In our previous post, we discussed the advantages of choosing the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software or platform for your business. CRM, or the management of your customer relationships from the very beginning when they exist as sales leads through existing customer retention efforts, is the backbone of your business. Ignoring or mismanaging customer relationships and failing to follow up on sales leads can be absolutely disastrous and can directly lead to the outright failure of your business. However, just running out and signing up for or purchasing the most popular or the most heavily advertised CRM software or platform can be almost as bad as not doing anything in the first place, since choosing an overpowered and complicated CRM platform can lead to costly fees, excessive training expenses, and mismanaged client relationships. Many of these same principles apply to other platforms and services, especially ones necessary to successfully operate and grow your business, like web hosting or the payment gateway you choose to process customer payments through your website.

Your Payment Gateway Matters

If your website utilizes a payment gateway to process customer payments, choosing the right payment gateway, or the service provider that facilitates credit card payments between your website and your front-end processor or acquiring bank, can mean the difference between your customers quickly, successfully, and regularly completing purchases and your customers abandoning their carts, which can be disastrous for your website conversion rate and your reputation.

The Two Most Important Factors

When it comes to choosing the right payment gateway for your website, there are two factors that must be considered: whether the payment gateway provides an optimal shopping and checkout experience for your customers and if the provider is charging reasonable fees. There is no sense in going with the least expensive provider and potentially providing a sub-optimal checkout experience for your customers, as you will quickly lose more money in lost sales. However, choosing a needlessly expensive provider, even one that provides a great experience for your customers, can take a huge bite out of your revenue. As with choosing other service providers, the key is finding a provider that offers a balance between the two, offering an exception experience for your customers for a reasonable fee or charge to you.

Establish And Maintain Trust

In order for your e-commerce store to be successfully in the long-term – after any initial sales or promotions have ended – your customers have to trust your store. While e-commerce security has greatly approved over the past two decades, it is still a paramount concern to your customers that any credit card or other payment information they transmit over the Internet is securely handled by every party involved. Your entire checkout process must convey to your customers not only a sense of trust, but a sense of ease and convenience as well. Your customers may be questioning their decision to purchase your product or service right up until the moment they click the “Submit” button, so giving them a reason to distrust the payment gateway also gives them an out at the last minute. Be sure to use official logos for the corporations representing the payment options you accept, such as VISA, MasterCard, or PayPal, and include the proper badges and logos representing the security methods, services, and protocols you are utilizing to protect their information. Finally, don’t send your customers away from your website, such as to a third-party website provided by your payment gateway, without providing clear and ample warning that you are doing so.