Cross-border eCommerce: it pays to localise the checkout process

Tony Preedy, Managing Director, Fruugo
By Tony Preedy, Managing Director, Fruugo

The way consumers shop never ceases to evolve as new technology enhances user experiences and, in turn, raises consumers’ expectations. One such element is the varied payment methods that are preferred by customers.

Whilst card payments remain the chosen method for some, the competitive fintech landscape means that newer methods are always being introduced. What’s more, different online markets across the world have different preferred methods. So, for retailers looking to expand their business on an international scale, they need to assess which methods are the most popular in their target markets.

A plethora of payment options

Reviewing Fruugo’s data, it’s clear that many online shoppers around the world are progressively opting for payment methods that promise both convenience and security, such as PayPal. This method is the most popular in Luxembourg, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and the United States on Fruugo.

For some shoppers, this option isn’t just a preference but a necessity. Indeed, according to a survey from payments provider Mollie, over a third (38 per cent) of consumers say they would go as far as abandoning their online shopping cart if PayPal was not a payment option. By storing consumers’ card details, rather than customers having to re-enter details each time, PayPal greatly reduces the time taken to complete each checkout, which can make a big different to the overall customer experience. Consumers trust the PayPal brand so feel less susceptible to security breaches versus sharing their credentials on every website they use.

Elsewhere, consumers in some regions prefer their local fintech companies when buying online. In Portugal, Portuguese interbank network, Multibanco, is the top option there, whilst Netherlands-based e-commerce payment system, iDEAL, is the most popular method among the Dutch, according to our data.

Another rapidly growing payment type – and one that is likely to prove even more popular during times of economic uncertainty – is the ‘buy now, pay later’ option, such as Klarna. This short-term financing solution enables consumers to buy products upfront by paying for them in instalments, often interest free. On Fruugo, Klarna has become the most preferred payment method in the Nordic region, since it was first founded in Sweden, and has also grown in popularity in Austria and Switzerland.

What this means for online sellers

With such a diverse array of payment methods now available, it’s important that retailers carefully consider which ones they offer. For example, if retailers only offer one payment method, they are likely to lose some orders. Customers might shop with a less preferred method, but with so many other sellers to choose from, they may just venture elsewhere.

In an increasingly unpredictable climate, consumers want simple and safe access to their online shopping, so having several secure payment methods can not only help to retain customers but can also attract a new, international customer base.

How retailers can offer multiple payment options

Nowadays, modern payments platforms, such as Ayden, can help sellers update their website and add new payment solutions to their checkout. However, sellers still need to account for cross-border complications. For example, once the new methods are set up, they must deal with repricing to local currencies, local marketing and search engine optimisation, translating content to local languages, foreign exchange risk, local fraud screening, and local sales tax compliance. All of this can be highly complex for independent and start-up businesses and can ultimately limit their ability to grow internationally.

Sellers using online marketplaces that specialise in cross-border trading avoid these complications, freeing them to expand on an international scale. These marketplaces provide services such as content translation and local digital marketing, as well as converting currency and providing localised international customer service, helping retailers gain access to customers in multiple countries quickly and simply. Specialist marketplaces that focus on international selling offer fully localised checkouts that are optimised to local payments preferences, so sellers don’t need to make changes to their own website.

Optimising payment methods and streamlining the checkout process are key considerations for retailers to achieve growth, especially when it comes to cross-border eCommerce. Sellers that expand via marketplaces benefit from the significant investment those platforms make to localise payments for their international shoppers. For those going it alone and developing their own websites, keeping pace with the variety and pace of change in localised payments is essential.


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