What Is The Best Payment Option For My Wordpress E-commerce Website?
Okay, so you have done an incredible job marketing your brand and products to potential customers, directing them to your thoughtfully designed Wordpress e-commerce website. Now, your potential customers are close to becoming actual customers, because they have gone so far as to add some of your products to your website’s shopping cart. All they need to do is pay. You can pretty much wipe your hands, pop your collar, and start counting your money, right?
Well, not exactly. You have completed all of the necessary steps for the conversion of potential customers into actual customers, except for one: the payment process. Payment options are an often-overlooked factor when it comes to providing the best shopping experience for your customers.
But, it makes sense that it should matter, right? Payment gateways are part of the shopping process where customers are dealing with their most sensitive information. Moreover, it is the final step during which a customer questions whether they really want to go through with their purchase. In fact, statistics compiled by the Baymard Institute show that in 2018, the shopping cart abandonment rate for e-commerce businesses was 56.82 percent, and that 19 percent of customers have abandoned their goods in a shopping cart because they did not trust the given website’s payment process.
With the sheer amount of a customer's data now available to businesses and brands, security and the appropriate use of data have become some of the most important factors for consumers. Therefore, when it comes to the checkout process, it is imperative that e-commerce businesses make it as easy and secure as possible.
Given that you are reading this article, it is likely that you either have a WordPress e-commerce website, or are planning on setting up a Wordpress e-commerce website. So, you are probably wondering, “What are my best Wordpress e-commerce payment options?”
To answer this question, we will start from the beginning by defining what a payment gateway is, and then further elaborating on the factors you should consider when choosing your payment gateway. And finally, we will finish the article with some of the best Wordpress e-commerce payment options available on the market.
What is a Payment Gateway?
Briefly described, payment gateways are third-party tools or plugins that evaluate and process the payments from your customers. You can think of a payment gateway as the middleman between your online store, and the payment processor that receives the payment from your customer. Once your customer enters their payment details on your site, the payment gateway takes care of securely sending that data to a payment processor.
In more technical language, a payment gateway authorizes a payment, and makes sure that enough data is entered to finalize the transaction between your customer and your website. The gateway protects the details of the credit card by encrypting all sensitive information it holds. This process ensures that personal private details are passed securely between customer and merchant. By sending information securely between a website and the payment processor, and then returning transaction details back to the website, the payment gateway serves as a primary tool that allows an e-commerce website to successfully function.
How Does a Payment Gateway Work?
Luckily, if you are an e-commerce business owner, you do not need to know the ins and outs of how your payment option works. All you really need to do is to pick a gateway, and integrate it with your online store with the help of a set-up wizard that will come with the plugin. After that, you should be able to collect payments without much difficulty.
However, you may be interested in at least a summary of the process which we provide below:
- A customer selects a product that they wish to buy on your website.
- The customer enters the shopping cart, proceeds to checkout, and fills in their payment details.
- The payment gateway takes the payment information, encrypts it, and sends it through a secure channel to a payment processor.
- The customer gets redirected to the payment processor.
- The payment processor takes the customer through the steps, to finalize the payment.
- The payment processor verifies if the payment was successful, and displays an appropriate message to the customer, such as, “Payment was successful.”
- The customer's purchase goes through, and now the customer is free to return to or exit the website.
The payment location is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing among your Wordpress e-commerce payment options. Many payment gateways enable businesses to integrate the payment gateway directly into their site, while other providers might redirect the customer away from the website, to an external payment gateway or processor.
When choosing among options, it is often better to select a payment gateway that can be directly integrated into your site. The major benefit is that it can prevent the feeling of disruption that may arise in a customer, when they are shuttled to a different website from the one they are trying to purchase from in order to enter their payment information. Remember that one of the keys to a successful checkout process is the ease with which consumers are able to complete their orders.
However, there are some companies, such as Paypal, which are so trusted that such a diversion may not be viewed as an unwelcome disruption.
In fact, using a well-known company like Paypal may increase the customer’s sense of security when making their purchase, and this perception of security might actually have a stronger effect on your customer’s confidence than actual amounts of security. That’s because, regardless of your choice in payment options—whether direct or indirect—they’ll all likely have an SSL certificate, and abide by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.
As we can see, there will clearly be other considerations beyond simply “direct vs. indirect” that you will want to consider, when choosing the best payment gateway among the many Wordpress e-commerce payment options available.
With most third-party payment options, there will almost always be an upfront cost required for its use. However, you will want to make sure that you investigate extensively into the fine print. It is common that third-party payment options will charge fees for each transaction processed.
