The convenience of online shopping undoubtedly fits right into today’s digital world. Because consumers can “window-shop” more comfortably, “quasi-shopping” has also become a common practice. We’re referring to the practice of a shopper browsing through a store’s products, adding items to their shopping cart, and then abandoning their cart either before or after going through the checkout process. 

Payment issues are a common cause of cart abandonment during checkout. And simply ensuring a hassle-free checkout process for customers can incredibly boost conversion rates. As the payment stage is usually the final step in an online purchase, you can significantly increase the chances that a shopper will complete their purchase when you reduce payment issues that they may encounter. 

Common Payment Issues

Online payment issues are often too much of a headache to bother with; a shopper may be only one step away from completing their purchase when they encounter a problem with payment. A lot of customers would choose to abandon their carts than attempt to fix the issue. 

If you can effectively reduce these common payment challenges on your website, you’ll see significantly fewer abandoned carts:

  • A customer’s preferred mode of payment is unavailable.

  • A declined credit/debit card/s due to a payment gateway issue or insufficient funds.

  • The preferred mode of payment has an insufficient account balance.

  • A failed payment attempt due to a site error or customer error in inputting details, and the customer is unwilling to retry the payment process.

Reduce Payment Issues to Boost Conversion Rates

Make multiple payment options available

Different consumers have different preferences, even when it comes to payment options. The more payment options are available on your website, the more likely it is that you’ll have exactly what a customer prefers. 

Here are some highly recommended payment gateways you should have available on your site:

  • Shopify Payments. This gateway helps streamline the checkout process by allowing you to accept a wide variety of payment options, and you can do away with setting up a third-party payment processor. It also offers a test mode so you can test the payment process yourself and determine which payment options are best. The options you can offer will depend on your location:

    • US-based businesses can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club debit and credit cards.

    • Businesses in major countries outside the US can accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express debit and credit cards.

You will need the following to set up Shopify payments:

  • Your Employer Identification Number (EIN)

  • Bank information

  • The average price of your orders

  • Average shipping time of your orders

  • Other additional information, depending on your location

*Note: Shopify payments are not available for all stores.

  • Paypal. This is widely available all over the world. If you have Shopify payments, you may offer the Paypal payment option or the buyer credit option — which is only for customers with a US or UK Paypal account. Having Shopify payments in combination with Paypal is ideal so you can avoid Paypal transaction fees for every Paypal purchase a customer makes. Even customers without a Paypal account can pay via Paypal; you will have to link your bank account with your Paypal Business Account to enable this option. 

*Note: Shopify automatically comes with a Paypal Express Checkout account for your Shopify email address. If you already have an existing Paypal account for the same email address, activate Paypal on your Shopify store to begin receiving payments.

  • Amazon Pay. This is a highly trusted payment gateway. Plus, it's already optimized for web, mobile, and voice (Amazon’s Alexa). Your customers may feel more safe and secure when making payments via Amazon Pay as the eCommerce giant’s technology backs it. Amazon Pay is directly embedded into your store’s checkout page, so customers don’t have to leave the store to make a payment. Customers also have the option of accessing their shipping and payment information from their Amazon account. 

Note: Amazon Pay is only available in specific countries and for merchants selling in USD, EUR, GBP, AND JPY. 

‍Provide payment installment options

Many abandoned carts result from declined credit/debit cards due to insufficient funds or other issues. You can reduce payment issues for your customers by giving them the option to make installment payments. 

The following platforms can be integrated into your store to allow installment payments:

  • Affirm is a platform that allows a buy-now-pay-later mode of shopping. Affirm pays you the full amount instantly, and the customer pays back the Affirm “loan” in fixed monthly installments with a 10%-30% simple interest. 

  • Klarna is Swedish Licensed and offers three payment options: 

    • Klarna Pay Now allows customers to pay directly from their bank account. This option is available to merchants in Austria, Germany, and those selling in Euros or Swedish Krona, and to customers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 

    • Klarna Pay Later allows customers to pay for their purchase anytime within 14 days from the date of purchase. (It is highly recommended that you capture payments manually when a customer chooses this option so that Klarna will provide you with the funds immediately.)

    • Klarna Slice It is only available to merchants who sell in Swedish Krona or Euros in Sweden. Customers are given between 6 and 36 months to pay for their purchase in installments, with or without interest. (It is also advised that you capture payment manually, immediately after the customer is approved for this payment option.) 

*Note: Read about Klarna’s policies before offering their payment options to your customers. Klarna is also enabled by default when you have Shopify Payments, but you can choose which Klarna options are available to your customers. 

  • AfterPay offers payments in 4 installments due every two weeks. 

‍Give customers access to immediate support

Some customers abandon their carts when they feel that the checkout process is complicated or takes too long; others do so out of laziness and unwillingness to figure out an issue they may have encountered during checkout. 

Your customer may have sufficient funds, but the declined care could be a problem with their bank. Or they may have knowingly or unknowingly entered some of their information incorrectly, and they do not want to bother retrying. 

If you offer customers real-time options for support, you’ll reduce the probability that they’ll abandon their carts. You can give them immediate support via live chat, text message, or phone. Ensure these options are clear and visible everywhere on your website, on your social media pages, and in your emails. Having somebody assist them with payment can help convince them to complete their purchase. And you also have the opportunity to offer them an incentive, such as a discount code, if they express dissatisfaction with the checkout process. 

Final Thoughts

Reducing payment issues is one way to reduce cart abandonment and boost conversion rates. By identifying the common payment issues your customers encounter, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to improve their checkout experience. 

Even if you have great products, a sale can still fall through if your customer encounters a payment issue that they feel is not worth the bother to try to resolve, especially if they know that they can get the same or a similar product at another store. So you must ensure a smooth checkout process that offers customers as many options as possible and immediate support when needed.