Oh, how it was much simpler back in the day! And not only in my day, but in the early days of ecommerce, when things were much simpler. But before we put our hands into digital wallets, let’s take a quick tour to the olden days of payment.
In the early 1990s, technological advancements set the foundations for what we now call ecommerce, and this fertile soil saw companies such as Amazon germinate, selling goods online. Acceptance of payment was clunky, slow and quite technical — requiring particular software. With the constant march of technological developments, online payments became easier, with debit and credit cards being widely accepted, as well as paying via cheque. But these straightforward options soon became seen as restricting.
Simplicity is often tangled with limitation. Yes it was easier for a company to manage their payment system if it only accepted debit or credit card, but that came at the expense of customer limitation.
If we gaze across the payment landscape today, the changes are dramatic — like the rapid rise of a Chinese village transformed into a megacity in the space of a few decades. Gone are those simple days; there has been an explosion of payment options, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) integrates them via extensions, or as SF Commerce Cloud calls them, cartridges.
There are approximately 35 such cartridges that integrate their own collection of payment methods and security features. If you want to know which ones work best with SF Commerce Cloud, we’ve already covered this conundrum which you can read all about.
Here we are going to unwrap these collections and look at payment methods individually. So what are these payment methods that you can fuse to the great ecommerce platform?
Yes, the plastic in your pocket is a long-time favorite payment method. If a customer shops on your site and wants to purchase some products, then they simply fill in their personal information, such as their name, card type, card number, and click “pay.”
This method was the only way, and continues to be a popular method for customers to purchase products. Other traditional methods that continue to be popular are in-store pickups and buy now pay later plans.
In addition, payment methods that attempt to boost customer loyalty, such as coupons and discount codes are widely used by companies to strengthen their customer base.
Yet these processes — of filling in your personal information each time — have been usurped in the last few years via a particular application that streamlines this process and creates a simplistic route to purchase products.
Perhaps the most innovative payment evolution (revolution, even) in recent times is that of the digital wallet, which most Salesforce Commerce Cloud cartridges can integrate. And there are many of them.
Digital wallets get rid of the need to re-enter personal information, and saves you from running into the living room to find your wallet to get your credit card number to fulfil an order. They store all the information of a consumer in a secure and compact form, while logging the history of a consumer’s orders and commerce habits.
Essentially, a digital wallet replicates your physical wallet and encyrics the data for security. From a marketing perspective, this is a huge opportunity for companies to get to know their customers better via crunching the numbers on consumer data like purchasing habits, potentially making your marketing strategy more effective.
The first major digital wallet to burst onto the scene was PayPal. Users are able to store their card details, send and receive money, discover local deals and be notified, make purchases inside stores, and order ahead. It has 277 million users and is widely used and integrated with many SF Commerce Cloud’s cartridges, and claims to convert 82% more than other payment methods.
Next up is Apple Pay, which is extremely hassle free if you are an Applewoman or man — like 64% of Americans who own and use the brand’s products. The headline to take away for using Apple Pay is that it provides a one-click payment option — for ecommerce sites that accept the wallet. Yes, ONE click. And what’s more juicy, it allows checkout via the touch ID. That. Is. Simply. Unbeatable. (For now at least!)
As one of the most popular ecommerce sites on the planet, it feels like all of us have an Amazon account, which makes its digital wallet, Amazon Pay, an essential addition to your bundle of payment methods. It can ease the access for Amazon users to spend their money without typing in their payment info. And it has been noted for its easy usability on mobile.
Another platform we seemingly all have an account for is Google. It’s noun-defying reputation is now commonly used as a verb, such is its widespread use. And its digital wallet is Google Pay (Have you noticed the theme yet? These app names are incredibly conforming). With millions of users already sharing their data on their Google accounts, their digital wallet provides much convenience. Also, it allows companies to set up loyalty programs, as well as gift cards.
A final wallet worth mentioning is WeChat Pay, stemming from its enormous Chinese social media platform WeChat. If you’re a company that does much business or has a lot of customers in the Middle Kingdom, then this is essential, for two reasons: (1) A staggering 36% of China’s population uses digital wallets — that’s approximately 504 million users! And (2) WeChat is the nation’s most popular and used app, with around 1 BILLION users. Now there is a mouthwatering market worth easing the payment process for.
Meanwhile, standing in the margins of the mainstream methods, Salesforce Commerce Cloud also accepts cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. There is a growing appetite for alternative forms of payments with extra-secure protocols. At its full potential, cryptocurrencies could re-revolutionize the payment industry, and so jumping on board now may prove fruitful for the future. Installing it on SF Commerce Cloud gives customers three simple steps through checkout.
Why variety matters
The average rate of cart abandonment on ecommerce sites is 69%, which means keeping a very close eye on any potential barriers that are put in the way of purchases, and clear the road if possible. Because with each barrier comes another opportunity to lose a customer.
Any payment method that streamlines the process creates a shorter journey for the customer, and quickens the time from exploration to purchase.