One of the most common ways to accept payments for an online business is through a hosted checkout page, which is essentially a checkout web form that is developed, maintained, and hosted by a payment facilitator. Using a hosted checkout page is considered easy, fast, and secure. However, with checkout abandonment rates usually varying from 60%-80%—with some of the most common reasons related directly to the checkout page itself—the hosted checkout page you choose could be the difference between winning or losing your shoppers’ business.
Here are some of the top things you should consider when making this decision.
1. User Interface & Experience
Despite what we’ve been told, we do judge a book by its cover. So a good-looking, well-organized checkout page can go a long way when it comes to checkout abandonment. The best hosted checkout pages on the market are simple and clean, and even offer to pass along any pre-known data of the shopper. Remember: Simple and clean will keep the money flowing in!
The more you’re able to match the user experience on your checkout page to the rest of your website, the better. Some providers offer a variety of predefined pages for merchants to choose from, each with a slightly different look and feel; sometimes even with varying functionality. If the hosted checkout page provider allows you to customize the page however you choose, that’s even better!
3. Alternative Payment Methods
While many people use credit cards to make online purchases, credit cards certainly do not dominate the market. Many shoppers find other payment methods to be more secure and convenient. With digital wallet giants like PayPal, Google, Apple, Visa, and MasterCard all fighting for their share in what is perceived to be the future of online payments, making sure your hosted checkout page supports multiple digital wallets is a good way to win as many shoppers as possible.
Wondering how your checkout page stacks up against your competitors? Use this two-part questionnaire to analyze your checkout process and increase conversions.
4. Global Options
If your potential shoppers are from all around the world, it is imperative to understand that shoppers in different locations have different needs. It is a must for a hosted checkout page to support multiple languages, currencies, local payment methods, and global card brands in order to convert diverse users into buyers.
5. Easy Integration
The main benefit of using a hosted checkout page is that you’re outsourcing any development or maintenance the page may need, which saves you and your team a lot of time and effort. Therefore, it is crucial for the integration process to require minimal effort on your part. If you find that sending shoppers to the checkout page is going to be a challenge, choose a different provider!
6. Support For Mobile Devices
Too many checkout pages don’t provide the proper support for mobile devices, and that can spell disaster for any business. Since mobile payments are becoming a massive part of the market share, having a mobile optimized checkout page is a must—otherwise you’re putting yourself at a major disadvantage.
7. Payment API
It is always smart to anticipate the worst. A hosted checkout page option may suit your needs for a time, but your needs may change in the future. If the payment facilitator you are considering also offers a good payment API, it could be a lifesaver down the line. Switching payment providers can be a daunting task, so being able to keep your shoppers, subscriptions, reports, and IPN integration will be a major advantage if you decide to switch from a hosted checkout page to a payment API solution.
Think It Through
This may seem like a lot to consider, but choosing a suitable hosted checkout page is a decision that will pay dividends.
If you’re having trouble, consider your most important needs and prioritize them. For example, you may conclude that it is worth sacrificing some functionality to have a slick and easy checkout experience. Or, maybe you’re a small and growing startup and see your first hosted checkout page as a temporary solution—in this case, you’d care much more about easy integration, payment API support, and having a mobile optimized checkout page rather than the flexibility to customize.
As long as you do your research, consider the items above, and think through the needs of your business and your target audience, you’ll come away with the hosted checkout page that’s best for you.