10 strategies to improve your payment page conversion rate

68 out of every 100 people who get as far as your payment page will leave without actually making a purchase. How much could you increase your revenue if you increased conversion? We’ve put together a list of ten simple conversion rate fixes.

Conversion refers to the percentage of people who are asked to pay who actually make a payment. When taking payments online this is typically around 32%. This means that out of every 100 people who get as far as your payment page 68 will leave without actually making a purchase.

How much could you increase your revenue if you were capturing more of these sales? To help you do this we’ve put together a list of ten simple ways you can improve your conversion rate:

1. Single payment page.

Customers have no tolerance for a slow website – especially on tablets or smartphones. If your payment process if over several stages or is slower or longer because you of redirecting to another site for payment, customers may fail to complete their payment.

44%* of customers blame a failure to complete a payment on slow loading pages while 36.75%* blame a long payment process. Make it as easy as possible by limiting the number of clicks between choosing to pay for a product or service and completing the purchase. If you can, try to use a single payment page (although if this page is then crammed with fields to be completed this could scare customers away).

2. Only ask for information you need.

Gather any details you require to process an order, but to simplify the process clearly mark essential fields and make any non-essential fields optional. If the information needs to be entered in a certain way — like a phone number or credit card number — give an example.

3. Pre-fill information wherever you can.

Customers won’t be happy if they need to enter the same information twice so if they’ve provided information to you in an earlier step in the process don’t ask for it again. If your payment pages are on another site which requires the same information, automatically pre-fill the fields wherever possible so your customer doesn’t have to do it again.

4. Reduce forced registration or account creation.

People may not want to make an account just to make a purchase - particularly if it's a one off. A recent study* found that 25.6% of online consumers would abandon a purchase if they were forced to register first.

If you can let them skip this step and place an order without registering or using a guest account. If you can’t do this (or if the site you redirect to requires registration) try either removing any mention of registering and collecting required details as part of the payment process or by adding a supporting line of copy explaining why they should register.

5. Show progress through the payment process.

Make it clear to visitors where they are within the payment process and how many steps they have left to complete their purchase. One way to do this is to have a progress bar at the top of each payment page showing the stages of the payment process and the customer’s current location.

6. Have clear calls-to-action.

The perfect CTA should be found using a process of testing colour, placement, size etc. but, whatever you choose, make sure your customers know exactly what the next step is so they don’t need to waste time working out what to do.

7. Display security messaging.

58%* of customers blame a failure to complete a payment on security concerns. If you're taking payments online, customers need to be able to trust you with their payment information. If a site gives a sense of poor security or requires excessive security checks customers may fail to complete their payment.

Have a real address and phone number and display security messaging such as secure payment gateway branding, SSL certificates or displaying badges of any affiliations to improve buyer confidence and trust. If you are using a payment provider try to find one with a trusted name like PayPal or with FCA authorisation like GoCardless.

8. Maintain consistent branding.

If redirecting to another site for payment causes the payment page to look significantly different to your site, customers may feel like they aren’t paying the company they wanted to.

With Recurly and GoCardless, payment pages can be configured with your logo and background colour. This may help customers to at least feel they are still on your page and, as such, keep your business and brand in their minds.

9. Offer clear and easy communication.

Build trust with customers by being approachable and willing to communicate by a range of methods including phone, email, LiveChat, or through regular blog postings. People like to feel that they can speak to a real person if there is a problem.

10. Provide alternative payment methods.

Not everybody has a credit card, and those that do don't always want to use them so think about offering a range of alternative payment options which suit your customers, e.g. PayPal or Direct Debit.

Remember – whichever strategy you decide to use it’s always worth testing as no matter how amazing or obvious the idea seems your customers may surprise you.

What are your favourite payment conversion strategies? Have you seen any payment pages which use any brilliant strategies or that are so smooth and hassle free that you’d happily use them again? Share your story and continue the conversation on Twitter.

* David Moth. 26 November 2012. Basket abandonment: case studies and tips to help improve your conversion rates. Retrieved from http://econsultancy.com/blog/11182-basket-abandonment-case-studies-and-tips-to-help-improve-your-conversion-rates#i.dn7l7015qmcxss.

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