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By Ahmed Rahma

Business owners can leverage on e-commerce to increase their source of revenue in this festive season, a leading payments firm, Visa, has said.

The restriction of movements in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has made most customers switch to online shopping, which allows for easy payment.

According to Visa, small business owners can use the online platform to cut their cost and earn more as a report by the company showed that 81 per cent of customers are willing to pay more for a good customer experience.

In the Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) report titled Accelerating the shift to e-commerce, it was discovered that more people now want to make orders online.

Earlier in the year, Visa’s COVID-19 Impact Tracker showed that up to 68 per cent of consumers were going to grocery stores less often.

As the retail sector looks to driving recovery, the approach to periods like Black Friday has also evolved and further necessitated safer and better online payment experiences.

“Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) that leverage e-commerce solutions; which provide an excellent online shopping experience for consumers have the opportunity to benefit from high spend periods like Black Friday and the coming festive season compared to businesses who have not mastered the importance of holistic back-end design of the customer journey,” the Vice President, Visa West Africa, Ms Kemi Okusanya, said.

“The impact of a bad payment experience can be devastating. When a shopper abandons an online shopping cart due to checkout friction, the data shows that 67% end up leaving for a competitor or never complete the purchase anywhere, and 59% say they are less likely to shop with that same retailer again,” she added.

Digital payments provide a convenient and secure way to pay for customers. For businesses, they reduce the friction arising from handling money, limit customer queuing, grow their customer base as a result of enhanced experience and eventually improve sales and profitability. As online shopping becomes the norm for consumers and businesses continue on the road to economic recovery, digital payment and in particular frictionless e-commerce experiences will become a competitive advantage for small businesses.

Concluding, Ms Okusanya explained that, “The VCA report highlights how the payment experience is a critical touchpoint – a part of the customer journey, which requires special attention.”

According to her, “Each time a potential customer reaches the checkout page, they have a moment to reflect on whether the effort needed to make the payment is equal to the value they get from their purchase.”

“To win prospective and repeat customers, SMBs need to have a digital presence during the discovery and evaluation stages of the customer shopping journey,” she submitted.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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