New checkout process
February 23, 2010
Important updates to UGAL's e-commerce offering just made it to our servers and to your website. The shopper information (name, email, shipping and billing address) is now captured on your website before he is sent to the payment service to complete his payment. Shoppers on your website now follow a common checkout process, regardless of the payment solution they choose.
This is a "foundation" update that paves the way for many other improvements to our e-commerce solution.
Capturing shopper information on your website
We used to rely on the payment service (Paypal) to capture your customer details and send them back to our servers once the payment is completed. We now capture this information on site and rely on the payment service only to capture and process payments (credit card or Paypal) and alert us of successful payments.The approach has many advantages:
- Because UGAL is now aware of the order's shipping address, sales taxes can be computed on your website, before the shopper is redirected to the payment service's website.
- Integration with standard credit card processors is facilitated, as most of them do not capture shipping information and are unable to compute sales taxes (it is not their primary purpose).
- The checkout process is similar for all shoppers, regardless of the payment service they choose.
New checkout process
The checkout process on UGAL has been completely redesigned. It is now a 3 steps process, which we believe is the optimal length: short enough to limit shopping cart abandon rates and explicit enough to inspire the confidence of your shoppers.
Step 1 : Capture the order information
The order information form is short enough and still allows for order comments and different shipping and billing addresses:
Step 2 : Review the order and choose a payment method
The shopper is then presented with a summary of the order he is about to place, and is asked to choose among one of the payment methods you have enabled for your shop:
Step 3 : Redirect to the payment service
The shopper is then redirect to the payment service's website to enter his credit card information or paypal credentials. The order will be confirmed at the time UGAL receives the payment notification from the payment service (it is an server to server process, it does not rely on the shopper coming back to your website).
In the case of check payments, the order is immediately confirmed and available for your review from your website dashboard.
Managing the payment methods available for your online shop
The payment method management screen has been redesigned as well. Besides the new Ogone option, it allows to modify the copy displayed next to each payment method button.
Because of the new checkout process, you do need anymore to define the sales taxes to apply to your orders on Paypal's website. You will need however to define them on your website. This is done from your Store Settings page, in your website dashboard.
Coming soon on UGAL are a number of other e-commerce updates. One of them is included with this release and allows you to have your website automatically send a detailed order confirmation email to your shoppers. We are as well thinking of ways to allow international orders, and probably let your shoppers create accounts on your website. We will work on better order management tools as well.
New functionalities are mostly driven by customer feedback (UGAL is now hosting a number of e-commerce websites and a few of them are becoming quite busy). So, if you have any ideas on how UGAL can improve its e-commerce offering, let us know now!
To the new checkout!