eCommerce has boomed over the past few years, with global digital commerce surging 27.6% in 2020 and expected to account for $6.5 trillion in sales by 2023. This represents almost one-quarter of all global retail, and this measure is expected to keep growing as the internet’s reach expands into developing areas of the world.
eCommerce platforms are facing more competition than ever before and are prioritizing smooth payments experiences so customers and merchants do not abandon them for competitors. Many, including Montreal-based live shopping startup Livescale, are turning to payments orchestration to smoothly integrate payment gateways and get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to payments seamlessness.
“[It’s] a time [when] social commerce and changing consumer expectations have given brands the opportunity to innovate, interact and progress like never before,” said Madison Schill, communications and marketing director at Livescale. “Customers are increasingly looking for more personalized, interactive ways of shopping — ways that make them feel seen and valued, all with the flexibility of being able to make purchases from anywhere.”
PYMNTS spoke with Schill about the challenges that eCommerce platforms face when integrating payment gateways that can meet these customer expectations and how payments orchestration solutions can accelerate the integration of merchants’ payments infrastructures into eCommerce platforms.
The Necessity of Onboarding New Merchants
eCommerce platforms typically thrive when they partner with a wide variety of merchants, as doing so can increase the pool of interested customers and provide a diverse portfolio that is buffered against any single industry potentially flagging. Each new merchant partner will want to use their own gateway or payment service.
And it’s a major challenge, and distraction from the platform’s core business focus, for the platform to build and maintain all of those connections.
“Customers are increasingly looking for diversity in how they can pay for product, and they want that diversity to be backed up with convenience — it’s no longer a conversation of either/or,” said Schill. “We notice that truly seamless shopping experiences and … experiences that create a sense of ease are just as essential as customer service, a strong public presence and selling a strong product.”
The rewards of successfully onboarding merchants can be immense, however. Successful payments integrations can lead to not only more satisfied merchant partners but also happier customers, which then can drive further revenue to the platform itself.
“Platforms like Livescale have helped emphasize the value of honest, authentic connections between brands and customers, and in some cases, [they] have made that relationship possible for the first time online,” said Schill. “Customers now can interact with a store, a shopkeeper, retail associate and brand founder from the comfort of anywhere, creating new, human pathways for selling that [feel] limitless when it comes to growth.”
These kinds of opportunities are the direct result of payments orchestration solutions.
How Payments Orchestration Eases Onboarding Challenges
Payments orchestration greatly simplifies merchant onboarding by outsourcing the intensive and often tedious integration process to a third-party software platform. This affords eCommerce platforms the ability to focus their resources on customer-facing technologies and priorities.
“Payments orchestration allows for us to provide customers a seamless, one-touch payment offering for clients with a single, unified software layer that, once implemented, is intuitive for everyone, merchant included,” said Schill. “An overwhelming advantage for us has been to assemble a team that is incredibly well-versed in payment gateways and connected commerce from the beginning.”
This simplification of merchant onboarding has had direct and quantitative results, according to Schill, including a massive increase in customer conversion rates.
“In addition to being ideal from a usability perspective, [payments orchestration] provides a boost to performance on the whole,” she said. “Payments orchestration and the ability to offer diverse options has also ensured that Livescale can boast [key performance indicators] far and above the eCommerce industry average. In just the past month, we have seen sales conversion rates as high as 50%.”
This is far above typical eCommerce conversion rates, which often hover as low as 2%. Such a massive increase serves as a stark example of payments orchestration’s benefits.