Maximise merchant success with multiple payment options

by Keala Gaines: General Manager for Payments at WooCommerce, an Automattic company.
Your business strategy may be to provide the best quality or unique products. You may have a great loyalty programme, or you may focus on an omnichannel strategy. No matter the goal, one of the best things you can do to capture new and recurring sales is to offer customers a range of payment options.

PYMNTS recently surveyed consumers who shop digitally; nearly half said the ability to use their preferred payment method is very or extremely important. Moreover, another 12% say it’s the most important factor in deciding where to shop.

If your shop only accepts credit or debit card payments, research your market to learn which other payment methods could help you capture sales. Depending on your market and the makeup of your customer base, consider adding these payment options:

Local payment methods: Merchants in South Africa have access to Payflex, Snapscan, Zapper, plus EFT, PayPal, or gateways like Payfast, which offer alternative payment methods as well. Research local payment options in your region and put those at the top of your offering list.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL): With this option, customers can divide payments for high-value purchases into three or four installments over several weeks, making them more affordable (and potentially decreasing shopping cart abandonment). Fortune Business Insights sees the BNPL market growing at a high Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) - 22% - from 2023 to 2030 to reach $122.19 billion USD. In South Africa, check out Payflex or PayJustNow, and in other countries, options like Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm.

Wallets: In the US, 53% of consumers use digital wallets (including Google Pay, ApplePay and PayPal) more than traditional payment methods, 47% say they spend more money when using a digital wallet, and 51% say they’d stop shopping with a merchant that doesn’t accept these payments.

Bank payments: This method lets customers pay directly from their bank accounts, including services like Ozow. In the US, particularly for business-to-business or service-based offerings, ACH (also known as EFTs) is a relevant option. ACH payments overseer Nacha reports that the total volume of ACH payments has increased by at least $1 trillion USD annually from 2012 to 2022.

Woo is committed to providing a wide range of options for merchants in South Africa and beyond. Our mission to democratise commerce also means giving you and your customers full choice and freedom to provide a range of payment experiences. Woo shops in South Africa selling both locally and internationally have access to the Payfast Payment Gateway, PayPal Payments, Paystack and Rapyd Payments.

We hear it from our merchants, agencies and partners, and we see it in industry research repeatedly: customers spend more and deepen their engagement with merchants who give them a range of payment options.

Don't wait for your customers to ask for these new payment options; presume they'll expect to find them available in their favourite shops and services. Keep ahead of the curve and add the payment tools they're looking for today.

Useful resources:
WooCommerce is the open-source ecommerce platform that helps merchants and developers build successful businesses for the long term.
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