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What you need to know before starting an eCommerce business?

Category: Growth Hacks

what-you-need-to-know-before-starting-an-ecommerce-business

Ecommerce businesses demand dedication and careful planning. It is also important to properly execute the plans so that you can achieve efficiency and success. While setting up an online business is a dynamic process, there are certain guidelines which you can follow to ensure that your efforts yield the best possible results.

Let’s discuss those guidelines in detail –

Research the space

The first step in the process of setting up an ecommerce business is to research the online space. Apart from studying the broad online scenario, you should also analyze your own specific ecommerce segment. At this juncture, you may want to focus on several points such as the breadth and depth of the market and the likely future growth rate. Once you are done with the analysis, it is time for to create a niche for yourself. You may start by finding out your unique selling points or USPs. Recognizing the unique propositions of your business can help you in targeting the desired market segment in a more efficient manner.

Also Read: Starting Your E-Commerce Business: Key Points

Choose your Offering

Once you have analyzed the market, it is time to pick what you are going to offer to your clients. You may have a product to sell or a service to offer or have a portfolio consisting of various offerings. You should carefully curate your offerings to ensure the right mix. It is generally advisable to have a variety of goods and services so as to provide more comprehensive experience to your clients. It is also important to diversify your risk factor by investing in different lines of products. You should also pay attention to the supply chain to avoid the roadblocks for the procurement and the distribution of your product.

Set up your Business

It is the most crucial stage. You need to put your plans into practice. At this juncture, you need to pick up a proper name for your ecommerce business. Ideally, your business name should be closely related to your product and be easy to remember. You can further customize your business by choosing a logo to represent your mission. These things will help you in creating a distinct identity of the brand in the market. It will also be helpful in creating a niche market for yourself.

Also Read: How to Quickly Create an Online Store and Integrate a Payment Gateway

Take Care of Legalities

Every business is regulated by certain rules and legal requirements. Before you start your operations, you should make sure that your business is registered with proper authorities. You should also ensure that all the required fees and payments have been made. Ideally, the business name and logo should also be registered to protect your intellectual property. If you are entering into any collaboration with supply chain partners, then such partnerships should be ratified accordingly. It is generally helpful to take the services of a qualified legal professional to avoid any complications.

Automate

Ecommerce businesses are highly amenable to automation and the incorporation of technological tools. You should take advantage of these processes and incorporate them into your business. Some of the main examples of these tools are the billing processes and ecommerce payment gateway. Automation can not only free up your time, but can also help in optimizing the use of various resources including cash and human resources. Automation of services such as the use of ecommerce payment gateway also leads to smoother experience for your clients, thus promoting brand loyalty.

With the above points in your mind, you can easily navigate through the process of setting up an ecommerce business.

Also Read: How to setup your e-commerce store using Payshop

the-most-popular-online-payment-methods

Online payment methods have become increasingly popular due to widespread use of internet-based shopping. Efficient payment solutions not only ensure that your business retains its liquidity but also endeavors to provide smooth services to the clients. The right payment method helps you attract more customer and address a larger market. However, before choosing one for your business, it is important to keep certain facts in mind. The selected methods should be flexible yet robust. To make things easier, here is the list of the top online payment methods.

  1. Credit Cards:

    Credit cards have emerged as one of the most frequently used online payment methods. These cards usually have international acceptability, making them highly useful for online transactions. If you want to offer this feature to your customers, you need to decide whether you want your own dedicated merchant or an intermediary holding account. It is important determine the best option as selecting one over the other can result in different business processes and funding times. This method is highly flexible as the client may choose to make payments in installment. Further, these cards also offer high level of transaction security.

  1. Internet Banking:

    This is an upcoming online payment method. Internet banking comes with various payment options, which are tailored to meet different requirements of clients. This electronic payment system is considered safe and secure. The client may be required to pay certain charges to their bank for using these services. However, this method is still relatively cheaper than most of the other online payment methods.

  1. Mobile Payments:

    Mobile payment methods are regulated transactions that is performed from your mobile device. This payment method has become widely popular as people consider contactless payment to be the safest option. It is secure, fast and convenient. Mobile may be used for processing payments made by a chip card or a credit card. This payment option is highly flexible as it incorporates several methods such as typing the credit card number or simply dipping a chip card to process a payment. There has been development of mobile payment hardware as well for the purpose of swiping physical cards and processing the payment. This method of online transaction will likely to gain more traction in the coming times.

  1. Online Payment Gateway:

    You can offer this payment method to your clients by simply adding an online payment solution. It is the simplest way for organizations to collect online payments from their website or an app. This solution is swift and convenient. Choosing a reliable online payment gateway is an important decision as several options are available in the market. However, it is vital to check out all the options and pick the one that best suits your business as many gateways offer one stop solution. These gateways not only allow you to expand your market but also to offer security and safety to your clients.

