PayPal Could Be KILLING Your Sales (Important)

by Daniel E Taylor 45 replies
This is serious. I'll tell you the deal.

I have a Tshirt company and we were using paypal
as our payment processor. We noticed that 1 out of
every 3 orders were cancelled.

That means they would take time to fill out all the info
but wouldn't pay.

Now there are some bullshitters, but the number was alarming.

We soon started to get support calls and emails stating that
when customers would try to enter their credit info (they didn't have paypal)
they would get an error.

We noticed a pattern. Paypal was randomly screwing up. I mean it
was ugly!

We then switched to authorize.net and started taking payments
straight from the site into our merchant bank.

Guess what? Cancels down to basically 0. except the normal
bullshitters.

Story over? No just beginning..........

On one of my main niche sites I'm using paypal, and I recently
turned it up and started getting alot of traffic and opt ins.

Instead of going straight to paypal I decided to use 1shoppingcart.

So I got 1000 opt ins today. Sales were decent, but 1000 optins
I excepted more sales.

Anyways 1shoppingcart shows the amount of people who put in
their info before they pay with paypal.

Long story short, there were 22 customers who didn't finish the
payment process, but took the time to fill out ALL their real info.

Didn't make sense.

Then the emails start. "I tried to use my visa with paypal and
I kept getting an error".

Same thing that happened to my other business.

2 completely different paypal accounts and different businesses.

I'm in the process of switching all my sites str8 to authorize.net.

This isn't some freak accident, paypal is screwing up sales, and
you might not even know it.

Daniel
#main internet marketing discussion forum #important #killing #paypal #sales
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.P
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Michie
      I've never had a big problem with them either... but for people other than online marketers, I always have a credit card option for them as a default.
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
        Originally Posted by Justin Michie View Post

        I've never had a big problem with them either... but for people other than online marketers, I always have a credit card option for them as a default.
        How would you know?

        The thing is you would have no idea unless you have a shoppingcart
        and you can tell the canceled orders. other wise you would have
        no way of knowing.

        Daniel
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean Kelly
          If you use JV Manager for your checkout process you will also see people that have filled out their information correctly but did not complete the actual purchase.

          Sean
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      • Profile picture of the author pjs
        Originally Posted by Justin Michie View Post

        I've never had a big problem with them either... but for people other than online marketers, I always have a credit card option for them as a default.
        Exactly. I always have a CC option as the default with the ability to use Paypal if they choose.

        I use a custom built payment/delivery system and I too can see when someone input's their info and goes to paypal. I haven't noticed any cancels at the paypal stage.

        Though since I give the option to use their CC first, those who go to Paypal probably have paypal accounts..

        I think it may be a mistake to totally take Paypal out of the loop. A lot of people feel "safe" with them.
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        • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
          In a recent site re-development, I integrated my own ordering system specifically to check on the abandonment/failed order issue and to reduce those failed orders by automatically contacting people who don't complete the process successfully.

          I use only PayPal for payment processing.

          For what it's worth, here are my hard numbers:

          16% filled out my order form with their name, address etc and submitted it. This took them to an upsell page where they baled out.

          29% passed the upsell page to the page where I explain about being taken to PayPal to complete the order. They then either chose to bale out there and then or they got to PayPal itself and abandoned the sale at that point without returning to my server.

          55% completed the whole process and ordered successfully.

          Take from what what you like!

          The 29% is the bit I'll be focusing on. I'm almost certain that I could reduce that by offering more payment choice there. I'm not saying that PayPal should take the blame, only that more choice would likely increase the number of successfully completed sales.

          Anyway, I hope this helps in some way.

          Regards

          Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt MacPherson
    Hey Daniel,

    How recently have you noticed this? I've been getting the same emails over the past few days and my conversion rate is down. I figured it was just the downed U.S. economy but now I'm not so sure.

    How did you get the stats on 1 out of every 3 orders being canceled? I had no idea PayPal even kept track of that info.

    I've never had a big problem with them either... but for people other than online marketers, I always have a credit card option for them as a default.
    PayPal processes credit cards in 190 countries.

    Regards,
    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
      Originally Posted by Matt MacPherson View Post

      How did you get the stats on 1 out of every 3 orders being canceled? I had no idea PayPal even kept track of that info.
      I second that question!
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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Bruno
        Could this possibly be some sort of scripting error with PayPal on tangible products?

        Or are you noticing this for digital products as well?

