Buyers have been leaning into the convenience of online shopping for years, but the pandemic still saw a rapid uptick in the growth of eCommerce. And with that boom comes increased demand for quality service and a positive user experience (UX) in order for online sellers to stand out among the competition.
Ecommerce customers expect quick transactions and easy-to-use platforms, and if they don’t find it on your site, they will go somewhere else. But that doesn’t mean your eCommerce shop can skimp on security in the checkout process. We’ll explore why the checkout process is so important in UX and take a look at some trends in eCommerce payment solutions that can provide a convenient and secure checkout process.
The importance of the checkout process
Online shoppers have plenty of options of eCommerce shops to choose from, so your business can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to customer experience (CX). In addition to providing easy-to-navigate product pages and attention-grabbing content, the checkout process on your site can make a big difference in how customers perceive your store.
There are always things you can do to improve your site’s payment process and convert browsers to buyers. Offerings like free shipping and discounts for new users also go a long way in converting customers. In one study, 79% of respondents said free two-day shipping was important in their decision of where to shop online.
Additionally, you should look for payment solutions that come with crucial features like customizable branded templates for customers to choose from, automatic payments for repeat customers, and the ability to quickly generate detailed financial reports. These are the kinds of invoicing or payment services you want to have integrated into your site’s checkout page.
Cart abandonment is a significant concern here as well. Some shoppers may leave items in their cart while they compare your price points to competitors. Others might abandon their carts because they’re turned off by something about your payment process, such as having to make an account to complete the purchase.
Collecting emails early and sending messages to avoid cart abandonment can help. Allowing guest checkout to expedite the process for one-time buyers is another good tactic. But in order to convert new customers and keep regular buyers interested, you may need to do a bit more to provide a seamless, secure, and high-tech payment experience.
Ecommerce security concerns
Any time you are handling payment information, there is an inherent risk of fraud or data breaches. You should already be auditing your systems regularly to ensure you are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). You should also advertise that your site is secure, for example, by using SSL certificates to authenticate the security of your checkout systems.
Having the “HTTPS” in front of your URL will help some users trust your site, but most customers will look for other signs to feel comfortable. Site performance is a big factor, so you want to make sure everything loads quickly, does not time out (especially while processing payments), and informs customers how their payment details are being protected.
In the end, generating social proof that credible sources like and trust your shop often does more to increase trust than the technical side of security solutions. This can be done in a number of ways, such as earning positive customer reviews and using these testimonials in your advertising.
You can also harness influencer marketing to tap into the follower network of people already trusted and established in the industry. That being said, before you focus on building trust in your site security, you need to actually be secure. And with modern technology, there is no reason you need to give up on convenience to provide a secure experience.
Security tech trends for eCommerce
With the right technology, your eCommerce site can offer a checkout experience that is both smooth and secure to offer you and your users’ peace of mind. Here are some recent trends that make this possible.
We’ll start out with the one you’ve probably already heard of. Digital wallet technology has rapidly gained popularity in recent years, and this growth is expected to continue, with mobile payments expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate of 26.93% from 2020 to 2025.
Common examples of digital wallets include PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and AliPay. And some sites are even going a step further by accepting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Even if you’re not ready to get on the crypto bandwagon yet, if your site is not already accepting so-called “one-click” digital wallet payments, it is probably hurting your UX.
Digital wallets have multiple benefits for users and businesses. On the customer side, they are very convenient because they allow customers to complete transactions without carrying cash or inputting credit card information. What’s more, most people tend to think of them as a safe payment solution.
For the business owner, it’s important to recognize why they are secure. Digital wallet payments protect personal and financial account information, and most use two-factor authentication, making them more secure than, say, a credit card payment. Transactions are encrypted and virtualized, making it harder to steal money or information.
According to security expert Ludovic Rembert of Privacy Canada, look for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that come with double data protection to provide an extra step for protecting data online.
“This means that the service will relay your data through two servers to encrypt it twice before it reaches whatever you’re trying to access,” says Rembert. “An extra step that makes sure your information is as secure as possible is always a good thing.”
In recent years, there has been a greater push from customers and regulators for open banking, referring to the use of open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to allow third-party developers to build financial solutions. An international regulation involved in this trend is called the Payment Service Directive (PSD2), which requires all EU financial institutions to provide access to customer accounts via open APIs.
As of 2020, another aspect of PSD2 called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) makes two-factor authentication a requirement for any electronic payments. For eCommerce businesses, this requirement can noticeably slow down the checkout process. To maintain the security benefits of SCA without compromising customer convenience, businesses can shift to using machine learning models to pre-authorize customers and decrease both risk and checkout time.
ML models can take information like name, email, phone number, physical address, and IP address and combine them with billions of transactions within a customer network to create a complex and highly accurate fraud detection system. There is still some risk with this solution, such as data poisoning of fraud detection algorithms. But ML solutions are ever-improving, and this is a promising option for businesses to comply with PSD2 SCA without inconveniencing customers.
“Buy now pay later” is an increasingly popular payment option, particularly during the pandemic. It gives customers the option to buy an item and pay for it in smaller installments over time. The concept, of course, is not new – this is basically credit or lending with a modern twist, though most eCommerce shops don’t charge fees or interest.
This option is convenient for users because it allows them to purchase big-ticket items that might have otherwise been outside their price range. For businesses, there could be a potential risk of fraud, if people use the BNPL system to pay a reduced price for goods then never pay them back. But more commonly, the issue is maintaining strong authorization without hindering the efficiency or convenience of the payment option.
Businesses should employ solutions that tie a customer’s online identity to their account to decrease the risk. For example, phone numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses are all good ways to verify unique digital identities. You should look for digital identity solutions that cross-verify customer details (like phone numbers) with ML tech to more accurately verify customers in their BNPL transactions.
The checkout process is a crucial concern for your eCommerce site, and you should look for payment solutions that don’t compromise either convenience or security. Ecommerce businesses should look to integrate all aspects of their business processes in a secure and user-friendly way so customers will trust that their payment information is secure without being turned off by a cumbersome checkout process.