Making it easy for customers to pay

Making it easy for customers to pay In the first of a new series of product blogs, Leonardo Hodgson explains how offering a choice of payment methods is critical for online commerce and describes how Cerillion Skyline can help you deliver this flexibility.

For companies selling products and services online, the checkout process is for sure one of the most critical parts of their business. You may have spent hundreds or thousands of days developing the perfect product, plus a large amount of cash on a slick and modern website alongside expensive pay-per-click advertising and SEO techniques, all to attract valuable leads to your online store. But, if the final step to convert them into customers - the checkout process - is not properly designed, tested and optimised, it can inevitably hurt your conversion rates despite your best efforts and substantial investments.

A study published by the Baymard Institute, based on statistics from multiple e-commerce websites, reports that the average cart abandonment rate is currently a staggering 68.07%. So having worked hard to acquire leads, many businesses fall at the final hurdle with more than two thirds of customers deciding not to complete the order, dropping out of the sales process at the last possible stage.  

There could be multiple reasons for this customer leakage such as shipping cost, security concerns or customers that are just window-shopping, for example. According to research from Milo, sourced from Comscore and Entrepreneur, the top three options that customers want to see at the checkout stage that would encourage them to complete their orders are: free-shipping, clear information on delivery date and a variety of payment options.

Companies selling digital services are unlikely to be worried by the first two requirements but should certainly take note of the third – making it easy for customers to pay is now critical to the success of the online sales process.

How can Cerillion Skyline help?

Skyline provides a flexible and secure range of tools to make it straightforward for consumers and business customers to pay using methods such as:
•    Credit and debit cards
•    PayPal 
•    Direct Debit
•    Manual (offline) payments based on invoices including cash, cheque and bank transfers 

Skyline gives you the controls to configure and activate one or more payment methods for each sales channel, allowing a business user to manage the checkout experience according to the company payment strategy. 

The system also allows you to configure which currencies can be used with each payment method, supporting international sales strategies.

To enable companies to accept credit cards online, Skyline offers connectors to the leading Payment Gateway providers such as WorldPay, SagePay, PayPoint.net and Authorize.net, to name just a few. In addition, Skyline includes interfaces to PayPal and Stripe which offer all-in-one payment processing solutions (combined Internet Merchant Account and Payment Gateway) which are ideal for small companies and start-ups. 

So, for example, you can choose from more than 100 available currencies, and then select say EUR, GBP and USD for credit/debit cards and PayPal payment methods, but GBP only for Invoices.
 
Configure Payment Methods
 
Then select for each sales channel which payment methods should be accepted. For example, you could allow credit card payments through your online portal using the Hosted Order Page, and offer offline payment, PayPal or Direct Debit as options for the direct sales channel, via your sales agents.

Configure Sales Channels
 
Each account’s payment method can then be managed from the account details page. In the example below, a summary view of accounts can be seen, including the payment method, payment status and current balance, providing immediate visibility of key payment information on a single screen.

Manage Account Payment Methods 
Skyline’s payment method functionality is designed to provide a high level of flexibility to support many different scenarios to suit your business model. For example, a customer can have multiple accounts, each with a different account currency and payment method. Alternatively, all services can be consolidated under the same account and paid by the same payment method, or ‘rolled-up’ within an account hierarchy.  

So, whether you want to offer a single payment method or multiple payment options; automated or manual payment processing; and one or more currencies; Skyline has the solution with a flexible and easy to use interface to help increase your customer conversion rates.