        Frank Bruno
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
        Originally Posted by Chad Kimball View Post

        I second that question!
        I said I added one shopping cart. It's right there in then
        the main post.

        Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    Did you contact PayPal customer service regarding this theory?

    Considering their transaction volume on a 'daily' basis, the amount of frequent maintenance they perform on their systems and the size of their technical team... I'm sure either they will fix any errors by default OR receive enough complaints; (being that you're talking about Visa consistently - which is one of the more widely used CC's); where they will be looking into (and fixing) the situation, soon.

    IF you haven't called them, I would suggest that you do.

    I've been with PayPal exclusively since 2000 and have never had any problems with thousands of 'unique' transactions being sent through.

    Their technical team is pretty thorough. They even have documented and systems in place to help vendors with redundancy.

    HTH
    PLP,
    tecHead
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
      Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

      Did you contact PayPal customer service regarding this theory?

      Considering their transaction volume on a 'daily' basis, the amount of frequent maintenance they perform on their systems and the size of their technical team... I'm sure either they will fix any errors by default OR receive enough complaints; (being that you're talking about Visa consistently - which is one of the more widely used CC's); where they will be looking into (and fixing) the situation, soon.

      IF you haven't called them, I would suggest that you do.

      I've been with PayPal exclusively since 2000 and have never had any problems with thousands of 'unique' transactions being sent through.

      Their technical team is pretty thorough. They even have documented and systems in place to help vendors with redundancy.

      HTH
      PLP,
      tecHead
      I'm way pass that stage. I'm done with paypal. We did
      all that stuff, when it came down to it, paypal is having problems.


      Like I said you wouldn't know if you have had problems unless you
      tracked to see how many orders dropped off.

      The problem isn't that no one can buy, it's that randomly people
      get errors when trying to buy.

      This happened with 2 totally different businesses and paypal accounts.


      Daniel
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      • Profile picture of the author davebo
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
          Originally Posted by davebo View Post

          Are you using paypal pro or paypal standard?

          Because I would guess that a % of what you're talking about is simply shopping cart abandoment. On physical products, the number's can be insanely high as you go through the checkout process. That's why teachers like Stompernet focus so much time on the issue, because if you improve each point of the process you see huge jumps in conversions.

          But the ones that are calling you sound like just normal customers that can't figure things out. especially if it's non-paypal customers. Paypal doesn't make it easy to find out how to pay without a paypal account.

          Doesn't sound like paypal's fault...sounds like you misinterpreted what was happening.

          I haven't misinterpreted anything. You have no idea what you are talking about.

          Its not a case of "order form abandonment".

          1. If that was the case than switching to authorize.net wouldn't have completely reduced
          cancelations.

          2. Do you know how many abandonments I called and emailed to ask teh problem? obviously you don't.

          3. Your making alot of assumptions. I check myself many times when we get calls
          and there are plently of times I get the same stupid errors.

          This isn't a case of someone "not knowing how to use paypal".

          Nice try tho.

          Daniel
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          • Profile picture of the author tecHead
            Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

            I haven't misinterpreted anything. You have no idea what you are talking about.

            Its not a case of "order form abandonment".

            1. If that was the case than switching to authorize.net wouldn't have completely reduced
            cancelations.

            2. Do you know how many abandonments I called and emailed to ask teh problem? obviously you don't.


            Trust me I don't run tiny little "net businesses". these are serious numbers
            here, and paypal is at fault.

            Daniel
            I don't think the man insulted you OR your "level of business volume", Sir... PayPal could very well HAVE been at fault.

            Yet, your process of elimination is ILLOGICAL; and more than likely its better that you DO pay the extra fees for AuthorizeNet. MY problem with your posts are the fact that there are Newbie's here that read this stuff and you're NOT providing them with CONCRETE and LOGICAL information.

            I'm happy your conversion rate is up and hopefully it will stay that way.

            Peace
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            • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
              Were you using paypal pro by chance?

              Also 1shoppingcart is a nightmare... definitely would reduce sales if you use it.

              If you use 1shoppingcrap and paypal pro you are in even worse trouble. Way too many hoops to jump through in the order process. One of the worst I have ever seen.

              Paypal pro is a really bad move and doing it through 1shoppingcrap is even worse.

              Smart for you to move to authorize.net though.
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            • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
              Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

              I don't think the man insulted you OR your "level of business volume", Sir... PayPal could very well HAVE been at fault.

