Does your ecommerce site suffer from abandoned cart syndrome? With a good online payment form and check-out process, your customers will never leave your site without completing their purchase. Once you’ve worked so hard to attract customers to your site, the last thing you want is for them to navigate away without buying anything. Read on to learn about creating online payment forms that will give your customers the fast, seamless checkout experience of their dreams.
What is an Online Payment Form?
An online payment form is a secure page on your website that allows customers to provide you with their credit card and other information needed for them to be able to make a purchase from your site. You collect the information via the form and also have a back-end system in place that deals with processing the payment and storing the information for recurring payments if relevant.
You can customize your online payment form in many different ways to suit the needs of your business and based on the type of information you want to gather about your customer. Keep in mind that the main purpose of the form is to collect payment, so you don’t want to ask for too much additional information that may discourage would-be buyers from completing their purchase. The two most important characteristics of an online payment form are simplicity and security. It needs to be very easy for a customer to know exactly what they have to do in order to buy something, and it must be made clear that there is security in place to protect against fraud or identity theft.
How to Create an Online Payment Form
You have two options when it comes to creating your online payment page: you can create it yourself (or hire an in-house developer) or you can outsource to a third-party payment provider. If you choose to do it yourself, you may have more control over what the page looks like and includes, but you would be giving up the ease and guaranteed security that comes with using a third-party service provider.
Whether you choose to create an online payment form in-house or outsource it to a third-party developer, the process you follow will vary.
If you go with a third-party solution, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Research - there’s no shortage of payment solution providers, so you’ll want to do thorough research to find the one that will work best for you. Make sure you compare setup fees, monthly fees, and integrations.
- Merchant account - depending on the provider you choose, you may be required to open a merchant account in order to be able to accept payments online.
- Create the form - using the software you purchased, follow the steps to actually build and customize your online payment form. In some cases, you will be provided a finished product and in others you will be given the tools or a basic template that you can then customize in certain ways. At a bare minimum, you will want to upload your logo and choose the payment types that you are going to offer.
- Start selling - upload the form to your website or start including the link in emails to customers so that people will start using the online payment form when they purchase from your site.
If you choose to go the in-house route, following are the steps you will need to take:
- Hire an expert - make sure you have the right person on your team who is capable of coding and creating an online payment form with the right level of security and functionality.
- Get a hosting platform - you need a secure hosting platform to make sure that your customers’ financial information is secure and can’t be stolen as well as an SSL certificate for data encryption.
- Register - after you get an SSL certificate, you have to register your website with a digital authentication service which will certify that the site is correct and that sensitive information is being encrypted.
- Create payment form - your in-house developer will code the payment form and integrate it into your website.
- Get a processing solution - this may include setting up a merchant account and finding partners who will process the payments once the information comes through the online payment form.
- Test and go live - before you publish the form and make it live, test it using different combinations of products and payment types to make sure that the form functions properly in all situations. Once you are sure that all is working well, it’s time to make the form live and start making sales.
In-House vs. Third-Party Development of Online Payment Form
If you have an in-house development team, then it might make more sense for them to build the online payment form for you. But, if you are a small new company with fewer technological resources, there could be significant benefits to using a third-party. Following is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each option: