By now we all know that e-commerce has become an increasingly popular method of purchasing products and services. South African consumers are far more comfortable browsing and buying online than they were two years ago. 

But despite consumers being happy to purchase online, you still have to convince them that your website is safe, secure and simple to use. It’s not enough to simply publish your website, add on a payment gateway and assume users will be able to figure it all out on their first attempt. 

Users are quick to jump ship when things don’t run as smoothly as they expect them to, and having a frustrating checkout process can be the difference between making a sale and not. A simple payment process is one of the basics of building a business website

To make sure your payment processes offer a seamless experience to new and existing customers alike, here are a few tips.

1. Offer multiple payment options

One of the first things users expect to see is a payment method they’re familiar with. Don’t assume all users are happy to use the same method. While your target market may be similar in some aspects, some may be more than happy to use one option, and some, another. 

Allow users to choose from card payments, EFT and SnapScan, and even cash on delivery. Offering a variety of these commonly used payment methods will give users the freedom to choose what suits them best, and convert, rather than abandon their cart because the payment option they’re comfortable with isn’t available.

2. Adapt to users’ needs

If your payment processes haven’t changed in the last five years, it’s time to reflect on whether user needs have changed when it comes to checking out online. Consider issues front and centre to consumers right now, including social distancing and budget constraints. Does your business offer convenient cashless payments? Do you offer customers the ability to pay for their products interest-free over three months?

3. Keep it simple

It’s a well-known tip, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Whether you’ve built your payment process or you’re about to, a cluttered checkout can push customers to abandon their efforts pretty fast. Minimise the amount of pages users need to go through, the amount of information you require from them and the design of your pages. The faster a user can get through the process, the more likely they are to return.

4. Offer guest checkout

While requiring customers to create an account can help you understand their buying behaviour and tailor deals, offers and products in general to their needs, forcing the creation of an account can cost you a sale. Offer the option of a guest checkout to offer a speedy and simple process to users who are pressed for time, and you’re more likely to win them over in the long run.

5. Integrate your payment gateway

It may be less hassle for you, but redirecting your customers to a different website puts more hassle on them. Not only do you add more steps to the checkout process, it can raise suspicion and leave a customer wondering where their payment is actually going.

Simply integrating a third party payment gateway into your e-commerce website will simplify the process for your customers, and make the whole process feel a lot more safe and reliable. If you’re in the process of creating a website for your business, a simple DIY website builder will offer immediate online payment gateway integration.


In summary, offer a simple payment process for customers with these few tips:

  1. Offer more than one payment option
  2. Adapt to changing consumer needs
  3. Keep the design simple
  4. Don’t force users to create an account
  5. Integrate a payment gateway into your website