              Yet, your process of elimination is ILLOGICAL; and more than likely its better that you DO pay the extra fees for AuthorizeNet. MY problem with your posts are the fact that there are Newbie's here that read this stuff and you're NOT providing them with CONCRETE and LOGICAL information.

              I'm happy your conversion rate is up and hopefully it will stay that way.

              Peace
              When you talk to over 100 people and they all say they got errors when
              they put in their credit cards into paypal. I don't think its illogical
              to say paypal is messing up.

              Thats logical enough.

              If you can't understand that then I don't know what to tell you.

              If I say paypal is messing up, trust me it is.

              And I know Davebo, he follows me around and talks shit. It's what
              he does. Nothing new. He knows it as well as myself and others.

              no big deal its a discussion forum.

              Daniel
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              • Profile picture of the author davebo
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                • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
                  I'm not saying that this has anything to do with it...

                  ...but the biggest problem I know about (which isn't the same as saying it's the biggest problem) with credit card payments on PayPal is people who already have an email address registered with PayPal trying to use their credit card (rather than their PayPal account) to make payment.

                  For whatever reason, it's difficult for them and I recommend to them to use an email address that PayPal doesn't know about already in order to get the card payment through.

                  Cheers,

                  Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    this seems to go along with observations some people have had regarding the same problem with CB recently.
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  • Profile picture of the author ahuddy
    Interesting, When I used a shopping cart in the past I did notice a handful of of people who filled in all of their information and then never paid, but I never considered the problem would be on paypal's end.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    You do realize that Paypal does have some browser issues with their new design/setup that they came out with ???

    Netscape is one and sometimes the errors happen on firefox.

    It seems their overpaid coder only knows how to code for the worst browser ever made .. IE..

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Get this now Ebay wants to stop people from using checks and force everybody to use paypal for their auctions. As if I needed another reason to drop ebay.
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  • Profile picture of the author Treece
    We have problems with Paypal on a regular basis. I often wonder how many orders I lose. If a person uses an email address that is also a Paypal account address, Paypal doesn't seem to like it if that person tries to use a regular credit card. Since we have a toll-free number, we get a lot of phone orders and the people let me know that they can't get their order through.

    I just need an expert to help integrate my current cart with zen cart - I think we'll see a decent increase in orders.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      I think many of you are missing the point.. Paypal does infact have browser issues. A s a developer I have known this for some time now since paypal so-called upgraded.

      Again their overpaid coder seems to only know how to code for the worst browser ever released.. Internet Explorer.

      Below is from a regular attempted payment to paypal.. Nothing to do with a credit card or anything just a regular attempter payment.

      James

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  • Profile picture of the author easymoneyforyou
    Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

    This is serious. I'll tell you the deal.

    I have a Tshirt company and we were using paypal
    as our payment processor. We noticed that 1 out of
    every 3 orders were cancelled.

    That means they would take time to fill out all the info
    but wouldn't pay.

    Now there are some bullshitters, but the number was alarming.

    We soon started to get support calls and emails stating that
    when customers would try to enter their credit info (they didn't have paypal)
    they would get an error.

    We noticed a pattern. Paypal was randomly screwing up. I mean it
    was ugly!

    We then switched to authorize.net and started taking payments
    straight from the site into our merchant bank.

    Guess what? Cancels down to basically 0. except the normal
    bullshitters.

    Story over? No just beginning..........

    On one of my main niche sites I'm using paypal, and I recently
    turned it up and started getting alot of traffic and opt ins.

    Instead of going straight to paypal I decided to use 1shoppingcart.

    So I got 1000 opt ins today. Sales were decent, but 1000 optins
    I excepted more sales.

    Anyways 1shoppingcart shows the amount of people who put in
    their info before they pay with paypal.

    Long story short, there were 22 customers who didn't finish the
    payment process, but took the time to fill out ALL their real info.

    Didn't make sense.

    Then the emails start. "I tried to use my visa with paypal and
    I kept getting an error".

    Same thing that happened to my other business.

    2 completely different paypal accounts and different businesses.

    I'm in the process of switching all my sites str8 to authorize.net.

    This isn't some freak accident, paypal is screwing up sales, and
    you might not even know it.

    Daniel
    To be honest with you, I've never had a problem with paypal, to this date, knock on wood! lol
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  • Profile picture of the author pmore
    I for one, know what you mean. I sell only digital products and use Paypal as my main payment processor. For the past 3 weeks I have had 4 people email me and tell me that they tried to pay but couldn't.

