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Comment: Keeping the digi-tills ringing

How can merchants ensure a world-class customer experience that will deliver unfaltering customer loyalty? By Shane Fitzpatrick


Comment: Keeping the digi-tills ringing

How can merchants ensure a world-class customer experience that will deliver unfaltering customer loyalty? By Shane Fitzpatrick

In 2012, UK shoppers bought more online than ever before with nearly one in every ten pounds being spent in an e-commerce store.  Because of this, online retailers have gone from strength to strength, with the likes of ASOS reporting a 41% increase in global sales in December.  But there’s still work to be done.

It's no secret that shopping habits are changing dramatically. While merchants are doing everything they can to adapt to this change, an estimated 25% of revenue is lost by UK online retailers every year as a result of poor user experience leading to site abandonment. That’s the equivalent of £14 billion. Today, multi-channel shoppers demand a faultless customer journey from the moment they click onto the website to the moment they complete their order. If a retailer fails to deliver a seamless experience across every device, customers are just a click away from their competitors.

5 strategies for enhancing online customer loyalty

Convert click-offs into "buy now"s
Retailers need to start by ensuring payment pages always share the same consistent brand as the rest of their site. This reassures customers at the crucial payment stage and helps convert more visits into sales. Solutions on the market can also help customise the design of retailers’ payment sites to reflect changes made across the e-commerce store, applying design updates to payment pages automatically.

Decreasing fraud, increasing sales
Whenever fraud checks result in an order being rejected or delayed, the customer may take their business elsewhere, never to return. The latest detection tools enable online retailers to identify fraudulent attempts with greater accuracy. Techniques such as geolocation and device fingerprinting enable retailers to uncover sophisticated attempts by international fraudsters to mask their location. These tools assign a highly accurate risk score to every transaction which can be used to improve fraud screening rules, making it possible to block fraudulent transactions without losing or delaying genuine orders.

Allow easy access to shopping on the move
One in four consumers say they find it too difficult to enter payment details on their mobile phone , and many have security concerns about making payments through mobile websites or apps. Yet with m-commerce revenues in the UK predicted to top €6.1bn by 2017 , ensuring that the payment site is optimised for mobile devices is a great opportunity for increasing sales. But retailers must test payment sites thoroughly to ensure customers can complete their purchase using a touchscreen, and ensure that any fraud prevention methods such as Verified by Visa® can operate on a smartphone or tablet. Where possible, the checkout process should be simplified on mobile devices, for example by storing customers’ account and card details securely on file, making it easier for them repeat purchases in future.

Go global
Are overseas customers offered a range of local payment methods and currencies? Every country has its own unique mix of payment preferences. Retailers looking to expand internationally should work with their payment provider to offer multiple payment options - in addition to international brands like MasterCard, Visa and American Express - to help convert more orders into sales. Most importantly, they should ensure each payment method is appropriate for their particular business model.

Knowledge is power
Retailers rely on detailed web analytics and other tools to identify improvements to their e-commerce store but financial data is also a valuable source of business intelligence. For example, reviewing authorisation rates can help merchants identify order loss rates and realise improvements that can be made in the order acceptance process. Analysing payment data regularly can help highlight potential issues at the crucial payment stage and reveal further ways to enhance cart conversion.

Merchants should also find ways of cutting the cost of managing payment transactions, especially if they’re anticipating an increase in online sales that could see back-office costs spiral. In fact, a recent Chase Paymentech survey revealed that e-commerce merchants could save an average nine days a month by automating the reconciliation of their CNP (customer-not-present) payments.  Streamlining fraud management can cut further costs by reducing the time spent on manual reviews, while case management tools enable fraud analysts to make faster decisions and review more orders per day.

A retailer’s payments approach can have a direct impact on their ability to improve customer loyalty and drive operational efficiency. The most successful online retailers recognise that today’s multi-channel customers expect nothing less than a faultless shopping experience, as well as easy, safe and convenient payment methods.

Shane Fitzpatrick is President and European MD, Chase Paymentech

1 Office For National Statistics: Retail Sales Bulletin (2012)
4 Dynamic Markets: The Changing CNP Payment Landscape (March 2012)
5 Forrester Research: EU Mobile Commerce Forecast, 2012 to 2017: (July 2012)
6 Dynamic Markets: The Changing CNP Payment Landscape (March 2012)

Chase Paymentech will be speaking at the Retail Bulletin's Payments Summit, 18th June 2013. To register your interest as a speaker or delegate, click here.

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