Why a customer-centric approach is essential in 2023
The scorching growth of e-commerce throughout Europe, and the subsequent boom in digital payments, have made the world of online retail highly competitive. Whether you are a merchant selling directly to customers, or to larger business customers, you need to cut through the clutter and create an engaging experience for your buyers. Over 90% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand again if they had a positive experience. Consumers want to trust brands, and they want to be engaged.
In the world of online buzz, how customers see, feel, and relate with your brand is crucial. Customers must feel that they are seen and heard, that their convenience matters to you. That is what breeds loyalty. Loyal customers are more likely to buy from you again and encourage others to do the same. They drive word-of-mouth publicity, which is great for business, because most people tend to trust the words of people they know. Retaining loyal customers is profitable, as the data shows. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profits by 25% to 95%. On the other hand, acquiring a new customer costs 5x more than keeping an existing one! That is why taking a customer-centric approach in your payments can enhance your brand experience.
How do payments influence the brand experience?
Payments help you to create an engaging experience for your customers. If your payments process is clunky and slow, it will frustrate buyers and drive them away. But, adding a personal touch to your payments helps you engage your customers and earn their loyalty.
An optimized payment system can help you gain rich insights about your customers’ preferences and buying behaviour, and hence determine the best approach to convert their interest to a sale. Knowing what they like helps you to respond promptly to their needs. When you engage your buyers, they are more likely to report a satisfying experience with your brand.
How to design a payment experience that enhances your brand appeal and value
Here are a few steps you can take to design a payment experience that delights customers.
1. Support multiple payment methods
Why? Be seen as a brand that keeps customers’ flexibility and convenience at its heart, and offers choice.
Consumers today demand flexibility and choice. Taking a few payment methods and pushing them in customers’ faces won’t bring you sales. Rather, you must make the effort to understand what your customers prefer, based on where they are. Look into local trends to understand what are the most popular payment methods in a particular market.
Merchants that offer multiple payment options are trusted by buyers. The more choices shoppers have, the more likely they are to complete the purchase. For example, over 90% of consumers in Austria say that the availability of their preferred payment methods influence their decision to shop online. Payment methods vary by country, across Europe. Hence, offering the right mix is crucial, including the most popular ones.
2. Update your payment systems
Why? Be seen as tech forward in a digital-savvy world and amongst digital natives.
People want fast, easy, and secure payments. Hence, your payments must be designed for the digital-first generation. That starts with a smooth and secure checkout. You have to guide your customers through the entire shopping journey in an intuitive and personalized manner – from discovery to payment, with minimal friction. You have to allay their fears about fraud and offer prompt troubleshooting when they face issues with payments.
New-age payment tech helps you to improve payment acceptance rates and reduce declines. You can design more seamless checkouts and one-click payments to make checkouts simple and quick. This makes a big difference to the customer experience. No more frustrated shoppers waiting at long checkouts. Quicker checkout means lesser cart abandonment, and in turn, happy and loyal buyers.
Keeping your payment systems and technology up to date allows you to tap into Europe’s modern payment infrastructure – from open banking rails to real-time payments to contactless payments. This helps you to meet the needs of savvy digital customers across markets in Europe.
3. Secure your payments, remain compliant
Why? Be seen as a trusted brand that cares about your customers’ safety
Fraud can damage your brand image and take away loyal customers. Hence, you must secure your payments from fraud and theft. Several laws in Europe exist to protect consumers from payment fraud. Non-compliance with these could also land you on the wrong side with regulators, and possibly lead to expensive fines and business disruptions. Hence, you must secure your payments.
AI-based risk management tools are a must to detect and prevent fraud in real-time. These tools use AI and machine learning to identify patterns in user behavior and report suspicious activity, so that you can stop fraud before it happens. Using a PCI-DSS compliant payment gateway is another essential defense against online fraud. So is using tokenization and 3D Secure, so that you can perform strong customer authentication (SCA) to verify the identity of genuine buyers. Compliance with all data and security laws keep you and your customers safe. Secure payments help you win buyer trust, improve brand loyalty, and build up a solid business.
4. Offer solid end-user support
Why? Troubleshoot options, guarantees, fall-back options. Provides ease of mind to consumers
End-user support helps you to respond promptly to customer payment issues, and engage with them better. Using a mix of automation and in-person support to solve issues helps ensure that the customer experience is not hampered. With end-user support, your teams can respond quickly to queries or issues that customers face with their payments. They can provide real-time response in case of payment delays or declines. This ensures your customers shop on your website and app with confidence and helps build stickiness with your brand in the long term.
You can also offer self-service options to customers through your end-user portal, so that customers can view their payments history and when and where they have made purchases. This helps them to easily track their payments, reducing the chances of them raising a chargeback claim. Customers also get an easy view into their recurring payments, for instance, subscriptions. They can use the self-service portal to track, update, or cancel their plans. This way, they have more control over their spending, and also appreciate the added effort from your side.
How can Novalnet Help?
Novalnet can help you upgrade your payments so that you are prepared to meet the needs of customers and offer a rich brand experience. When you work with us, you get access to a host of resources – from instant payment plug-ins to AI-based risk management tools – to get you up and running with your payments in no time, and with zero hassle. As trusted advisors to Europe’s leading brands, we have all that you need to make and accept payments globally.
Reach out to us today to know more.
Jose Augustine is the Chief Business Development Officer at Novalnet with extensive experience in European payment industry and a knowledge powerhouse.