Folksy Ltd

Non-Payment and Customers Changing Their Minds

(James Boardwell) #1

Hello, there have been quite a few posts about buyers not paying for items and I wanted to try to shed some light on this issue and why - in large part - it isn’t a “problem” and we can fix it.

Many buyers drop out of the basket and checkout journey when buying. Not only at Folksy but anywhere online. There are a host of strategies retailers do to try and reduce this (such as emailing registered users to say “forgetton something?” or “we still have your basket waiting!”) which you may have seen yourself.

It is common for people to drop out and not buy. Unfortunately, what we do is tell you someone has placed an order before they pay. We shouldn’t do this. Paying is the key act of conversion. Before paying the customer has not committed and may decide they don’t want to buy.

The % of people abandoning at the basket stage varies greatly. This wikipedia article cites: “The typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%, with an average of 67.91%”.

60-80%! From this it would not be unreasonable to state that around 10% would abandon at the checkout stage. From our research, analytics data and our feedback from customers (via the Satalytics promoter score) our checkout process works well.

We’ll look at amending the order notification so that you only get notified on payment. Do let me have your feedback about doing this.



Sale but no payment - continued
Why do unpaid 'sales' appear on shop pages?
(Susan Mochrie) #2

Yes yes, exactly this, thank you James. I knew there was something going on, but couldn’t put my finger on it. You are completely correct, that you shouldn’t tell us we’ve had a sale, unless they pay. We all add stuff to baskets then change our minds on many online platforms, thank you for addressing the issue, Sue xx

Edit, however, as you know this has happened a lot to me, so I will address the most popular items for this phenomena and see if improvements can be made on price and shipping :blush:

(Christine Shephard) #3

But would the order still show in our shops as an unpaid order? Is it just the email notification you’re proposing to change? I can’t see how one without the other would work - I’d still want to know if an order was showing in my shop, paid or not. If you can change the process so unpaid orders don’t register at all, that would be different, but I wouldn’t want it otherwise.

(Roz) #4

I know its frustrating sometimes to be notified of a sale that doesn’t then happen but I worry if we were not notified until payment had been made that orders where people had genuinely had problems paying may be missed - often customers are surprised to hear payment hasn’t gone through. Also, i may be alone in this problem, but my paypal for some reason doesnt notify folksy when an order has been paid for. I have tried changing the settings in paypal but to no avail. This means I have to mark every order as paid manually and if Folksy stopped notifying me I may miss sales.

(James Boardwell) #5

Hello! It might be worth asking a recent sample of those that haven’t paid, why they opted not to buy? If you do this in a way that feels pleasant and polite and about research, rather than blaming them, you may get some helpful responses and insight. I doubt it came down to price or postage and I’d definitely do some research first.

(James Boardwell) #6

Hi Roz, yes, that’s the flip side. Although we pick up any feedback then and can manage those issues on your behalf. That’s what we’re here for! What do you think?

@ciesse no, orders would not show unless they were paid for. The order would be tied to payment. The most problematic thing here is actually making sure the contractual element of the sale is dealt with effectively. On order the buyer is techically entering into a binding conract to buy your item. However, this isn’t (easily) enforceable. We’d need to make sure the legal issue and contractual elements were still part of the process at payment.

(Bobbys Boutique) #7

I have a regular customer, who is local and buys my work through Folksy but then collects it and pays cash. The email notification that my item has sold, is my trigger to get her item packed up and ready for collection. Without it, I wouldn’t know it had sold and it wouldn’t be ready for her to collect. I know this is probably an unusual situation, but as well as the regular customer, I also have had the odd local person, buy something and then ask if they can collect to save on postage fees. At this point I mark the item as paid and get it ready for collection. So, for me it works great as it is.

Only having one of each item to sell, I need to know if someone has added that item to their basket, otherwise I might miss it going unpaid, not cancel the order (which I do after 24 hours if no payment or contact is made), and the item would remain unavailable to other buyers.

This sounds like a bit of a ramble, but I hope it makes sense xx

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #8

I also have some customers who ‘buy’ as far as the checkout and then send a cheque. I’ve also had customers who genuinely wanted to buy but have had problems with Paypal suddenly restricting their account (has happened to me too) or just bugs preventing the checkout. Not everyone is good at communicating, and some will give up on the purchase rather than have to try and word a message to say what the problem is - although if they are messaged first they will happily respond.

Perhaps a note could be added at the checkout stage to say that if they have problems paying or are paying by another method please contact the seller (maybe with a link/button thingummy to make it quick and easy to send the message? I don’t do technical stuff - so have no idea if that’s feasible!) I just don’t want to miss being able to contact people if they are genuine buyers, as quite a few times it’s been having the sale email first that has enabled me to contact people to help them complete the payment.

Hope that makes sense!

(Bobbys Boutique) #9

Makes perfect sense to me! :smiley: I too have had a few people buy something only to have a problem at checkout, and a quick message is often all it takes to sort it out, sometimes the customer is oblivious to the fact that they didn’t pay! The system as it is, works perfectly for me, and those customers who want to send cheques or postal orders xx

(Christine Shephard) #10

If a local buyer wants to collect and pay cash for something, I just remove the item from my shop and sell it privately.