  1. Click to Pay Email Invoicing:

    Email invoicing is amongst the most user-friendly methods of online payments. It is a fully integrated and intuitive to use. It also allows your clients to generate their payment by producing an invoice. Businesses can streamline their process with this method. With increasing number of people making online purchases, the payment solution has become quite popular. It is also fast as when a customer clicks the link and pays the invoice, it is automatically updated in the system as paid, saving both your time and energy.

Also Read:5 Emerging Trends In The Mobile Payments Space

here-is-everything-you-need-to-know-about-merchant-accounts

Have you always dreamt of running your business smoothly and efficiently? What do you know about merchant accounts? Well, proper management of cash flows is an integral part of it. If you are looking to set up a new business or even if you are already running one, you need to look at your cash flows to ensure that you maintain proper liquidity at all times. Opening a merchant account can help you in streamlining your cashflows and get proper control over your finances. There are several merchant account solutions available these days. In order to choose the right one for your business, here are some tips you can follow.

Know what a merchant account is:

In order to obtain the best merchant account to meet your business requirements, first make sure that you are knowledgeable about the different features of a merchant account. A merchant account is a type of bank account which enables a business to accept payments through debit and credit cards in addition to several other types of electronic payment solutions. You will need to collaborate with a payment processor for this purpose. However, you should also note that not all merchant accounts are created equally. Shop around to see what type of merchant account is able to meet your specific requirements. You should pay attention to your business size, growth rate and future plans to pick the right kind of payment partner.

Also Read: Merchant Account Vs. Payment Gateway: What’s The Difference?

Pay attention to fees and costs:

While a merchant account will help you in keeping your business financially efficient, you should be aware that these services come at a cost. Hence, it is important that you pay proper attention to all the fees. Generally, these costs may be divided into two categories, which are upfront or setup costs and operating costs. There are many merchant accounts which may come with nil set up fees too. However, before making any decision, focus on operating costs as well since these are the costs you will have to pay for the entire duration of your merchant account. If the costs are charged on the basis of volume, then keep your growth rate in mind, since these costs tend to add up real fast.

Pay attention to hardware and software:

Every merchant account deals with both hardware and software. It is vital that you gauge the efficiency and security of these services. Hardware generally includes payment terminals, which are required for payment processing. Such hardware may be leased or given to you outright. Make sure that you fully understand all the charges involved and that there are no surprises. For software, you should ensure that the system can seamlessly integrate with your existing business setup. Pay attention to the fine print in terms of cancellation, withdrawals and other charges.

Also Read:5 Common Myths about Merchant Accounts Processing That Can Lead You Astray

Customer service and support:

When you decide to engage an online payment processor, you should look into the customer service and support provided by them. Payment processing is complex and there will be times when you will require urgent customer care. You should ensure that your provider is able to process your grievances promptly. There should also be provision for self-service so that you are able to fix minor issues and minimize the potential damage. The customer service should be available through different channels such as emails and telephone. However, in some cases, you may also arrange for a dedicated account executive.

Flexibility and customization:

Your online payment processor should be able to provide you customizable features so that your system can be adapted to accommodate the requirements of your business. It should be tailor-made to ensure that you are able to offer the best possible services to your clients. It should also be flexible so that it can provide for your expanding business. You may want to offer diverse payment options to your clients too and your payment processor should be in a position to accommodate such changes.

Also Read: Top 7 Most Common Merchant Account Complaints that Can be a Red Flag

Merchant accounts are extremely important for online businesses and should be chosen carefully after due deliberation. And by following the above guidelines, you can bring positive changes to your online business.

how-to-choose-an-online-payment-gateway

For an online business, choosing an online payment gateway is one of the most important decisions. In order to do that, you should pay attention to a number of factors including customer satisfactions. It is important that your business provides smooth payment experience to the clients, while ensuring the safety and security of their funds and sensitive data.

Here are some of the guidelines that will help you choose the right online payment gateway to ensure that your clients get the best services.

Understand the Process

In order to make an informed choice, it is important to understand the process of online payment gateway system. It is a tool that authorizes credit card payments and other types of online payments for e-commerce transactions. When a client enters their credit or debit card information for online payment processing, then gateway encrypts the data and sends it to the payment processor. The payment processor is responsible for sending the request to the client’s bank, which may either accept or reject the request. This decision is again relayed by the payment processor to the payment gateway.

Fees and Charges

Pricing is another important aspect to keep in mind while choosing an online payment gateway. If the fee is charged on the basis of percentage then you should be careful about the volume of the business, as after a certain extent, these fees begin to pile up. Different payment gateways may charge different fees and expenses. You should make it a point to note that such fees are not excessive. Some of the most common types of charges are interchange, assessment, markup and processing. You should carefully analyze your business to find whether you should opt for flat pricing or tiered pricing.

