Nearly £2bn lost annually by online retailers due to lack of available payment methods

A survey by Merchant Advice Service has found over £1bn is lost every year by online retailers due to a lack of available payment methods.

According to Merchant Advice Service, the survey was conducted as part of an ongoing study into the preferred payment methods of people at virtual checkouts. The survey harvested opinions of over 2,200 UK adults over the age of UK who regularly shop online.

Over two-thirds of respondents – 67% – detailed that they found it frustrating when there was a lack of payment methods available when shopping online, while 54% claimed they were discouraged to complete an online purchase if the payment choices were limited solely to debit or credit card details.

On the topic of which payment methods survey respondents’ favoured the most, up to 71% of them said PayPal, followed by 68% who expressed that they tended to use digital wallets such as Apple and Google Pay. On the lower end, 24% said they prefer buy now, pay later payment platforms such as Clear Pay and Klarna.

The top reasons those surveyed gave for using alternative payment methods when online shopping included ‘I’ve lost my bank card/don’t know my details’ at 86%, ‘I don’t want to re-enter my card details every time I shop’ at 78% and ‘I prefer one-click payments, its so much more convenient’ at 65%.

Meanwhile, ‘I feel safer using PayPal and Apple Pay because my details are protected’ and ‘If I’m shopping in bed, I can’t be bothered to get up and find my card’ came in next at 54% and 48% of respondents respectively.

Up to one-fifth of those surveyed – 20% – admitted that every time they were unable to pay with their preferred payment method, they simply abandoned the purchase. When quizzed on giving an estimate of the monetary value of the items they abandoned, the average answer was around £15.

This led Merchant Advice Service to estimate that with around 50,909,098 adults aged over 18 in the UK, alongside £180 worth of products being abandoned by 20% of shoppers every year, around £1,832,727,528 was lost by retailers every year due to a lack of available payment systems.

Merchant Advice Service co-founder Libby James said, “These findings show just how crucial it is for retailers to offer alternative payment methods to just credit or debit cards, since so many now prefer using Google Pay, Apple Pay, Klarna, and so on. By limiting your payment methods, you’re equally limiting your chances of a sale if customers are unable to pay using their preference.

“To avoid customers falling at the final stage of checkout, consider adding payment methods that make the online shopping experience as seamless and hassle-free as possible, by offering one-click payments and more.”

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