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NEW DATA: 10 Key Features For Boosting Cross-Border Conversion Rates

The world is in the midst of a massive shift from brick-and-mortar retail to digital commerce.

Consumers across the globe are primarily going online to shop and pay for everything from clothing to electronics and groceries due to the pandemic, with digital product sellers among the most likely eTailers to see their sales increase. The demand for digital streaming services like Netflix and Amazon and digital news like The New York Times and The Washington Post is also higher than ever, with many of their newest subscribers coming from abroad.

The recent success of firms like these underscores the opportunity to be gained from their international expansion, but not all are poised to take full advantage of this opportunity. Many digital product merchants selling abroad are hindered by slow, friction-laden checkout offerings that can chase away would-be buyers and shrink their conversion rates. PYMNTS research shows that 50.7 percent of U.S.-based digital product eTailers require shoppers to create site profiles before making purchases, for example, meaning they must spend more time and energy completing first-time purchases than necessary. Ten percent of B2C eTailers automatically sign up shoppers to receive marketing emails and other promotional material — another move that can dissuade consumers from making repeat purchases.

Dropping friction-inducing requirements like these can help firms make it easier for customers to check out, but there are many checkout features they can add to improve their customers’ checkout experiences, as well. Which of these key checkout features are critical to ensure that firms are reaching their maximum conversion potential?

The Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index, a PYMNTS and FastSpring collaboration, details how international eCommerce firms selling digital goods abroad can take measures to enhance their checkout experiences to boost conversion and maximize revenues. PYMNTS researched the checkout processes offered by 266 digital product B2B and B2C merchants across 12 industries to find out which features go the farthest in improving sites’ user experiences and how retailers selling different types of digital products can tailor their checkout processes to meet their customers’ eCommerce shopping expectations.

PYMNTS research shows that there are many features that can go a long way in helping digital product eTailers boost their conversion rates abroad, some of which include IP recognition technology, optional (as opposed to required) profiles and guarantee or refund policies, to name a few. IP recognition technology can help international eTailers locate their customers’ geographic locations and then adjust their sites’ language and currency settings accordingly, for example, making it easier for their customers to navigate. Meanwhile, optional profiles keep purchasing barriers low for first-time customers and help customers save their information for repeat purchases later on. Offering guarantee or refund policies helps instill a sense of trust in online shoppers.

It follows that the digital product eTailers with the smoothest checkout processes are far more likely than average to provide features like these. According to PYMNTS research, 100 percent of the top 20 eTailers with the smoothest cross-border checkout processes on the web use IP recognition technology, for example. Almost half provide optional profiles, and three in four eTailers have guarantee or refund policies to boot. By contrast, not one of the eTailers with the most friction-laden checkout processes on the web (Bottom 20 eTailers) use IP recognition technology. Only 15 percent of Bottom 20 eTailers offer optional profiles and not a single one provides guarantee or refund policies.

Knowing which checkout features will make eCommerce purchases easier and less friction-filled is only the beginning, however. It is also crucial that eTailers consider how to tweak their checkout options to match their unique customers’ demands.

To learn more about what international merchants need to provide to ensure the maximum possible conversion rates, download the Index.

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