A simple and seamless checkout is critical when it comes to converting cash-strapped browsers into buyers, an expert panel has told Retail Week.

Frictionless payments were a hot topic during RWRC’s virtual event Supercharge Online Conversion, which you can watch on demand here, with the panel agreeing that one-click payments are integral to nailing the customer experience.

This year has left retailers with little room for error, and once consumers have reached the checkout the last thing already struggling retailers need is basket abandonment.

The key to this, quite simply, is simplicity. Shoppers aren’t looking for bells and whistles when it comes to the final step in their purchase journey, and instead just want to be able to check out as quickly and easily as possible. 

“Doing anything that takes away from the speed and simplicity of it would be taking away from the conversion, and you would be sending customers somewhere else”

Richard Zubrik, Notonthehighstreet

Panellist Richard Zubrik, chief product and technology officer at Notonthehighstreet, said the buying part of shopping is “fairly functional” as far as consumers are concerned. 

“At that point the customer just wants to check out as quickly as possible with as little pain as possible,” he said.

“So doing anything that takes away from the speed and simplicity of it would be taking away from the conversion, and you would be sending customers somewhere else.”

Zubrik added that pre-populating fields, such as previously used payment and delivery options, is one way to help streamline the experience for shoppers and ensure they complete their purchase. 

“My aim for the journey is to get it to a state where a customer turns up at a checkout and they just have to click ‘Pay now,’” he said. “There should be no more than that.”

Fellow panellist Antoine Nougué, head of commercial for Europe at Checkout.com, highlighted Uber and Deliveroo as two businesses that retailers can learn from.

“When you buy something on these platforms, you don’t even think about payments. It is simple because your card has already been saved; it just takes two clicks,” he said.

“We want payment to be easy, and digital wallets make payment easy.”

The panellists concurred that reducing any kind of friction is key, whether that be inputting delivery details, navigating difficult webpages or having to click through a plethora of pages to reach the final destination. 

“It’s about avoiding the wrong kind of friction,” said Petah Marian, senior strategist at WGSN, who also sat on the panel. “It’s about making that payment process as quick and as straightforward as possible.”

”I know there are some circumstances where friction can be quite useful, in suggesting different products, but a lot of the time people just want to check out as quickly as possible.”

“It’s about avoiding the wrong kind of friction”

Petah Marian, WGSN

Marian added: “Moving towards more lifestyles at home, you don’t necessarily even want to be going to pull out your wallet, particularly if you’re checking out on your mobile phone.”

One-click payment technologies don’t come free and retailers will need buy-in from the board. However, the investment is worth it, said Zubrik. 

“Investing in something that has a customer benefit, which then will turn into a business benefit at checkout, isn’t too difficult to justify to find money for,” he added. 

Discover more on how retailers can drive conversion and the innovations that will power the future by accessing this free RWRC and Checkout.com virtual event here.

Supercharge online conversion event

By watching Supercharge Online Conversion: Turning cash-strapped browsers into buyers you will find out:

  • What really drives customers crazy at the online checkout 
  • The payments strategies that are paying off
  • What’s next for the payments landscape