Welcome to the final part of our two-part series that’s been put together to help you consider the key elements of a successful checkout finance strategy.
In the last blog, we discussed how the products you sell, your customers and your sales channels all need to be thought through if you want a winning strategy that simultaneously improves commercials and customer experiences.
In this final part, we’ll be exploring the ‘pillars’ of your strategy; your overarching business objectives and your priorities when it comes to both a solution and a partner.
What are the goals and aims you hope to achieve by offering finance?
There’s a whole host of different finance products, platforms and providers available to UK merchants because of the growth the space has seen in the last few years. This availability means you can find a combination of solutions that can help you achieve specific targets - from improving your average order value (AOV) to simply selling more.
Take digital credit accounts, which require just one finance application to set up a revolving line of credit. Customers can then use this credit line for future purchases with just a few clicks after logging into their accounts. So it’s perfect for merchants looking to boost customer retention rates and their customer lifetime value (CLV) as it makes repeat purchases a lot easier.
On the other hand, instalment-based products that offer longer repayment periods are fantastic for those retailers who are looking to lower basket abandonment rates for their higher-priced products. This is because this type of product crucially improves affordability and empowers customers with greater financial freedom.
What do you care most about when integrating new checkout finance solutions?
The integration of a new checkout finance solution is an often overlooked aspect when it comes to putting together a strategy. Integration refers to the process of embedding a solution into your retail environment, whether that’s your website, in-store or via telesales. It’s essentially the stage between signing with a new partner and going live with the product.
You should list your priorities for this process upfront:
- Are you concerned about speed? If so, partnering with a broker or provider who can quickly embed their product into your checkout should be a priority. Often the speed of integration comes down to whether they already have a prebuilt module available for the e-commerce platform you use, or whether you’re looking for a bespoke integration with precise requirements.
- Are you more focused on controlling the look of your customer’s journey? If so, a partner who can white-label their product or offer highly customisable aspects should be what you’re looking for.
- Are you looking to integrate once and that’s it? If so, a broker who has multiple lenders on its platform and offers a single API integration is a must - as this will future-proof your business. If, for whatever reason, you need to switch products or lenders, you won’t need to go through another integration with a different provider or broker.
- Do you struggle with tech development support or capacity as a business? If so, a partner who can do most of the heavy lifting should definitely be high on your list of priorities.
How much support would you like in optimising and managing this offering?
All checkout finance solutions should be continually managed once launched live because a customer’s experience with it can often make or break a sale. There are also plenty of ways merchants can optimise and maximise the solution they’re offering and the benefits they receive from it. That’s why it’s paramount that you consider your business’ capabilities and how much support you’ll need before deciding on a partner or a strategy.
More often than not it’s best for retailers to choose a partner who provides end-to-end support and expertise because of the complexities of checkout finance. Typical support you may need include:
- Account management - for day-to-day support and to ensure best outcomes for the partnership
- Customer service - to deal with any customer complaints or issues in a timely and helpful manner
- Technical - to troubleshoot any tech issues that may crop up and to ensure the solution works as intended
- Marketing - to help you raise awareness that you offer finance through social media, the provision of in-store and online materials, customer comms support etc.
- Lender (for brokers only) - to negotiate and liaise on your behalf with your connected lenders
- Compliance - to assist you in the adherence to regulatory requirements and to help you protect your customers
In conclusion, creating a successful checkout finance strategy requires you to understand your objectives, priorities and the level of support you need. This understanding will help you choose a partner and solution that will help you get the most out of your finance offering.