Nowadays, it’s far easier to become an eCommerce merchant than it was at the birth of the internet and the early development of the ecommerce industry. In the early days of the industry, building any form of durable eCommerce business required vast technical knowledge, large sums of money and a hefty number of employees.
There are now a large number of website builders and payment processors for budding merchants to choose from - and a lot of research to be done before they choose the right one. There is already a lot of information out there to help a merchant decide but lead generation in the payments sector faces a problem; the information which payment processors provide isn't always easy to find.
The likes of Jeff Bezos were the innovators of eCommerce that paved the way for others to follow suit and succeed.
The first third party payment processor launched in 1994 - which of course made the link between setting up a website and exchanging goods for money far easier. But there was little choice for eCommerce merchants for years.
Website builders and eCommerce software (such as Shopify, Magento and Bigcommerce) mean that inexperienced merchants don’t necessarily need the same level of tech savvy or development team. Payment processors (such as Worldpay, Sage Pay and Stripe - just a few from the fast growing fintech industry) mean that they don’t need the same kind of financial support and banking set-ups.
Another modern day dilemma for aspiring eCommerce entrepreneurs derives from the vast choice of software and third party payment processors available. How can merchants choose the right payment processor for them? But more importantly, for the fintech firms reading this, how can you make sure that you’re right for these potential clients and that they choose you?
Providing the right service to existing customers and getting publicity will get potential leads to your website but once they are there, you then have to actually convince them to choose you.
There’s a lot of choice for eCommerce retailers (both small and large ones), and a lot of research to be done before they settle on the products and services which they will use to help their business to succeed. This is an online industry so merchants expect to be able to come to your website for all of the information that they need.
Are eCommerce merchants able to find all of the information that they need on your website? Is it easy to use and navigate? Usability has become a commodity online. If potential clients can’t find the information that they need then it will be unlikely that they choose you.
Many payment processors do provide the information which eCommerce merchants need but it isn't always easy to find or navigate to through their websites, which we believe is a big problem for lead generation in the payments sector. Although there is a lot of information out there, the difficulty in getting to it for many merchants is as bad as an information shortage.
Start-up organisations such as Stripe do seem to put a lot of effort into the design of their websites, making sure that they are clean, easy to follow and encourage potential clients to get the information that they need. But many payment processors seem to do the opposite, with overwhelming sites full of information that’s too difficult to even begin reading or with crucial information tucked away in a small corner of their website.
Being there to answer questions of browsing visitors is also important when attempting to generate leads. Even if you believe that your website answers every question, there will always be customers who are unable to get the information or advice that they need.
Many of the incumbent payment technology firms simply encourage users to call if they have questions or are interested in buying but this can be daunting to many (especially smaller firms) as a phone call with a sales rep feels like a commitment to buy from that company.
You need to be offering a range of easy to use and undaunting channels which potential clients can choose between. You want to be making eCommerce merchants happy to visit your site and talk to you so that you can convince them that you are right for them.
Without the right information, easily available, merchants aren't able to choose your payments solution for their business. On top of this there are plenty of other challenges to lead generation for the payments sector, so our next post looks at some ways to overcome these challenges and generate more leads for your business.