6 Ways to Leverage Payments Data to Drive Results
As the Easter sales season wraps up, online merchants are forming strategies to draw consumers to their sites. For e-commerce merchants striving to maintain a competitive edge this spring, intelligence will be a key contributor to their success. "Big data" is a buzzword that's oft mentioned, but merchants which effectively leverage the data generated by their online operations, analyze it and use it to cater to customer preferences will ultimately find their conversions increasing. It's clear to online merchants that data-driven intelligence will ultimately enable them to understand and fulfill customer needs in more individualized and sophisticated ways, without expending excessive effort, expense and resources. Here are some tips for driving success over the Easter holidays and beyond with the help of your checkout and payments data.
Cultivating a Thriving Front-End and Back-End Experience
As every online merchant knows, understanding and meeting customer needs is critical, and most data-driven technologies are designed to enable this. Ultimately, these solutions help merchants drive success by improving both front-end experiences and back-end efficiency to address customer preferences. In terms of the visible website, online merchants use intelligence and technology to discover what customers need by identifying where they're wavering or abandoning the path to purchase.
Conversely, these tools also help the merchant recognize those elements that most encourage customer conversions. While analyzing and optimizing the front-end experience ahead of the spring holiday season will certainly yield meaningful results, merchants can drive long-term sustainability by using deeper insights. Access to granular payment data is critical for identifying, understanding and correcting back-end inefficiencies that complicate the merchant-customer relationship. The key to maximizing sales on shopping holidays is a strategy that combines front- and back-end optimization.
1.Getting to know your customers:
Data transparency and intelligence technology enable merchants to identify the most successful factors of their websites, offerings and checkouts, and use this data to boost conversions. The days leading up to Easter sales are a great opportunity for evaluating the impact of particular calls to action, payments flows and other factors in order to optimize customer experiences, encourage more sales and bolster future efforts.
2. Overcoming obstacles in the customer journey:
By the same token, better data resources can help merchants identify challenges in their customer relationships and resolve conflicts that lead to abandonment. For example, the merchant might analyze the customer journey on its website and discover that shoppers are abandoning their carts when they reach the checkout process. This could be a hint that the checkout process is too long or complicated, and should be simplified. Data can help illuminate simple factors that can be easily resolved to smooth the path to purchase and encourage long-term loyalty.
3. Leave your customers wanting more:
Enterprising merchants are always strategizing about how to keep their customers coming back. The easiest way is to simplify return purchasing. Recognizing return visitors is contingent on the merchant’s ability to securely store payment data and meet PCI compliance standards for retaining and recalling customer transaction details. “Tokenization” enables merchants to leverage past payment details in order to streamline future ones. Data encrypted in a "token” can be recalled from a “vault” when returning purchasers start checking out and are recognized by the website.
4. Data-driven rules for maximizing efficiency:
One of the biggest challenges merchants face is when transactions are rejected by payment processors — i.e., declines. Merchants can combat this and drive payment acceptance when they have better data visibility and intelligence capabilities. For instance, merchants can use data to determine the causes of their declines and automate solutions to correct them. Access to data might reveal to a European company that its local processor is rejecting all Chinese transactions. With this knowledge, the company could then create business logic to identify all Chinese payments and automatically send them to an integrated processor based in Asia in order to increase acceptance rates.
5. Preventing fraud with data insights:
Just as data can help merchants determine why transactions are being declined, it can be used to localize fraud screening for every market. No one provider is optimized to accurately identify fraudulent transactions for every region, but data-driven rules can help businesses pinpoint fraud and prevent false fraud flagging. More intelligent fraud detection technology can apply insights about purchasing behaviors in multiple regions, perceive when returning customers are presenting with anomalous behaviors, and compare the analyses of multiple fraud engines to prevent legitimate transactions from being flagged as fraud. All of these intelligence capabilities help refine the fraud prevention process so the customer experience is streamlined and the merchant maximizes its revenues.
6. Intelligent transaction routing to drive acceptance:
More advanced payment technologies enable merchants to take their data analysis one step further and establish rules governing the route of each payment in real time based on multiple granular data sets and customizable business logic. Intelligent transaction routing enables merchants to automatically process data from multiple payment and technology providers and route transactions in a way that eliminates inefficiencies that drive up processing costs. By routing payments between multiple providers in different locations, for example, merchants can ensure that every transaction is processed as a local transaction. This would mean paying local processing fees and optimizing transaction acceptance through fully automated logic.
Big Data: Planting the Seeds to Revitalize Your Sales
Data visibility and advanced payment solutions are enabling digital merchants to optimize their relationships with customers and increase revenues in every location. As you look ahead to the spring season, consider how you can best leverage your customer payments data leading up to and following the shopping holiday. Perhaps by next Easter, predictive analytics and machine learning technology will have advanced significantly and your payment technology will be able to anticipate on its own how best to prepare for the spring sales and cater to customer preferences.
Oren Levy is the CEO of Zooz, a technology company which provides a payments platform.