Retail Payment Options: The More, The Merrier

more paymnet options

Gone are the days of just offering PayPal as a payment option on your website. 10 years ago, a PayPal button on your site was enough, and in fact, many customers preferred it for their buyer protection policies. It was a reputable, secure, and trusted way to buy things on the internet back when people were still getting used to the idea of using their credit cards online.

But online retail has grown and changed a lot since then. The options for secure online payments have exploded and customers are a lot more comfortable and experienced with online purchasing.

Online retail isn’t the only place that’s changed in the last decade. If you’re a physical retailer, the days of using a simple cash register or POS to process orders and take payments are over. Customers want their choice of payment method in-store – and they expect the process to be accurate, fast, and streamlined. And even more so when your store is both online and offline.

Customers want more choice

These days, customers want and expect more choice from retailers. They want their choice of online/offline, shipping, timing, location, brand – and of course, payment methods.

But with new (and exciting) options coming out all the time… where do you begin? And how do you integrate everything into your systems so that it all runs efficiently?

We’ve put together a round up of some of the top payment options you might like to consider offering in your store, including why they may (or may not) work for you. Hopefully, by the time you get to the end of this article, you’ll have your top 3 (or so) to investigate further and then integrate into your checkout systems.

PayPal

Pros

  • Familiar
  • Extremely well-known
  • Trusted
  • Secure
  • Simple to set up
  • Easily integrated
  • Users can use their PayPal balance or pay through PayPal using their bank balance or credit card
  • Flexible options like PayPal Credit

Cons:

  • Fees for sellers are a little higher than most other platforms
  • Less control over the user experience, as it directs them off your site
  • If unfamiliar, users may think they need to set up a PayPal account to use it

Best For You If..

  • You need a quick and simple solution
  • You want to increase buyer confidence
  • It’ll increase your conversions enough to cover the extra fees
  • You’re just an online retailer

Stripe

Pros

●     As it’s a self-hosted payment gateway, the customer experience stays on your site

●     You can control the user’s journey

●     Clean and customizable design

●     Increasingly well-known and trusted

●     Smoothly integrates with a lot of systems

Cons:

●  Can be a bit fiddly to set up

 

Google Wallet

Pros

Cons

 
  • Speed up the purchasing process for customers online, in-store, and in apps
  • Create reward programs for users
  • Added features like splitting bills or payments
  • Not yet widely adopted
  • Users need to sign up and get the app(s)
  • Not available for the sale of digital goods
  • Set up on your site can take a few days
 

Best for you if…

  • You want to keep up with the latest and most popular payment methods
  • Your customers are more likely to be Android users
  • You’re okay with it potentially evolving and changing in the coming years
  • You sell on multiple platforms (both online and in-store)

Apple Pay

Pros

Cons

 
  • Users get faster purchases online in Safari, in-store, and in apps
  • Secure
  • Includes fingerprint authentication
  • Integrates with many popular online payment platforms
  • Not yet widely adopted
  • Users need to sign up and get the app(s)
  • May require fiddling with a few lines of code
 

Best for you if…

  • Your customers are more likely to be Apple users
  • You want to keep up with the latest payment methods
  • You’re okay with changes in the coming years as it evolves
  • Your store has built-in Apple Pay integration
  • You sell on multiple platforms (both online and in-store)

Amazon Pay

Pros

Cons

 
  • Integrates with the top eCommerce platforms
  • Is a strong, familiar brand
  • Faster checkouts for customers with existing Amazon accounts
  • Secure and protected
  • Only available in certain countries
  • If a customer’s card declines, the Amazon branding can confuse them
  • Some people report extra paperwork involved in set up
  • Some sites will require coding/development to integrate Amazon Pay
 

Best for you if…

  • Your audience are based in the USA, UK, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland.
  • Your audience are familiar and comfortable with Amazon
  • Your store offers built-in integration
  • You sell on multiple platforms (both online and in-store)

Afterpay

Pros

Cons

 
  • Allow customers to buy now, pay later
  • You get paid straight away
  • Afterpay assumes the risk of customers not paying
  • Increase conversions
  • No interest charged to customers if they pay on time
  • Works online and in-store
  • Easily integrates with leading POS and eCommerce platforms
  • Account limitations mean it may not work for big purchases
  • Some negative connotations – as it can encourage bad spending habits
  • High interest fees for your customers if they don’t make their payments on time
 

Best for you if…

  • Your customers like to buy things on credit or make impulse buys
  • You sell physical products
  • Your store offers built-in integration
  • You sell on multiple platforms (both online and in-store)

Bitcoin

Pros

Cons

 
  • Adoption is increasing
  • Funds often transfer instantly, which means you can ship products faster
  • Comparatively low fees
  • Secure transaction
  • No charge-backs
  • Customers can maintain full privacy
  • Still evolving
  • Not widely adopted… yet
  • Some barriers to entry like setting up your digital wallet and then buying Bitcoin
  • Not integrated into many online store platforms yet
 

Best for you if…

  • You’re experienced with digital currencies
  • Your audience is extremely tech-savvy
  • Your brand is modern
  • You’re able to adapt quickly to any changes
  • You can get your head around the tax/legal ramifications in your local area

Integrated POS & eCommerce

For example Lightspeed HQ, Square POS, and Clover POS (see reviews of the best POS systems).

