Do Not Lose Your Guaranteed Buyers! The Importance of Payment Options Variety


We all have read tons of messages and articles about how to improve your product’s sales pages (so there would be as many purchases as possible). We see endless forum discussions about how one or another aspect affects products conversions. Some of merchants hire designers to make sales-pages look very appealing. Some people do hundreds split-testings in order to improve every small detail of sales-pages.

All these efforts really generate you additional sales. However, there is one very important thing that many people overlook but it drops even 60-70% of your guaranteed buyers (the ones who actually clicked "BUY" button/link and look how to purchase your product or service).

One payment option

The overlooked one is your offered variety of payment options. Well, to say the truth, most merchants don’t offer any variety – they just offer only PayPal or Google Checkout or Moneybookers. THIS is what costs them a lot of potential sales. A lot of merchants think that, for example, PayPal is very popular and almost everyone in the Internet have an account in PayPal.


Don’t expect that all your potential buyers have PayPal account and they will pay you via this payment processor. You also shouldn’t expect that all buyers who don’t have Paypal will signup to it just for paying you.

Let’s analyze those merchants who sell through Click2Sell using PayPal payment option only.

Our logs show that only 30-40% of people finalize their purchase after coming to PayPal checkout page. These people have already clicked on "Buy-now" button in products’ sales-pages, came to Click2Sell checkout page and clicked "Pay" button there. They were determined to make a purchase and came all the way to do that.

Do you realize it? These merchants lose TWO THIRDS of such buyers!

Dear reader, we are not talking about things that might change your conversion rate by 5-10%. We are talking about gigantic 60%!

PayPal vs direct Credit Card payment

Now let’s analyze those merchants who provide both PayPal and direct credit cards payment options.

Our research of real data shows that 70-80% of buyers choose to pay via direct credit card payment option, while only 20% of purchases were made through PayPal.

You can clearly see from this finding how people strongly prefer direct payments by credit cards (even though you can pay by credit card via PayPal too). In my opinion, this data also shouldn’t be ignored.

Although PayPal says "The safer, easier way to pay", however a lot of people do not have PayPal account and do not want to go through all PayPal registration hassle (even if it means that they won’t be able to buy their strongly desired product)..

Solve the problem

So we have reviewed some numbers which indicate that merchants who offer only one payment method need to do something. What they could do in order to reduce the number of "last-step-fallens"?

Perhaps the most practical solution would be to offer a few payment options (including direct credit card payment). Every percent of increase/decrease in sales counts, so you should really spend a bit of time to get several merchants account in various payment processors and use them in accepting payments from your customers. After all, PayPal, Moneybookers, Google Checkout and merchant accounts are cheap and there are no monthly fees for them (except for, but it is relatively low).

Here is general pricing of these payment processors (they vary):

  • PayPal: 2-5% + $0.30 USD per transaction;
  • Moneybookers: 1.9% + € 0.50 per transaction;
  • Google Checkout: 2% + $0.20 per transaction;
  • about 2.2% + $0.25 per transaction + $20 monthly fee (depends on reseller);

Notice that most of them do not take any monthly fee, so you will pay their fees only then when there will be a transaction through them (that actually means an extra sale).

As you see, offering more payment options doesn’t increase your expenses. Yes, requires monthly fee, but it provides direct credit card payment option which benefits I have emphasized above.

Truuuee, but…. 

You may say that offering a lot of payment options is a good idea, but it clutters a sales-page with many payment buttons.

No, there is no such problem. In Click2Sell you can use and manage all of these mentioned payment processors (plus Worldpay) and add only one "buy-now" button in your sales-page. So that’s a good deal: you can offer your customers a lot of payment options without spoiling your website’s design.


Please take my advice to get more payment options. I hope I have showed enough data to proof my statement. It is really sad to see merchants losing sales just because they think that one payment option is enough to cover most of their buyers. The solution for this problem is relatively easy and cheap, so don’t miss your chance to improve your sales.


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  1. Blumental Said,

    May 28, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

    Cool! Great advise! Never thought about this. Somehow for me it was natural that the best option as a merchant i can get using PayPal. Maybe it’s worth trying to get Google Checkout or merchant account… Has anyone tried to compare conversions using different payment methods?

  2. daved Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 3:11 am

    Great post!

    Additional payment processors help cover all the bases and provide your customers with payment that “they are” happy to use when deciding to make a purchase from your site.

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  5. stephen Said,

    August 12, 2009 @ 10:45 am

    Great article, but it LEFT ME HANGING.

    I agree with everything written, but what I’m looking for is WHERE and WHEN to offer the multitude of payment options.

    do I put it on the sales page?
    do I make it a popup option?
    an intermediate page… requiring an extra click? Seems this would lose traffic as well.

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