This figure rises to 32 per cent of 18-24 year olds failing to convert into paying customers at the last hurdle. The survey highlights the significance of providing multiple payment options to consumers as a means for online businesses to drive growth. Over half of consumers use a credit or debit card, with 29 per cent now using digital wallets as well. Bank transfers and virtual currencies such as bitcoin also featured on the list. To this extent, SMEs need to note that the next generation of young adults have different expectations when it comes to the availability of alternative payment methods. After all, 18-24 year olds are more likely to use a digital wallet than any other age group, with 14 per cent of young adults using them for every purchase they make, and a further 39 per cent in this age group using them to pay regularly. Chantal Willis, VP eCommerce at Skrill, said: “Growing numbers of consumers feel comfortable buying goods and services online and they want to be able to pay in the way that is familiar and convenient. Businesses in our towns and on our high streets already provide a variety of payment options for customers, so it seems odd they would not replicate this online. Imagine a supermarket unveiling a brand new store that looks great but only accepts cheques as payments. “While businesses are investing huge sums getting customers to the point of making a purchasing decision, they risk not completing the sale if they only accept card payments. They must ensure they have systems in place to cater for the half of the population who prefer alternative payment methods. Given online stores attract customers from anywhere in the world, the need to offer a wide range of payment options is absolutely crucial.” By Shané Schutte
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