Making the payment process seamless and secure is of essential value in ecommerce. One such solution that ticks all the boxes is Stripe Checkout.
This article guides you on integrating Stripe Checkout into your website, walking you through the setup of a Stripe account, installing and configuring the plugin, adding checkout buttons, customizing their appearance, and testing the integration.
By the end, you will know how to utilize Stripe to optimize your customers’ checkout experience, manage their data, handle payment processing errors, and potentially increase sales.
Overview of Stripe Checkout
Stripe Checkout is a prebuilt, mobile-ready payment page designed to eliminate payment obstacles and assist you in fraud prevention while supporting multiple payment methods, including Google Pay.
With its customizable appearance and easy, no-code integration – Stripe Checkout can be the secret sauce that makes your online store more supple and compatible with various payment methods. Its purpose is to facilitate the checkout process for the customer while giving the business owner another way to sell products and services to users with different budgets.
To implement Stripe Checkout into your ecommerce business, you will need to go through some steps outlined below.
Setting up a Stripe account
Before you can do anything with Stripe Checkout, you need first to have a Stripe account:
- Go to the Stripe website. Visit Stripe’s homepage and click on the Start Now button.
- Sign up. You will be taken to the sign-up page, where you will need to fill in your email, full name, password, and business details.
- Verify your email. Check your inbox for a verification message from Stripe, and click on the verification link to confirm your email address.
- Complete your account setup. Upon verification, you will be redirected back to Stripe to complete your account setup by providing more business details and setting up two-step authentication for added security.
- Access your dashboard. Once your account setup is complete, you will be redirected to your Stripe Dashboard, where you can manage all your transactions, customers, and account settings.
- Get your Stripe API keys. From your dashboard, navigate to Developers > API Keys to find your publishable key and the secret key you’ll need when installing the Stripe Checkout plugin on your website.
Now that you have an account and access to the API keys to integrate Stripe with your website, you can continue to the next phase.
Installing the Stripe Checkout plugin
Next, you need to install the plugin you just gained access to so that Stripe can be used as a payment method in your online store:
- Access your website’s back-end. Log into the back-end of your website, where you manage your plugins. This process will vary depending on the platform you are using.
- Search for Stripe Checkout. In your plugin management area, search for Stripe Checkout and make sure you pick the right one, as you will probably see many.
- Install the plugin. In most cases, you will have to click on an Install button to add the Stripe Checkout plugin to your ecommerce platform, leaving it to the system to perform the download and installation.
- Activate the plugin. After installation, you should have the equivalent of an Activate button to enable the Stripe Checkout plugin.
- Enter your API keys. Once the plugin is enabled, you need to enter the Stripe API keys from the previous phase. You can find these in your stripe dashboard under Developers > API Keys.
At this point, you should be able to accept payments because you have linked your website to your Stripe account. But before we go there, let’s make some adjustments to it.
Configuring the Stripe Checkout settings
Once you add Stripe Checkout to your site, you need to configure the Stripe Checkout settings. This primarily involves customizing the appearance and functions of the plugin on your website:
- Navigate to the Stripe Checkout settings. From your website back-end, go to the Stripe Checkout integration’s settings page, which should be in the Settings area of your platform.
- Enter your Stripe API keys. If you haven’t done so during the plugin installation phase, enter your Stripe API keys in the respective fields, including your publishable and secret keys.
- Configure your payment settings. This involves setting your preferred currency, enabling payment via Google Pay, and selecting whether you wish to provide customers with a Stripe hosted payment option for physical goods.
- Set up your Stripe checkout page. From here, you can customize the appearance and content of your checkout page by adding the name, logo, and description of your business or the products you sell. The details around this process are outlined further down this blog piece.
- Enable local payment methods. To maximize your sales potential, enabling local payment methods is necessary because it allows customers from different regions to make online payments using the method they prefer.
- Save your settings. It would be a waste to close the tab before you have clicked on Save to apply all the changes to your website’s settings.
You have the main payment element up for your Stripe checkout page and have customized it to your liking. Now, it’s time to add the interactive element – buttons.
Adding Stripe Checkout buttons to your website
You can use the prebuilt payment page for Stripe Checkout, but it is recommended that you add a Stripe checkout button in multiple locations on your website. In order to do so, follow these steps:
- Determine where to place your buttons. Based on your web pages’ structure, you can identify the areas where Stripe Checkout buttons would not feel out of place.
- This might be right below the Add to Cart button and before the product details on product pages, the cart page itself, or a dedicated Stripe-hosted payment page.
- Access the Stripe dashboard. Logging into your Stripe account will take you to your dashboard, where you can perform the next steps.
- Create a checkout session. Go to the Billing section on your dashboard and click on Checkout Sessions. From there, you can create a new session.
- You will need to fill in the necessary details, such as the exact price ID or sell price, product details, and shipping details. Afterward, select the desired settings for handling payments and addresses.
- You can implement a back-end system for large catalogs that dynamically creates checkout sessions with the exact price for each item fetched from your database or platform. That way, you won’t have to go through the process manually.
- Retrieve the checkout button code. You will receive a script tag containing the code for your checkout button and will also include a reference to the session ID of the checkout session you created.
- Add the button code to your website. Copy the script tag and paste it into the front-end of your website where you want the checkout button to appear. When customers click this button, they will be redirected to your Stripe Checkout page to fill in a payment form and complete the checkout process.
By the end of this phase, you should have the technical aspects of Stripe’s hosted payment page out of the way, and you should be left with some cosmetic changes to make.