Pros

Cons

 
  • Instantly update your inventory and sales data whether you make a sale online or offline
  • Reduce admin
  • Reduce staff hours (save on labor costs)
  • Additional fees for this feature
  • Additional set up
  • Time spent adapting your system (like product descriptions) to work for both POS and online
 

Best for you if…

  • You’re both an online retailer and physical store
  • You want to streamline your sales and admin
  • Your online shop interface offers integrated POS options

Don’t overwhelm your customers

We’ve mentioned quite a few options here… and there are plenty of others we’ve left out. It can be a little overwhelming for you. And while it’s great to offer lots of options to your customers, it might overwhelm THEM as well if you offer every payment gateway on the planet!

We’re not saying you should offer ALL these options. Usually, your three best payment options are enough to give your customers a choice without overwhelming them.

So, how do you choose the right ones?

In some cases, it’ll be obvious.

For example, if you’re a retailer with an online and physical store, you’ll definitely want to offer payment methods that integrate with both your POS systems and your online store. These will give you a full 360-degree view on orders and payments in your business, no matter where they happen. You’ll also probably want to look into offering Digital Wallet options (like Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay) as these are designed to work with in-store card readers and online/app checkouts.

On the other hand, if you’re just online, PayPal and Stripe are an obvious choice. Or if your audience is highly tech-savvy, Bitcoin will likely be an attractive option.

But a lot of the time, it’ll be less obvious than that.

Start by taking a step back and ask yourself some questions:

  • Do you need a solution that works for online, offline, or both?
  • Think about your audience and your business – what makes sense for them?
  • What makes sense for the types of products and services you’re selling?
  • Look at your competitors –  what options do they offer?
  • What options aren’t your competitors offering that your audience would appreciate?
  • Check the reviews – what do customers think about each payment option?
  • What are the payment terms for you (and your customers)?
  • What fees are involved?
  • Will it smoothly integrate with your existing systems?

This will help you evaluate your options and narrow them down to the top three. Once you’re fairly sure you’ve narrowed it down to the right ones, integrate them into your checkout process as soon as possible.

 

Test, review, adapt

Over the next few weeks and months, pay close attention to your conversions. See if they increase or decrease (accounting for other factors like your advertising efforts and seasonal demand). Listen to feedback from your customers. See which payment options get picked the most. Consider swapping out your least-used payment option for an alternative option after a few months (like a split-test) to see if your customers convert better with something else.

The great thing about this is you’re not locked into anything, and you can experiment to see what works. Think of it like any other website test or edit… like editing the titles or descriptions on your products to improve conversions. Start by offering the payment methods you think make the most sense, then change them up as you go along.

You might also be interested in The Best POS Gas Stations 

More options mean more sales

Why go to all this trouble? It’s simple, really. Offering more choice could help you grow your business and convert more customers – whether it’s in-store or online. It really is “the more, the merrier” when it comes to your payment methods (within reason!).

You’ll make it easier for customers to buy from you when they can pay using their preferred method. They’ll check out faster which means less cart abandonment, higher conversion rates, and more sales. And with integrated in-store POS and eCommerce payment methods, you’ll also reduce your admin and paperwork.

But perhaps most important of all, your customers will feel like you “get” them because you’ve got their favorite options available.

Best 5 Square alternatives

Square might be good option if you are a micro merchant and only need a Mobile Swiper. But If your business is getting bigger & you need a company that can help you processes big and also have great customer service you might find that elsewhere. See what Square’s Top Competitors have to offer your business

Read more
pharmacy pos

How to Choose a Point of Sale System for Pharmacies

Pharmacies have unique needs when it comes to selling medications, especially prescription and scheduled drugs. Pharmacies need to be able to keep track of their inventory at all times and this is one of the most important features that need to be taken into account when choosing a POS system. Although there are a few POS systems that are designed...

Read more
pizza restaurant pos system

5 best Pizza POS Systems for 2019!

According to statistics from 2017, the market value of the pizza industry in the US alone was an eye-watering $50.07 billion… and it’s projected to grow by a further 22% in the next year or so. With so much pizza-based competition – and demand – pizza businesses need to be able to do two things: produce a tasty product and...

Read more
pos for nail salon

POS For Nail Salons – Your Best Options Explored

The hallmark of a successful business is the continued resolve to evolve.  As new and more effective ways of satisfying consumer demands arise, incorporating these innovations into your business’s operational fabric is an indispensable step for keeping pace with the competition.  Certainly, one of the most important elements of interfacing with a salon or spa for clients is the facility with...

Read more