By: Nikhita Hyett, Managing Director, Europe, BlueSnap
This Black Friday, it is expected that 51% of consumers, in over 40 different countries, will shop online from international retailers. So while cross-border demand will be high, merchants shouldn’t get complacent. To maximise sales, businesses must ensure they are delivering an optimal online shopping journey.
Companies that don’t have the necessary tools to provide a convenient and seamless checkout experience, will have a greater risk of checkout abandonment and lost sales. Last year we saw 44% of UK consumers stop a purchase because their preferred payment method was unavailable.
Therefore, as more people go online for their holiday purchases, it is important that the shopping experience is localised to make consumers feel comfortable buying from international markets. Having a local shopping experience reassures customers, and alleviates concerns around shipment delays and fraud – mitigating the risk of checkout abandonment. Payment providers that neglect local acquiring will experience lower authorisation rates as a consequence. Our recent cross border payments report shows that 68% of businesses fail to take advantage of local acquiring. These retailers are therefore leaving a lot of potential revenue on the table, whilst paying high cross border fees which could be avoided.
Merchants must be prepared for the onslaught of international transactions that will come their way this holiday season. They must be ready to think globally, but act locally. They can do this in three ways.
1. Speak your Customers’ Language
To optimise sales, it is imperative that consumers are able to easily understand the checkout page. When rushing to check outs – as most do – with Black Friday and Christmas deals, consumers don’t want a roadblock causing them to miss out on a limited offer. This means payment processors must be able to detect a URL’s native country and serve payment pages in the customer’s language when completing a transaction.
Additionally, local currencies should never get lost in translation. To increase the likelihood of a completed sale, consumers should be able to see the price of a product in their own currency. This prevents them having to do the work in figuring out exchange rates and the true cost of a good
Offering local currencies not only reduces potential lost sales but increases conversion rates. It is this kind of localisation that will show consumers how much merchants value them. It’s reassuring, and even better, it makes the process much more convenient. Merchants using local currencies report 12% increase in sales, therefore, failing to localise payments is an unnecessary barrier to increased revenue.
2.Consider how your customer pays
Localisation isn’t just an objective, it’s an achievable mindset. In a globalised world it’s crucial to remember that customers are a few clicks away from merchants worldwide. Thus, all payment options need to be considered to account for those who are not privy to well known methods such as international debit and credit cards.
Depending on the region, it’s common to have transactions using bank transfers, cash vouchers, and online banking methods. And this doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be as simple as an online bank transfer as we’ve seen with SEPA in the EU, which is accessible to 36 different countries. This payment method reassures European consumers as it provides a secure payment experience when they look to shop internationally.
That being said, merchants need to search for a payment partner that understands the landscape globally, without sacrificing local knowledge. Google Pay is a good example of a payment method that has been deployed in many international markets. Consumers in over 70 countries use this frictionless form of payment – it has saved them time, effort, and increased security because of card network tokenization.
You can also avoid cross-border fees with local acquiring in place. These fees can add up to 1%, reducing a business’ return on investment in cross-border sales. As such, cross border fees are unnecessary costs that businesses can easily avoid this Black Friday.
3.Don’t complain about compliance
While it may not seem like something to consider immediately, retailers acting in compliance with consumer security (PSD2) will help customers to feel more secure when shopping outside of their own region. Not only that, they will be protecting themselves by shifting the liability onto the issuing bank with a 3D-Secure transaction.
Payment compliance can seem complicated, but no one is exempt from their country’s regulations. Companies have a responsibility to closely monitor all regulations that are impacting payments at all levels and then update the technology infrastructure according to new laws. Getting this right will increase sales and boost customer trust.
Hence, it is crucial that businesses partner with payment platforms that will ensure they are compliant. By partnering with the right payment provider, businesses don’t need to worry about compliance, as it is all handled for them.