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How alternative payments help you connect with your customer base

October 13, 2021

As a merchant, you need to stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing retail landscape, and you can do it by implementing the latest retail trends. One way to keep ahead of the competition involves using alternative payment methods to offer customers more options at checkout and empower them to buy the products and services they really want. 

In this guide, we’re looking at how alternative payments help you connect with your customer base and drive up sales.

Trust building

Consumers are changing their shopping habits – at least, they are when it comes to buying goods and services. Over 60 per cent of millennials have used some form of alternative payment methods such as buy now, pay later, and the trend looks set to continue. 

They see it as a safer alternative to traditional credit cards and loans, with more transparency over repayments. An increasing number of customers are also shopping exclusively with companies that provide alternative payment options to debit and credit cards. 

That flexibility over payments allows you to build trust with your business by giving shoppers what they want. If customers see you as a flexible retailer with your payment options, they’ll be more inclined to shop for your products and services instead of going to competitors.

Loyal competitors

As well as building trust, alternative payment methods help create loyalty. Not just with old customers but also new ones. You can build brand loyalty by offering your customer base payment options that excite them. 

Again, customers actively seek out stores that offer their preferred payment methods. If they know it’s possible to purchase from your online shop using their favoured payment options, they’re more likely to keep coming back for more. 

Brand loyalty is hard to obtain. But once you get shoppers onside, you can retain them for the long haul by offering excellent services and meeting their needs head-on in an increasingly competitive market.

Faster purchasing times

Anything that streamlines the purchasing process is a plus-point for merchants. In an environment where most of us are time-poor, we crave quick solutions for buying items on computers, phones and smart devices with ease. 

Not only that, but the experience should be the same no matter the method used for purchasing. By working with the right finance partner, you can make your customer’s life easier with alternative payment methods integrated into your system for a fluid approach to paying at checkout.  

In some cases, purchasing with finance requires only a few taps. But even longer processes – where credit applications are necessary – will still be efficient and work just as well on a laptop as they do on phones. Speed up the purchasing process with flexible payment options, and your customers will feel a stronger connection with your brand and rely on you for convenience.

Customer empowerment

Alternative payment methods exist to make buying easier for customers. And giving your customers the option to choose from several payment methods will make them feel more confident about purchasing your products and services. 

If, for example, they know it’s possible to buy an item and pay for it in four interest-free instalments, the likelihood of them going through with the purchase increases. Not only that, but they will also feel more confident buying those big-ticket items, safe in the knowledge that they can pay the amount back in easily trackable instalments.

For you, that means higher average order values and an increase in sales. All the while, your customers feel better about making more significant purchases, which they can pay back without needing to accumulate high-interest charges.

Improves user experience

The user experience is a vital component in the buying journey. If your customers don’t like using your website, then they won’t even make it to the checkout stage. And even if they do advance, the chances of a drop-off increase if they don’t like the experience. 

With alternative payment methods, you can reduce checkout drop-offs and remove friction from the buying process to create a seamless way to purchase items. In turn, your customers will enjoy going through the payment stage if their preferred finance options are in place. 

Checkout abandonment is a significant issue from businesses worldwide, with an estimated 75 per cent of consumers exiting before making a purchase. Alternative payment methods reduce the chance of that happening while improving the overall user-experience journey for the customer.

Summary: Better payment options equal happier customers

There are many ways to connect with your customers, from running excellent marketing campaigns to having a watertight social media presence. But it all falls down if their buying experience is a poor one. With attentive payment methods, however, you can continue the goodwill towards your business with flexible finance designed to improve customer happiness and help your brand sell more products and services.