A frictionless checkout process has a significant impact on any business’s conversion rates. While B2C web shops already offer flexible payment options that simplify the payment process for buyers, there is an urgent need in the B2B sector to catch up and offer a better user experience and flexible payment methods. In this article, I’ll dive into the pain points the B2B sector is currently facing, and also present some alternatives for addressing them, reducing the pain of paying, friction points, and increasing sales.
Reasons for a low conversion rate
From my years of experience in the e-commerce industry, I know about the high abandonment rate in online stores and the negative effects of a low conversion rate on a company’s revenue. To get to the bottom of this problem, it’s first important to understand that there are different reasons why customers don’t complete their purchase and abandon their shopping carts:
- They weren’t able to find the product they were looking for
- They found a cheaper alternative in a competitor’s web shop
- They weren’t able to complete the payment process (A breakdown in the payment process may occur if payment is rejected or or their identity can’t be verified)
- They find the checkout process too complicated and time-consuming
When a purchase fails during the payment stage, it’s particularly frustrating for customers, because at this point they’ve already experienced a long process, from research to decision-making to the shopping cart.
Often, it’s a lack of payment method options that prevents a smooth payment process. In the worst case scenario, this can lead to customers abandoning the purchase and leaving the products in the shopping cart. A recent MSTS study, “More Payment Options Means More Purchases,” confirms this – 48% of respondents stated they had already abandoned a purchase for their company because they weren’t offered their preferred payment method.
What is the Pain of Paying?
This leads us to the concept of “Pain of Paying,” coined in 1996 by Ofer Zellermayer as part of his dissertation in behavioral science and economics at Carnegie Mellon University. “Pain of Paying” refers to the negative emotions we feel when making a purchase.
As humans, we inherently have an aversion to loss. In the payment process, we mentally “lose,” which triggers a pain in us that is comparable to physical pain. The degree to which we feel this pain depends on various factors, such as whether we perceive the price to be fair or how precisely a purchase correlates to the payment.
A system that complicates the payment process can trigger and increase the “Pain of Paying.” The more complicated shoppers perceive the payment process to be, the greater the pain they feel. This pain can become so great that it exceeds the shopper’s desire to buy and they ultimately abandon the shopping cart.
Requirements for the growing B2B e-commerce market
The e-commerce industry and B2C web shops have evolved tremendously in recent years. In my experiences as co-founder of Dafiti, I’ve witnessed new and innovative payment methods emerge and disrupt the market, allowing shoppers to pay easily and flexibly online. These new payment methods alleviated the “Pain of Paying.” Until now, a comparable development hasn’t yet happened in the B2B sector. That’s why we’ve decided to establish Mondu: our vision is to drive innovation in the B2B payment sector through better technologies, thus supporting merchants in realizing their full potential. The B2B e-commerce market is already worth $300 billion in Germany alone, and growth in the coming years is predicted to be 15-20%. This significant trend in B2B e-commerce demands more flexible – and more digital – payment methods, especially since more than half of all shoppers today are millennials aka “digital natives.”
For us, this means on the one hand that we want to design an attractive payment experience, and on the other hand want to combine it with financing options directly at the point of sale. To do this, we need to clarify the answers to the following questions, which we’ve gathered from our experience working directly with retailers:
- What do buyers expect in terms of payments and payment methods in the B2B context?
- What challenges does this present for B2B web shop operators?
- What requirements does a payment setup have to satisfy?
Modern payment methods for B2B online stores
Studies show that Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is by far the most popular payment method among B2B shoppers in Germany. Other payment methods such as a company credit card, PayPal, and direct debit are also used, but are much less relevant compared to BNPL.
Most Popular B2B Payment Methods in Germany
Source: B2B E-Commerce Report, 2019 (ibi Research der Universität Regensburg): “What online payment methods would your company like to use / has your company used?”
The outcome of this study also shows us how important flexible payment terms are – when companies do business with each other, they usually do so with payment terms. This means that the buyer purchases a product or service and pays for it later, with an invoice serving as the foundation of the transaction. The concept of the invoice has existed in the business world since 5,000 B.C. Although the form of the invoice has changed since then, the concept remains the same.
Invoice purchasing is deeply embedded in our society, which partly explains its huge popularity. But there’s another, more current reason that explains the preference for invoice payment: due to the macroeconomic situation and inflation, flexible payment terms at the point of sale are more relevant than ever before. We experienced this ourselves when we brought Dafiti to Argentina. The inflation rate was 20% at the time and we ultimately operated in an atmosphere of hyperinflation. During this period, the demand for flexible payment terms became even greater.
Challenges of BNPL in B2B webshops
B2B online store and marketplace owners must now respond to the increasing demand for BNPL payment methods from shoppers in order to minimize the “Pain of Paying” associated with purchasing processes. 95% of all shoppers want to purchase with payment terms, yet only 45% of all web stores offer this option. The challenges that BNPL options pose for B2B webshop owners is one key reason for this.
Based on our experience with many different customers, we’ve summarized the challenges that merchants face, and which prevent them from offering deferred payments to their buyers. We also elaborate on why solutions developed for the B2C context aren’t fit to be used in the B2B context:
1. High availability for buyers
One challenge for webshops is offering invoice payment to as many buyers as possible without incurring losses. Effective management of fraud and credit risk is therefore crucial. New customers, as well as different company forms and legal entities, pose a particular challenge.
2. High buyer limits
Another challenge for BNPL methods in B2B online stores is addressing the typically high order values in shopping carts, high buyer limits, and high frequency they must cover.
3. Frictionless checkout experience
Checkout in webshops needs to be as intuitive as possible, and make decisions in real-time. This means requiring as few clicks and screens as possible for the user to complete a purchase, with no delays due to downstream cancellations. The particular challenge here is the tradeoff between data retrieval for risk management and the ease of the checkout experience.
4. Flexible payment terms
The payment terms for BNPL payment methods should be as customizable as possible, with a special focus on industry-specific payment terms and fields of application, with installment purchases playing a special role.
How Mondu Reduces the Pain of Paying in B2B Webshops
The checkout process in B2B webshops often requires many manual steps, which make the process complicated and time-consuming. This leads to long wait times for buyers and – in the worst case – purchase abandonment.
Mondu reduces this “Pain of Paying” in B2B checkouts with a simple BNPL solution that allows a smooth payment process for new and existing customers. With the integration of Mondu, B2B e-commerce or marketplace operators can offer the BNPL payment methods that buyers expect from a modern, online shopping experience. Mondu delivers more customer satisfaction with less operational overhead. Unlock the full potential of your webshop and increase your sales!
The Benefits of Integrating Mondu in your Webshop:
- Simple credit checks, requiring just a name and address
- High acceptance rates for new customers
- High conversion rates
- High average basket size
- No need for time-consuming and expensive manual credit checks
- Dunning and debt collection managed by Mondu
- Elimination of default risk for sellers
In this article, I wanted to illustrate how important addressing the “Pain of Paying” in B2B transactions is. It’s important for businesses to realize the importance of payment methods in B2B e-commerce, which have yet to reach the same standard as in B2C webshops. In order to provide a pleasant buying experience for shoppers in the future, it’s essential that this gap is closed.
To maximize the potential of your web store, Buy Now, Pay Later solutions are particularly important, though the special challenges of the B2B market must be taken into account. As a merchant, you have the choice of developing a solution yourself or hiring a vendor to do it for you. In the fast-growing B2B e-commerce market, businesses must act in order to ensure they don’t fall behind the competition.