Part II: Onsite Marketing
This is the second article in a three-part series on how merchants can use payments as a key product differentiator in their marketing to help boost sales. If you’ve missed the first part, where we discuss email, social media, and PR marketing, you can check it out here. In this article, we provide examples of how a few merchants have successfully included messages about payments in their onsite marketing in order to engage consumers in the middle part of the conversion funnel and move them closer to conversion. By showing potential customers that they can pay for a desired item (or items) over time through a partner that offers simple, transparent monthly payments, these merchants increase both their customers’ satisfaction and their own revenue.
Sitewide Banner and Tiles
Shoppers landing on your e-commerce site will be keen on learning about your products and services, and how they are differentiated from similar retailers. This is a great opportunity to let them know upfront about your unique payment options, which can serve as a powerful differentiator. A sitewide banner or tile on your homepage dedicated to educating these visitors about a pay-over-time option is likely to work quite well. Since shoppers at some point will become conscious of the prices of the items they’re interested in, informing them about unique ways to pay that may make it easier for them to afford their purchases can reduce any hesitation in the buying process they may experience.
In the example below, BCBG Max Azria created a tile on their homepage to emphasize to their shoppers that they can pay for their purchases in monthly installments with Affirm, a partner that allows consumers to pay for items over time. This is particularly relevant during busy shopping seasons when shoppers may need some cash flow relief.
Similarly, Jomashop, the luxury watch retailer, used a banner across the top of their homepage (and on all other pages within their site) to educate shoppers that they could pay for their purchase over the course of several months in a way that fits their budget. This helps put shoppers’ dream watches within their reach.
Payments Specific Landing Pages
If the payment method you are offering is a bit less conventional than traditional credit cards, you’ll need to explain to shoppers why they should care about it. Landing pages dedicated to your payment options are a great way to describe how these options work, what their major benefits are, and how shoppers can access these payments once they’re ready to transact. This will help educate your shoppers about why these payment methods are indeed differentiating your products from those of your competitors, and build trust so your consumers will be comfortable using these payment methods at checkout. Without such a landing page, creating a reason for your shoppers to believe will be a much more difficult task.
Take the example below from Huawei, the global smartphone and device manufacturer. Huawei designed a landing page specifically to educate their shoppers about the benefits of paying with Affirm and the ease with which they can apply for a loan directly at checkout. Shoppers who click on any of the assets across the site talking about this payment option are trafficked to this page, along with any shoppers who click on similar marketing assets in Huawei’s emails, social media, PR, and other external marketing campaigns. With this level of information, shoppers become familiar with Affirm well ahead of getting to checkout, and understand how they can take advantage of the benefits of this payment method once they are ready to transact.
Similarly, indoor cycling equipment merchant Peloton launched a landing page on its site to describe how consumers can more easily pay for their purchase in monthly installments. This increases consumer interest in the product, as well as builds trust among consumers to take advantage of this alternative payment method.
Once you’ve accomplished getting your customers to browse your product pages, you have a fantastic chance to wow them with product details that highlight the benefits of a product, as well as information about how they can more easily pay for these items. Product pages that include a short message about how consumers can pay over time at a fixed monthly cost can help remove any hesitancy or concern over the total upfront price. This can have a very meaningful reduction in site abandonment rates and an increase in your add-to-cart rates.
Take for example Swash, the at-home dry cleaning system from Whirlpool, whose product pages include both the total price and the “as low as” monthly payment below the price. While the total upfront price of a machine might be too high for some shoppers, the monthly payment amount with Affirm might fit their monthly cash flows better.
Another example below is for online furniture and decor retailer Cymax, who uses the “starting at” monthly payment amount on their product pages to entice shoppers with an alternative way to buy that might be easier on their budgets.
For customers who land on a merchant’s e-commerce website, there are two major factors they are evaluating to determine whether they should purchase: (1) how the product meets their needs; and (2) if the cost of their purchase fits their budgets. Unique payment methods that make the purchase easier on your shoppers’ cash flows will help you satisfy the second factor.
Merchants partnering with Affirm who promote the option of paying over time across their homepages, landing pages, and product details pages have seen a boost in shoppers getting to checkout. This kind of messaging is applicable to in-store customers as well as online shoppers. By giving consumers a more efficient way to fit the cost of their purchases into their monthly budgets, they will be less hesitant to buy and more likely to add the items they need and want to their shopping carts.
Every merchant knows that getting customers to checkout doesn’t guarantee a sale. Our next and final article will reveal how marketing payments at the bottom of the funnel can significantly help facilitate your shoppers to ultimately convert.