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How Do Payment Options Reflect Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Anyone knows that you as an online merchant can increase sales with a better payment experience.

Shopping cart for online purchase

But, do you know the most common reason why shoppers abandon their carts? Generally, it’s that extra costs like shipping, fees or taxes are too high. Hidden charges that are revealed at the checkout stage can surprise customers and lead 50% of them to abandon their carts. Another 25 % would abandon their shopping cart if the website requires them to create an account. And the third reason is time consumption: either delivery takes too long, or the checkout process is too lengthy or complicated. If the checkout process is overly complex, lengthy, or requires too many steps, customers may feel frustrated or impatient and decide to abandon their carts.

Here are a few more reasons for shopping cart abandonment that you as an e-merchant must consider:

1. Comparison shopping: customers often use shopping carts as a way to compare prices, products or services across different websites. So don’t be surprised if they abandon their cards in order to continue browsing and comparing options before making the final decision.

2. Lack of trust or security concerns: customers may hesitate to complete their purchase if they have concerns about the security of their personal information or payment details on the website.

3. Technical issues like glitches, errors or slow website performance during checkout can frustrate customers and easily cause them to abandon their carts.

4. Poor user experience: if the website is difficult to navigate, lacks clear product information or doesn’t provide adequate customer support, it can lead to a negative user experience, causing customers to abandon their carts.

5. Limited payment options: if a website doesn’t offer the preferred payment methods of customers, they may choose to abandon their carts rather than to through the hassle of using an unfamiliar or inconvenient payment method. Let’s discuss in detail this last issue, as the implementation of preferred local payment methods is a project that VR Team is currently working on.

Given that merchants are working with the right payment gateway providers or technology partners, they have a wide range of tools to optimize their eCommerce conversation rates. Payment setup, as the final step in the checkout process, is an area deserving of particular attention. Specifically, it is worth exploring the link between payment options and conversion rates.

“Think globally, act locally”

Putting locally-preferred online payment methods in the front has become essential to growing a global eCommerce business. Alternative payment methods or ‘non-card payment methods’ already comprise over 50 % of global eCommerce payments. One of the key drivers is mobile checkout, where entering card details is not a practice. Now that convenience rules card payments are still used but increasingly hidden behind a digital wallet, apps, or other alternative payment methods.

Understanding the end-user device and his local payment preferences is also crucial for building the right payment mix. In many markets, offering the right payment method also conveys a sense of legitimacy, important to building trust with shoppers.

Merchants should always offer at least the top three payment methods in any market or country. Most shoppers will use at least one of them, and it has been shown that providing the top three methods, rather than only the most popular, can increase conversions by up to 30%.

There are also solutions available that provide dynamic tools that determine which payment methods should be offered to shoppers, determined by their pre-assessed risk level. A shopper’s shipping address, device information, and other data can be used to automatically determine whether higher-risk payments, like the so-popular in Germany Klarna invoice payment should be offered alongside major card brands. The background check is done before the shopper reaches the payment page, which results in higher conversion rates, because the appropriate payment methods are offered while reducing fraud risk.

Here are a few pieces of advice as to how to approach the payment methods options and how to give users a clear overview of payment options.

  • Make sure all the relevant payment methods are visible in a single viewport on the payments page — with no scrolling required and ideally above the fold.

  • Use responsive design to ensure that payment methods are always visible no matter what the device.

  • Do not overcrowd the page with payment methods. Choose only those that are popular and relevant for the specific market.

  • The payment methods offered should be personalized depending on the user’s country. The simplest way to do this is by dynamically showing payment methods depending on the site locale, such as the country domain (shop-online. de), subdirectory (shop-online. com/de), or the user’s shipping or billing address. For example, a domain registered in the Netherlands should offer Dutch payment methods such as iDeal whereas a French domain should offer Carte Bancaire.

  • If the website is multiregional, it is possible to use the IP address to determine the location of the user. However, IP location analysis is difficult and generally not reliable. For example, if a German is shopping online while eating pizza in Italy, they will want to see the payment methods they’re familiar with, such as Sofort and Giropay, not Italian ones that they most likely cannot use.

  • Do not hide payment methods, for example, by clustering together similar payment methods or using a drop-down list, so that users must click and interact with the page to discover them. Many consumers won’t bother and so won’t be able to find their preferred payment method.

By addressing these common pain points and improving the overall shopping experience, you as an online retailer can reduce cart abandonment rates and increase conversions.


1. PPRO Playbook for Payment Pages

2. ACI Worldwide

VR Team is a digital payment consultant. We hold profound knowledge in digital payment technologies and are fully certified Stripe partners with a focus on efficient and smart payments. We consult on different payment provider topics for marketplaces, SaaS platforms and all kinds of online businesses. We will assist a company to choose among the global payment service providers and help during the launch phase and throughout the whole implementation process. Moreover, we can finetune any existing payment setup, support scaling up the company product offering, and revolutionize the technical implementation with hand-crafted and masterful payment integration.


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