Business

5 Golden Rules For Taking Payments Online

If you are selling anything – products or services – online, you are more than likely aware of how challenging it can be. There are hundreds and thousands of different services to choose from before you even get started – and plenty of pitfalls on the way that can stop you in your tracks.

However, the good news is that as long as you follow the basic rules of selling online, there is no reason why you can’t be a successful online business. Here are those five golden rules – let’s take a closer look.

Security first

Always think about safety when you are selling anything on the web. Not only will it help you avoid attack from hackers, but online consumers will trust your website. The chances are that the vast majority of customers will have no idea who you are – and without great security in place, they will prefer to buy from another source. You put a lot of work into attracting customers to your website – don’t blow it by failing to invest in security for payments.

Multiple choice

Consumers all have their preferred method of making payments. So, it makes sense for online retailers to offer as many solutions as possible. You will, of course, already have the necessary credit and debit card payment options. But also think about PayPal and adding Amex to your offer. Even things like Bitcoin payments are becoming more popular. If you study your target demographic, you should find some interesting options – it is vital that you give your customers that all-important choice.

Avoid signups

Getting sign ups should be a priority for your online venture, as it’s an excellent way to market directly to your customers. However, the payment stage is not the right time to do this. For the average customer, all they want to do is pay for the product, and get back to their day. Securing that sale has to take priority over everything else. So, consider other tactics for building your email list and ensure you get those sales.

Use the right merchant account

There are many merchant providers, and each of them has their pros and cons. But – needless to say – all of them cost money. It is worth spending a lot of time researching with a calculator to ensure you are getting the best deal for your business. Even a slightly higher percentage point on each transaction can have a massive impact on your annual profits, so think carefully before making your choice. Bear in mind that you will need to shop around even more if you run a business in a ‘risky’ industry. High risk credit card processing tends to cost more than standard retail merchant accounts, so, again, scour around for the best deal.

Be clear and concise

Finally, whatever you sell online, make sure your customers can buy it easily. Everything – from browsing products to the ordering process – should be smooth, easy, and obvious. Make sure there are clear calls to action in place, telling your customers what they need to do next. You should see your sales start to increase almost immediately.

Any more tips to add? Let us know about them in the comments section below!

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Business

The Advantages Of Accepting Multiple Forms Of Payment

The main form of payment associated with online shopping is a credit card. Whether it is a Mastercard, Visa or American Express, credit cards were once the only way to buy online. They are still the most widely used payment method, but the fees they attract have led more people to use other platforms.

Provide customers with more choice

The best eCommerce software offers the functionality to accept more than one form of payment. Having this flexibility will make your site more appealing for customers, allowing them to choose what suits them the most.

PayPal

PayPal is an electronic money transfer service that was developed as a secure alternative to providing bank or credit card details online. It enables users to protect their personal details, while still having the convenience of digital payment system.

Bitcoin

This digital currency isn’t as widely used as PayPal, but it provides users with another form of payment when making online transactions. The appeal of accepting Bitcoin is the lower fees it incurs when compared to credit cards and that these fees are for the purchaser, not the retailer.

BPay or bank transfer

Direct transfers are ideal for appealing to customers who do not have or want a credit card. It is a simple way of conducting a transaction that many people understand well and use on a regular basis. The downside is that the transfer is not instant and can take a few days to clear, depending on the time of the week and the banks involved.

Make it simple to spend and people will

One of the reasons for Amazon and Apple’s success is their ability to make buying seem easier than not buying. Their payment systems are designed to create a culture of impulse buying and because they have your details already, there is very little opportunity given to back out.

Not every online retailer has the profile or consumer trust of these giants, so it is imperative for the smaller operators to give their customers the easiest, most convenient shopping experience possible. Not accepting a form of payment can be the difference between a consumer making their purchase, or heading elsewhere. Any time a customer has to stop and make a decision about how to deal with a checkout problem, they have an opportunity to change their minds or choose a competitor. Giving them the ability to select a payment method that works for them makes good business sense.

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