Fast growing payment solution be2bill launched their 2015 online payments barometer last week in conjunction with digital strategy consulting firm Converteo (part of ADLP Digital). The barometer looked at 174 e-commerce sites in France across 5 sectors: entertainment/culture/high-tech, tourism and travel, fashion (clothing and accessories), home decoration, and services.
Here were the big takeaways:
1) The number of total transactions per e-merchant is low and the average basket size is declining year-on-year
Perhaps due to the increasing number of e-commerce sites coupled with the tough market conditions in France, the number of transactions per e-merchant is still quite low at about just 100 transactions per month. In addition, the average basket size has been declining in recent years, standing at 95 € in 2010 and 82 € in 2013.
2) The vast majority of e-merchants in France offer their customers multiple modes of payment
Only 9% offer one mode of payment. The average number of payment options offered is 2.9, but this varies by sector – travel and tourism sites offer 2.4 on average, while entertainment, culture and high-tech offer 3.3. Offering multiple modes of payment is extremely important as roughly 59% of shoppers abandon their purchase if preferred mode of payment isn’t available.
American Express, which has long had the reputation among on and offline vendors alike as being too costly in terms of fees, is less used by all sectors with the exception of their sectors of focus, travel and tourism and services. While all sites now use credit or bank cards for payment, modes like checks and bank transfers are still accepted by online merchants, particularly in the home decoration and entertainment sectors.
3) 20% of sites allow consumers to make multiple payments over a period of time for a single purchase without additional interest or fees
In addition, 16% offer a free line of credit, usually in conjunction with a financial institution/credit agency. Again, there are stark differences by sector, where these types of payment terms are most common in entertainment/culture/high-tech.
4) Only half of e-merchants integrate the payment experience into the overall all graphic design and UX of their site
Only 51% have integrated the payment process into the design of their sites. As a result, many are using an off-the-shelf payment experience that’s not customized in terms of look and feel to their particular site or sector. This obviously can have a negative effect on the overall user experience, which has been shown to be a key part of enabling a seamless shopping experience. There are, however, big disparities by sector as tourism and travel tends to customize the final payment page (79%), whereas home decoration e-merchants tend to use the standard page of their payment solution (69%).
5) Most consumers will have to proceed through multiple pages to finalize a purchase as only 6% of e-merchants offer ‘one-page checkout’
The purchase process continues to be unnecessarily cumbersome for French consumers as both one-page checkout and one-click payments, which stand at 14%, are a rarity. Tourism again tends to be a bit ahead of the curve with 17% offering one-page checkout and fashion sites prove to be better on one-click payments, primarily to facilitate multiple and repeat purchases on their sites.
6) Just 35% of merchants have some type of customer support functionality integrated into the purchase process
Although customer support is important to ensure consumers don’t abandon their purchases, few sites in France actually integrate the ability to contact customer support into the payment process. Tourism and travel again comes out on top on this, with 62% connecting consumers to customer support, if required, during the payment process.
7) 3D secure isn’t yet widely across the French e-commerce sector
Perhaps because an estimated 40% of online shoppers abandon their purchase if they are asked to proceed through the 3D secure verification process (ie requirement to enter a verification code sent to them by their bank) as well as the cost of putting it in place, only 14% of e-merchants integrate this step into their payment process. It is most common in entertainment/culture/high-tech, were 33% incorporate this verification step. The recent, well publicized 3D secure performance failures will definitely not help in increasing adoption.