How Peach Payments and eComplete solved 5 big problems for South African ecommerce businesses
With more than 20 years combined experience in the digital marketing, ecommerce and online payments industries, it’s fair to say the eComplete and Peach Payments teams know what they’re talking about when it comes to online success.
eComplete offers an end-to-end ecommerce solution for enterprise businesses like New Balance, Pick n’ Pay Clothing, Thule and more, while Peach Payments is Africa’s leading mobile-first payment gateway and is the preferred payment partner for One Day Only, NetFlorist, SweepSouth and Pick ‘n Pay among others.
Recognising similar best-in-class aspirations in each other, the two businesses have been working together to bring world-class ecommerce solutions to South African online businesses. They put their heads together to explain their solutions to the biggest problems faced by ecommerce businesses in South Africa.
The checkout process is critical to the success of your online business
The Baymard Institute reports that 62% of online shoppers will abandon their carts if a checkout flow requires an account or is lengthy and complicated. It’s therefore not hyperbolic to suggest that checkout is the most critical part of your online business. And yet, not enough merchants pay attention to their customers’ experience at checkout.
When building their checkout user interface for use with platforms like Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce, the Peach Payments team knew that above all, customers were looking for speed and simplicity in their checkout experience. So they built a checkout experience that reflected user needs while still providing the highest level of bank-validated security.
eComplete also heeded customer feedback in developing an enterprise One Step Checkout solution for Magento sites that gets the customer to checkout faster, while providing an easy-to-use checkout experience.
Knowing how much failed transactions cost a business, the Peach Payments team made sure their checkout incorporated retry payment functionality, which allows a customer to retry their payment with a different payment method without having to re-enter any of their details. And customers get all of that without having to create an account.
A lack of payment options means fewer sales
It stands to reason that if someone can’t pay for something (or if they’re not comfortable using a payment method they haven’t used before), they’re not going to pay, right? The more payment options you have, the more sales you’ll make, and with customers 70% more likely to finalise a purchase on a site that has their preferred payment option, ecommerce businesses need to offer the right choices.
Most online shoppers in South Africa are used to paying by credit or debit card, and are happy doing so. There has also been a significant rise in the use of instant EFT technology, which facilitates payments from a customer’s bank account without needing their bank card. However, other payment methods are rapidly gaining widespread adoption too.
Recently, and with the success of global players like Klarna, we’ve seen a rise in the popularity of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) solutions. Along with digital wallet and mobile payment technologies like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Alipay, there is now a plethora of payment options for customers to use, and merchants can’t afford not to offer their customers the right options.
As part of their end-to-end ecommerce solution, eComplete has developed an audit tool that looks at every customer touchpoint of a merchant’s ecommerce ecosystem. Unsurprisingly, the number of payment options offered at checkout is a key factor in a successful audit, along with other factors like SEO, customer retention, website load speed, social proof and inventory and order management. A variety of trusted payment options is also one of the reasons eComplete recommends Peach Payments as their preferred payment gateway.
The future is mobile-first, and it’s already here
With more than 1.2 billion users, Alipay is the world’s biggest mobile payment platform, and with Apple Pay recently overtaking Starbucks as the US’s top mobile payment app, the mobile payment revolution is here - and it’s only gaining momentum. Statista projects nearly half a billion online shoppers in Africa by 2024, and analysis of the Peach Payments Checkout data for June 2021 indicates that almost 70% of online payments processed are on mobile devices. In short, if your business isn’t optimising for mobile, you won’t have a business for long.
Even if customers aren’t purchasing on mobile devices, they are likely window-shopping on one, so your ecommerce business has to be set up in a way that makes mobile usage fast and easy. UX needs to be great for all screen formats and resolutions, and the length, size and placement of images and text needs to be carefully thought through.
It follows from the above that being able to offer mobile payment options is also a must-have for all ecommerce businesses. Peach Payments was proud to be one of Apple Pay’s South African launch partners in 2021, and will soon add Google Pay to their online payment gateway.
(The right) metrics are everything
Where do you visitors come from? How many are new vs. returning visitors? What percentage of those visitors visit a product page? What percentage of that percentage adds something to their cart? And then, what is your dropoff through the checkout process from then on, and how do you re-engage potential customers at every point?
And that’s just a basic customer journey. Do you understand how you’re doing on the SEO front? What’s ranking well and what isn’t? Do you understand your paid advertising campaigns and what’s producing the most revenue for you? The devil, as they say, is in the details, so you need to get a grip on the right data right from the beginning.
Getting to grips with the right data isn’t as easy as some make it out to be, and getting the right help early can save you a lot of time and money further down the line. eComplete provides comprehensive ecommerce analytics solutions for their clients, and when that isn’t enough, they develop custom solutions to get their clients the information they need.
For example, hosted payment solutions can make tracking everything you need to track in Google Analytics a pain. When New Balance realised they weren’t tracking the total number of their transactions correctly, the eComplete team developed a full tracking solution on the back of the Peach Payments Magento plugin that allows all merchants using the plugin to track 100% of their transactions. It’s often said that you can only improve that which you can measure, so it’s difficult to overstate the value of getting that data right.
And finally, customer service. What happens when the sh*t hits the fan?
Anyone who’s tried to set up an online shop and integrate a payment gateway knows the process can be difficult. And then, once everything’s set up and it’s time to start selling - and as much as everyone would like to think otherwise - there are always issues to work through. A bank connector or your online platform goes down. A customer takes to social media to complain that you stole their money. A worldwide pandemic happens and you’re not sure you’ll even be able to trade.
A cursory look at the financial services sector on Hellopeter.com reveals an industry that’s lagging behind in the customer service department. With more and more people running their own businesses or turning to side hustles to supplement their income, and with SMEs making a significant contribution to South Africa’s economy, the businesses that enable those businesses need to make sure they’re doing the best job they can.
When it starts to go wrong, you need partners who pride themselves on being the best customer service organisation in the industry. Speed, availability and technical know-how are key in ensuring a merchants problems are solved in a manner that has the least possible effect on their business. Peach Payments is HelloPeter’s highest-rated payment gateway, and intends to stay that way through an unrelenting focus on supporting their merchants.