Cross Border Commerce

Building The Perfect Cross-Border Merchant Checkout Experience

Eliminating Cross-Border Merchant Friction

In commerce, whether across the B2C or B2B landscape, speed matters.

As detailed in the latest Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index, done in partnership between FastSpring and PYMNTS, it may be easier than ever to find goods and services online – but the process of paying for them could be less than optimal.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Brian McTeague, vice president at FastSpring, said that transacting across borders can be slow and frustrating.

To that end, “optimal site profiles” can keep the conversions – and transactions – flowing.

As McTeague told PYMNTS, account creation is one of the most prevalent reasons for shopping cart abandonment.

“We’ve seen our sellers delay the account creation until after purchase,” he said. That delay can have the initial impact of relieving the friction of account creation. Forward-thinking merchants can “repurpose” the information gathered during the actual transaction into an account setup process, and then translate that data into a simple, easy-to-understand post-checkout offer, ensuring that they can capture future transactions.

Beyond optimal site profiles – which in some cases can be mandatory – merchants can also find value in internet protocol (IP) address recognition or tracking.

“Leveraging IP recognition is a huge way to improve the buying experience,” said McTeague. That tracking can help sellers customize their efforts on a region-by-region, market-specific basis, especially when it comes to language or localized payment preferences. He pointed out that FastSpring’s internal data actually shows that sellers who take such localized approaches have conversion rates that, on average, double those of firms that do not make such efforts.

McTeague said that merchants who choose to go with full-service eCommerce platforms (such as FastSpring’s) can get that optimal account creation and functionality with ease (he likened it to “switching a few switches on the platform to turn it on … it’s really easy to get up and running”). In fact, if merchants attempt to achieve such optimization on their own, said McTeague, they may well run into headwinds.

“Consumer preferences change, and merchants want to be up to speed on the things that are the most popular – including anything that is coming down the path, such as popular payment methods,” he noted.

What’s Needed

To eliminate frictions at checkout, McTeague said more merchants must embrace a digital-first mentality and further their embrace of eCommerce.

“Many online sellers are focused on building software and ‘dev work’ – but not really the buying experience. There’s a very low barrier to entry when it comes to just getting up and running and selling,” he said, adding that this typically results in a sub-optimal checkout.

FastSpring, McTeague added, has seen roughly 80 percent of its new customers come to its platform with hybrid tech stacks or homegrown solutions – and then they realize the advantage of the platform model.

“A full-service solution is attractive to them because it solves a lot of problems right out of the box,” he noted.

Among B2B and B2C companies, he said, the goals are similar: to increase the speed of transactions and to streamline the online experience.

“Even though they may be using sales reps, the days of contracts going back and forth – well, that’s a pain point for everyone in the B2B space,” McTeague said. “And it’s something they can learn from the B2C sellers who do that so well online.”

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New PYMNTS Report: The CFO’s Guide To Digitizing B2B Payments – August 2020 

The CFO’s Guide To Digitizing B2B Payments, a PYMNTS and Comdata collaboration, examines how companies are updating their AP approaches to protect their cash flows, support their vendors and enable their financial departments to operate remotely.

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