As MPD CEO Karen Webster and BlueSnap CEO Ralph Dangelmaier know well — having participated in panel discussions about the issue at PYMNTS’ Innovation Project 2016 last week — friction in the checkout process gets exponentially larger as the device screen gets smaller. Checking out on a mobile device is so tedious for most consumers that, well, they just don’t.
This week, the pair reconnected for a conversation in which Dangelmaier shared BlueSnap’s perspective on the degree to which merchants are now interested in gaining more control of their checkout abandonment/checkout conversion problem – and want it solved.
Concurrent to the company’s new release of platform enhancements that Dangelmaier describes as “the most comprehensive set of integration options for online merchants,” the BlueSnap CEO and Webster reviewed the five key elements that contribute to checkout abandonment.
Payment Conversion Analytics
If knowledge is power, then getting data on the state of conversion at checkout is the fuel that online merchants need. Dangelmaier said that many merchants simply can’t track conversions based on currency supported, shopper location, transaction value or product — all factors that can help show them where friction may or may not be occurring along the checkout process.
Having real-time access to those types of analytics can help merchants make the tweaks necessary to their checkout process to reduce checkout abandonment.
Transactions involving multiple currencies are, in and of themselves, another contributing element to checkout friction.
Giving a merchant the ability to track sales of its products by price, and where shoppers are buying from, it, as Dangelmaier explains, “breaks down the walls of cross-currency and cross-border.” And that, he says, helps merchants understand what currencies to support, and how to dynamically present pricing in the native currency of the shopper – a big help in reducing their rates of checkout abandonment.
Hosted Payment Fields
Hosted payment fields offer the “best of both worlds”: allowing merchants to have a frictionless checkout experience by capturing sensitive card data at checkout, while still masking the shopper’s credit card information and reducing what’s in PCI scope. Hosted pages also allow merchants to maintain full control over their checkout page design and flow, while maximizing security requirements.
One thing in particular that Webster and Dangelmaier (along with many other attendees) discussed at Innovation Project is the omnichannel issue that exists within eCommerce itself — not in the broader sense of online to in-store.
The shopper’s checkout experience on a PC, on a smartphone, and through in-person conversation with a merchant’s call center are “all incredibly different,” as Dangelmaier observes.
The fact is that many shoppers are not entirely comfortable inputting their payment information on a computer or mobile device, and still prefer to handle that task over the phone with the merchant. What BlueSnap has done in response to this reality is create, as part of its new platform, a “virtual terminal” that allows the customer to initiate her transaction with the merchant over the phone and, as part of that conversation, the merchant sends the customer a link that allows her to securely enter her card information.
It’s an aspect that merchants, says Dangelmaier, have found to be “a brilliant idea — not only for security but also for helping to close sales.”
Although PayPal is, of course, a checkout option widely available both online and on mobile, Dangelmaier points to the fact that many of those implementations require the shopper to leave the merchant’s site to log into PayPal, thus creating another point of friction.
The application of PayPal integration that is optimized for the mobile checkout experience, Dangelmaier explains, allows customers to use PayPal within the merchant site without ever leaving it — which PayPal calls “in-context” functionality.
“It’s enabled to do subscription models and PayPal checkout exactly the same way you would do a card checkout,” says Dangelmaier, and “it’s another part of reducing abandonment by the shopper.”
Looking ahead past those five new enhancements that are now available on his company’s platform, Dangelmaier tells Webster that BlueSnap is “a big believer that the concept of more frictionless checkout is going to be something that merchants pursue.” To that end, BlueSnap currently has in the works wallet integrations with “five or six” of the big mobile wallets.
While PayPal is already incorporated with its platform, Dangelmaier shares that BlueSnap will be releasing “more functionality as it relates to MasterPass, Visa Checkout, American Express, Google and Apple over the next several months.”