2016 is halfway over, but the world of online payments, e-commerce, and credit card processing is constantly changing.

Businesses are trying new payment and marketing techniques in the hope of reaching customers and increasing conversions.

Where desktop falls in the world of e-commerce payments

Many people have predicted the death of desktop as more people make purchases on smartphones and tablets. However, Monetate's Ecommerce Quarterly Report for Q1 2016 revealed 90 percent of online shoppers started their purchasing journey on a desktop computer. Ninety-one percent completed their shopping on a desktop as well.

Even more interesting is the fact that desktop mainly dominated during work hours. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., desktop made up between 75 and 84 percent of all page views. What is more, the percentage of views on mobile devices didn't reach these heights during non-working hours. During the early morning, late night and commuting hours, smartphones and tablets comprised 40 to 45 percent of all page views.

"Customers usually use the same device for both initial research purposes and the final purchase."

One thing the Monetate research revealed was that consumers usually use the same device for both initial research purposes and the final purchase, regardless of how long it takes them to actually complete the sale. Only 42 percent of purchases are made within the first hour of a person's visit to a retail website, so the majority of consumers had ample time to switch devices in between the beginning and end of their shopping journey. Even so, 99 percent of purchases made on a desktop computer were started on one as well. The same was true for 64 percent of smartphone purchases and 84 percent of those made on a tablet.

The primary takeaway here is that businesses shouldn't be lured by marketing experts who claim that desktop is dead and that everything will be done on a smartphone. While mobile shopping is certainly growing in popularity, desktop is still the primary solution for many online shoppers and shouldn't be ignored.

How e-commerce retailers are tackling cart abandonment

Research from the online marketing and advertising agency Ve Interactive found that overall cart abandonment rates for spring 2016 average almost 70 percent, Internet Retailer reported. Some industries had better rates than others, however – rates for home improvement websites averaged 45 percent, for example. Beauty retailers were particularly effective at re-engaging shoppers to reduce abandoned carts. Many used overlays that appeared over the rest of the content when shoppers moved their mouse to the address bar, clicked a different window or otherwise indicated they were leaving the website. For beauty retailers, these overlays engaged nearly 10 percent of consumers, 53 percent of whom converted.

Another way businesses can reduce their cart abandonment rates is by working with an online payment processing company that provides hosted payment pages or iFrames. Some credit card processors force online shoppers to check out on a page that matches the processor's branding and not that of the business the customer was shopping with. When the webpage for checkout doesn't match the rest of the internet retailer's website, consumers get confused and sometimes leave without finishing their purchase. By using hosted payment pages or iFrames, online retailers gain some control over the design of their shopping cart. They can make these pages match the rest of their content and minimize the risk of confusing customers.

"Companies are starting to realize that not all types of content are created equal."

The new way online businesses use content marketing

It's hard to image a business that doesn't understand just how important content is to their overall marketing strategy. However, companies are starting to realize that not all types of content are created equal. As Entrepreneur noted, it's time for businesses to focus on long-form content. This type of marketing goes beyond providing brief, keyword-ridden blog posts designed to attract search engines. Long-form content also has the benefit of keeping customers engaged and on your website for as long as possible.

Entrepreneur provided Amazon as an example of long-form content done well. Each product page has a description, item specifications, critical and customer reviews, several pictures and more. By providing all of this information, Amazon makes it easy for customers to find whatever it is they deem relevant.

The world of online retail is a vastly different place from where it began. By keeping up with the latest research and understanding how other businesses operate, companies stay on top of the numerous changes associated with this line of business.

Brought to you by PacNet Services, your one-stop global payment processing solution.