This is an exciting time to be an eCommerce merchant. On one side, there are a slew of innovative technologies such as digital wallets, mobile and social payments, and real-time international payments. On the other, annual online retail sales in Australia have soared to their highest levels in recent years. At last count, Australians had spent $20 billion on online shopping.
But with new opportunities emerge greater challenges.
Despite the blazing pace of innovations, running any business that accepts online payments continues to pose unique challenges. Read on to learn more about the most common pain points you’re likely to face as an eCommerce merchant, and tips on how to combat them.
1. Online Fraud and Data Security
In Australia, card-not-present (CNP) fraud represented an alarming 78% of all card-related frauds in 2016, according to the Australian Payments Network Limited. A KPMG survey found that fraudulent practices deployed by professional criminals spiked by 300% in the six-month period between April and September 2016.
All the same, it’s heartening to see that the growth rate of CNP fraud has taken a slight hit in the last two years with fresh measures being taken by the industry to combat fraud.
Unfortunately, online payments are still a long way from being free of fraud. Data breaches are still as much a reality for small and medium-sized businesses as they are for large enterprises. Be it dodging hackers gaining access to sensitive card data or identifying practices such as skimming, it takes a certain amount of due diligence to navigate the maze of online payments. To learn more about online fraud, read this blog post.
How eCommerce merchants can combat online fraud
It’s important to know the weakest link in your online payment system. And this requires a comprehensive audit. PCI compliance, for one, is indispensable so customer data is always handled with utmost care. It’s also important to choose an online payment service provider with the latest security measures firmly in place.
2. Choosing a Payment Gateway
An a merchant, chances are you’re already using a payment gateway provider. If not, you’ve at least heard this term at some point while setting up your business. A payment gateway processes online transactions by securely transferring information from your website (if you’re an ecommerce store) or POS device (if you’re a brick and mortar store) to your bank.
As a business operating in Australia, it’s vital that you choose payment gateway providers with a presence in the region. In the long run, this will help you rest assured that your chosen payment gateway providers comply with regional regulations and laws.
What you should consider when selecting a payment gateway
Compliance, security, scalability, technical integration, and fees are the five most important points to tick off your list when choosing a payment gateway. You’ll also want to ensure that you can get access to customer support when you need it. At Bambora, for instance, our expert team are on hand to help you at every step, round the clock.
3. Accepting Multi-currency Payments
Conducting your business online also opens up the doors to exciting international sales opportunities. As your transactions transcend borders, you’re more likely to encounter unique challenges related to international credit card processing. These could range from currency exchange to disparate payment technology regulations to security standards.
If you’re considering taking your business beyond Australia, you will also have to jump over other hurdles such as conflicting banking systems in different countries. For you, this could mean endless paperwork and even a fresh round of audits. Here’s an interesting read on local payment methods in APAC that’ll help you learn more.
How you can process international payments
Regardless of the size of your business, in most cases, wading into the technicalities of international online payments is probably not worth your while. There are way too many moving parts.
Instead, partnering with a trusted international payment gateway provider with a presence in Australia and the required infrastructure ready to be deployed is a hassle-free option. This will enable you to collect payments in many different currencies and have them credited to your local account in the home currency.
4. Creating a Super User Experience
You might have a well-oiled eCommerce machine that promises to deliver unprecedented results. But if your customers don’t think the same way, that’s a surefire way to mar conversions and sales. Convenience forms the very foundation of eCommerce and great user experience is key to maintaining that.
Glitches such as a confusing path to purchase, errors during checkout, and slow (or worse, failed) transaction processing will drive customers away sooner than they reached you. In fact, behavioural marketing agency, SaleCycle, found that cart abandonment rates on Australian online stores were amongst the worst in the world in Q2 2016.
How to improve user experience on your eCommerce site
Focus on simplicity, convenience, and choice. Keep pricing transparent so customers face no rude shocks at checkout. Spoil them with a selection of payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal, which rank among the most widely used payment methods for online purchases in Australia.
Make it easy for your customers to buy via any device - especially mobile. After all, at 76%, Australia has one of the highest smartphone penetrations in the world, surpassing even the US and UK. We’ve got more details on how you can improve sales with better customer experience in this blog post.
5. Systems Integration
There’s no stopping Australians’ hunger for online shopping. In 2017, Australians spent over $26 billion online, shows data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. As an eCommerce merchant, you will often feel the need to accept payments faster, securely, or more efficiently. This is best achieved through different integrations rather than starting from the ground up.
But how do you create a checkout that minimises customers dropping off? The answer lies in creating a payment experience that’s as seamless as your customers expect it to be.
How can you use technical integrations to promote business?
Work with a payment gateway services provider who is able to offer you a variety of third-party integrations and has a robust API that can help your development team deploy the integrations seamlessly. Here’s a great resource to show you the way with technical integrations.
If you face any of these challenges and are keen to learn how you can overcome them, get in touch with one of Bambora’s support team today. They’ll walk you through the best solutions to suit your business needs.