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How to boost eCommerce sales by offering customer flexible payment options

October 5, 2022

People are feeling the pinch with the current cost of living crisis. Consequently, the need for flexible payment options is even more pressing, and customers are more likely to shop where they have a wide variety of ways to pay. As an eCommerce business, offering alternative payment methods that provide flexibility can help boost your online sales and show that you understand shopper needs. In this guide, we underline how flexible payment options can boost sales for your online store. 

Reduce cart abandonment

If a customer puts an item in your shopping cart, at the very least, it shows they have an interest in your item. Yet, interest alone isn’t enough to conclude a sale, and cart abandonment is a significant problem for eCommerce stores. Average cart abandonment rates vary, but the figure is somewhere around 70%

It’s a huge number and shows you’re potentially leaving plenty of money behind if shoppers keep exiting the buying journey at the most important stage. One way to combat this is with flexible payment options. Offering alternative methods like buy now pay later (BNPL) gives consumers the ability to spread the cost and ease the burden of having to pay the entire price upfront. 

For customers, flexible payments give them more confidence to buy the items they want. At the same time, eCommerce stores increase their chances of reducing cart abandonment and selling more items. 

Boost average order size

Not only can flexible payments reduce cart abandonment rates, but they can also empower shoppers to increase the size of their purchase. As a result, eCommerce stores are looking at the possibility of boosting their average order value (AOV), which is one of the best ways to generate more income. 

Research shows that BNPL options uplift average ticket sales by 30-50%, showing that consumers are more likely to spend more if they can spread the cost of their payments. If, for example, a shopper buys a sofa online from a furniture store, they might also decide to buy the footrest and coffee tables that go with it if finance options are available at checkout.

Show that you’re competitive 

Flexible payment methods like BNPL are becoming increasingly popular with customers, especially millennials and Generation Z. Four in ten Brits have already used BNPL to make purchases, with the trend likely to continue. Therefore, if customers see similar eCommerce stores offering flexible finance while you’re stuck to a rigid payment system, they’re likely to shop elsewhere. Not only can this lead to a missed opportunity to boost sales, but it also could end up with your store losing business.  

Providing customers with flexible payment types keeps you relevant and shows that you’re willing to stay one step ahead. Don’t be surprised if you get more customers as a result, ones who flock to your store to buy items and take advantage of alternative payment methods. 

Increase your customer pool

Offering flexible payment options is a great acquisition tool and a smart way to keep customers from shopping with competitors. Nowadays, shoppers actively look for companies offering different payment types and the ability to spread the cost. 

If they see that you're an online store offering flexible payment options, they’re more likely to shop with you. It gives you the chance to increase your customer base, which leads to a boost in sales and allows you to grow the company further. 

Encourage repeat business 

When you convert a customer by offering flexible payments, there’s every chance you’ll keep them and win future business. eCommerce stores should actively market to previous customers, sending them emails and taking an active role on social media to show that they value brand loyalty. But you can also increase the chance of repeat business by merely offering the payment methods they like using. 

The next time a shopper wants a similar product, it’s likely they’ll come to you because they already know that you offer their preferred payment method. Keeping that customer happy and engaged will encourage loyalty from their side and can even be the beginning of creating a brand ambassador.

More payments, more sales

There’s little reason not to offer flexible payment options to shoppers of your eCommerce store. Regardless of what you sell, it’s important to keep up with current trends and ensure customers are eager to shop with you. Giving them the opportunity to spread the cost of an item can increase business, boost average order size and encourage repeat purchases. The demand for flexible payments has increased significantly over the last couple of years, and offering different options can position your business as a forward-thinking company ready to enjoy sustained success.