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Improving your ecommerce payment flow with payment gateways

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Last editedMar 20232 min read

Does your ecommerce business have a high shopping cart abandonment rate? Are you losing sales at the final stage of checkout? If conversion rates could do with some improvement, it’s time to take another look at your ecommerce payment flow. You might have too many redirections or fail to offer the customer’s preferred payment method. With the help of today’s best commerce payment gateways, you can improve the user journey for greater customer satisfaction. Here’s how to get started.

What is a payment gateway in commerce?

Whether used in a brick-and-mortar retail or online ecommerce setting, a payment gateway serves the same purpose. Online, it’s the system that facilitates payments by connecting the merchant and customer with issuing and acquiring banks. A customer puts items in their shopping cart online and then proceeds to the checkout page. When they initiate a payment, it’s the payment gateway that collects their card details and transmits this data to the acquiring bank and issuing bank for authorisation.

With the help of a payment gateway, your ecommerce payment flow can follow a smooth, secure process. There’s no need for physical cards or cash, with all details submitted and verified online. Tools like data encryption keep sensitive data safe as it's transmitted and stored.

How can you improve the ecommerce payment process flow?

While the payment gateway handles the technical details, it’s also important to think about how user-friendly your design is. The checkout page can make or break a sale depending on its layout, complexity, and design. Some ecommerce businesses choose to redirect customers to a separate third-party website for payment processing, but this extra step could push a customer away.

Instead, carefully integrate the payment gateway with your checkout page using these tips to optimise ecommerce payment flow.

  • Keep checkout to a single page, eliminating any unnecessary information fields.

  • Use an intuitive, minimal design that lets visitors anticipate the next logical step.

  • Offer a selection of payment methods to cater for different preferences.

  • Enable guest checkout so that customers don’t need to create a login and password.

What are some ecommerce payment flow challenges?

Security is one of the key issues that any ecommerce business needs to keep in mind. If your customers don’t feel like their financial information is safe, they are unlikely to return to your shop. Build a sense of trust by displaying your credentials, including an SSL certificate and PCI DSS compliance. Keep on top of regular updates for your online software, use password managers, and restrict access to customer data.

Another common issue to solve is that of failed payments. Payments can fail for a variety of reasons, including expired card details or typos entered during checkout. When designing your checkout page, make sure that your error message is clear, or your customer will give up on completing the sale. If you use a pop-up message, it should be as specific as possible, so the buyer has a chance to correct their details.

How to choose a commerce payment gateway

Choosing the best commerce payment gateway helps you find solutions for all these issues. A good gateway will have strong built-in security features, for example. It will also be user-friendly, cost-effective, and reliable. In addition to security features, compare processing times, fees, and compatibility with your existing systems.

GoCardless serves as a payment gateway for your ecommerce business, making it easy to collect both one-off and recurring payments directly from customer bank accounts. Our new PayTo feature lets businesses collect bank payments in real-time for super-fast settlement. We also minimise failed payments with our intelligent retries tool, Success+. This successfully collects up to 70% of payments that fail the first time around, for an improved ecommerce payment flow.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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