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Over the past decade, online shopping has become more and more popular. These days, you can find almost anything available to purchase online, and most people don’t think twice about heading to their favorite online stores when they need to get something new. Amazon is one website that has revolutionized the way that we shop online forever, and there are several great eCommerce brands that offer specialist products that might be difficult to find at physical stores. While there is always going to be a time and a place for supermarkets and traditional stores, it’s impossible to deny that many consumers today rely on online shopping to get what they need. Over the past couple of years, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken online shopping to an even higher level, with more products ordered online than ever before as a result of more people staying at home and looking for safer, contact-free ways to get the items that they want or need.
The popularity of online shopping means that for entrepreneurs, there has never been a better time to consider starting an eCommerce store. Yes, competition is very high, but when done right, selling online can be an excellent business idea, and there are countless product ideas to consider. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more eCommerce businesses have been launched as store owners realized the value of trading online and business-minded people took advantage of the demand for certain products.
If you are considering starting an eCommerce store or are in the process of setting up your online shop, how to collect payments from customers is likely going to be one of the top considerations you’ll make. Here are some of the main things that today’s customers expect from the online checkout process.
Today there are various ways to pay online, including a range of credit and debit card types, Apple Pay and Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and buy-now, pay-later services like Klarna. One of the first things to ensure when setting up your online checkout system is that your customers have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to how they want to pay. Accepting credit and debit card payments is the minimum standard for an eCommerce store. Ideally, when it comes to online credit card processing for small businesses, you should use a system that allows customers to pay using a range of credit and debit card types including Visa, Mastercard and American Express, which are the most popular options. Learn more with this guide to online credit card processing for small businesses from NadaPayments.
Customers want to be able to trust in the online shop they are buying from when it comes to keeping their data and financial information safe and secure. Most customers are not going to be willing to put their debit or credit card details out there if they think they might end up in the wrong hands. Making sure that the checkout process is encrypted with SSL and offers as many security measures as possible will provide peace of mind to your customers and encourage more purchases.
Guest Checkout Option
One of the biggest reasons why customers abandon their carts is due to the amount of work it takes them to make a purchase. The last thing that most customers want when shopping online is to have to fill in lengthy forms with their personal details before they can buy what they want. For this reason, a guest checkout feature is a very handy one to have. This allows you to only collect the necessary information from your customers such as their name and mailing address, before offering the option for them to sign up and create an account for later use after they’ve purchased rather than before.
An unexpected postage fee added on at the end is another reason for customers to abandon their cart. Because of this, many businesses now offer free shipping and roll this into the cost of their products instead, so that the customer isn’t facing any sudden surprises when they come to pay. However, if you cannot offer free shipping for any reason, it’s important to make sure that you are transparent about fees throughout the entire checkout process. Wherever possible, make the shipping costs clear at the start, to avoid an abandoned cart later. Ideally, you should provide your customer with several shipping options to choose from. Some companies offer free shipping, but the customer will need to wait longer for the item to arrive, while providing faster shipping options that the customer can choose to pay for.
eCommerce has become one of the most popular ways of shopping, and the checkout experience is one of the most important aspects of shopping online.