Also Read: Switching Your Payment Gateway

Hosted or Integrated

While incorporating a payment gateway, this is yet another important factor to be kept in consideration. A hosted payment gateway redirects the clients to the payment processor’s platform for data input. On the other hand, integrated payment gateway is connected to your website using the gateway’s API for online payment processing. Here, customers do not have to leave the store to enter their financial data. However, this option will require you to undertake rigorous task of payment gateway integration.

Safety Measures

While it is important to provide a fast and smooth experience to your clients, it is equally vital to ensure that yours and your clients’ data is adequately secured. You should look at the technologies employed by various online payment gateways. Nowadays, a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS protocol is deemed to be the bare-minimum necessity. You should also consider the compliance level offered by the payment gateway. Further, it is also recommended to study the PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire and completing Attestation of Compliance. You should also check whether your service provider offers regular software updates to ensure protection against cyber-attacks.

Also Read: The 4 Step Procedure for an Easy Payment Gateway Integration

Study the Support System

Online payment gateway is an important component of an online store. On many occasions, you may require support system to help solve your payment related issues. Ideally, your online payment gateway should offer different modes of support system including chat service, telephonic support and email support. Further, your payment gateway should also be able to process different type of payments systems such as credit card, debit card, direct debit among other systems. If you are engaged in cross-border business, then you should be able to process different types of currencies as well.

To conclude

Choosing the right online payment gateway is not that difficult if you understand your business needs. All you need to do is consider all the factors discussed above before selecting the right provider.

online-payment-advice-to-boost-your-b2b-business

Businesses are currently going through challenging times. The conventional methods are not effective anymore as the situation has taken an unprecedented turn. However, even in these times, business entities can follow certain guidelines to make their processes smoother and safer. If you are engaged in B2B business, then you can boost your online payment system to fortify your liquidity situation. The use of technology makes these tips more useful and efficient. So, here are some guidelines for managing your online payment processes to ensure that your business remains on the right track during this crisis.

  1. Initiate Online Invoicing:

    If you are still collecting payments for your goods and services through traditional printed invoices, then it is time to take a leap of faith and start with online invoicing. The online invoicing system has several advantages over regular invoicing in terms of costs and speed. This type of invoicing is much faster and helps you with cash generation in a lesser period of time. Electronic invoicing is also more streamlined and thus more efficient. It helps in reducing invoicing errors so that both you and your clients can spend fewer resources on rectifying the issues. Online invoicing can then be conveniently integrated with the online payment system to ensure further efficiency.

  2. Optimize your Costs:

    Once you have decided to take the online payment route, it is time to take stock of all the costs involved. While in the beginning, the system may seem pricey, it is important to take a long-term view. Also, there are several alternatives available which may help you in controlling the costs. One important category of costs is the payment processing cost category. These costs may make a difference to your bottom line, and therefore, are important for the control purpose. You are advised to seek different options so as to find the best possible solution at a minimal cost. You may also want to negotiate the terms and conditions before you settle down for a particular service provider.

  3. Install Online Fraud Detection System:

    As useful as the online payment system is, it comes with its own set of challenges. Some of the most important issues in this regard is the safety of the system. Online payments are the target of various fraudsters and scammers. In order to protect the interest of your business and your clients, it is important that you are aware of such miscreants. It is also advisable to come up with a clear cut fraud prevention You should keep your system updated to provide protection against new viruses and other cyber attacks. Advanced technological tools such as anti-virus software may come in handy in this regard.

  4. Incorporate the Latest Modes of Payments:

    Offering a wide range of choices is the key to achieve customer satisfaction. And today, there are several options available when it comes to making an online payment. Currently, tools such as mobile wallets and cryptocurrency are gaining a large following too. You can ensure higher customer satisfaction if you provide these tools for payment purposes. Most of these tools take minimal time for setup and are highly cost-effective as well. Further, these tools also provide more diversity and flexibility to your system. They are accessible even through mobile phones, which can be helpful in further expediting the online payment system.

  5. Simplify the Process:

    While online payment systems come with a wide range of options, it is important to ensure that the system still remains simple enough to understand and operate. B2B payment systems are often prone to complexities after all, especially when you introduce new features or make changes. You can solve this issue by taking proper stock of your clients’ requirements. You should also keep the number of options offered under control. It is vital that your business partners and collaborators understand the process completely too. Moreover, you should endeavor to keep the number of steps a few as possible, since lengthy payment systems tend to be more complicated.

The above guidelines are designed to ensure that you are able to set up your online payment system with the least number of problems. In this regard, you may also want to collaborate with established payment services providers to get started. Such providers may help you set up and operate your online payment system efficiently and economically.