Small and midsized businesses (SMBs) that succeed face the same hurdles as big ones, from brand trust to providing seamless online checkout and other services that ride along.
Baby Jack & Company founder and CEO Kelley Legler figured that out early, as she explained to PYMNTS’ Karen Webster on a recent PYMNTS’ SMB TV episode. There’s a real baby Jack — Legler’s son — and daughter Bailey, but it was now 14-year-old Jack who got his finger stuck in a piece of ribbon when little that ignited his mom’s entrepreneurial spark.
When Legler launched the Baby Jack brand online, her first instinct regarding the all-important payment part was to “literally take HTML from PayPal for checking out, embed it in my website, and kickstart it on social media.”
Now Baby Jack is an established D2C brand that’s moving into licensed sports, pet products, and adjacent areas with its fun and engaging line of sensory fabric if toys.
PayPal Vice President of Merchant Experiences & Payment Solutions Nitin Prabhu told Webster he’d shared Legler’s story with his 6-year-old daughter, an aspiring CEO herself. He noted the changes in eCommerce in recent years, complimenting Legler on her acumen in checkout tech from the get-go.
Unlike Legler, many small to midsized businesses (SMBs) cobble together DIY eCommerce sites using disparate web tools — this one for acceptance, that one for fraud — “and that sometimes did not lead to the best experience,” he said. Citing external research that 17% of shoppers bail when checkout takes too long, and 24% will drop if asked to create an account, seamlessness is the name of the game.
As a PayPal user and noting the level of tech-savviness among consumers, especially post-pandemic, Legler said they wanted easy and quick checkout. Still, they also wanted security, and they wanted a company and brand they could trust.
“[Our customers] like to “get on with their day, click, add to cart, check out and make it seamless. We’ve noticed [when there] is not an easy checkout process, a good funnel to be able to get them from start to finish, then we see increased abandonment.”
In constantly refining its platform, Prabhu said PayPal is investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which allows it to keep the process improvements coming at a time when online consumers are concerned about everything from fraud to their precious time.
He also spoke of the importance of auth rates. “We have data that shows when a consumer does the purchase, they’ve already invested in the product, but $232 billion in commerce every year gets declined because the customer’s transaction has failed. It’s very important that payment methods a SMB works with are focused on improving auth rates, as well as latency because we want to keep the checkout funnel as quick and seamless as possible.”
In other words, make it faster, safer and better for customers and merchants.
Prabhu said Legler did many things right as he laid out what PayPal advises SMBs to do when growing their online business into something with the legs of a Baby Jack & Co.
On a comfortable growth trajectory today, Baby Jack & Co. keeps it going by using more PayPal platform features that work together for a smooth experience that consumers prefer.
“There are a lot of different ways to be able to provide that sale,” she said, “but on our website checkout, [PayPal] was a no-brainer. We started with them, we have grown with them, and they’ve been an integral part of our entire checkout process and growing our website to what it is now.”
She chalks that up to the trust factor that PayPal engenders when people see it as an option, as millions now know it means fast checkout, transaction security, and easy returns. It essentially functions as a business operating system for her growing SMB, simplifying her work.
And with mobile as its biggest feeder channel, having a platform that works natively for mobile commerce is decisive for her business.
Prabhu added that SMBs could also tap into PayPal working capital loans — as Legler has — and chargeback refunds on international transactions, buyer and seller protections, and FX.
That list goes on with products like PayPal’s native ‘Pay In 4’ buy now, pay later (BNPL) service and forthcoming enhancements to help SMBs identify returning customers to personalize their experience, to prompt them to revisit products they browsed but didn’t buy, and more.
“Those are the kind of things we’re looking at in 2023,” he said, “and we’re excited to start announcing some of these products in the near future.”