The global economy is more connected than ever, with consumers from all corners of the world enjoying round-the-clock access to the global eCommerce marketplace. The challenge with shopping from merchants based in other countries, however, is that their sites are often in different languages, they may not accept preferred payment methods and it can be difficult to track items once they are shipped.
Luckily, there are features merchants can add to their sites to help make their checkouts more accessible to international customers. About half of European eCommerce sites use IP recognition technology, for example. IP technology is used to determine consumers’ geographic location so they can adjust their sites’ language settings and payment options to match those which are common in their online shoppers’ geographic locations. Localizing checkouts in this manner can make shopping and paying easier for international consumers and help boost conversion rates.
IP recognition technology is just one of many features merchants can employ to help streamline the cross-border payment experience for their visitors, however — and not all of these features are equally effective when it comes to enhancing their user experience (UX).
So, which checkout features should international eCommerce merchants prioritize when designing their checkouts to optimize UX and maximize conversion?
This is just one of the key questions PYMNTS set out to answer in The Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index, in collaboration with FastSpring. We studied the checkout processes of 266 eCommerce merchants with international consumer bases to find out which of 47 different checkout features they offer, how long it takes to complete checkouts, how many payments they offer and which of these factors have the greatest impact on the smoothness of their overall checkout experience.
We also scored eCommerce sites on a scale of 0 to 100. A score of 0 indicates a checkout so friction-laden that no consumer would be able to complete it, while a score of 100 indicates a checkout so smooth that no consumer would abandon their carts before completing their purchases.
Our research shows that the smoothest cross-border eCommerce experiences belong to merchants that not only tailor their checkout processes to their customers’ preferences, but also provide other value-added features that might help entice users to purchase from their sites. Every one of the 20 eCommerce sites we studied with the smoothest checkouts had guarantee or refund policies, for example, while not a single one of the bottom 20 scoring sites offered these policies.
Yet consumers shopping on eCommerce sites in different industries sometimes want very different checkout features — as do consumers in different geographic regions. The Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index examines how merchants of all sizes and sectors can tailor their sites to cater to a broad array of different consumers at home and abroad.
To learn more about how editing eCommerce checkouts can boost cross-border conversion, download the report.
About The Index
The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index, in partnership with FastSpring, analyzes the key friction point experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.