User Experience – UX, for short- is simply defined as your customer’s experience when using your product or platform. In today’s world where online purchases are ever growing, customer experience can be the single most important factor in deciding the success of any business.
Why is User Experience Important?
User experience is the opinion of consumers.
Poor experience of a single customer has the ability to earn you a bad reputation and drive away potential buyers. Thus, more and more online businesses have started focusing on improving the look and feel of their e-stores.
For example, when a WordPress designer thinks about bettering the experience of a client, selection of the right theme becomes a priority. Their concern is navigation, page layout and more, to support the website’s purpose.
Similarly, when it comes to your WooCommerce store, your concerns should be –
- What can I do to help customers find the product they are looking for?
- How can I make their search and checkout experience smoother?
- How can I provide them personal attention?
All these questions will help you improve the UX on your store.
When Does the Role of a Payment Gateway Come into Picture?
When designing your WooCommerce store to improve user experience, payment gateways might be the last thing on your mind. But, a Woo store should be easy to use right from the homepage to the order completion page- and a payment gateway is one of the steps that fit in between the two extremes.
The final step for a customer when making a purchase is- payment. And a payment gateway adds to the whole purchase experience.
For a customer, every purchase is an investment. They want to be assured of a secure, trustworthy transaction. At the point of checkout, you don’t want them wondering about losing their money.
Your payment gateway can ensure be the difference between a successful transaction and an abandoned cart.
In order to give your customers a sense of security while making the payment, the following points should help –
- Usage of familiar logos – Customers with a fair experience of online shopping are well acquainted with the popular logos such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, etc.
- Clear messaging – If you are using an off-site payment method (we’ll come to it later), make sure you convey the message as clearly as possible to your customers. Being redirected to a different site to process the payment without prior notice, can worry your customers prompting them to abandon their cart.
- SSL certification – Make sure your payment gateway is SSL certified. It is a good idea to include the security logo as well.
How to Decide the Right Payment Gateway for Your Store?
So the next step is deciding the right payment gateway, so as to ensure a flawless customer experience.
A payment gateway can be either a hosted one or integrated via API.
A hosted payment gateway redirects the customer to the gateway’s site in order to enter the payment information.
Now, think of it this way. How would you feel if at a physical store asked you to go next door to make a payment? Would you consider it? Sending customers to another site is kind of the same, and it might have a negative impact on sales. But not always. What if you had to go to a bank to make a payment? You’d trust it, right? Hosted payment gateways work the same way.
- The biggest gain of hosted payment gateways is that the offsite provider is responsible for all PCI compliance and data security. Thus, you have one thing less to worry about and can start selling sooner.
- When the off-site payment gateways are popular, customers can trust them better (like PayPal, Stripe).
- Hosted payment gateways work well when you cater to different countries or currencies and can’t integrate all possible payment options on your site.
Now let’s consider another scenario. Let’s say there’s an impatient customer who’s in a hurry to make a purchase. How would redirecting to another site make him/her feel? Forcing the customer to go through multiple steps might be frustrating. In that case, one-page checkout is always a better choice.
And hence, for most online stores integrated payment gateways is the preferred choice.
If you go for the integrated payment gateway route, make sure that the checkout page reflects the same simplicity and styling of your store. Here is an example of an integrated payment gateway – Authorize.net
Going Modern or Classic?
Then comes the decision to choose between “Modern” and “Classic” payment gateways.
A modern payment gateway would enable you to start your store without much hassle as it doesn’t come with the requirement of setting up a merchant account. But, the downside is that they usually charge a larger per-transaction fee which might become a burden as your store grows bigger. Also, you should note that most of the Modern payment gateways send customers offsite to make the payments.
Another criteria to be considered is the support for recurring payments. If you’re planning on selling subscription-based products, modern gateways are a wiser option, as they support automatic billing.
Now, the good part is that there’s a wide number of popular WooCommerce payment gateway extensions for you to choose from. And you can view their features to choose between a “Classic” or “Modern” approach.
Now, based on your audience, your location, popular payment options as per trend, you have to make a choice between picking the right payment gateways to appease your customers. As a rule of thumb, multiple options are better than one. Also, it goes without mentioning that switching between payment gateways is not as painful as switching between eCommerce platforms. So, even if you change your mind, there’re always services available to help you along the way. 🙂
The most important point to remember is to provide your customers a seamless shopping experience to ensure more sales!
About the Author
XAdapter is a company of problem-solvers actively seeking out innovative solutions to handle varied challenges in the eCommerce industry, with their primary focus being WooCommerce! Get to know all about them via their website or connect with them on twitter @XAdapter