Though it may seem like everything in the payments space is geared towards boosting conversion, i.e. the amount of times a potential customers completes the intended action of clicking “buy” – and this is indeed the case – I’m here today to tell you about three specific ways in which payment technology can raise the conversion rate, i.e. the amount of times a potential customer completes the intended action of clicking “buy” divided by the amount of website visitors.
And so, what are these three technologies? Just to be clear, I’m not saying they’re the be-all-end-all of payment solutions – that’s a very complicated arrangement, requiring the perfect synthesis of security, convenience, and user experience, not to mention marketing and brand recognition – but what they are is tools for eCommerce merchants to use in streamlining the payment process. Without further ado:
1. Customer-Initiated Credential on File (CI COF)
Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? CI COF essentially allows merchants to store customer data upon receiving the cardholder’s consent. When a customer makes their first purchase on an eCommerce website, they’re given the option of saving their card details for easy retrieval at a later date. If they opt in, they may be required to undergo 3D-Secure identification, but all further transactions will be completed in a single click. CI COF not only streamlines checkout, but it also increases the number of repeat visits and repeat purchases, which has a positive effect on customer loyalty and merchant revenues.
2. Merchant-Initiated Credential on File (MI COF)
If CI COF requires the customer to initiate payment, MI COF is an agreement between merchant and consumer wherein the former takes fixed payments from the latter for a specified duration of time. MI COF is common for subscription-based services (membership fees, magazines, etc.) or in automatic top-ups (mobile phone credit, travel tokens, etc.).
3. An optimised customer journey
Perhaps it will sound obvious, but if so, it’s surprising how many eCommerce merchants still manage to get this one wrong: for any payment solutions to work effectively, they need to be hosted on a reliable, transparent, customer-friendly payment page. That means everything from ensuring that it’s adaptable to multiple devices to providing the appropriate payment methods to flagging potential errors in data entry.
And so, in summary, technologies like CI COF and MI COF, as well as a streamlined online storefront, can help eCommerce merchants drive conversion and increase revenues. Finding the ideal payments mix, however, can be taxing, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a payment service provider in order to tailor their solutions for a specific business model.