The easiest way to manage registration and payments for your events and programs is to automate the process. The best way to do automate registration is to get online!
There are many different online registration and payment platforms on the market, so deciding which features are important are crucial to finding a system that will automate your operations and help you to manage the tasks at hand.
Below are 3 things you should know when setting up online registrations and payments online.
Find an online registration and payment solution that meets your needs
The most important thing about setting up online registration and payments is having the process integrated onto your website.
27% of customers will leave your registration process when they are redirected to a 3rd party website for registration and payments. This is because they’ve lost trust in the process and don’t feel comfortable placing their information on a website they aren’t familiar with.
Whether you use a 3rd party online registration software or you decide to build a custom solution yourself – it’s paramount that the process stays on your website.
Additionally, registration and payments on your website streamlines your branding, and allows you to control the design experience of your registration flow. Registration is your organization’s “store front” so you want to make sure it looks good!
The advantages of a third party registration solution are many!
For one, it’s much easier and more cost effective than building a custom solution. Feature updates come standard, changes or updates to your process don’t require tons of additional development hours, and you can get up and running VERY quickly with an established solution.
With the addition of online payments – most third party solutions have merchant account relationships and integrations, which means the process of setting up an online merchant account is virtually painless as compared to going it alone.
To review, the advantages of an online registration and payments provider include:
- Cost effective: Using an online registration software will cost you less both up front and long term than custom development.
- Registration on your website: With some providers, you still have the option to integrate your registration and payment process seamlessly on your website without the need for custom development.
- Merchant Account set-up: Third party providers make it easy to integrate payments into your registration and lower the barrier of entry to merchant account setup and approval.
What to look for in an online registration provider
You can find an exhaustive list of important online registration features here, but the main things you should look for in any 3rd party online registration provider are:
- Can the software embed onto your website?
- Does the software have the ability to collect payments within the registration process?
- Can you create payment plans with automatic billing functionality to automate online payments for your event or program?
- Is there a back end that is easy to use to manage your data and pull reports?
- How easy is it to edit and create forms?
- Who owns user data and how secure is the system?
- Is setting up a merchant account easy?
The above list is a great starting point when evaluating an online registration software option – both when looking at their website and during a demo.
Create your registration flow that is best for your customers
You want to find a balance between a good user experience for your customers, and a good user experience for yourself when viewing and working with your data.
A solution that provides project setup assistance will help achieve this balance, and make setting up online registration painless.
You want to begin with defining the information you need, and the cost of your offerings. A few tips when building out your forms:
- The form should be easy to read. It’s a good idea to have several smaller forms vs one long one. User fatigue is real and breaking up your forms helps users move through them more comfortably.
- Ensure you don’t ask the same thing twice. A pitfall for many organizations comes when translating a paper form online – remember if you’ve asked for an email address or phone number on one form, you don’t need to ask for it again!
- Make it idiot proof to understand the flow – colorful buttons instructing users to “pay” or “go to next step” help, along with a colorful progress bar to show how far they’ve come.
- A dashboard to show an overview of purchases made, forms completed, and payments outstanding will help users feel like they are in control of the process.
Integrate payment options on your website
If you are going with a 3rd party solution – ensure that setting up a merchant account is easy to do and that the payment form is part of the overall registration flow.
Additionally – if you have discounts, or variables to pricing including multiple order discounts or multiple user discounts, ensure your solution can accommodate these needs.
The biggest time saver when moving to an online registration platform is a system that can auto calculate balances for your users in a complex way to ensure discounts and other variables are accounted for.
As users move through your process, checkout is integrated seamlessly, along with payment plan options to ensure you get paid for larger ticket items that can’t be purchased in a single transaction.
The combination of integrated payments, automatic billing, and payment plan offerings can increase your payment rate by 75% with no work on your end besides the initial set up!
Finding a solution to manage online registrations and payments on your website doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you find the provider to meet your needs, you can quickly begin to streamline your registration and payment processes for your events and programs.