3 Steps to Optimizing Ecommerce Payments for Global Conversions

By: Eric Christensen
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As global ecommerce continues to grow and international markets hit various stages of maturity, payments have become more important than ever. How you accept, process, reconcile and manage payments — especially on a global scale — has a direct impact on conversions and revenue. That’s because customers expect currency and payments to be localized and tailored to their preferences. Unfortunately for brands, those preferences vary by country and are constantly changing.

To help brands stay on top of this critical aspect of global ecommerce, we brought together a panel of payments experts in the latest episode of our Commerce Passport series. Our live virtual event entitled “Deliver a Personalized Shopping Experience: Optimize Payments for Global Conversions” was sponsored by Coveo and speakers included:

  • Dale Traxler, Senior Director, Alliances and Channels, Coveo
  • Andy Peebler, Vice President Product GTM, Commerce Cloud, Salesforce
  • Eric Christensen, Vice President Product and Chief Payments Officer, Digital River
  • Mike French, Vice President Partnerships, Digital River

Below are the top insights from our experts on how to build a payments system that meets shoppers where they buy and is tailored for global success.

You can also watch an on-demand version of the event here.

Payment localization is just as important as localizing content

Almost 80% of online shoppers prefer to make purchases on sites that show prices in their local currency, and 50% would cancel a purchase if their preferred payment method wasn’t offered. This is why it’s critical that you offer local currencies and payment methods if you want to be successful in new global markets.

But localizing payments is about more than just that. It’s about understanding how your payments system fits into the larger context of the market.

People in different countries want to use the payment methods they know and trust. They want the messaging and user experience of the checkout process to be easy and familiar. They don’t want to see their payment declined because it was erroneously flagged as fraud, simply because it’s a cross-border purchase.

This means that in order to drive conversions, companies need to deliver a payment experience that is localized and optimized from end-to-end. To do that, you need to step back and consider your payments system as a whole.

Building the right payments system is critical to conversions and revenue

To get ecommerce payments right, it’s important to understand the difference between a payment method and a payments system. Credit cards and digital wallets are common examples of payment methods. But a payments system is everything that pulls those payment methods together to create the user experience.

In other words, you need to do more than just offer popular local payment methods like Alipay in China or iDEAL in the Netherlands to be successful in those markets. You also need to have the right back office systems in place to handle all those different payment methods and the resulting complexity.

After all, each new payment method you add to your ecommerce site will add even more complexity to your accounting, tax and compliance processes. That’s why it’s important to bring all relevant personnel to the table early in the process to determine what is needed to support additional payment methods in new market and how to maintain an optimized payments system.

You should also consider how payments impact the buying experience as whole. For example, with high-ticket items, you may want to include messaging about financing options before customers reach the checkout page. For smaller items, you may want to offer one-touch purchasing to reduce friction for customers.

By taking a holistic approach to payments as part of a seamless customer experience, you can optimize your conversion rate and create a seamless payments system that ultimately helps drive sales and global ecommerce revenue.

Consumer demand for alternative payment methods is reshaping commerce

Customer preferences are changing all the time, which means the future of payments is always in flux. That said, the demand for alternative payment methods is driving a number of widespread ecommerce trends.

For example, there is now an expectation in many markets that mobile and web experiences will be the same. That means brands need to have the back-end systems in place so that customers  are offered seamless checkout experiences no matter which device they’re using. Social commerce through platforms like Instagram and Pinterest also continues to evolve, adding another challenge for brands who are working to align their marketing and sales strategies.

In trying to anticipate emerging ecommerce trends, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that the more you can reduce friction in the buying process, the better off you’ll be. By creating a smooth purchase experience that meets customer expectations both technologically and culturally, you can optimize your payment processes and global ecommerce revenue in global markets.

Get more expert insights

Our panel of experts had a lot to say about this important aspect of global ecommerce. To hear more about optimizing payments and increasing conversions in new markets, listen below and subscribe to our  Commerce Connect Podcast.

To learn more about how Digital River can help your brand expand into new global markets, connect with us today.