Learn from Amazon about reducing friction and see your online donations increase, while also pleasing your people.
We’ve all experienced a lengthy and cumbersome online payment process. The ones that leave you feeling disgruntled at completion and like you’d rather order elsewhere in the future.
Amazon.com has one of the easiest online payment methods, making it a seamless process to ‘hand’ over your money. Because it is so easy, customers return time and time again.
Essentially, the key to Amazon’s success in this sphere is that they reduce friction. In other words, they have managed to eliminate most of the steps that customers have to go through in order to finish their payments.
Churches should, therefore, be questioning how they can learn from Amazon. Indeed, churches do not have customers but they do have congregants who shop online daily, or weekly, and are wise to how easy it can be. Chances are that if your online donation methods are lengthy and inconvenient, your people will avoid donating at all costs. They will resolve to donate with cash, then come Sunday, they may have forgotten the cash.Churches have congregants who shop online weekly and are wise to how easy it can be. Chances are that if your online donation methods are lengthy and inconvenient, your people will avoid donating at all costs. Click To Tweet
With some close examination of how Amazon works, it is easy to pinpoint how you can edit your online donation methods for your church. But to make things even easier, we’ve come up with a list of four for you to consider when approaching the task of reducing friction in your church donation methods.
What We Can Learn From Amazon About Reducing Friction
1. Provide several payment methods
The way that you prefer to pay online is not guaranteed to be your neighbor’s preferred method. Your people expect a variety of payment methods when they visit your donations page. It is not necessary to have every single payment method available, nor is it practical. However, consider asking your people which payment methods they prefer to use and add the most popular (if not all) to your payment options.
Connexus church provides a good example of this principle. They provide their people with several payment methods on their giving page. They even have the option to donate stock to their church – something your people may appreciate, too.
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2. Eliminate redirects
It’s a fact that people strongly dislike being redirected and being required to provide more personal information than is truly needed.
A person from your church has taken the time to access your website, find your donations page, and is settling down to offer money to their church … but then they are redirected to another website to be able to check out. You have no control over the design or content of the checkout page and they can often feel exceedingly corporate and distanced from your church’s character.
So, eliminating redirects for your people will benefit them two-fold. You will remove the inconvenience of loading and filling out unnecessary information that you can’t control. And, you will keep your people on your website, where you can ensure that they are thanked appropriately once they have completed their online donation.
If you take a look at Lakewood Church’s giving process, you’ll see that they have a very clear and clean procedure. They even provide an option for people to not have an account with them. If you go with this option, you need only provide your email address and avoid filling out more personal information.People dislike being redirected and being required to provide more personal information than is necessary. Eliminate redirects on your giving page and make donating money a seamless process for your people. Click To Tweet
3. Make your donations page obvious
While you don’t want your donations page button on your website to be flashing different colors and feel like an inappropriate plea for money, you do want your people to be able to find it easily.
Chances are that when someone from your church logs on to make a donation, they aren’t intending to spend thirty minutes browsing your website. They have come online for a specific purpose and they need to be able to achieve this purpose quickly.
Learn from Amazon and make sure it is easy to navigate to your giving page. Consider having a tab for donations (or ‘giving’) in your main menu ribbon, like Willow Creek Community Church has, or have an appropriately large button to click along the side of your web pages.
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4. Avoid distractions
The final step in a payment cycle is the checkout page. Essentially, your goal is to get your people to reach this step without hitches.
If our goal is to learn from Amazon and how they manage their payment procedure, this means that, under no circumstances, should you have distractions leading up to, or on, the checkout page.
It goes without saying that our attention spans these days are alarmingly short. So, make sure that you don’t have any advertisements popping up, or links to your latest church article that will draw your people away from doing what they’ve come to do – make their donation.
LEARN FROM AMAZON AND LEARN HOW TO PLEASE YOUR PEOPLE
Amazon has paid attention to how its customers interact with their payment procedures. They clearly have a customer-centric philosophy. These are two areas that all churches should adopt because Amazon’s prioritization of people is what churches should be striving for, too. You’ll certainly reap the benefits of studying what your people respond to.