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if this was a dumb Paypal thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    Interesting thread- I've never had anyone tell me that Paypal rejected their card, but several have told me that about Clickbank. I do think some of this is people not knowing how to do it properly.
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      It is definitely a browser coding issue with PayPal... they know about it too...

      Peace

      Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
    Daniel

    I'm with you 100%

    Ive noticed over the last 6 weeks. their IPN has been shocking..

    the connection is slow or times out completely..

    Lost a lot of sales and tons of support because of it..

    I'll be moving over to my own merchant facility in the next 6 months..

    If your IPN cannot talk to paypal.. your not making money.. and getting complaints from customers who blame you or your site for being poorly managed, which they are not.

    As a general Rule I love paypal.. it makes life online just too easy.. but for us anyways, its not reliable enough these days.

    Cheers

    pete
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      If there is an issue here it does seem to have something to do with the combination of:

      1. Trying to pay through paypal with a credit card instead of a paypal account.

      2. Doing this on a browser that is not Internet Explorer.


      And yes I've had complaints along these lines.

      The level of trouble you're likely to have with this will depend heavily on what percentage of buyers in your niche have paypal accounts already set up that they're used to paying with.

      In some niches people are used to paying with paypal, in some niches nearly everyone is used to using a credit card.

      Also in some niches nearly everyone uses Internet Explorer whereas in some niches a huge percentage of your prospects will be using a superior browser like Firefox.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author pingshepherd
    Banned
    I have not had a problem but it is something to look out far
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  • Profile picture of the author Duff
    I agree with you 100% Daniel

    Ive been having this exact problem with one of my niche sites and i think one of the main reasons behind it is that prospects in some niches aren't web savvy so to speak, so they may not be familiar with paypal and how it works so they get freaked out and bail off the page.

    For those that are in the IM niche i dont think you would have such a problem as everyone knows the process of paying with paypal.

    Im looking into swapping to authorize.net asap to see if this fixes it
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
    That error has nothing to do with what web browser you used... browsers don't cause server side code to fail.

    Anyway, once you establish that there's a market for your product, any new product, you should be taking more than just PayPal as payment. Even at 100% reliability, not everyone wants to or can use PayPal.

    I typically test a new product with a PayPal payment link on the first few days, and if there are any sales, take the few minutes to buy an SSL certificate and code a payment form for my real merchant account. Then I take credit cards directly while still offering PayPal as a secondary option.

    I handle about 15,000 PayPal sales a year, more than 1,000 a month, and haven't had more complaints recently than usual.
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  • Profile picture of the author abelacts
    Thanks for bringing this up, Daniel. It's something I definitely would not have thought of. It's always good to have alternative payment methods to stop losing sales. This is a great thread.

    Does Clickbank have similar problems?
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon Ashari
    paypal is a little screwed up for me too.

    about 10 months ago any physical product i bought with paypal there would be a duplicate product sent.

    so in other words id pay once and recieve 2 identical products.

    I was honest and contacted the owner of the business and sent the products back, however if this problem is wide spread and there are many dishonest people out there (and there are) then this could be more than just a minor issue.

    i agree with daniel, definately keep a close eye on any form of recieving payment.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Thompson
      Folks,

      I use PayPal exclusively for a separate website that I run, not related to the audio course I'm soon launching.

      Sales are very very co-related to a specific marketing event that happens every week or so. The traffic to the site is ALL driven by word of mouth and organic search for a very specific term.

      Lately (last 2 weeks) there have been many of these marketing events and my website traffic is as it should be for the marketing activity.

      ZERO sales.

      There is no order form to fill out on my site, simply a "buy now" button.

      When Daniel tells us that he has had 100 customers tell him that there are problems with PayPal, I think it is (bluntly) **silly** to conclude that it is a browser issue. There have been no near-term browser changes on the market that would cause this, and again it is not a server-side issue!

      Given that Daniel also noticed a significant CHANGE in cancellation activity, I again think it is **silly** to conclude that it's people who don't understand how to fill out a form. You do not get those kind of radical changes overnight.

      IF you claim that you have not had paypal issues, you have to ask yourself "how would you know if you did? Do you have a way to measure this?"

      For most people (me included) the answer is no. I have no way to know if there is a PayPal problem ... but Daniel's info is statistically significant.

