They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

It’s a statement that is especially true for retailers and merchants, we’d add, who also often face the inverse reality since they also never get a second chance to make a last impression.

In short, the point of checkout is the hello and goodbye all wrapped into one, with a delicious filling of purchases, prior shopping history, personal info and payment preferences all rolled into one high-stakes, high-speed function we call checkout.

After all, it is the online checkout that proves to linger in the consumers’ mind, that can, in fact, make the difference between closing the sale and being left with an abandoned shopping cart.

No online business can leave the checkout to chance, to a proverbial coin toss as to whether conversion happens. Increasingly, as so much commerce moves online, the enterprise must re-evaluate what is working and what is not.

The proof is in the data, where an overwhelming majority of consumers surveyed by PYMNTS — 91% of them — have stated that a “satisfying” checkout experience has an impact on their willingness to shop with a merchant again.

The advent of the buy button makes things a bit easier and speedier too. In the “2022 Buy Button Report: Accelerating Checkout Optimization” study, PYMNTS surveyed over 800 online retailers including major players, finding that roughly 80% are now using these quick checkout solutions.

Our data finds that eCommerce checkouts completed via a buy button are 46% faster than those that do not use this feature.

chart, average checkout time

Every second counts in online commerce.

Other Features Are Desired

And there are, of course a number of features that might be regarded as must-haves — let’s call them table stakes — throughout it all.

Among those features, and perhaps no surprise, is payments choice. From the chart below, we can see what matters most, and what the retailers, the eTailers, the merchants must consider — and debit cards are top of mind, and top of wallet right now. And at the moment they are edging out credit cards (by a very slim margin).

chart, payment methods

If payments choice is a must have, our respondents also pointed the way to the nice to haves that, we’d wager, will become part of the “table stakes” pantheon down the line. Consumers want the ability to to leverage social media into their commerce, and vice versa … clicking links and navigating platforms seamlessly and with aplomb. It’s important to note that price matching is also on the list of features that enhance satisfaction, along with a clear refund policy.

And yet: Many merchants do not offer these checkout features, which bumps up directly against what customers want to have in hand as they navigate the last few moments headed toward clicking the buy button and closing the sale.

chart, checkout features

aml / kyc

About: The findings in PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and showed strong demand for a single multifunctional super apps rather than using dozens of individuals ones.

We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to partner with innovators and disruptors.

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