Paypal versus Stripe - a customer survey with a surprising result

18 Aug 2014

One aspect of the checkout experience with bliss I dislike is that it exists at all; ideally I'd just like to ask the user to enter their credit card details and go. I'd had my eyes on Stripe for a while; they offered a very simple interface to take credit card details and bill customers. So when they finally launched in the UK, I was enthusiastic to give them a try.

Integration was pretty simple. I added the credit card form to the bliss fixes page, while retaining the existing button to hop off-site to purchase using Paypal, if that's what the user wanted. I also made the Stripe credit card capture form the default.

The Stripe powered credit card form in bliss

What I expected was for the majority of customers to use Stripe. I even hoped for an increase in customers! But, instead, sales stayed relatively static and the proportion of customers who use Stripe since its introduction in late 2013 is now about one quarter of all sales.

I had done my best to ease the Stripe transaction, making it as simple as I could. So why did customers appear to avoid using Stripe and opted for Paypal? I sent out a survey to all customers who purchased using Paypal.

This survey was conducted early, just after the introduction of Stripe, and so I only had time to send out twenty emails. So these results are from from significant! The answer, though, I feel was telling.

Most people said that the ease of Paypal checkout was the deciding factor. This surprised me because how much easier do you need than entering your credit card details on the page?! The answer was: it can be even easier.

By ease, you have to consider the entire interaction the customer has with Paypal. Yes, it requires a click to head off to Paypal. However, once there, all the customer needs to remember is their username and password for Paypal. Here's one example response:

The reason I used paypal is simple, I didn't want to find my wallet to get a card! I was doing several things at the time on my home server, one of which was setting up bliss and I didn't want to leave and break concentration.

Here's another:

To be honest, its just habit. I pay for most stuff online with PayPal. That and I couldn't find my wallet at the time.

So I think we need to consider the entire payment interaction. Perhaps the best of both worlds would be to integrate PayPal checkout within the bliss app itself?

Thanks to Tax Credits for the image above.
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