      Question: How can I measure this? My site has a buy now button and it goes directly to PayPal. How can I tell how many people are clicking on that button? Is there a way to track this?

      Now I'm worried ...
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by Chris Thompson View Post

        Folks,

        I use PayPal exclusively for a separate website that I run, not related to the audio course I'm soon launching.
        For some reason I laughed out loud when I read that sentence
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        nothing to see here.

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        • Profile picture of the author John Ritz
          That error has nothing to do with what web browser you used... browsers don't cause server side code to fail.
          Ah, then let me introduce you to AJAX...

          But many times if a customer tries to enter a credit card, and the email addy is the same as one associated with a PP acct, PP doesn't like that and will, in fact, often error them out. Not saying there's not other problems, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sirius Lin
    This is definitely something to be concerned about. In the IM niche, to not accept Paypal will certainly cut out a good number of buyers. Perhaps Paypal will have an answer for us soon?

    ~ Sirius
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  • Profile picture of the author zeurois
    Daniel, how did you notice that though? (I mean that they were filling up all the info then close)

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Emailrevealer
    In my shopping cart I can see if they picked paypal or credit card via authorize .net.
    The paypal transaction abort about 3 to 1.
    Then I email the client telling them I noticed they aborted and they tell me they were declined by paypal. I either refer them to authorize.net or take the payment over the phone.
    Paypal is not a real merchant payment system.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    Originally Posted by TDE View Post

    we have kids on here
    I'd say that's their parents' issue.
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    Question: How can I measure this? My site has a buy now button and it goes directly to PayPal. How can I tell how many people are clicking on that button? Is there a way to track this?
    I do it this way:

    I have the PayPal button go to a page with a redirect script. If you use the new PayPal encrypted "e-mail" link, you can easily have a javascript redirect without giving any details away. I also have an encrypted buy now button on the redirect page. I use Website Tollbooth to track how many people click through to that page and are redirected, although if you have any other type of tracking script on your site, you can use that instead.

    This doesn't tell me how many people get to the PayPal page and abandon vs get declined, but at least it is a measure of how much interest there is. I have to say I haven't noticed a decline in sales on any of my sites where PayPal is the main processor.

    ClickBank is another story, and Jasonl70 raises an interesting point.

    I use this same redirect method on a site where ClickBank is the processor, and sales have fallen of a cliff over the last month with 3 out of 4 click-throughs NOT resulting in a sale. Has anybody else experinced this problem lately?
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  • Profile picture of the author Blueray639
    I would just like to say that PayPal had a major problem recently with taking payments it took me two days and a dozen phone cals to them and my bank to get Paypal to admit that they had a problem with there system
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  • Profile picture of the author lpstoops
    Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

    This is serious. I'll tell you the deal.

    I have a Tshirt company and we were using paypal
    as our payment processor. We noticed that 1 out of
    every 3 orders were cancelled.

    That means they would take time to fill out all the info
    but wouldn't pay.

    Now there are some bullshitters, but the number was alarming.

    We soon started to get support calls and emails stating that
    when customers would try to enter their credit info (they didn't have paypal)
    they would get an error.

    We noticed a pattern. Paypal was randomly screwing up. I mean it
    was ugly!

    We then switched to authorize.net and started taking payments
    straight from the site into our merchant bank.

    Guess what? Cancels down to basically 0. except the normal
    bullshitters.

    Story over? No just beginning..........

    On one of my main niche sites I'm using paypal, and I recently
    turned it up and started getting alot of traffic and opt ins.

    Instead of going straight to paypal I decided to use 1shoppingcart.

    So I got 1000 opt ins today. Sales were decent, but 1000 optins
    I excepted more sales.

    Anyways 1shoppingcart shows the amount of people who put in
    their info before they pay with paypal.

    Long story short, there were 22 customers who didn't finish the
    payment process, but took the time to fill out ALL their real info.

    Didn't make sense.

    Then the emails start. "I tried to use my visa with paypal and
    I kept getting an error".

    Same thing that happened to my other business.

    2 completely different paypal accounts and different businesses.

    I'm in the process of switching all my sites str8 to authorize.net.

    This isn't some freak accident, paypal is screwing up sales, and
    you might not even know it.

    Daniel
    I've run into the same problem with Paypal. Usually with the CC payment process alone. If they have an account and run it through that way...no big deal. I've also heard of them having trouble with substantially sizable charges (we're talking $2k or greater). Not as many people have products of merchandise that size but it's still been a trouble.
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