Tag: ecommerce merchants

Every ecommerce customer counts. It doesn’t matter whether you sell gaming services or mobile ringtones, you know how much time, money, and people power your company invests in attracting and capturing the target market. But if you’re going to deploy the tactics that complete the sale, it helps to know about these four types of digital consumers:

The Credit Card Free – Nearly 30% of consumers do not have a credit card. Some are unable to obtain one, while others simply don’t want one. But what really matters to you is that these are customers who simply cannot shop online unless they purchase a pre-loaded debit card, use an alternative payment method that taps into their bank account, or ask a friend/family member to make the purchase.

The Cost Conscious – Other consumers in your target market have credit cards, but prefer not to use them. Perhaps they’re hesitant to pay interest fees to the banks. Maybe they don’t like to run the risk of high late fees.

The Security Conscious – Each year, consumers and ecommerce businesses lose billions to online fraud. But what’s more interesting is that ecommerce merchants lose 6x more revenue to the fear of fraud than actual fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The Unbanked – About 9 million U.S. households are unbanked, which means these consumers cannot (or, in some cases, will not) access traditional banking services, like checking accounts or credit cards. Instead they pay for transactions in cash or by using money orders.

Ecommerce merchants who want to capture these customers need to consider adding alternative payment methods (APMs) to their shopping cart options. APMs, like ILD Teleservices’ Bill to Phone, allow consumers to charge their purchase to their phone bill—and that allows digital merchants to attract consumers who aren’t willing or able to shop with credit cards online.

To learn more about the hassle-free, convenient APM that will lift your bottom line, contact the alternative payment experts at ILD.

Nix Credit Cards when Shopping Online

Whether you’re upgrading Internet service or ordering remote computer tech support, you want an online transaction that’s safe, cheap, and easy. That means it’s time to put away the credit card when shopping online. Here’s why:

Smart Shopper Reason #1 – The Fraud Factor

We’ve all seen the news stories about identity and credit card fraud. Sharing sensitive info, like bank account or credit card numbers, online exposes you to cybercrime. Increasingly, ecommerce merchants are adding alternative payment methods that don’t require you to share personal information with people you don’t know. For example, phone billing (or Bill to Phone) lets you charge purchases to your phone bill—no need to transmit that credit card number into cyberspace.

Smart Shopper Reason #2 – Money Matters

Credit card interest rates and fees take a bite out of your budget. No doubt, you have better things to do with your hard-earned income than fund the Big Banks. By choosing Bill to Phone or other alternative payment options at checkout, you avoid paying those ugly interest fees—and who doesn’t want that?

Smart Shopper Reason #3 – Easy Does It

Ever want to shop online during a lunch break but you don’t have a credit card with you? Have you ever abandoned a transaction because you couldn’t find reading glasses to see that security code on the back of the card? Online shopping simply doesn’t get any easier when you pay with alternative payment methods. For instance, if you’re buying with Bill to Phone, the only things you need to know are your phone number and possibly the last 4 digits of your Social Security number (for identity verification).

Shop Safely. Shop Savvy. Shop Without the Credit Card.

Protect yourself from fraud, save money, and shop conveniently. Bill to Phone from ILD Teleservices is a digital store checkout option you can count on. From clearly identifying charges on your phone bill to providing a friendly customer care team to answer questions, you can trust your online transactions to ILD.

fear-face

Ecommerce merchants lose more revenue from the fear of fraud than from actual fraud—6x as much revenue to be exact, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Eye-opening figure, isn’t it? And digital consumers have reason to be wary of sharing credit card or bank account information for online transactions. More than 11 million U.S. adults were victims of fraud in 2009, the highest level since 2003. The good news is there are tactics digital merchants can implement to make customers feel safer when shopping online.

So how do merchants take the fear out of shopping ecommerce stores?

  1. Offer alternative payment methods (APMs). One of the easiest ways to give consumers peace of mind is by giving them shopping cart payment options that don’t ask for sensitive information. Third party payment processors provide alternative checkout options, such as Bill to Phone (LEC billing), which allows shoppers to charge purchases to their phone bill. No matter which APM you choose, invest in a third party payment processor with a platform that integrates smoothly into your current system for a seamless checkout—a feature that will boost customers’ confidence in the transaction.
  2. Invest in an SSL certificate. This security software encrypts information transmitted between the customer and the digital merchant. Remember to feature the security logo or seal prominently to let shoppers know you’re doing your part to keep online shopping safe.
  3. Outline an easy-to-understand privacy policy. Customers want to know what you’re going to do with the information they’re sharing, whether it’s their email address or credit card number. Post the privacy policy in clear language that the ecommerce shopper won’t need a legal expert to interpret.

What tips can you share for taking the fear out of ecommerce shopping?