A major red flag, but one that is unfortunately not unheard of, is that a payment processor will charge your customers an extra fee in order to use the payment gateway. It is unlikely that customers will be happy with paying a fee in addition to the cost of the product they are trying to purchase, so it is important to make sure that you have fully considered the repercussions if you choose to go with payment options with this requirement.
You may find that a number of Wordpress e-commerce payment options require that you have a separate merchant account, into which they deposit your funds. This, of course, means that there will be another step you need to take, in order to get your e-commerce store up and running. However, going with a website that requires a merchant account will often be worth it, since many payment options that are willing to deposit funds directly into your account are more likely to charge a higher processing fee.
If your e-commerce businesses plan to sell to customers across the globe, you will want to make sure that your payment gateway is compatible with customers and payments from different countries. Beyond compatibility, you will also want to check to see if there are any extra fees associated with processing payments from customers from different countries.
An important step, then, in choosing among your best payment options will be to look at the customer analytics of your website, to see where the majority of your customers are coming from. Knowing this information, you will be able to make more informed decisions about the payment options you choose from depending on their compatibility with global transactions.
We can never underestimate the importance of design in providing the best shopping experience for our customers. When we think of design, we typically think of the importance of web page design, brand design, and product imagery. However, in order to provide a seamless experience for our customers, it is imperative that we maintain a consistent and attractive design, from start to finish.
Therefore, when looking for the best payment options for your e-commerce website, you will want to be asking questions like:
- Will it allow for branded personalization, so that it matches my site?
- Is it mobile responsive?
- How intuitive is it in terms of layout, numbers of steps or pages, etc.?
Remember, in many cases, the payment gateway is the last thing your customer sees when they make a purchase from your site, so you do not want to leave a bad taste in their mouths.
Best Payment Options for Wordpress
Now that we have laid out the important factors for you to consider when choosing the best payment option for your Wordpress site, we can move on to some of the top options you have available to you.
Stripe is one of the most popular payment options for Wordpress users, and with the features available, it is easy to see why. Moreover, it is known as one of the most developer-friendly platforms, with lots of options when it comes to personalizing your checkout page.
- Cost: Stripe requires no monthly or setup fees. The only costs are the usual per-transaction charges, and the only costs you have to worry about are from customer chargebacks.
- Payment Location: You can create a totally customized checkout for your site (i.e., direct payment), or you can use their pre-built Checkout. With Stripe, you’ve got options.
- Merchant Account: There is no need for you to set up a merchant account.
- Global Compatibility: Stripe works in over 100 countries, and accepts over 135 currencies. Moreover, there is no additional charge for currency conversions.
- Payment Methods Accepted: Stripe accepts all major credit cards, bank and debit payments, Bitcoin, and digital payments from Apple Pay and Android Pay.
- Design: Remember that Stripe is one of the most developer-friendly options, so it has a number of design options at your disposal.
2. PayPal Payments Pro
When using Paypal with either their standard option or their pro version, you are able to benefit from a widely trusted name already in use by 184 million people. However, this will likely be one of your pricier options for Wordpress.
- Cost: Paypal charges a $30 monthly fee, in addition to the per-transaction fee assessed.
- Payment Location: You won’t have to send customers to PayPal. You have the option of setting up a direct payment gateway with the recognizable and trusted Paypal logo on your site.
- Merchant Account: There’s no need to create a merchant account for PayPal, but you do have the option to set one up if you wish.
- Global Compatibility: Paypal will accept payments of over 25 currencies, from over 200 markets.
- Payment Methods Accepted: Because this is PayPal, a good portion of the payment types available come from Paypal itself. This includes PayPal standard payments, PayPal credit, as well as PayPal special financing. Of course, you will also be able to accept all major credit cards, bank transfers, and even phone-based credit card payments.
- Design: The UI is fully customizable, so this gives you a lot of freedom to personalize for your brand. Moreover, it is available across all platforms, making it one of the best choices for an easy mobile shopping experience.
2CheckOut is the final payment option we will highlight. While Stripe and Paypal are extremely popular across the board, 2CheckOut is especially popular with companies completing high volumes of global transactions.
- Cost: In addition to the standard fees per transaction, they also charge for international transactions and currency conversion.
- Payment Location: You can either use the API to put the checkout on your site, or you can use “inline” checkout, which moves the process to their site while making it still look like it’s on yours.
- Merchant Account: Unlike Paypal and Stripe, you will need a merchant account in order to accept payments.
- Global Compatibility: Their payment gateway is offered in 15 languages, includes 87 currency options, and has the ability to process payments in over 200 markets.
- Payment Methods Accepted: 2CheckOut accepts credit cards, debit cards, PayPal payments, and others.
- Design: While not the most developer-friendly of your options, you do have the ability to brand the payment gateway to match your site on both desktop and mobile websites.