Insights on Flexible Payment Options

The merchants who succeed in ecommerce have always been the ones who understand, meet, and exceed consumer expectations. One crucial component of the buyer experience is how consumers choose to pay. Like the server at an upscale restaurant, the checkout cart needs to predict the customer’s needs and be ready to solve any challenge.

At Bizrate Insights, we specialize in helping ecommerce merchants understand consumer behavior and sentiment. We conducted a survey of 1175 verified ecommerce shoppers, and this is what we learned:

Payment Preferences: What’s Trending?

Traditional methods like credit cards (used by 87.6% of respondents) and debit cards (used by 86.37%) continue to reign supreme. For merchants, this suggests a continued focus on optimizing the credit and debit card payment journey, ensuring the process is seamless. Offering the option of storing credit card information for future purchases is one way to reduce friction when entering a payment method.

Credit cards and debit cards are the most popular option. PayPal is pretty popular too.

PayPal shows deep market penetration (65.40% use it). Given that the number one factor for choosing any form of payment is convenience, this is attributable to PayPal’s low-click path and low effort required of the user.

Mobile wallet platforms such as Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay show a mixed response. Many know of them, but less than half use them. Their increasing popularity hints at the growing trust in digital payment methods. With mobile shopping becoming the norm, merchants would do well to consider these platforms integral to their payment strategy, ensuring compatibility and ease of use. Offering mobile wallet options could improve user experience, potentially increasing conversion rates.

Although lesser-known, Klarna, Affirm, and AfterPay have carved out their niche. Their presence underscores the growing demand for ‘buy now, pay later’ options. Merchants might consider integrating these, especially targeting younger demographics who appreciate flexible payment plans.

Flexible payment options are welcome by ecommerce consumers

Factors Influencing Payment Choices

Convenience (671 respondents) and Security (638 respondents) lead the pack, which makes a clear statement: consumers want their transactions to be effortless but secure. Merchants must prioritize security infrastructure while ensuring a smooth user experience.

Close contenders Rewards or cash back and Promotions or discounts indicate that consumers appreciate added value. Businesses could bolster loyalty programs and offer timely promotions, enticing users to prefer one payment method over another.

Factors influencing a shopper's decision to use a payment option

When a credit card is not an option

People don’t use credit cards primarily because of a saved payment system (362 respondents), which indicates consumers’ preference for frictionless experiences. Merchants should invest in user-friendly platforms that keep payment information secure.

Concerns over security (242 respondents) underline the importance of trust in online transactions. Merchants should highlight the security measures they employ and consider third-party security certifications.

Why do people use alternative payment options?

Flexible Payments: A Double-Edged Sword?

An impressive number (257 users – or 21.87%) admit they’d spend more given flexible options. This can’t be ignored. Businesses could see increased average order values by introducing or improving flexible payment options. That said, a sizable group (533) remains unaffected by these options. This underscores the importance of balance. Merchants should always seek ways to provide flexibility without overwhelming or distracting those who prefer straightforward payment methods.

How do consumers react to a lack of flexible payment options?

When Flexibility Isn’t on the Table

It is reassuring that 24.48% would proceed with their purchase even without flexible options. It emphasizes the importance of product value and brand trust. However, the fact that 1 in 5 would reconsider their purchase underlines the risk merchants run by not offering varied payment methods. Diversifying payment options could mean the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.

Do flexible payment methods influence buyer behavior and consumer sentiment?

The Critical Component: Understanding Your Customers

The ecommerce realm demands adaptability. As these numbers suggest, while traditional payment methods are essential, there’s a growing appetite for varied, flexible, and secure payment options. Merchants must constantly evaluate and adapt their payment strategies to cater to a broad spectrum of preferences while upholding security and convenience.

Rather than guessing what consumers need and reacting to what consumers have done, why not gather consumer feedback on an ongoing, automatic basis? Better yet, why not get an intuitive dashboard showing consumer opinions, sentiment, affect, net promoter score, and much more? Bizrate Insights offers Voice-of-Consumer solutions that allow you to ask custom questions, run industry benchmarking, and more. And the happiest news of all: Our solutions come at no cost to the merchant.

Stop guessing! Contact us today to learn why we’re considered the best consumer feedback platform.

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