The biggest hurdle online marketplaces and platforms face today is building trust between users that don’t typically know one another. In-turn, this minimizes the likelihood of disputes. Then, it’s about convincing buyers and sellers that their marketplace is a safe and secure place to conduct business.
One of the more overlooked strategies for building trust within any marketplace is through the payment methods offered to buyers and sellers. In addition to features like great UI, loyalty programs, social proofing and reviews, etc., offering a custom on-platform payment solution can dramatically boost trust.
This is especially the case when there are multiple payment options that work smoothly within the flow of user experience (UX). In most cases a payment system upgrade not only improves the quality of contractors, but also speeds up cash flow against the more conventional post-work invoicing methods.
Consumers seek versatile payment options
According to the recently released annual CapGemini report, 73% of consumers respond to multiple payment options when buying anything online. They don’t want to feel like they’re being pushed through a digital dark alley so as their comfort levels with the transaction methods rise, cart abandonment rates go down.
Offering consumers multiple ways to pay for goods and services (while being transparent about who is offering it) allows consumers the option to choose the payment method they’re most comfortable with. This ultimately leads to faster payments, better conversions, and deeper platform utilization.
Add escrow to service related marketplaces
For service-related marketplaces, users look for an on-platform escrow option wherein the buyer deposits funds into a secure account and then releases the funds once the whole service is complete and the buyer is satisfied.
Having to sign up for third-party services they don’t need or funding accounts they rarely use only turns users off.
By leaving it up to the users themselves, buyers gain the comfort of knowing they won’t be hung out to dry by the service provider and, conversely, the seller knows they aren’t going to get stiffed after they put in the time and energy needed to complete the project.
Best practices for enabling payments
- Keep the payment on your own platform – sending users to a 3rd party reduces faith that there are proper safety protocols in place.
- Provide multiple payment options, especially an escrow service with anything service-related.
- Be transparent about who’s providing the service with clear easy to read T&C’s and language about how both the buyer and seller are protected.
By removing a key friction-point in the purchase experience savvy digital marketplaces and platforms build faith that both its buyers and sellers are safe, and demonstrates a more complete service offering, especially if dispute resolution is included or managed on-platform as well.
November 12, 2015