6 ways to increase sales and optimise your ecommerce payment page

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Online merchants can reduce payment page abandonment by focussing on a few key changes to their payment page which can increase checkout conversion rates. Customising the payment page will limit problems and help cardholders feel secure. Although one would most likely expect that many of the below points are expected norms, I have often experienced frustration at the time of purchase and seen issues surrounding the merchants payment page which either led me to repeating the payment process or bailing out of the purchase all together.

Here are a few key pointers.

1. Payment page error handling

Alerting cardholders to commonly made mistakes on the payment page limits frustration. By using in-line error handling, the number of payment processing steps are also reduced. The transaction request does not proceed to the bank or the payment provider before a cardholder’s information is accurately entered. This prevents time being wasted between web pages, lessens cardholder confusion and reduces payment page abandonment. There is nothing more frustrating than the cardholder’s payment being rejected due to invalid payment data being entered and having to click the back button to start the process over again. Error handling on the payment page alerts the cardholder of data that either needs to be added or amended such as correct card number or CVV before proceeding with the transaction.

2. Numeric validation

Only allow numeric characters to be entered in fields intended for numeric characters. Stopping alpha or special characters from being entered into the text box during the entry of card details or payment information will reduce finger error.

3. Mod 10 Luhn check

The Luhn algorithm or Luhn formula, also known as the “modulus 10″ or “mod 10″ algorithm, is a simple checksum formula used to authenticate a variety of identification numbers like credit card numbers. Most credit cards use the Luhn algorithm as a way to distinguish valid numbers from collections of random digits. Designed to detect accidental errors, this is a quick way to eliminate credit card number errors before a transaction is submitted to the payment gateway.

4. Expiry date

Make it clear to the card holder which box is for month and which is for year. This can be indicated by placing a label next to or above a text box or by making month/year a selection choice in a drop down menu. The recommended option is to enable selection of the expiration date using two separate dropdown lists: one for month and one for year. Ensure only to display current and future years.

5. Validating the CVV length

Visa, MasterCard and Diners use a three-digit CVV number placed on the back of the credit card. American Express uses a four digit number placed on the front of the credit card. Validate that the CVV code contains the correct number of digits based on the credit card type. To do this you will work with two parameters: the card number and its CVV number. The main card number is used to determine the associated account linked to the card. The first six digits of the main card number identify the card issuer, for example, American Express or MasterCard. If the card is issued by American Express, the code you will check for is 4 digits long. For all other cards, the CVV code has 3 digits. If the CVV entered by the card holder is too long or too short to match the card then you can prompt card holder to amend before proceeding.

6. 1Click payments

A 1Click Payment enables cardholders to only enter CVV after the initiated transaction. This simplifies the checkout experience and reduces the amount of data the cardholder is required to enter on the payment page. The payment gateway will tokenize the card holder’s details during the initial transaction so that the merchant does not store any card data. For subsequent transactions, the card holder is only required to enter their CVV to process the payment, making the checkout process easier. At any point, the card holder can amend card details, which will update the token with the new card information.

6 ways to increase sales and optimise your ecommerce payment page. Retrieved from http://ventureburn.com/2013/10/6-ways-to-increase-sales-and-optimise-your-ecommerce-payment-page/.

How to reduce cart abandonment for mobile device users

It’s a classic double-edged sword and one we’ve all probably wrestled with more than once: You need to make an unplanned business trip and you’re looking for a last-minute flight. You find a good deal online, and as you hastily proceed through the checkout, something goes wrong.

After typing in your name, address and credit card number, you mis-key a digit of your credit card number. The transaction doesn’t go through. The screen seems to yell at you. START OVER. You feel like yelling back.

You have to get to a meeting, so you close your browser and vow to revisit the process later or — worse — try booking the flight on another travel site.

Cart abandonment is a well-known problem for merchants trying to sell goods to online shoppers, and it is even more pronounced when the shopper is using a mobile device.

Travelocity was seeing far too much of it, so the online travel booking site turned to Jumio for a solution. Continue reading

A B2B e-commerce success story: Airgas

Game Plan B2B E-Commerce Forum in Chicago last week hosted a plethora of great keynotes and industry experts to talk all things e-commerce in the B2B space.

The attendees heard from Steve Max, director of e-Commerce at Airgas,  during a featured address with author and TV personality Mark Jeffries moderating.

Max discussed “The Airgas Story – Reinventing Your eBusiness: Platform, Operations and Organization.”

Through its subsidiaries, Airgas the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hard-goods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, and a leading U.S. distributor of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals.

It was insightful to get a peek into the Airgas customer base by market and how they sell gas online.

Airgas launched their first website in 1997 that resembled “brochure-ware” and in 2001 moved over to an e-commerce site.  Max stated that back in 2001 many folks thought e-commerce was “just a fad.”

“You say that now-a-days in a board room and you get kicked out,” said Max, when asked by Mark if he saw e-commerce as a solid career path.

B2C has set customers’ expectations for e-commerce. But for B2B, online procurement is just as important as online ordering.  Based on Max’s comments, his customers are telling him that, even more than being able to research and order online, they want to be able to complete the transactions with online (and even mobile) payments.

Companies need to ask themselves, “how does e-commerce fit into my overall brand?” before developing their strategies. After identifying what the e-commerce strategy is, then they need to find out what the customers really want out of it. The final step is bringing that strategic plan to management with a solid business case for making the investment.

