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Mar 14, 2023 | 7 minute read

9 Critical 2023 Trends in eCommerce Payments

written by Kirsten Aebersold

9 Critical 2023 Trends in eCommerce Payments

Are you an eCommerce merchant looking to increase sales while streamlining the checkout process? If so, you need to stay on top of the current eCommerce payments trends.

We've seen a big shift in how customers want to shop and pay for their purchases since the era of digital commerce came on the scene, and the landscape is only changing by the year. In the past, customers were limited to a small range of payment options, such as credit cards, for all their eCommerce payments. These days, however, buyers expect flexibility in a million different ways when it comes to paying online.

In this blog, we’ll cover nine essential eCommerce payments trends for 2023 and explore how sellers can adopt or adapt their payment solutions to meet customer expectations and stay ahead of the curve. 

1. E-Wallets

Digital wallets, aka e-wallets, have become a popular trend for  payments both online and in-store - and they’re only getting more and more common. By the end of 2023, it's expected that over 4 billion people will use digital wallets for their purchases, with 30% of all POS payments happening via an e-wallet.

Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Shopify Pay make it easy to make purchases in-store and online. A lot of retailers are already on board with this trend, and it doesn't look like it's slowing down anytime soon. This makes e-wallets a critical piece of any merchant’s eCommerce payments option portfolio in order to keep up with and stay ahead of the competition.

2. Loyalty programs

All great retailers recognize the importance of customer loyalty, and a great way to incentivize and build this is through loyalty programs. A loyalty program often involves offering discounts, points, or rewards in exchange for customers returning to that particular business over and over again. This can range from offering a percentage discount on future purchases to giving exclusive access to certain products or services not available elsewhere.

Some businesses also offer a tiered system where bigger spenders get greater discounts. This offers further motivation to come back time and time again, creating a relationship of trust between customers and companies and building a tradition of strong sales from loyal returning clientele.

3. QR Codes

QR codes were very popular back in 2010, but since then, their popularity has been on the decline - until the pandemic hit. Now they’re having a moment again! You see them everywhere these days, especially in the retail, events, and hospitality industries.

For instance, in restaurants, you can scan a QR to check out the menu, place an order and even pay for your meal - no need to wait for a server. For both online and brick-and-mortar retailers, QR codes are popping up in use cases like scanning a code to get access to exclusive offers and other product lines or to get or give a referral discount. 

These use cases and others make QR codes one of the critical eCommerce payments trends to look out for in 2023.

4. Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency payments are changing the way consumers make online purchases. Paying with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin is secure and fast: just a few clicks of the mouse and you're done. 

Customers love the feeling of being “in the know” by paying with their favorite cryptocurrency, and true privacy enthusiasts appreciate the (relative) anonymity of not having to divulge all their personal information to merchants in order to make a purchase.

In light of this, more and more merchants are starting to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as legitimate forms of payment. This means savvy retailers, both online and offline, would do well to look into doing the same in order to stay on-trend.

5. Buy Now, Pay Later 

Buy now, pay later is totally in right now in eCommerce payments trends. BNPL payment options give merchants the power to broaden their customer pool by drawing in larger basket values for low-value items and increasing purchases of high-value items that customers might otherwise shy away from. All in all, it's a convenient way to keep sales steady, even in tough economic times, with a relatively low cost to merchants. 

Merchants who want to take advantage of buy now, pay later setups have lots of options, including EP Payments, which offers a best-in-class buy now, pay later program powered by Stripe. Retailers who want to stay abreast of consumer-favorite trends in 2023 would definitely do well to make this payment option a priority. 

6. Payment Applications

Payment apps are convenient options that more and more consumers are taking advantage of. For merchants offering these apps as a payment method, customers can enjoy a fast and simple checkout process using NFC, QR codes, or P2P networks. 

Customers love the ease of use and touchless convenience of not having to whip out the plastic for every payment, and merchants appreciate the speed at which transactions take place.  

Payment apps like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Venmo are already staples in this corner of the eCommerce payments market, with new contenders consistently appearing on the horizon with a hot new feature or service.  Some payment apps even offer rewards for frequent users or bonus tracking tools, which help turn this eCommerce payment method into a bonafide customer acquisition and retention tool. 

7.  Biometrics

Biometric payments are becoming increasingly popular with consumers due to their extra level of security and convenience. Merchants who offer biometric options allow customers to use their fingerprint, facial recognition, or iris scans to authorize payments instead of passwords or PIN codes. This makes fraud a lot harder since biometric data is unique to each person, making it practically impossible for thieves to copy. 

This kind of verification can help make customers leery of giving out their personal data online feel more secure and willing to part with their cash. This gives eCommerce merchants leverage to attract more customers in less time by offering a uniquely secure checkout experience.

8. Voice-Enabled Payments

Voice commerce, a realm of commerce technology that includes voice-enabled payments, is becoming super popular for its ease and simplicity. This technology is exactly what it sounds like: merchants that provide voice-enabled payments give customers the option to input and confirm their payment info using only their voice. 

This technology has the potential to revolutionize how people make payments in much the same way that voice-enabled tech like Siri and Alexa revolutionized personal productivity. 

In fact, merchants can leverage voice assistants like Alexa to enable customers to make purchases and pay bills with just a few words.  Its modern-day convenience at its finest: voice-activated payments save customers time and hassle, which creates a frictionless checkout experience, leading to quicker sales and higher average order values. 

9. Near-Field Communications

Near-field communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless technology that merchants can use for pairing devices, exchanging data, and making payments. The technology is similar to Bluetooth but is more secure and faster. It’s currently in use by retailers for everything from quick contactless payments to easy device connections. 

Not only is it great for quick payments, but merchants can use NFC to create customer loyalty and entice new buyers. NFC can be used to give points to loyal customers, hand out coupons for future purchases, or reward winners for giveaways and drawings in real time, adding an exciting extra layer of gamification to an eCommerce brand’s brick-and-mortar presence. 

EP Payments: The eCommerce Payments Solution From Elastic Path

Having cutting-edge and in-demand eCommerce payments options for your customers is a critical piece of a smooth buying experience. Giving consumers the option to pay their favorite way, both online and offline, differentiates good brands from great brands (and good revenue from great revenue), and the better your tools and technology, the easier it will be to achieve that “great brand” status. 

If you're an eCommerce merchant looking to level up your payments game, EP Payments from Elastic Path might be just the eCommerce payments solution you’ve been looking for. Reach out to us today to find out more about how EP Payments can help you streamline your checkout process, enhance customer satisfaction, and build brand value along the way.

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