By Danielle Duclos, Chief Marketing Officer, Bluefin Payment Systems
Are you an impulsive shopper around the holiday season or a planner with a detailed list? I fall into the first category. Typically, I am that person on the night of the 23rd scrambling for gifts. As a result, I tend to not find what I want and end up with a dozen gift cards or grab whatever is left on the shelf…and yes, that includes everyone’s favorite Chia Pet (bet you want to be on my holiday list now?)
This year, I decided to do things a little differently. I thought about my list and my strategy earlier. And rather than parade through the stores, particularly around Thanksgiving/Black Friday (because if you read my earlier blog, you KNOW how I feel about Black Friday), I decided to take the leap into the world of Ecommerce shopping.
Sure I work for a prominent financial technology company. I can discuss the differentiating aspects of point-to-point encryption vs. end-to-end encryption, and if you want to converse on the iOS vs. the Android system for mobile, I’m your girl. Yet, I have a TV in my living room from 2000 (a box TV) with a remote control that I can’t figure out how to fix, so I have to manually change my channels. When it comes to my own personal world, I’m just not that techie.
So shopping online for my whole holiday list was a big step for me – and I have to say, it was pretty cool to finish it all up in my PJ’s on a Sunday morning. This is what I learned:
- You are never too big or too small to have an Ecommerce presence Yes, I hit a lot of the well-known names for deals like free shipping, 20% off, etc. But I am a big believer in supporting small businesses, and I found sales on soaps and lotions, crafts and even toys at lesser-known websites. In my opinion, every retailer should have a web presence, no matter their size.
- Make the checkout process simple I will not name names, but there was one retailer that took me through 4 pages before I got to the checkout screen. Then I looked at the form and I was gone – entirely too long and clunky (and when the deal isn’t great to begin with, I’ll find something easier). Now, I understand the need to gather information for checkout, but think consumer ease-of-use when designing your checkout page: streamline the process and make it sophisticated and clean.
- Security, security, security I can’t stress this one enough. It’s one of the reasons I have not historically been the hugest fan of online shopping. But because of my experience here at Bluefin, I know there are many features you can put into place on your checkout to secure it. However, shoppers want to *feel* the entry process is secure; page refreshes, or goodness forbid – a page redirect – are huge no-no’s. And yes, this actually happened to me on two separate websites.
While Bluefin offers a high-level of security and products for all types of transactions, we are very adept at securing Ecommerce transactions. Check out our solutions for hosted payment pages, tokenization and transparent redirect. Not only do our features help minimize PCI compliance, but my favorite part – they are transparent to the consumer and provide a seamless purchasing experience. Those are the kind of things that make me comfortable purchasing online, and keep me out of the local CVS grabbing the last Chia Pet in the store.