E-commerce cannot be “siloed,” it must have an omni-channel focus. And as Max put it, “What is online cannot be too radical to what we do offline.”

A B2B e-commerce success story: Airgas, Retrieved from http://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2013/10/11/airgas-ecommerce-success.

How Biometric POS Solutions Became Market-Ready

Started by a young visionary, the company’s innovations quickly came to define the century, its name adorned countless household technologies and its newest advances are poised to set the stage for a revolution in payments security. No, we’re not talking about Apple.

That innovator is William Henry Merrill, and that century was the 1900s. The electrical engineer founded safety consulting and certification specialist UL in 1894, and since then, the Illinois-based organization has grown to become a leader in developing innovative technologies, whether it’s the tin-clad fire doors of year’s past or the biometric solutions that are shaping commerce today.

UL’s latest contribution to the future of payments has been accomplished through its three years of work with National Security, a French biometrics company that has created a commercially viable biometric technology solution for the point of sale.

The move positions UL and National Security at the forefront of an industry that is expected to expand by 140 percent to reach $12 billion in revenue over the next five years, potentially transforming online, mobile and in-store commerce by increasing the speed of transactions in the process.

Still, arguments can be made that biometric use at the point of sale will remain limited. Why does UL believe the market is right for biometrics, and how did it successfully ensure biometric payments will be ready for all parts of the payment process?

We preview UL’s latest transaction security case study to reveal more.  Continue reading

Zions Bank Combs Big Data for Customer Preference Clues

What do Hispanic small business owners want? Zions Bank, recognizing the growing Hispanic community in Utah, has turned to analytics software to better understand the needs of Hispanic and Asian consumers and businesses in its markets.

“Our mission was to provide Hispanic and Asian communities the opportunity to have banking services and to have more access to capital on the business side,” says Juancarlos Judd, senior vice president of the $53 billion asset bank, which is based in Salt Lake City.

Utah’s 2012 population was 2.8 million and non-white communities comprised 20%, reaching nearly 600,000, 67% of which Hispanic. Utah’s Hispanic aggregate income is projected to surpass $6 billion by 2017.

There are also burgeoning small business opportunities within this market. “Utah is a very entrepreneurial state, so by nature immigrants coming in are entrepreneurial themselves, it’s a really good place for thriving small and large businesses,” says Judd.

The bank has been using business intelligence software from Geospace to better understand the Hispanic market.

“You start out thinking you need Spanish language support, but it’s much more a matter of identifying the needs of every consumer,” says Judd. Continue reading

5 Predictions For The Evolution Of Retail

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Technology is reshaping consumer behavior, and in turn, reshaping retailing. While the retail environment is ever-changing, we can make some predictions regarding the future of retail by connecting the dots of what we are already seeing in the marketplace today.

1. The difference between online and offline shopping will disappear. While some paths to purchase will continue to be exclusively online or offline, most will consist of a combination of the two. Wherever a shopper choses to purchase, their shopping experience will most likely contain at least one digital touch point, whether it be looking at a product in-store and purchasing online or researching product information online before purchasing in-store. A brand’s online presence will continue to be a powerful driver of offline sales. Brands will see that having an e-commerce presence creates a valuable touch point with shoppers, regardless of where the shopper makes their purchase.

2. Retail locations will increasingly serve as local fulfillment centers. Driven by the pursuit of logistical efficiencies, a growing number of retailers will recognize the value of serving in-store customers and local online shoppers with the same pool of inventory. We are already seeing this with a number of same-day delivery offerings that fulfill orders via local retail stores. Moving inventory closer to point of sale can mean offering greater selection for customers, lower shipping/storage costs, and fewer lost sales due to out of stocks.

3. Retailers will become channel agnostic. The act of browsing, buying and returning merchandising will pass seamlessly between online and offline. Each customer will find a comfortable way of managing flows of product, payment and information between themselves and their retailer of choice. Retailers that can adapt and respond to the preferences of their customers will quickly move ahead of their competitors.

4. Big Data will continue to drive micro-segmentation. Personalization is and will continue to be the currency of the web. Those retailers that can leverage the customer data in ways that are valuable without being intrusive will position themselves to build powerful bonds with consumers. This will drive sales of existing product and provide retailers with a powerful asset they can use to guide new product/service development activities.

5. Price transparency will drive innovation. Retailers unable or unwilling to compete on price will need to differentiate themselves through either a unique shopping experience or distinctive product assortment. Brand marketers will innovate to offer differentiated products to niche consumer segments. Store brands will continue to flourish as retailers uncover ways they can become a destination for a truly unique offering. Continue reading

Why Payments Are Disappearing, And Mobile Will Win

Ok, so if you think we’re done with the whole “when is a mobile payment a payment” argument, think again. The reality is that the biggest evolution in payments is not about Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Square or faster payments, but it is about context and simplicity, and that’s where the mobile and other technologies are leading us.

You are probably familiar with the Gartner “Hype Cycle” which has pretty accurately predicted the adoption and maturity cycle of various technologies. The Hype Cycle is pretty good at describing the hype around things like NFC and Mobile Payments generally, and how now we’re at the working end of enlightenment and productive ideation. There are a few exceptions to the Hype Cycle. Facebook, for example, is notably absent from their analysis because it has never quite emerged into trough of disillusionment phase – it got hyped and then went straight through to the enlightenment stage. Theoretically you could call the IPO failure the disillusionment phase, although that wasn’t with the tech. I digress… Continue reading