Stripe Looks Beyond Payments For Merchants

by Raymond Pucci 0

Online checkout abandonment keeps merchants awake at night. That’s because they lose many potential e-commerce sales due to shopper frustration with a tedious checkout process. As the following article reports, Stripe is trying to reduce the friction of online commerce as well as to expand their merchant services portfolio.

Stripe, the payments startup is now valued at $9 billion, is today taking the wraps off its latest effort to help its customers — which now number in the hundreds of thousands, and include companies like Lyft, Salesforce, Facebook, Deliveroo, and the U.K. government — generate more transactions, and thus greater returns for Stripe itself.

It is launching Elements, a free toolkit that Stripe is rolling out globally for Stripe users to build customized checkout experiences.

Similar to Stripe’s core payment service — which works by way of an API, meaning users simply add a few short lines of code to bring the payment feature into their site or app — Elements is based on “building blocks” that companies can use to add in different features like alternate and localized payment methods, autofilling scripts, mobile payments, and responsive design that adjusts to whatever screen is being used. You can see some examples and test them out (if you are so inclined) here.

Elements is significant for a few reasons:

Through Elements, Stripe is making an effort to tackle one of the larger pain points and most persistent problems in the world of online commerce: shopping cart abandonment.

On average, nearly 70 percent of all e-commerce visits fail to result in actual sales. While some of that may be due to people simply not prepared yet to buy, or a price turning out to be too high, another big reason is a range of issues related to the check-out process, such as lack of payment methods, credit card declines and complicated check-out processes.

Stripe itself found that in its own analysis of the world’s 100 biggest commerce sites that 72 of them had three or more errors in their checkout flows, nearly half did not use auto-fill correctly, and one-fifth were failing to revert to numerical keypads for entering credit card numbers on mobile.

Stripe has been offering their e-commerce merchant clients services that go beyond payment transaction processing. Merchants really don’t care about how payments get processed—they just want to focus on running their businesses. Whichever payments provider gives them business tools such as data analytics, security solutions, and e-commerce enhancements, becomes a chosen vendor. Lesson learned: identify and solve your business customers’ key pain points beyond the basic services you provide, and you will become their long term business partner.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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