Gateway to Success: How to Achieve Payment Parity with National Retailers

By Alan Wolf, YSN

As shoppers shift to online stores in record numbers, convenience — even more than price — can make all the difference between closing a sale and losing one.

Indeed, today’s more sophisticated consumer demands a smooth, seamless experience, up to and including checkout. And having a frictionless payment gateway to seal the deal can keep your sales from dead ending at the last step of the purchase journey.

Just put yourself in your customers’ shoes: You pore through a website, comparing various brands, models and options. Then, you make your selection, add it to your shopping cart, go to checkout and … nothing. That’s where the ease of purchase ends. Rather than call in a credit card number, you close the page and move on.

In fact, the absence of a payment gateway at checkout is a major cause of shopping cart abandonment.

Fortunately for BrandSource members, AVB’s state-of-the-art Alta e-commerce platform can provide customers with multiple payment options, the same way national retailers and e-tailers do. This gives consumers the flexibility to shop the way they want, and allows for a frictionless transaction that will more readily lead to conversion.

Using AVB Marketing’s gateway, dealers can offer payment through Amazon Pay, PayPal, major credit cards and BrandSource’s own private-label financing. What’s more, thanks to the group’s “Apply & Buy” program with Citibank, customers can apply for credit at checkout, receive approval in seconds, enjoy any special financing offers, and complete the purchase for a true buy-on-the-fly experience.

“Through this partnership with Citibank, our members are able to offer a truly seamless checkout process for their online customers,” said Chad Evans, AVB’s Vice President of Merchandising. “This functionality on the AVB websites is a game changer for independent retailers in our space.”

Other customer benefits include no annual fees, around-the-clock account access, and a dedicated line of credit that’s accepted at over 4,500 BrandSource member stores nationwide.

“Apply & Buy is just one more leap forward in closing the gap between big-box stores and independents online,” added Evans. “We are continuing to level the playing field with this functionality.”

But the advantage of a payment gateway doesn’t end there. As an added bonus, the gateway can capture valuable shopper insights and data that members can use to adjust their e-commerce strategies and drive even more digital sales.

Perhaps most important, online checkout also affords members the opportunity to automatically offer required accessories like hoses and other installation parts, as well as other high-margin attachments like protection plans; delivery, haul-away and installation services; mattress protectors; and adjustable bases. Like the payment gateway itself, these last-minute add-ons further facilitate the shopping experience, while enhancing the customer’s enjoyment of their purchase as well as dealers’ bottom lines.

As BrandSource Merchandising Director Grant Hancock added, “The retailer who provides the easiest online experience wins.”

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.