5 steps to seamless selling

Dec 17 2020 | PayPal editorial staff | 4 min read

Seamless – it’s a well-worked buzzword that describes the optimal online experience that customers want and expect.
The seamless experience applies holistically. From the first time a customer lands on your site, what happens needs to feel effortless and frictionless for them, all the way through browsing to purchasing.

Today, a growing band of sophisticated international brands are pushing boundaries and setting the bar higher for truly frictionless transactions In a range of innovative ways. These include instant product replacement and subscription services, invisible contextual payments exemplified by ride-sharing app Uber and the rapid rise of social commerce more broadly.

The smart fridge that automatically places (and pays for) grocery orders when you’re running low on milk and other supplies may not yet be a reality for every consumer, but expectations around the seamlessness of online transactions are heading that way – and fast.

There are a few fundamental elements that make up a truly seamless buying experience which are simple enough for businesses of any size to get right.
 

1.Mobile is a must-have

The first step to delivering a seamless experience is knowing how customers like to shop – and for around half now it’s frequently via a smartphone. The 2018 PayPal mCommerce Index reports that the number of Australian smartphone users who buy on their mobile at least once a week sits at 55%, and 41% prefer to use their mobile for online purchases (and that number rises to 54% for those aged 18-34).

The mobile revolution is moving super-fast and it’s driven by customer demand. Yet only 60% of Australia’s online businesses are optimised to accept mobile payments. For the mobile user, trying to figure out a clunky site that’s not built for fast fingers on a small screen is frankly too hard and 20% have abandoned a purchase because the experience wasn’t mobile-optimised.

So seamless starts with your site. Make it mobile-responsive at the very minimum. Take your mobile site to the next level with our 8 simple steps to mCommerce success.
 

2.Eliminate irritations

To make your site truly frictionless, first take stock of the points in the journey that might be bugging prospective customers.

The top 3 irritations remain consistent, according to the mCommerce Index:

eliminate irritation image

And 43% of mobile consumers have abandoned a purchase because it was too difficult or took too long, and expectations are far higher among the millennial and Gen Z cohorts.
So do a self-audit. Figure out what’s working and what’s not by user testing your own website on different devices – iPhones, Androids, tablets, desktops and laptops. While you’re there, test different browsers for glitches as well.

You can also take advantage of the many free online tools like GTMetrix which analyses your site and provides recommendations for optimising the user experience, or Google’s mobile-friendly test.
 

3.Find the hole in your checkout

Arguably the most tricky and potentially costly part of creating a truly seamless experience comes after the thrill of the hunt. The customer should be feeling satisfied by the experience of filling their shopping cart, but then they suddenly quit before completing the transaction. This figure sits consistently at around 70% according to the Baymard Institute.



Cart abandonment is the number one perplexing issue for eCommerce merchants and can be a result of a few different bumps in the shopping experience. Unexpectedly high shipping costs, forcing online shoppers to register or create a new account, or asking their preferences or opinions before they check out are all deal-breakers for many consumers. Requiring too many inputs leads to dropouts.

Instead, consider inviting them to share their information in a post-purchase window or follow-up email, when they’re feeling the warm glow of a deal well done.
 

4.Remove security concerns

Credit card fraud is on the rise, along with identity theft and data breaches, and there are clear links between the growth of eCommerce, scamming and cybercrime globally, according to the Australian Payments Clearing Association.

Critical to the seamless story is not allowing a would-be customer a moment of hesitation about their online safety. Putting their minds at ease requires sending instant signals of trust. Beyond the PayPal logo, which is known for safety and security, you can be sure everyone gets the message by displaying a padlock at checkout or explaining the security benefits of paying with PayPal on your website.
 

5.Avoid the speed bumps

Seamless means speedy. Leave no time for customers to second-guess. Once they’ve reached the final point of checkout, being able to pay with as few clicks or taps as possible is the essential final step. So consider how many pages your would-be customer has to click through to seal the deal.

PayPal One Touch™ and PayPal Checkout are designed to speed your customers through a simple, secure and seamless checkout experience. And the benefits go 2 ways with stats showing up to 82% better checkout conversions with PayPal Checkout.*


 
*comScore online panel, Q4 2017. Analysed shopping behaviour of 1 million US consumers on 20 large merchant sites. Checkout conversion is measured from the point where consumer selects a payment type to completion of purchase.

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.