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4 areas MY eCommerce firms stumble on when it comes to the checkout experience

4 areas MY eCommerce firms stumble on when it comes to the checkout experience

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Malaysia has one of the fastest-growing eCommerce markets in the Asia Pacific region, according to a Stripe study. ECommerce businesses often have one goal, and that is to have the intended target audience make a purchase. Although eCommerce businesses have invested resources to build brand awareness and drive traffic, the study found that the top eCommerce companies in Malaysia often overlook the checkout flow, which is a crucial step in the customer journey. This checkout flow error covers four sections: checkout form design, mobile optimisation, localisation, and buyer trust and security.

Partnering with Edgar, Dunn, and Company, Stripe analysed the top 100 eCommerce websites in Malaysia. Stripe also surveyed 100 Malaysian consumers to uncover insights around current shopping behaviours and trends, payment preferences, and factors that affect the checkout experience. Here are the four areas eCommerce companies should improve on when it comes to the checkout experience to draw customers back to their platforms. 

1. Checkout form design

Online shoppers in Malaysia are expecting a fast, intuitive, and mobile-optimised payment experience, with 45% of them saying they would abandon a purchase if it took more than two minutes to check out. However, 48% of the consumers surveyed said that, on average, it takes more them more than three minutes to complete a purchase and 29% blame long and complicated checkouts as the reason for abandoning an order in the past year.

A poorly designed checkout form puts an unnecessary burden on customers, Stripe said. Customers want the pay button to be the final step in their purchases, where they would not need to go back to fix basic errors. Consumers also want checkout forms that adapt to their preferences and locations. In fact, the highest performing checkouts are designed with dozens of conversion best practices in mind, allowing for a seamless customer checkout experience.

2. Mobile optimisation

Close to half of consumers (47%) said they do more than half of their shopping from a mobile device, and 67% said it is "very" or "extremely" important for a website to be mobile-friendly. If the checkout flow is not tailored to a smaller screen, customers are most likely to abandon the checkout flow completely.

In fact, while more than 50% of eCommerce traffic comes from smartphones, carts are abandoned on mobile at more than twice the rate of the desktop.

Also, 21% of Malaysian consumers surveyed said that they will abandon their cart if forced to create an account at checkout, yet 41% of websites studied did not offer guest checkout. Forcing customers to create an account on a mobile device before making a purchase creates friction and increases the chances of cart abandonment.

While the vast majority of checkouts were designed to adapt to mobile screen sizes, 80% didn’t support Google Pay and 96% didn’t support Apple Pay. Strip said that supporting global digital wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay and regional digital wallets such as Grabpay can help improve the shopping experience on mobile. Mobile wallets also give businesses the opportunity to offer a one-click payment experience that, on average, is three times faster than having to manually enter payment details.

3. Localisation

While consumers now are easily adaptable to the different modes of shopping available, many still have a preferred payment method. About 18% of consumers surveyed said that they abandoned a purchase in the past year because the preferred payment method was not available. While bank transfers are the most used eCommerce payment method in Malaysia, accounting for 47% of all online payments, alternate payment methods such as digital wallets are gaining popularity. This only becomes more pronounced when selling internationally, for example, across the entire Asia Pacific region, digital wallets account for 46% of online payment volume.

According to the study, the key to unlocking growth through local payment methods can vary by market and target customer segment. By supporting the right payment methods, businesses can also offer their customers extra flexibility and convenience, especially for larger purchases. An example would be "buy now, later services" which are slowly gaining popularity. A Stripe study found that businesses saw a 27% increase in sales when they offered Afterpay, a popular buy now, pay later payment method in Australia and New Zealand. While with Alipay, a popular payment in China, businesses saw a two-fold increase in sales from Chinese consumers. 

4. Buyer trust and security

Consumers surveyed said a secure website was one of the top two factors that had the biggest impact on a positive shopping experience. However, going through additional security steps after customers confirm an order adds friction and negatively affects their experience. According to the survey, 28% of checkouts did not offer a guest checkout experience and 73% did not allow customers to create an account by connecting to a social media profile. Also, 24% did not display an order summary that could be easily adjusted.

Hence, businesses have to find the right balance between validating a customer’s identity and not adding unnecessary friction. Regulations and banking mandates differ from country to country—with countries such as India or countries in the European Union now requiring two-factor authentication or Strong Customer Authentication. Stripe said businesses need a dynamic system to apply this additional authentication in a smart way.

To win consumers' hearts, the report said that 44% of checkouts offered a free trial and 53% let customers enter a coupon code directly on the checkout page. At the same time, 47% also offered reusable payment methods beyond cards, such as wallets or direct debit.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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