Customizing the appearance of Stripe Checkout
To align the Stripe Checkout process with your brand and provide a seamless checkout experience to your customers, there are various ways you can approach this. Check them below:
- Access your Stripe Checkout settings. For this to work, you will need to go to your Stripe Checkout settings in your website back-end once again.
- Customize your checkout appearance. Here, you can change the colors and fonts used on your checkout page to match those of your brand better. You can also add your logo for a more personalized experience.
- Enable address automatic completion. To streamline the process, you can have the address auto-complete by utilizing third-party autofill solutions to suggest addresses as customers type, reducing the likelihood of errors.
- Add custom messages or instructions. Optionally, you can add a note to the buyer or instructions, such as information about your return policy or shipping times.
- Save your settings. Don’t forget you need to save all changes made for them to take effect.
Your Stripe Checkout integration should now be complete, with all left being the testing and troubleshooting of any errors.
Testing the Stripe Checkout integration
With your Stripe Checkout integration added and configured, you need to generate a payment link. Go through the checkout process to see if everything is working correctly:
- Navigate to your Stripe dashboard. Again, go to your Stripe dashboard, but this time, click on View Testing Data on the left-hand side menu.
- Create a test payment. Use a test card number provided by Stripe to make a one-time payment on your website.
- Verify the payment. Check that the successful payment appears in your Stripe dashboard and that the payment information is correct.
- Test error handling. Enter incorrect payment details to trigger an error. Your website has to display error messages and guide customers to fix this correctly.
- Test the checkout experience. Run through the entire checkout process to see how smooth and straightforward it would be for customers. Do it on desktop and mobile devices and different browsers to ensure compatibility.
If all works well, that’s good. If something doesn’t, you should have processes for those cases.
Handling payment processing errors
Even if we don’t like to admit it, sometimes, payment errors can occur during the checkout process, which is why we recommend going through these steps to help you maintain customer trust and reduce the number of lost sales.
- Monitor payments in the Stripe dashboard. Regularly check your dashboard to identify any failed payments quickly.
- Understand common error messages. Familiarize yourself with common Stripe error messages so you can quickly address issues.
- Communicate with customers. If a payment fails, consider contacting the customer with the error message and possible solutions.
- Troubleshoot the issue. Use the information provided by Stripe to troubleshoot the problem. This could mean checking your Stripe settings or contacting Stripe support.
- Although far from ideal, if this happens only with one-time payments for specific customers, you can redirect them to Stripe support to receive specialized assistance.
Alas, issues can pop up here and there during the checkout process, but when you manage customer data, you should never do it half-heartedly.
Managing customer data in Stripe
Customer data must be protected and handled carefully, as stated in multiple legal documents worldwide. Stripe’s web app offers options to manage customer data and further your understanding of sales patterns.
- Open your Customers Section in Stripe. You can access the Customers Section from your dashboard and view a list of all customers purchased on your website.
- View customer details. Click on a customer’s name to view their full details, including their email address, payment method, and purchase history.
- Export customer data. You can export your customer data as a CSV file if you want to perform the analysis in another program.
- Create customer segments. Grouping customers into segments is one of Stripe’s additional features. You can perform segmentations based on criteria like purchase history or location, which could be implemented into your marketing efforts.
As you can see, there are several ways to approach customer data in Stripe. The best thing about it is that you won’t lose any data that otherwise might be gone for good through payment integrations with other payment methods.
Integrating Stripe with other payment methods
Having Stripe-hosted payment set up is all sunshine and roses. Still, if you want to up your game and maximize customer convenience, then you have to establish payment links to accommodate other payment methods:
- Find Payment Settings in your Stripe dashboard. This is where you can manage your accepted payment methods.
- Add a new payment method. Choose from the list of available ones.
- Customize the settings. Depending on your chosen payment method, you might be able to customize the settings.
- Test the new payment method. As usual, check if the new payment method is working correctly.
You have done everything you can to strap customers up for their Stripe Checkout experience… Or have you?
Optimizing the checkout experience for customers
You may be already doing everything you can, but you may have missed some steps during the optimization phase of the overall customer checkout experience.
If so, here is what you can do for optimal results:
- Simplify the checkout process. Use a prebuilt payment page to reduce the steps customers need to take to make a payment.
- Enable address auto-completion. This speeds up the process by automatically filling in the customer’s address based on their input.
- Use third-party autofill. If you haven’t, enable this feature so that users with third-party tools and add-ons can complete their purchases more easily.
- Customize the appearance of your checkout page. When it matches your brand’s aesthetic, the experience feels more unified for the customer.
- Have a field for discounts and promo codes. Most platforms have this field, but if yours doesn’t, you should add it to incentivize purchases through your marketing and email campaigns.
Stripe Checkout gives you an extra payment option to offer customers, but if it’s done poorly, it may affect the checkout experience negatively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that you have done everything you can to satisfy your customers throughout the checkout process.
Frequently asked questions
Can I test the Stripe Checkout integration before going live?
Yes, you can use Stripe’s test mode to simulate payments and verify transactions occur without any issues.
What should I do if I encounter any payment processing errors?
Review the error messages, identify the issue, and implement the appropriate solution. Stripe provides detailed documentation on handling errors that you can use.
What other payment methods can I integrate with Stripe?
Many, but it depends on the location of your business and customers. Some payment methods integrated with Stripe include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay, SEPA Direct Debit, and Klarna.
What fraud prevention features does Stripe have?
Stripe has several such features. The Radar tool uses machine learning to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. The 3D Secure feature is used for additional customer authentication.