Online shopping is more accessible now than ever before, thanks in large part to better connectivity (WiFi and mobile networks) and more affordable smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Modern consumers are familiar with webshops and delivery services, and the online transactions that make them happen.
Your customers can browse and buy from anywhere, and at any time – and this is translating into significant numbers. According to Statista, retail eCommerce sales are set to reach $6.5 trillion by 2023.
As a merchant, it’s important to be where your customers are. And more of these customers want the flexibility to shop online. With this in mind, let’s explore 11 main benefits of accepting online payment.
What are the Advantages of Online Payment for the Merchant?
1 | You can sell in multiple channels
More and more customers expect an omnichannel shopping experience. This means they want the chance to browse in-store and buy online – or vice-versa. When you accept online payment, you capture more sales and add another revenue stream by opening up this extra channel. Note: Online payments have become more important during and after the Coronavirus crisis, when stores were closed and could only offer delivery. By selling products in online channels, merchants were able to keep revenue streams alive when their customers were at home.
2 | It builds trust
Nowadays, offering the ability to purchase on your website is just as important as having the website itself. It helps your business appear active and legitimate in the eyes of discerning customers, and potentially sets you apart from your competitors.
3 | You can introduce subscriptions
Depending on your industry and business model, you could offer (or pivot to) a subscription model and accept recurring payments online. This is especially useful if you see a lot of repeat custom. Sell your customers on the convenience of a subscription, and enjoy a healthier cash-flow. For example: a nail salon can sell a monthly subscription to their services (with discount) – or a local food market can do an “organic basket” service, whereby residents subscribe to a weekly delivery.
4 | It removes geographical restrictions
Brick-and-mortar stores are extremely valuable, but they’re typically limited to customers in their immediate vicinity. Online stores, however, face no such restrictions. Accepting payment on your website means your shop is open 24/7, 365 days a year, worldwide! And for restaurants and cafés, it’s now possible to add a pay-and-pickup service for takeaway collection and/or delivery – or even presubscription to certain specials and meal deals.
5 | You gain customer insight
Selling online gives you the chance to use online marketing tools to target new customers, and website analytics to gain insight into customer needs and behaviours. You can monitor their browsing and buying habits, identify which items sell best, and try to upsell at the checkout with complementary products.
6 | It makes promo campaigns and sales easier
Think about what it takes to run a promotional campaign in a real-world store. Planning and preparation. Marketing materials need to be printed and signage changed. But if you have an online store? This can be done with a few simple clicks. You can even plan promotions so that when one ends, another begins seamlessly, safe in the knowledge that your customers can browse and buy with ease.
7 | You can target buyers on social media
Using social listening – i.e. monitoring brand or keyword mentions on social media – you can pinpoint customers actively looking for your product or service, and direct them to your website, where they can purchase quickly and securely. And with this same technique, you can react creatively to opportunities, too. Are customers let down by your competitor and venting their anger on social media? Offer them a voucher code for your store.
What are the Advantages of Online Payment for Your Customer?
8 | It offers speed and convenience
Just as they’re no longer restricted by distance, your customers are also not limited by time. They can shop when it suits them, morning, noon or night, and make fast and secure payments with a few taps or clicks. Their favourite products and services are available to them all day, every day.
9 | They have fewer obstacles to spending
Customers don’t have to worry about fighting through crowds or waiting in queues. With online payment, they get to enjoy a frictionless shopping experience at their fingertips.
10 | They receive digital records
Shopping online means digital receipts. These are better for the environment (and a big draw for eco-conscious consumers) and more convenient for recordkeeping purposes.
11 | They can spread the cost
If you sell expensive items, you could offer customers the opportunity to spread the cost with an instalment plan purchased (and processed) online – therefore removing yet another barrier to buying.
Download The Ultimate Guide to Payment, by CCV
Online payments (and the benefits they offer) are just one part of the payment puzzle. If you’d like to learn more, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to payment, covering popular online and electronic methods, region-specific stats, and everything you need to know when selecting the best payment solutions for your business. Get the guide here