Essential types of ecommerce payment links and how to optimize them for success

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Whatever your niche or industry, offering your customers or clients a mix of payment options will help to accelerate the success of your business. In addition to the likes of mobile transactions and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) options, there is another powerful means of payment that will make your business extra attractive to potential clients or customers: the ecommerce payment link.

Payment links are swift, simple, and frictionless. Setting them up is also easier than you think—and there are different types of ecommerce payment links you can use to your business-boosting advantage.

Here, we will explain what ecommerce payment links are and how you can use them for your business.

Let’s get started.

Editor’s note: Want to get started with payment links right away? GoDaddy Payments offers Online Pay Links. With low transactions fees of 2.3% + 30 cents per online transaction, it’s the lowest transaction fees compared to other leading providers.

What are ecommerce payment links, exactly?

An ecommerce payment link is a web or mobile-based innovation that allows a business to send their clients or customers a, well, link or button through a preferred medium (SMS, messenger, landing page, email, invoice, QR code, etc.) to complete their transaction.

QR code on a smartphone

You can send or present your customer with the payment link and once they click through, can complete the transaction by filling out a few quick details with ease.

The reason that ecommerce payment links are so effective is that they are incredibly streamlined. By making it as easy as possible to make a payment and confirm a transaction, you will reduce the risk of cart abandonment — earning more sales in the process.

Although this statement may seem counterproductive — if customers don’t want to make a payment immediately, they can click back through and complete the transaction a little later (within a predetermined time frame).

This level of flexibility and autonomy will actually build trust, increasing your chances of repeat custom in the process.

Another key benefit of working with payment link providers to offer your customers these kinds of swift transactions is sheer convenience.

With payment links, you can remove the burden of card machines or complicated escrow processes — perfect if you’re a small ecommerce business with a physical shop front or pop-up stores.

The link serves as a gateway to an easy-to-use payment page, where the customer can choose their preferred payment option. The whole process is streamlined and the direct yet non-intrusive nature of the ecommerce payment link means that you will remove potential kinks from your checkout or transaction journey. A real win-win.

Different types of ecommerce payment links

Now that you’re up to speed with the concept of ecommerce links — and you know why they’re so effective—let’s look at the different types available in today’s hyper-connected digital world.

The one-time link

This type of ecommerce payment link is arguably the most popular. You can roll this type of link out across almost every customer channel or touchpoint imaginable.

With the one-time payment link, the recipient (customer) can click on through and enter their payment details (choosing from a list of payment options) in their web or mobile browser. It’s that simple. And as we said, the recipient can pay straight away or complete the transaction within a specified expiry period (always set an expiry time frame and make it clear when sending the link.

For your inspiration, here are the different touchpoints or mediums where you can send out one-time payment links:

As you can see, there’s plenty of options when it comes to one-time payment links — and sending these links to customers offers you a prime opportunity for extra connection or engagement.

Tip: To get maximum value from your one-off payment links, you should always test your links and payment page design thoroughly before sending them out to your customers.

Your link URL should be customized to make them more personal (and easier to file) and your payment page should contain dropdown boxes detailing the different selection of payment options available. Test your links and payment process across every channel to ensure every step is optimized for both desktop and mobile.

Invoice payment link

Person holding point of sale device with stack of boxesIf you’re an ecommerce business that offers services or subscriptions, or you sell bulk items to your customers, the invoice payment link might be for you.

This type of transaction allows you to send a link to your customers via a well-designed email (the most effective medium for invoices). Upon receipt, your customers can click through to an invoice that contains all of your relevant company and transaction-based details and choose their payment method.

The good thing about this type of ecommerce link is the fact that you can send timely reminders if your customers have outstanding payments, engaging them with a little extra email marketing messaging in the process.

Tip: As payment invoice links work best when sent through email, you should place your efforts in your email’s subject line, design and content.

Ensure your link and email are 100% functional and once it is, treat it as an approachable email marketing communication. Offering a little update on the company, sending additional product suggestions or offering an incentive (a deal or discount) for future purchases are all effective tactics.

“Buy now’” or CTA-style buttons

Not many people know this, but a payment button is a type of ecommerce payment link. While “buy now” and CTA-style payment buttons are standard practice on ecommerce sites, by getting into the payment link mentality, you can streamline your checkout process for increased success.

You can place a “buy now” button on your product pages as well as category landing pages (you can also add these buttons to your emails instead of sending a traditional link), sending your customers straight to your tested and optimized payment checkout. Creating a frictionless process will ultimately result in less confusion, more convenience and fewer abandonments.

Tip: First of all, you should ensure your link buttons are featured in the most convertible spot on your product or landing page.

You can do this by running A/B tests (two different versions of the same page) and seeing which performs best (which button gets the most click-throughs). The best thing about A/B testing is the fact that you can also test your button messages (text), designs, and colors to see which is most effective. Optimize your payment buttons and more people will be inspired to click through—that’s the rule.

Once your customers do click through, you must ensure that your payment page design is as easy to navigate as possible and is completely seamless—you can use A/B testing for this, too.

Related: How to optimize your mobile checkout journey for small business success

Ecommerce payment links: Best practices

Woman shopping online with laptop

For further advice and inspiration, here are some ecommerce payment link best practices.

Substance over style

When developing your payment link process, it’s vital that you treat every touchpoint and type (one-off, button, invoice link) individually.

Taking this approach means that you can drill down into each step of the process to ensure that your designs and messaging are slick, seamless, and require as little effort as possible.

While aesthetics are important, always prioritize function and form over style — add a little creative branding by all means, but never if it hinders the navigability of your links or payment pages.

Ensure your links are secure

With cybercrime on the rise, ensuring your payment pages, portals, links, and buttons are fully secure is critical.

One kink in the chain or payment data breach will cost your customers — and your brand reputation — big time.

 

That said, you should consult a cyber security professional (either in-house or external) to create 100% watertight payment link processes across all channels and touchpoints.

It’s also important that you make it very clear to your customers that their data is safe in your hands by creating a clear, concise informational section in your privacy policy.

This will help you mitigate any unforeseen issues while building customer trust — which usually benefits sales.

Related: 7 small business network security tips

Work with the right payment link providers

Messaging, design, and security aside, the success of your payment link offerings will largely depend on the payment link provider that you choose.

When you’re looking to commit to a payment link provider, you should consider your budget, your specific needs, and which touchpoints your customers engage with the most.

There are many platforms out there offering easy-to-use widgets or code, design features, and payment link engagement data. So, consider your key needs, set a workable budget, think about where you want to place or deliver your payment links, and conduct comparison research.

Final thoughts

Ecommerce payment links will give your audience the freedom and flexibility to buy your products in a way that suits them while making the entire checkout or transactional process swift and seamless. And, when you do that, great things will happen.

Explore the three main types of ecommerce payment links, take the time to understand where they’re likely to perform the best, commit to a supplier that suits your needs—and start testing your efforts. The time is now.

For more news on the subject of customer transactions, read about how GoDaddy now offers point-of-sale devices and breakthrough low payment pricing.