Businesses that have been the most successful during these times are those that have learned how to adapt quickly to these serious changes, with companies in sectors like retail and hospitality receiving the most pressure to innovate their online ecosystems, payments solutions and even business models.

We take a look at a few ways you can optimize your customer payments strategy to meet changing consumer behaviour and protect your business.

1. Keep Things Convenient

A straightforward and seamless checkout experience is a deciding factor when people consider finalizing their purchase and returning to you in the future. To achieve this, it’s important that merchants eliminate any unnecessary steps in the process, and streamline the customer’s journey as much as possible.

Implement easy access to the checkout page, with quick navigation to the basket review and confirmation stages. And for repeat customers, look for ways to minimise repeat information entry by securely storing customer’s details for the future.

Many people are buying more groceries and general household items online today, so having a way to store their regularly purchased products and remember their payment details might help you become their go-to food weekly food destination.

Introduce Installments and Buy Now, Pay Later Options

Retailers can help customers get the items they want sooner by arranging delayed payment options and monthly installments. This can help customers to arrange their finances better and avoid making large lump sum payments for expensive items.

Some customers may simply not have the money just yet, while others will be cautious about spending too much in one go.

2. Be Accommodating

We’re all juggling a million different things at the moment, and sometimes it pays off to be accommodating to your customers when they have a change of mind. This is something the airline industry has implemented well in their waiving change and cancellation fees. Being too stringent in your policies can turn paying customers away who would otherwise come back to you at a later date when their plans are more reliable.

3. Protect Against Chargebacks

Chargeback rates have always been an issue for those who accept card payments. But due to the pandemic with people forced to change their plans, those offering travel, hospitality, or entertainment services have been significantly hit by people cancelling their orders and requesting refunds.

Customers may initiate chargebacks for several reasons beyond your control, but customer service is one area you can focus on. By helping customers during their purchasing journeys and actively assisting them in overcoming any misunderstandings can promote better rapport and a sense of trust, which may help you mitigate some chargebacks.

4. Bolster Your Security

Fraud attacks have increased recently due to the much higher volume of online transactions taking place, with some happening on new, non-secure platforms set up by small businesses who are looking to move their sales online.

Merchants must have robust fraud-prevention solutions in place. This could mean tighter monitoring of all your online transactions as well as implementing security protocols to assist with authentication and personal data storage.

This is particularly concerning with thousands of new customer accounts being opened by people who have little online payment experience, such as elderly shoppers who are forced to shop online for the first time in their lives. 

5. Still Taking In-Store Payments? Go Contactless

Despite the rise of online payments, people still like to shop and make in-store payments when they’re able to. However, many customers are increasingly seeking touchless payment terminals, so retailers should accelerate the adoption of contactless technology.

While contactless technologies can generate a great return it’s true that touchless terminals come with various costs that can significantly impact operating costs for small retailers and independent stores. Shopping around for the most affordable options is prudent.

6. Partner Up with Delivery Companies

For businesses in the food sector like restaurants, catering companies and fast-food chains, lockdowns have been extremely challenging. To survive, some businesses have looked to build partnerships with delivery platforms who can enable them to keep selling to customers.

You may even find this to be a profitable avenue that you pursue even once things return to normal, with more and more people ordering food online to their doors.

Final Takeaways

Several sectors have managed to overcome some of the serious disruptions to their operations during 2020, yet others are still trying to adapt to a new world.

To respond to the change that’s taking place to your business, consider how your online customer journey and payments strategy could be adapted to ensure you’re still making sales and keeping your business afloat.

With the right adjustments, you may even find that you’re able to take advantage of the huge changes taking place at the moment by leveraging online payment solutions and smart partnerships with businesses who can help you stay connected with your customers.