Are you ready for the online shopping festival season? Now is the time to optimise your online payments pages!


By Katherine Henry-Foord, Conversion Optimisation Consultant

Merchants in the payments and e-commerce space are well aware that the online shopping festive season is fast approaching. Despite the temptation to focus on the summer holidays, let’s not overlook the fact that those hectic days in Q4 will be upon us before we have the chance to say “what happened?”. If ever there’s ever a time to start optimising your checkout strategy, it’s now!

Singles Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday offer huge potential for e-commerce businesses to boost sales and attract new customers. This is nothing new. While offering hot deals and promotions is essential, it’s even more important to optimise your customer payment experience to maximise conversion rates. Below, we examine some of the key factors to consider around offering the most relevant payment methods for your business, highlighting how to avoid common pitfalls and we provide valuable insights to help you prepare for the upcoming shopping frenzy.

One size doesn’t fit all

Merchants should understand that simply adding a payment method is not enough to guarantee higher conversion rates. In fact, the same payment method can yield vastly different conversion rates within the same industry vertical. The differentiating factor lies in how merchants tailor the payment flow to meet their customers’ expectations. The key message here is that a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work when it comes to payment methods. You need to offer the right payment method for the right industry vertical and region you are targeting. 

Payment selection design

A common mistake merchants make is to base their payment method selection solely on the characteristics of their local market. But payment methods have different flows, ranging from QR codes to redirecting customers to specific payment apps. The technical integration of the same payment method can also vary depending on the type of device or tech stack involved. It’s crucial to understand the nuances of each payment method and explain any quirks to customers. Transparency makes a real difference. For example, adding a description of the next step can lead to a remarkable 20% increase in the conversion rate.

The power of multiple payment methods

Merchants should not hesitate to offer multiple payment methods to cover a wider audience and to always have a backup payment method available. Some methods are better suited for small-value transactions, while others may cater to a younger demographic. By diversifying payment options, merchants can tap into different demographics within the same region. This also opens up opportunities to serve underbanked or unbanked populations by incorporating cash apps or wallets.

Data-driven optimisation

Comprehensive tracking of payment performance is vital for optimising conversion rates. Merchants should regularly analyse performance across different devices and applications so they can identify areas for improvement. By monitoring the right data, merchants can make informed decisions about their customers’ preferred payment method and adjust their strategies accordingly. Placing the most used payment method at the top of the list on the checkout page makes paying quicker and increases conversions.

Test and improve

Before the shopping festival season kicks off, it is essential to thoroughly test the payment flow and make sure everything works seamlessly. Engaging volunteers outside of the business to test the payment flow on various devices helps identify bugs or glitches that could hinder conversions. Additionally, tools that create heat maps that illustrate where users mostly click can be used to discover usability problems. By resolving these issues, merchants can then provide a hassle-free payment experience for customers.

Addressing transaction failures

Merchants need to consider what happens when a transaction fails. They should ensure that it is straightforward for customers to start a new transaction or change a payment method easily. For instance, if a card payment is declined due to a forgotten PIN, offering an alternative payment method can save the sale and prevent customer frustration. The benefit of having multiple payment methods is that there’s always a back up!

The world of online payments is complex, but by avoiding common mistakes and prioritising the right support and market education, merchants can significantly optimise conversion rates during the frantic, online shopping festival season.