Can a COVID Christmas pay off for e-commerce?

December 21, 2020 | News

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, but this year’s hustle and bustle has been a very different experience from years past for merchants and consumers alike. Increased lockdown restrictions and spending have many of us trading in the warm frenzy of festive department store lights for the cool and calm illuminations of our digital devices.

By now it’s pretty much common knowledge that the pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on online shopping. As we move toward a more insulated physical situation, the once regarded ease and convenience of online shopping has become more and more of a necessity. This means that, while many internet merchants are experiencing a surge in popularity like never before, the increased traffic and competition has them feeling the strain to deliver the best e-commerce experience possible.

We asked payment expert and Founder of Swiipe, Anders Riis, how online merchants can be prepared for a pandemic payment season and deliver a win-win experience for both themselves and their customers.

Preparing for the pandemonium of online payments

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and right on through to the New Year, end-of-the-year shopping has always given off a bit of a zombie-apocalyptic vibe. But now that our World War Z lust for sniffing out and swarming after a good deal has been redirected from physical stores to the digital realm, it’s more important than ever that the customer experience - from selection to checkout and transaction - is as seamless as possible. 

“It’s all about offering a variety of flexible payment options,” says Anders. “There are a lot of conversion killers in not supporting a customer’s preferred payment method. More than half of all customers will abandon a site if their preferred payment method isn’t supported.”

Providing flexible payments for all

The point of purchase. The most important part in the customer journey for merchants. The moment that can make or break a business. With the onslaught of online shopping ramping up over the season, Anders shares more on why it’s crucial for merchants to offer more flexible payment options. 

“Customers have varied comfort levels when it comes to making online purchases. Some prefer traditional card payments or e-wallets, while others go for account-to-account or even buy-now-pay-later checkout options,” he reveals. ”At Swiipe, we focus on offering full flexibility when it comes to payment choices and easing the buying experience with a real one-click-buy, so you never have to type in any data in the future. You basically just press buy.”

Whatever channels customers choose, it’s a must that merchants balance both convenience and compliance throughout the purchase journey. “It can be a big hassle, even for big merchants, to set up all the right payment providers,” admits Anders. “It’s difficult and time consuming to always keep up with the new payments services frequently entering the market. So it’s vitally important to integrate to one payment gateway that can in turn integrate to multiple payment services.”

Making m-commerce matter

Anders believes that just because shoppers are doing most of their shopping in lockdown mode doesn’t mean they aren’t going mobile. That’s why it’s imperative for merchants to focus on mobile commerce (m-commerce) by ensuring their mobile sites are dynamic, easy to navigate and even easier to checkout. “The mobile-first approach isn’t just for the holidays; it’s a year-round endeavour merchants must strive to optimise if they want customers to hit the buy button,” he concludes.

This holiday shopping season is one unlike any we’ve seen or experienced before. And it’s one that will likely have a profound effect on the way we browse, select and pay for things moving forward. At Nordic API Gateway, we offer highly secured checkout options for both enterprises and small businesses that forgo expensive fees and allow customers to make instant account-to-account payments to anywhere from anywhere. This is made possible, in part, due to the friendly market co-op strategy we have with banks in order to reach conclusions about market behaviour, which has led to many positive evolutions for PSD2 APIs in the Nordics.

If you want to make sure your business is future-proof for purchases, get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you the gift of instant account-to-account payment initiation with no hassles.