Four strategies enterprise businesses can use to increase revenue

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  1. Introduction
  2. What defines the purchase experience?
  3. Why focus on the purchase experience?
  4. Strategies to boost revenue and improve the purchase experience
    1. Optimize checkout
    2. Expand your accepted payment methods
    3. Offer flexible financing with buy now, pay later
    4. Reduce fraud and related payment problems
    5. Optimize authorization

Assessing the most strategic and efficient methods of increasing revenue is a challenge, especially since what works at one time might prove less effective later. With business revenue subject to market shifts and variable demand, figuring out sticky ways to attract and retain customers is complicated. For enterprise businesses, this can also mean establishing and maintaining a differentiated and well-defined, yet agile and adaptable, position in the market.

Traditional growth strategies include increasing prices, amping up marketing spend, expanding sales teams, and launching new products. In addition to these tried-and-true options, there are also meaningful tools that can impact revenue. One underutilized path to revenue growth for enterprise businesses is refining and optimizing the commerce experience. Embedded within the purchase experience are opportunities not only to improve your customer’s overall satisfaction with your brand, but also to expand market innovation, increase geographic reach, and boost conversion.

Understanding the ins and outs of the purchase experience—and the financial infrastructure platform that your company relies on to deliver that experience—can help you carve out a unique and effective path to revenue growth. Here is a rundown of relevant tactics and tools to consider as you put together a plan for optimizing your purchase experience and increasing your revenue.

What’s in this article?

  • What defines the purchase experience?
  • Why focus on the purchase experience?
  • Strategies to boost revenue and improve the purchase experience:
    • Optimize checkout
    • Expand your accepted payment methods
    • Offer flexible financing with buy now, pay later
    • Reduce fraud and related payment problems
    • Optimize authorization

What defines the purchase experience?

Understanding the purchase experience requires a solid grasp of the infrastructure mechanics that support your payments system as well as how your customer will interact with every external detail supported by that infrastructure. It can help to consider your conversion funnel, or the steps your customer will take before they reach the final, desired step of purchasing your product. As your customer approaches or reaches the point of purchase, what are the barriers they might encounter? Where are opportunities to make the moment of purchase as fast and seamless as possible?

Designing a fast and smooth purchase experience has tangible benefits. Given that around 70% of online shoppers will place an item in your cart only to abandon it, understanding how to simplify this stage for your customer is important. Thinking through each step and option that your customer is presented with—from payment methods to guest checkout—will help you form a more complete picture of the purchase experience.

Why focus on the purchase experience?

Improving the purchase experience brings with it important benefits that range from increasing conversion to improving customer satisfaction and generating brand loyalty. When leadership sits down to assess possibilities for business expansion, purchase experience can often be overlooked, but it is in fact one of the most powerful tools available to strategically and comprehensively grow revenue.

Strategies to boost revenue and improve the purchase experience

What does it look like, in practice, to create a commerce experience that’s optimized to boost revenue for enterprise businesses? At a high level, it’s about building a payments ecosystem and checkout experience that enable customers to pay for purchases how, when, and where they want.

Here are a few key moves to consider:

Optimize checkout

When setting out to finesse your business’s checkout process, bear in mind the qualities that customers care about most: speed, ease of use, and security. Whether you are accepting payments in person or online, a clunky checkout process will frustrate customers, discouraging them from returning or even completing their purchases.

For ecommerce businesses, considering ways to remove barriers from your website’s checkout process can mean adding an option for guest checkout or pre-filling customer information. Stripe offers an assortment of solutions to assist in speeding up the moment of checkout, such as Link by Stripe, which allows customers to complete purchases with one click, or Stripe Elements, which allows businesses to take advantage of autofill, error messages, input masking, and customized design to match your existing CSS style. All of these features improve conversion. Stripe Terminal allows you to apply many of these principles to in-person checkout.

The benefits of streamlining your checkout process go beyond customer satisfaction. Optimizing checkout also increases the number of customers your business is able to process in a given period of time. In addition, if a customer has a smooth purchase experience with your brand, they’re more likely to return. The benefit of increasing your conversion rate—and in the process making your customers happier and therefore more likely to return—will have a positive long-term impact on your revenue.

Expand your accepted payment methods

It is important to think globally and locally when deciding what payment methods to accept. Accommodating the payment methods your customers prefer—no matter where they’re based—establishes the trust and convenience required for conversion. In addition, since over 70% of ecommerce businesses make sales around the world, offering a limited range of payment options doesn’t make sense.

