With the holiday sales season in full swing for retailers, Stripe Australia and New Zealand managing director, Karl Durrance discusses how businesses can best take advantage of this crucial shopping period, particularly when it comes to reducing online cart abandonment.

“While cost of living pressures are not showing signs of abating, we’ve seen strong growth for Australian businesses during the busiest four-day shopping period of the year – Black Friday Cyber Monday,” Durrance told Retailbiz.

Stripe processed more than 300 million transactions globally with a total payment volume of more than $18.6 billion globally.

“We expect this trend to continue in Australia for the rest of the holiday season as businesses focus on providing the best deals, optimising customer experience, and delivering more cost-savings to their customers, which will ultimately allow them to build brand loyalty in the long-term.”

With consumers cautious about spending, businesses have to work harder to convert interested shoppers into paying customers.

“Successful conversion depends a lot on a fast, frictionless and intuitive checkout experience. For example, we know that 80% of Australian consumers will abandon their shopping carts if their preferred payment method is not offered based on our State of Checkout research,” Durrance explained.

Stripe’s recent research project with The University of Sydney Business School on the future of digital payments shows the primary reason surveyed businesses are looking to invest in digital payments is to make transactions faster or easier for customers (73%). In addition, 46% of businesses surveyed are now accepting four or more payment methods, consistent with a broader trend toward businesses accepting multiple payment forms.

“Almost all (99%) of Asia Pacific websites make at least five basic errors in their checkout process. These include not offering popular payment methods, not providing additional costs upfront (such as tax or shipping), not displaying security logos on their checkout page, and letting customers attempt to pay with an expired card.”

Durrance shared his top tips for optimising the checkout experience:

  • Implementing an Express Checkout Element: This allows customers to purchase through a one-click payment button (such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, or Link by Stripe). Research shows that these boost conversion as customers don’t have to continuously input payment information.
  • Display error messaging: 31% of Australian websites allow customers to attempt to pay with an expired card, increasing the likelihood of payment errors. Highlighting payment information errors in real-time, such as invalid card numbers, expired dates, or incorrect personal information will prevent the need to follow up with the customer.
  • Save payment information: Allow customers to store payment information so they can make future purchases with one click.
  • Following up with customers who abandon their cart: As many as 89% of Australian businesses don’t follow up if a customer has abandoned their cart. Timely follow-up is crucial, so send an email either the same or the following day.

On a final note, he said: “Take the long-term view on supporting customers this holiday season. It’s a tough time for many, so more people will research getting the best deals for gifts. Lean in by leveraging customer analytics data to offer better discounts for members and repeat customers which will help build loyalty in the long run.”