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eCommerce testing: how to verify payment methods
A thorough eCommerce testing process is essential to increase its performance, especially when it comes to verifying payment methods.
"The worst thing is to lose a customer at the time of payment. The most expensive mistake you can make is losing people at that stage, because you've spent so much on customer acquisition and now you're losing them for reasons you may not even be aware of."
Andrew Row, Managing Director at Uber Payments
A thorough eCommerce testing process proves critical to increasing performance, especially when it comes to verifying actual payment methods.
But why to date should companies pay even more attention to the quality of their online sales services?
eCommerce, the current scenario
eCommerce is proving to be strategic for any company aiming for recovery and to be more competitive. With more than 2 billion users worldwide making purchases online and the need to reduce contacts in the physical world resulting from the COVID-19 emergency, it is crucial to preside over online sales channels with secure services that provide a great user experience.
During the healthcare emergency, we saw in Italy the barriers to online purchasing that had blocked the development of retailers' online strategy for years fall. Data from the B2c eCommerce Observatory record a shift in the online shopping basket of consumers, as well as a green light for investments to enhance the eCommerce channel or to foster sales methods based on the integration of online and offline experience.
What to expect for the future
Among the few certainties for the future, again according to the Observatory's estimates, are the closeness that online and physical channels are already demonstrating strongly right now and the indispensable role of eCommerce for the recovery of commerce and consumption. In addition, the growth of web-shoppers and greater familiarity with and trust in online and digital payments may generate a further positive effect in the development of eCommerce.
User experience: a matter of trust, especially in payments
To maximize the performance of one's eCommerce, the user experience within the online store needs to be smooth, simple and quick, especially when it comes to completing payments.
Data from the Baymard Institute shows that 69 percent of shoppers abandon the shopping cart, even during payment, because of slow and complex processes. Added to this is the fear of personal data theft and scams.
The result is to be faced with discouraged users who, at best, will go to customer care explaining the problems encountered, further adding to the costs for the company. Only through the creation of simple, streamlined and user-friendly payment methods is it, in fact, possible to achieve a reduction in the shopping cart abandonment rate.
A further aspect to be evaluated concerns the payment options available. According to a Checkout.com study, 56% of customers are unwilling to make purchases in an eCommerce when their preferred payment system is not present. This behavior can, therefore, result in significant losses.
Also according to Checkout.com, only 37% of eCommerce businesses have enabled multiple payment methods, including eWallet platforms such as AliPay, Google Pay and Apple Pay. Even within the research conducted by UNGUESS on the main Italian fashion sites, a figure emerged that shows the low propensity towards the implementation of new payment solutions. In detail, only 2 out of 13 eCommerce have implemented at least 5 out of 8 payment methods, thus offering the customer a good level of choice.
Not only that, all the data generated and collected from individual payments can turn into strategic elements for innovating business models, as well as introducing new products for end customers.
At the same time, data from the Milan Polytechnic Observatory confirm a wide spread of payment tools contextual to online purchases. Compared to 2018, 2019 saw growth in PayPal, which rose from 32% to 33%, while credit cards fell from 64% to 62%. Bank transfers and cash on delivery remain more restrained, although the online purchase and in-store payment model is growing. In addition, while the use of eWallets such as Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, HYPE, Masterpass and Satispay and direct payment tools from checking account such as My Bank, Sofort is marginal, this trend needs to be monitored in order not to be unprepared.
These data show how important a new approach to testing eCommerce payment methods is, to avert problems of various kinds and to verify that they actually work.
eCommerce testing: verifying and integrating payment systems
With the exponential increase in the number of payment processors, eCommerce is becoming increasingly complex to manage. Platforms such as PayPal, Amazon Payment, Apple and Google Pay, Satispay, Sofort and many others cannot be tested by the development team alone. The presence of pre-release sandbox environments is not a sufficient element to avert the absence of issues in production.
Also on the user side, especially in the case of virtual POS, the use of prepaid, debit or credit cards, with countless institutions, can be triggers for potential blockages or interruptions that lead the user toward a loss of trust.
The new European digital payments directive PSD2, which came into effect in late 2019, also mandates the use of two-factor authentication. An additional step that could increase the likelihood of abandonment. Although PSD2 was created with the goal of strengthening the protection of users using payment services by combating fraud, companies must conduct thorough testing and integration of individual payment processors.
Crowdtesting essential for eCommerce testing
Given the current situation in the world of eCommerce payment systems, it becomes imperative to conduct both functional and experiential testing with real users. To do so, crowdtesting proves indispensable as it provides a community of experienced testers, their fresh eyes and a wide combination of hardware and software for functional testing, and real buyer personas to conduct payment testing.
As much as, within the sandbox environment, automation allows for testing the operation of payment systems, in the production phase, real users are able to test different payment circuits such as Diners, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, as well as insert foreign cards in real time, so as to ensure that the system works in case of purchases from abroad. In fact, our community has tens of thousands of testers around the world, enabling testing in the real target market.
Additional benefit derived from crowdtesting, in eCommerce testing is to know the real usability level of the GUI perceived by the user. In fact, supporting different payment systems also means analyzing user behavior during the checkout phase, verifying the level of usability of individual payment systems or a possible gateway.
Thus, it becomes clear that making different payment solutions available to users requires a thorough analysis and testing phase. This last step, however, must be carried out with crowdtesting so that any transaction can be completed, assuring the end customer that the eCommerce is constantly working. In fact, testing does not stop here, but can extend further into the Customer Journey. For example, you can test the experience in the post-sales phase, such as returns. This, however, will be discussed another time.
 “The worst thing is to lose a customer at the point of payment. The most expensive mistake you can make is to lose people at that stage, because you've spent so much on customer acquisition, and now you're losing them for reasons that you might not even be aware of.”
 Statista, Number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021.