Understanding the benefits of accepting different payment methods—as well as the unique opportunities for your business to expand payment options in certain regions—can help you increase the number of transactions your business is able to process and provide access to entirely new markets. In China, for instance, 54% of online transactions involve WeChat Pay or Alipay, while 20% rely on the local card network China UnionPay. Failing to offer these payment options means losing out on a significant portion of Chinese customers.

Solutions like Stripe Payments help enterprise businesses keep pace with the payment options required to stay competitive with a global sales strategy. With more than 135 currencies and 50 supported payment methods, Stripe Payments helps businesses maximize their revenue potential, all through a single integration. This will help your company smoothly and easily increase revenue in your key markets by offering the right payment methods, allowing you to access customers and markets you couldn’t otherwise.

Offer flexible financing with buy now, pay later

Another way to capture more customers is by offering flexible financing. Research shows that 50% of consumers in the United States have used a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service and that offering such a service increases conversion and average transaction value.

BNPL payment methods not only offer flexibility and convenience to maximize checkout conversions, but also reduce fraud and increase transaction speed as they enable retailers to reach buyers who want to pay over time. BNPL allows buyers to customize their payment terms and break up purchases into smaller installments. Your business is paid in full and up front, while your customer pays either nothing or a small portion of the total cost at checkout.

Offering BNPL to your customers can help your business:

  • Increase average order value
  • Boost checkout conversions
  • Reach a wider consumer audience

Results may vary by vertical and geographic location, but businesses that offer BNPL payment methods through Stripe have seen average order value increase by as much as 14.5%.

The benefits of BNPL to both businesses and consumers are plentiful: No matter which BNPL option your customer chooses, you receive the total purchase amount in full and up front. And since the BNPL provider handles the tasks of underwriting customers and managing and collecting payments, offering these payment methods doesn’t come with a lot of extra resourcing requirements. BNPL methods also afford a comfortable degree of security for businesses—if a customer files a fraud-related dispute, the BNPL provider takes on the risk and any associated costs.

When considering the purchase experience as it relates to your revenue, there’s no way to avoid the challenge of fraud. Around the world, online fraud has increased: In a survey of 2,500 business leaders, Stripe found that 64% say fraud has become more difficult to combat since the start of the pandemic. Confronting fraud costs money. It’s expensive not only to deal with fraudulent transactions, but also to spend time and energy trying to prevent them. That operational overhead is significant. In the same survey, 72% of business leaders responded that they had to divert resources to respond to fraud, while over half said they had to put off expansion or investment plans to tackle fraud.

Then, of course, there is the cost to your customer. While businesses may understandably respond to the ever-increasing threat of fraud by amping up efforts to fight it, this often leads to a related problem: being too quick to block legitimate charges. False declines can hurt your revenue and your reputation. On one level, a false decline will slow down the checkout process, adding friction and making it less likely that the transaction will be completed. However, research has shown that a false decline is not just an inconvenience for a customer, blocking one purchase; it often has a lifetime impact, dissuading customers from returning in the future.

There are a number of ways to prevent and deal with fraud and the host of issues it can present to your company. Some are relatively simple. For instance, when dealing with online payments, you can consider tools that help link your customer’s financial accounts directly, to send payments more easily and securely. Products like Financial Connections quickly authenticate users with bank account information, helping you streamline the purchase experience and make it easy for your customer to return and make another purchase in the future.

Optimize authorization

There are other tactics you can use to improve your authorization rates. With Stripe Payments, you can access issuer-optimized authorizations powered by machine learning (ML). You can also find tools that help recover declines that were made in error. Adaptive Acceptance, for example, uses ML to strategically retry certain payments immediately, before the customer even receives notice of a decline. In a matter of moments, it can also consider the optimal retry messaging and routing combinations and run a variety of experiments to discover what might result in a successful charge. Tools like these help make it more likely that your customer will be satisfied, increasing the likelihood of a successful transaction and even helping you recover revenue that has been lost via false declines.

There are also tools designed to proactively target and fight fraud. Stripe Radar, for instance, is trained with billions of data points from companies of all sizes around the world. With payments, checkout, and card network data, Radar is able to accurately assess risk and detect and block fraud without getting in the way of legitimate customers. All together, tools and tactics that help you detect and prevent fraud and contain the damage that fraud can cause—from losing revenue to losing customers to incurring huge operational costs—are essential to any business that operates even partly online today.

To learn more about Stripe’s suite of tailored solutions for enterprise businesses, contact our sales team here.

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