Selling products online is an excellent way of boosting profits for your business without the need of creating your own physical shopfront and hiring staff to deal with transactions. Especially when you consider the fact that in a modern world, an eCommerce store can be built within a couple of hours.
While selling online certainly holds great appeal, the approach is not without its challenges. You’ll need to figure out how to market your business, learn the best way to sell your products and all while keeping within your budgets. Although the eCommerce market is growing every single year and is projected to reach almost $4.9 trillion in 2021, competition is only increasing.
Fortunately, there are approaches that can be taken which ensure your business runs as efficiently as possible while saving money in key areas when dealing with online purchases. Here, we take a look at three of the most simple and effective ways of saving a potential fortune when selling goods to customers online.
Review your payment gateway
If you’re looking to set up a business online that will be accepting payments over the world wide web, your best solution is to utilize a payment gateway that’s capable of handling all the transactions you’ll be making. But be warned, not all payment gateways are created equally.
The most popular payment gateway in the industry is PayPal, and it’s favored by 244 million users worldwide. Transaction fees on PayPal typically range from 1.9% to 3.4% with an additional 20p charge when a purchase is made. As a small business owner, you’d need to be mindful of the company’s £14 chargeback fees and £20 monthly rental cost though – which could be taxing if you experience a high volume of returns for whatever reason.
Stripe is a viable competitor which may benefit your company depending on the type of set up you’re attempting to create. With no monthly fees or contracts, Stripe operates on a pay-as-you-go basis. While their transaction fees are slightly higher than PayPal, Stripe’s lack of contractual commitments make for a slick service that enables users to enjoy many of the same benefits but with fewer obligations.
Other services like Braintree, Amazon Pay, and Skrill offer great competitive rates with varying levels of contractual obligations and chargeback rates – so it really pays to do your homework and look at a service that works for you – it could really save you a fortune in the long run.
Selecting a payment provider will vastly depend on the products/services you’re selling. Stripe, for instance, may not be the best version if you’re looking to deposit the money to your bank account. It normally takes about a week for Stripe to fully process and verify the payment before releasing it to your bank account. On the other hand, payments made via PayPal can be usually transferred to your bank account within 2 hours. However, in most cases, PayPal charges a higher transaction fee.
Looking at a scenario where your business is focused on selling digital goods and services, the choice of a payment processor will mainly depend on the form/system you have in place. Although many providers offer numerous integration options, a custom built software paired with a payment processor of your choice may not be necessarily a perfect fit. This means that you may have to go through the docs for developers or hire a developer to ensure proper integration with your ordering system, which could mean hours in billings.
Social media is one of the most significant tools to enter the fray when it comes to marketing, brand awareness, and PR.
Where in the past companies had to pay huge sums to advertising agencies to reach customers, today it’s a case of spending however much you like and investing your time wisely in building your presence on social networks.
Here it pays to be shrewd. Take a moment to think about your target audience, and where they might be spending their time online. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are massive platforms that attract huge traffic each day. If your business deals in aesthetic industries like floral arrangements or beautiful products then Instagram could make for an excellent platform to showcase your business, while if you’re aiming to engage with customers and network then Twitter may work best.
When it comes to social media, there are no limits to the amount of self-promotion you can perform, so plan your time wisely around which platforms can benefit your business best and get to work on reaching out to the masses through smart hashtagging and engagements.
Don’t go overboard with your website
It might be very tempting to produce a technically excellent, alluring website – but there’s little point if doing so will cause your budgets to suffer.
Sometimes the excitement of getting a new endeavor up and running can cause us to get carried away. Remember that your USP is your product first and foremost, and if you’re considering taking measures to save money then it’s important to prioritize your operations ahead of building a sparkling new website.
It’s also imperative to ensure that your site is speedy enough to deal with the traffic you’ll receive while well-positioned to handle orders and process payments. Consider utilizing a simplistic design that costs less and keeps your visitors’ attention firmly fixed on the product that you’re looking to sell – by creating a big budget page you not only risk mismanaging your money but also diverting the emphasis from the items that you’re looking to sell.