In the ecommerce industry, online payments have become a fundamental element in helping businesses succeed. But, as an ecommerce business owner in Africa, you may still rely on traditional, offline payment methods, such as cash-on-delivery. Perhaps you are afraid of fraud risks associated with online payments, but in reality, they are actually much more secure than offline payments. Plus, they offer a wide array of other business benefits. If you seriously want to grow your ecommerce business, online payments are the only way forward.
Let’s explore the four main ways that accepting online payments will make your ecommerce business grow:
1. Expanded customer base
When you accept digital payments on your ecommerce website, you will expand your customer base to include far more people than before – those who want to pay offline and those who prefer online payment. Customers often have a preferred payment method, as well. Accepting multiple payment types (credit/debit card, mobile money, ewallet, etc.) will allow you to attract a wide range of people with different preferences.
Accepting online payments also makes it simpler to target international customers and accept a variety of currencies. These days, many retailers operate on a global scale, and you too can be a part of this trend by accepting cross-border payments. Online payments are the key to doing business with people from all over the globe.
In Africa alone, over 345 million people use the Internet. Looking at global statistics, you’ll find that 3.7 billion people are connected, and more than 53% of these users made an online purchase in 2016! By opening your business to online shoppers, all of these people become your potential customers.
2. Higher security
Customers will feel confident making payments on a secure site, or using a hosted payment page from a well-known payment service provider. Payment service providers like Direct Pay Online meet PCI DSS standards to ensure that every online payment is highly secure. Increased security strengthens customer confidence in your business and will lead to increased sales.
Additionally, by working with a payment service provider, you’ll reduce the risk of fraud. The PSP’s risk management services will check and respond to possible fraudulent transactions and security threats. This will save you the expenses associated with fraud – it will decrease the number of chargebacks that occur, thus lowering your payable merchant fees.
3. Improved customer satisfaction
The online payment process is easy, quick, and convenient. Customers can make payments instantly and you can offer every customer their preferred payment type. There is no need to count cash or deal with paperwork. Payments can be made from any location, at a time that suits the customer, catering to their craving for a streamlined payment process and instant gratification.
Overall, online payments greatly improve the customer experience. It’s well known that happy customers become repeat customers, who will remain loyal to your brand and return to do business with you again in the future. These customers may also refer their friends and spread the word about your business.
Increasing customer satisfaction also helps your business grow by reducing shopping cart abandonment. According to a study carried out by the Baymard Institute, 27% of people abandon their online shopping carts due to a complicated checkout process. The streamlined payment process provided by an online payment platform will prevent this from happening.
4. Reduced expenses
There are lots of expenses involved in dealing with cash and offline payments. Firstly, you have to deal with a lot of paperwork – for example, invoices and bills need to be printed. You also have to deal with collecting cash and depositing it in your bank account, along with the associated bank fees (which tend to be much higher than online payment processing fees).
Meanwhile, cash can be easily lost or stolen, which can prove very expensive to store owners. Large amounts of cash also require secure storage at all times.
All cash has to be managed and accounted for manually, whereas every online transaction is recorded automatically. The online payment process ensures that no money can be lost or stolen along the way, and expenses stay at a minimum.
As an African ecommerce merchant, online payments are the key to business growth. Without them, you are limited as to how many customers you can reach, both domestically and abroad. Online payments are secure, easy, and less expensive than traditional offline payment methods, making your business more efficient, productive, and profitable. Begin accepting online payments, today, and watch your business grow to new heights.