Variety of payment options matters when you are running an e-commerce site

By Luke Holt

As more and more businesses migrate to the digital world to provide goods and services, what we have experienced in the last years was truly the boom of online shopping. Amazon has, of course, led the way for years – and was rewarded, even briefly, when its president and CEO Jeff Bezos was named by Forbes “the world’s richest man” just a few days ago. Nowadays, nearly everybody has entered the game, from e-retail multinational giants like AliBaba to your local Tesco. And studies suggest that when people buy online, they appreciate being given various payment options – so how exactly should enterprises approach this?

According to a global survey published on Statista, almost seven out of 10 online shoppers state that being provided with an array of different payment options is one of the most important online shopping elements they are looking for. This tops customers citing the possibility to place an order without time, place, or device-related constraints as most important, or the possibility to choose how fast the delivery will be – with both being mentioned by less than 65% of respondents. The variety and reliability of payment options provided seems crucial across a wide range of online services; for example, payment methods and speed of payout are considered an important factor in expert reviews of online casinos, ranking equally as high as aspects traditionally associated with similar online games, such as variety and themes of slots, the number of free spins or the deposit bonus amounts offered.

Expand Beyond Credit Card Payment

In sales, in particular, variety seems key. In a study conducted by CyberSource Corp., websites that offered at least four different payment options in addition to credit cards saw a sales conversion rate that rose 12% higher than sites that allowed for just a second online payment method besides credit cards. Credit cards (and debit cards) seem to remain at the top in terms of convenience and familiarity for both the site owner and the online shopper but there are a few other methods to consider. PayPal, of course, is the first one on the list; established almost 20 years ago, the renowned worldwide payments system currently features 106 million active users, allows people to transfer money across 25 different currencies in 190 markets, and serves almost 1 in 5 e-commerce transactions.

Take your Target Audience into Account

PayPal, along with Visa and Mastercard, feature as the top three preferred online payment methods in all demographics, while millennials seem more into alternative payment options, as 32% prefer PayPal; it seems then that when deciding which options to incorporate on your website, considering who your target audience is in terms of age and income is extremely important. But there are other services on the rise, too, like Amazon Pay, which has the added benefit of linking over to accumulated data in your Amazon account to facilitate the payment process. Last but not least, you should always take into account people who – for various reasons – are not comfortable with paying online and add an offline option to the mix, like a dedicated bank account.

Clients value being given options – and will show their appreciation with purchases. So whether you are in the process of setting up an e-shop or looking for ways to optimise your customer experience and increase revenue, consider adding a few different online payment options – it might just prove pivotal in helping you go that extra mile in terms of sales.

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