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Dinner_B_D_M_2016BlogEvery industry faces a range of difficulties as it grows and evolves, and this is no less true for the world of online retail. eCommerce businesses are constantly changing, and this can lead to both amazing new innovations, and tough new challenges.

Here at Balance Internet Magento Developers, we know how important it is to be ahead of the curve. So we hosted a dinner with our partners from dotmailer, Braintree and Magento, to discuss what is happening in the market right now. As leaders in the digital field, it was an excellent opportunity for us all to share the latest trends in payment options, as well as strategies to combat some of the big issues facing eCommerce businesses.
It was a highly illuminating evening, and we all came away with plenty of insights into ways we can support our clients and help to maximise their sales.

Here are just a few of the topics we covered, and some of the learnings we took away from the event:

The top trends in payment options

To convert online shopping into actual sales, brands must optimise their payment options. To this end, it is vital to ensure that the right payment methods are available for customers, no matter where in the world they’re buying from. For example, any business wanting to sell to the ever-expanding Chinese market must be prepared to accept China Union. There are more holders of China Union worldwide than Visa and MasterCard combined, and that represents a huge number of potential buyers. Don’t miss out on sales when simply adding another possible payment method could see you tap into a whole new market.

There is also a lot of exciting innovation in the works surrounding in-context payments. This would allow a potential buyer to pay directly from an email or social media offer, without the need to visit the website. Removing hurdles to payment and creating the simplest user experience at checkout is integral to turning casual shoppers into paying customers, so this is definitely something to consider as a savvy eCommerce trader.

The changing landscape of eCommerce

People love to shop online – but all too often they abandon their purchase during the payment process. Every eCommerce business needs an ecommerce strategy to combat this buyer behaviour, and this was something we discussed at length at our dinner. Brands need to constantly reduce friction in the payment process, and move as close as possible to fully automated payment systems. An excellent example of this is Uber, where no checkout or payment authorisation is required. More brands should be moving towards this model wherever possible to boost their online sales.

Furthermore, with more and more people using their mobile phones or tablets to engage in online shopping, it is more important than ever to look at your eCommerce solutions from a mobile point of view. Streamlining and simplifying the user experience through checkout on mobile devices will help to reduce abandonment at the payment stage, and in turn increase conversion rates.

Products and strategies to combat the abandoned cart

Automated marketing from platforms like dotmailer is a great way to get purchases across the line. Emails about the abandoned cart can help remind customers about the items they wanted to buy, and having a link directly back to the checkout page will make the process as seamless as possible. In future, having the ability to pay directly from emails will make automated marketing even more effective.

This does raise the question of when is the best time to send an email. Every category, retailer and customer is different, so it really is a matter of testing different times and seeing what works best for your particular business. However, you can make the process easier with send time optimisation by dotmailer. This new technology allows you to automate the optimisation of send times based on each customer’s behaviour, which will in turn give your email marketing the best chance of being seen.

Utilising subscription payments and recurring payments through Braintree’s tokenised payment gateway can also help to lock in repeat customers, and removes the possibility of potential buyers ending their purchase before paying. This payment system therefore has the dual advantages of customer retention, and a predictable revenue stream over the subscription term. This would be particularly beneficial in the purchase of frequently consumed products, such as beauty items, groceries, contact lenses and so forth.

Preventing fraud and managing your security online

As most of us know, fraud is a serious issue in the world of eCommerce, so it’s essential you take all the necessary measures to avoid it. Online fraud can cost your company a lot of money, and you need to find a way to protect your business without adversely affecting conversion and revenue. Fraud protection tools such as Kount can be very useful, allowing you to set rules regarding product value and customer location/profile to find the balance between risk and conversion. Meanwhile, tools like WAF (Web Application Firewall) will screen traffic, and can block any traffic that may have be malicious.

Having an internal security officer will also help with site security, as will tightly managing passwords and only providing access to a small number of admin users. You need to constantly review and update users and passwords, and ensure nobody still has access who shouldn’t. Additionally, using technology like Last Pass will help to tighten controls around password access, making your eCommerce site vastly more secure and protecting you in the long run.

For more information on security and marketing automation contact us or call us on 1300 624 368