(James Boardwell) #11

@ciesse @BobbysBoutique @DandelionsGallery payment off-site results in the order not being tracked and technically is against out terms of use as Folksy doesn’t receive the commission unless the item is marked as paid (whereby you will get the sale logged in your account and also any feedback). It’s a scenario we understand but we don’t want to encourage - as we’ve had numerous sellers accept payment outside of PayPal and sent the item and then not been paid and we can’t help them. Going forward the plan is to improve feedback and include testimonials (which improves SEO) so that it encourages sellers to stay within Folksy.

A round-a-bout way of stating that we wouldn’t design to encourage this behaviour so we’d still want to tie the order to payment. There is always the option to message sellers if neeeded. We could consider building in other payment systems but at the moment PayPal works well (and is improving) and offers sellers the postage feature that so many of you use.

(Bobbys Boutique) #12

I know, but this customer panics a bit as I only make one of each and she insists on buying it from Folksy as soon as she sees it :smiley: I also think that it’s nice for Folksy to get their cut from items which have genuinely been found on their site, so although I have removed things from sale and sold privately, I’m happier to do it through Folksy, and for those paying by cheques and postal orders, the system as it is works too :heart:

(Kelly) #13

I think it would be a good idea to have the 1 email sent to us when a customer has completed the full checkout process. x

(Bobbys Boutique) #14

I think unless other payment methods are accepted, the system works as it is. For my customer paying by postal orders, cheques and cash I simply mark the order as paid (and Folksy get their commision). This happens a lot for me, and it’s surprising how many folk still don’t have PayPal. I’d hate to lose these customers because I wasn’t notified of their orders. I’m sure you have a way of looking, please feel free to take a look and see how many orders I mark as paid myself. If I lost those orders it would be very damaging to my little business xxx

(Christine Shephard) #15

James - of course I understand that we shouldn’t encourage folksy buyers to buy offline, but I sell through my own website, other online sites, facebook and at numerous craft fairs too, so local buyers won’t necessarily have come from folksy. If I sell directly at craft fairs I remove the items from folksy - I don’t see the difference.

(Bobbys Boutique) #16

Also, I forgot to mention, all of those orders that I mark as paid myself: those that pay by cheque, postal order and cash, folksy would lose the commission from these orders, as these customers do not want to use Paypal, so I would end up doing exactly what you are trying to avoid, I would end up removing the items and selling privately. I need to be notified of these sales, so that I can mark them as paid when the payment arrives. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but maybe that is because I have so many of these kind of orders x

(Bobbys Boutique) #17

This seems to me like replacing a small problem with a bigger one.

If I cannot accept other payment methods and mark an order as paid myself, I am left with one option, to scroll through my 360 odd items and locate the item and remove it from sale to sell privately, I lose time (it’s a right pain in the watsit scrolling through my whole shop), and folksy lose the commission.

My customers who pay by other methods like to buy from Folksy as they don’t want to risk losing out on a one-off item by having to contact me to remove it from sale while someone else could be buying it.

The proposed new system will solve a minor issue of having been notified occasionally of a sale that wasn’t really a sale, and replace it with a whole host of other issues, for me, it’s not a good change. And if, as I suspect the change loses me all of the orders that pay through other methods, Folksy will no longer be the platform for me.

It ain’t broke, please don’t fix it! :wink:

(Melanie Commins) #18

I would love to only receive notification of a sale once an item has been and paid for.

In my time selling on Folksy I’ve had a dozen or so ‘awaiting payment’ sales that have never once resulted in an actual purchase, even though I’ve emailed the buyer to see if they were having any problems. I find it very frustrating when an item is removed from sale but not actually purchased, especially at busy times.

I have a feeling that the current system might cause issues when payment problems are the cause of the purchase abandonment. Once an item is purchased if the customer has problems paying they cannot go back and repeat the purchase process because the Folksy system thinks the item has already been sold and is no longer available (I know customers can go into their purchases page to complete payment but this isn’t at all obvious if you’re not aware of how the site works). If the item was only removed from sale once payment has been made then, presumably, if there were any issues with the payment part of the transaction the buyer could just go back to their basket and go through the payment process again.

I would really like to see this change implemented before the busy season. Thanks for looking into it Folksy! :slight_smile:

(Susan Mochrie) #19

Thank you James, will do as you suggest, I hope I am polite when I Send emails. I have asked on a few occasions but I think prospective buyers have simply changed their minds and not completed checkout.
I’ve had the odd one non payer who didn’t realise they hadn’t paid, but I guess that can happen on any shopping site. I think you are doing the right thing, by notifying us of actual sales, as this is an online sales venue after all.

(Susan Mochrie) #20

This…@ Beledien “Once an item is purchased if the customer has problems paying they cannot go back and repeat the purchase process because the Folksy system thinks the item has already been sold and is no longer available”