable multi-currency payments
One way to satisfy your international customers is by allowing them to pay in the currency used by their credit card, without having to pay large conversion fees. This also decreases chargebacks that may occur when a customer realizes that the foreign currency payment came to a much higher total than expected in their local currency. Also, sometimes, a customer’s payment is flagged as fraud because it was in a different currency. Offering local currencies will prevent these issues altogether and provide a more pleasant purchasing experience.
Accept more payment types
Make sure you accept all of the popular global credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Other international payment methods, like digital wallets or mobile money, may be more popular with some international customers, so those should be offered too. By accepting more payment types, you decrease the chances of losing customers who can’t find their payment method at checkout.
Ensure the payment page looks secure
According to HubSpot, security concerns are one of the main reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Some customers will be extra wary of an unfamiliar website located in a different country to their own. Display security logos to show your customers that your brand is trustworthy and their information is safe. Use a payment service provider that is PCI DSS level one certified, adhering to strict, globally recognized security standards.
Additionally, the design of the checkout page can add to the feeling of security it reflects. For example, a cluttered checkout page tends to read as insecure and untrustworthy, whereas a cleaner design, such as the one below, reads as the polar opposite. Plus it guides the user through the checkout process more efficiently.
Make the payment process quick and smooth
There shouldn’t be too many steps involved in your payment process. Keep it to two or three clear, easy steps. And don’t ask your customers for too much information. Entering a shipping address might be necessary, but asking for a birthday or phone number is tedious. The quicker the payment process, the happier the customer will be to complete the steps involved, and the more sales will get completed.
As such, always allow for a guest checkout option, so that customers aren’t forced to create an account with you in order to make a payment. According to itworks, an estimated 23% of shopping cart abandonments occur due to forced account creation. An over-complicated payment process just might be enough to put people off from buying your product.
Offer the checkout page in multiple languages
A checkout page in a foreign language will deter international customers from purchasing from you. Ensuring the page is available in your customer’s language, free from spelling errors and grammar mistakes, will increase your chances of making a sale. Showing customers product prices in their local currency also improves the payment experience, as they can instantly relate to the cost of the product.
Putting these tips into practice
The easiest way to make the above improvements is to speak to your payment service provider (PSP) and find out what services they offer for merchants wishing to operate globally. A good PSP will be able to offer numerous payment methods, multi-currency payments, and unsurpassable security, all in one, single integrated solution. The PSP will have links with acquiring banks all over the world, enabling smoother transactions, with fewer declines, and a streamlined transaction approval process. With an improved payment experience, you are guaranteed to benefit from higher sales rates and a satisfied global customer base.
Eran Feinstein is the CEO of Direct Pay Online, a global e-commerce and online payments solutions provider for the travel and related industries. With over 14 years of experience leading technology, sales, marketing and operation teams, Eran is an authority in the East African e-commerce and payments arena. He's also an avid marathon runner.
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