Chargebacks

The chargeback is a financial liability that commonly stings ecommerce merchants. When a credit card holder disputes the validity of a sale, it can be the result of anything from processing errors and authorization issues to fraud attempts and data entry mistakes. But how much are chargebacks really dinging an ecommerce merchant’s bottom line?

If the card payment processor rules a chargeback is valid, the merchant is left holding the bill. Here’s what digital merchants lose:

  • Cost of goods or services: The purchase of whatever it was you sold to that customer, whether it was an online dating service subscription or website hosting, is reversed.
  • Cost of customer acquisition: How much do you invest into customer acquisition? Every time you’re subject to a chargeback, you lose the time and resources invested into getting that customer to click the “buy” button.
  • Chargeback fee: These fees vary from $15 to $50 for each reversed transaction. If your ecommerce business is subject to what the processor considers a high fraud rate, those fees may be even steeper. What’s more, if the business is subject to too many chargebacks, the bank can terminate your merchant account, making it hard to develop partnerships with other payment processors.
  • Retrieval fee: Disputing a chargeback? Some payment processors also charge this fee, which covers the cost of retrieving data from the transaction.

One way to avoid ecommerce chargebacks is to provide customers with alternative payment options, such as LEC billing. This checkout option, which allows consumers to charge their purchase directly to their phone bill, provides a credit card free way to shop.

But the right alternative payment processor will also offer validation services that quickly and affordably verify the customer’s identity, reducing your exposure to bad transactions.

For more information about ILD Teleservices’ LEC billing option, Bill to Phone, contact one of our account reps. As an industry leader in third-party payment processing, we’ll provide a ready-to-go checkout option that takes away some of that chargeback sting.

Online theft

Shopping online is easy and convenient, but is it safe? Not always. Unfortunately, fraudsters have a laundry list of ways to steal sensitive information, such as credit card or bank account numbers, from online shoppers.

How big is the identity theft problem?

Consider these stats from a 2010 FTC report that examined the fraud complaint database used by law enforcement officials:

  • 1.3 million consumers filed fraud and identity theft complaints.
  • 40% of consumer fraud complaints were credit card related.
  • In 48% of complaints, the consumer’s initial contact with the alleged fraudster was through the Internet or email.

You can shop safely online.

Some ecommerce merchants offer consumers an alternative payment method. These credit card free options, which are offered in the checkout section of the store’s shopping cart, allow you to buy the digital goods and services you want without exposing yourself to identity fraud.

For example, Bill to Phone is a payment method that charges purchases to your phone bill. During checkout, you simply enter your phone number. There’s no need to transmit a credit card or bank account number over the web. When your phone bill arrives, you simply pay for the online purchase along with the rest of your phone charges. It’s easy, convenient, and safe—everything you love about shopping online.

You deserve a safe online shopping experience.

If your favorite digital merchants don’t give you credit card free payment options, like Bill to Phone, let them know that you want to shop safely, without being forced to share information that could increase your risk of identity theft.  

Safe & happy shopping!

Senior Market 

Do seniors find it easy to shop your ecommerce store? Or do they click off to find an easier shopping experience? Whether you actively court the senior set or haven’t yet realized the potential of the gray market, it might be time to make the adjustments that build and attract this potentially lucrative audience.

Forget about the old-school stereotypes of doddering grandparents. Seniors today are connected, in an increasingly big way. Consider these tidbits about older Americans:

  • Seniors shop online. 77% of Internet users age 65 and older purchased products over the Web, according to a 2009 survey. (eMarketer)
  • Seniors are embracing mobile. Use of smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices is rising among consumers over 55. And they’re using mobile in some, perhaps, unexpected ways. For example, 13% of users between 55 and 64 years old play mobile games. (Mashable)
  • The senior market is ready to boom. By 2030, the over-65 market will double to more than 72 million Americans. (U.S. Census Bureau)

So what tactics can ecommerce merchants utilize to attract and retain this growing segment? The eMarketer article suggests a few possibilities for providing a better customer experience for senior shoppers, including:

  • Incorporating large and easy-to-understand click buttons.
  • Ensuring simple and uncluttered navigation.
  • Using fewer boxes that might confuse a user.

Along with navigation and use accommodations, we’ll add another: incorporating alternative payment methods (APMs), like Bill to Phone, which allows customers to charge their purchases to their phone bill. Here’s how Bill to Phone, or LEC billing, makes digital businesses more attractive to the senior market:

  • Makes buying easier. There’s no need to dig out reading glasses to read tiny credit card numbers; there’s no need to hunt for a card number or online account password that may not be handy. Instead, customers only need to enter info they’ll already know, such as their phone number.
  • Reduces the risk of identity theft. There are no credit card numbers or bank accounts to transmit over the Internet, which means risk-averse seniors may be more comfortable clicking the buy button.

ILD’s alternative payment method, Bill to Phone, will help you connect with untapped audiences. Contact our APM team today to learn how LEC billing will lift revenue potential for your gray market.