While everyone is talking about how capital letters of innovation – AR, AI and IoT – turned our lives into online adventure, I’d like to discuss a bit more prosaic but still promising sphere – it’s e-Commerce. If you still think that going online will cost you a bundle, let me revise some numbers and show you statistics.
According to online-shopping research, the number of online customers will grow to 2.14 billion by 2021.
Statista and BigCommerce researchers say, “eCommerce will make up 22% of global retail sales by 2023”. For you to understand the whole picture, it was 14.1% in 2019. The market itself will amount to $4.8 trillion by 2021.
As for the current worldwide situation and COVID impact on online shopping, the data shows that in comparison with January 2020 and 12.81 billion visitors, their number grew to 14.34 billion in March.
Aren’t these numbers not enough to drive you forward online retail? All in all, creating a website and a product catalog is a child’s play, integrating a payment API – a five-minute task. And generally, you’re all set and can expand horizons of the business, increase margins.
But wait a little. What if to approach the issue of integrating the API a bit more creatively? For example, develop a loyalty program that allows you to earn bonuses and use them for paying goods, give the clients a chance to pay for things either online or offline, etc. Most likely, the question “why do I need to devote energy if the solution is already there, and it works?” will arise. The page does not hang, payment is not delayed, consumers present, and business grows. Everything is fine.
The answer is simple: increase audience loyalty, profitability, and expand the circle of customers.
So what can you do for yourself and the clients to further develop the business as a result?
1) Apply various payment methods
- First of all, in the realm of the Internet, it’s online payments. Applying different acquirers, APIs, payment platforms, you can gather around your website a whole system with various channels (Stripe, Worldpay, PayPal, ApplePay, GooglePay, RBS, QIWI, China Union).
- As strange as it sounds, you can provide off-line payment methods in your store by integrating payment services with access to payment kiosk machines (Qiwi, Invoicebox).
- Payments with a loyalty program, based on worked out business rules. What is more, the loyalty system with discounts and bonuses is always a plus. This solution minimizes possible extra charges and allows clients to pay for products partly with money and partly with earned bonuses. (if you, after all, decided on a loyalty program). The sweetest part here is that you can create loyalty systems in various manners (integrating some features or bonuses, cooperating with banks on different conditions, and so on).
- Blockchain. The technology everybody has heard of, but not all of us realize what it really means. Integrating your application with blockchain, you enable cryptocurrency payment methods and can accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and hundreds of other currencies. And right now there are decentralized platforms that allow product verification, their control and management via blockchain technology. Why is the game worth the candle? Well, fast transactions, low pricing fees and no chargebacks.
- QR-code is the most favorite and popular payment method in China. Hope you all know about WeChat. In this way, the system generates code with information about the product itself. After that, your customer will be able to pay for the purchase in his personal account on the store’s website, or you can send a QR-code by e-mail. No bank cards, no personal data entries. The customer scans the code with their mobile camera and gets rid of the fear that the confidential data may be stolen by cybercriminals.
2) Employ payment routing
Then, having created a more advanced system you can save on processing fees. How? A team of engineers can analyze the first 6 first BINs of a credit card. The numbers will give you information about a payment system, an issuing bank, and a card type. These data can be used for payment routing and sending the payment request to a bank with the most preferred terms. This solution, however, requires compliance with PCI DSS. It’s a certificate for the protection of customer payment data (card numbers, CVV, etc.). With PCI DSS you can work with banks directly via payment interfaces of a bank.
- This solution excludes interaction between your buyer and a third-party payment website. Besides, building your own payment system will allow cooperating with several banks at once. Not the simplest service, but with the right provider you won’t experience any pains.
Another feature that you can add is data analysis. Moreover, you can provide such information to customers in their personal accounts. The set of criteria can be diverse. The most purchased types of products, the amount of money spent by month, you can add graphs and filters for clarity and easy search. In turn, you will collect business analytics on customers’ behavior, profits, the most popular types of products, and lucrative periods.
- This solution will help your clients plan purchases in the store more easily, and you can use the information to optimize marketing campaigns, build mailouts, and launch targeted advertising.
I’d like to finish this article in keeping with the best traditions of self-improvement literature – once you look at a problem from a broader perspective, you’ll find a range of options on how to improve things. So, you can get a hosted or integrated customized payment page with a user-friendly interface that offers quick, simple, and secure transactions. The solution will allow payment routing, provide broad options of payment methods, and increase conversion rate, connecting all your sales channels to unify the customer experience. And, at last, it will lead to increased profitability of your online business, which is extremely important in a highly competitive online segment.