Launch Your First eCommerce Website : Choosing the right payment partner (Part 3)

Tag: payment partner

Launch Your First eCommerce Website : Choosing the right payment partner (Part 3)

Launch Your First eCommerce Website : Choosing the right payment partner (Part 3)

In continuation with our series on the steps to launch your first e-commerce website, we shall discuss the finer aspects of deciding upon the best payments partner for your e-commerce business. Setting up a payments gateway for your e-commerce website can mean entering uncharted territory for many. However, there’s no denying the importance of selecting the right payment partner to accept online payments from customers and boost cash inflows. Just because its unfamiliar, it need not be intimidating! With the following tips, one can easily manage and win the online payments strategy:

  1. Well defined business goals: The payment processing is the final stage of the transaction. Having retained the customer within one’s website and after the shopping cart is loaded, it would be a death knell, if the customer had to leave the website and was directed to another page to complete the payment. This amounts to a high degree of revenue uncertainty as the frustrated customer might abandon the cart. One must have a well thought out strategy of managing the transactions from start to end and maximize sales conversions. With this is mind, it is best to opt for a secure payment solutions provider, smoothly integrated with the e-commerce portal, that would facilitate prompt payments with a few clicks and allow the customer to check out conveniently upon transaction completion.
  2. Money matters: Its best to opt for a payments company that is transparent and charges for the gateway services upfront. This way the merchant is not in for a shock later by way of hidden fees or variable fees based on the number of processed transactions. The most common pricing models are fee charged for each transaction, monthly or yearly usage, fees as a percent of transaction value, flat rate fees or bulk pricing. Often there may be hidden or additional fees like chargebacks, registration costs, set-up fees and renewal costs. One should also consider the other services offered by the payments company like multi-currency capabilities and support in case of failed transactions or errors while negotiating the fees structure. The payments gateway should ensure that the money is received by the merchant in minimum time, with no hassles for the customer.
  3. Secure solutions: It is an absolute must that the payments solutions comply with the highest security standards like PCI DSS framework. This would reassure the customer that his or her personal data and financial credentials are safeguarded, without the risk of confidentiality breach or data leakage. Security standards would offer fraud protection, which would enable the payment details to be processed via the secure payment gateway, rather than through a common server.
  4. Ease of integration into the portal: The payments solutions should be user friendly with a simple plug and use facility in a few clicks, rather than needing technical staff to set up and operate. Its important to select a payments gateway that has a smooth integration process with multiple features, to build a better connect with customers and win their trust.
  5. Support services: Running an e-commerce site is a 24*7 business. The payment processing towards a transaction can occur at any time and at any place. Thus, the support services of the payments company should be up and running, virtually at all times as a failed transaction or error needs to be addressed on an urgent basis. It would be a good idea to check the support medium of the payments gateway-whether email, call or live chat, with the last option indicating prompt problem resolution.
  6. Payment methods: Customers often prefer to do business with an e-commerce vendor that offers their preferred payment mode. While some may prefer credit cards, others may opt for debit cards or local wallets. Thus, it is important to select a payment processor that supports the popular payment methods as per local preferences.
  7. Omni channel platform: Its important to zero in on a payment gateway that can be hosted in the mobile e-commerce site and enable payments via the e-commerce mobile app. Irrespective of the device, whether smartphone, tablet, desktop or a laptop, the customers should be able to browse products and conveniently pay via the payments processor.

The right payment partner would enhance business value for the e-commerce merchant by facilitating simple, secure, prompt online payments 24*7 on the website. This would contribute towards increased sales conversions, better customer experience and speedy transaction completion. One must carefully study the features and the pricing before deciding upon the best payments gateway suited to one’s business needs. In our next article, we shall look at the final aspects of an online transaction post payment i.e. the product delivery and after sales customer services.


Selling to international customers? How to cross borders with PayTabs

Selling to international customers? How to cross borders with PayTabs

With the advent of internet and eCommerce, selling in your backyard is equated with selling in another country. The medium of sale is the same – your website. But then comes the actual legwork of ensuring your product reaches its customer and the money reaches your bank account. There are a lot of minor but significant factors at play here. Marketing, packaging, currency conversion, shipping, taxes, local duties and more make a small business wonder if they are really capable of taking on the complex world of export trade.

Depending on what you are selling, you’ll need partners in each of these spheres who can support you when you start (when the business may not be much but you’ll need the same degree of professional support) and continue supporting you when your business expands and you need high-tech support points.

If you are thinking of taking your products to international shores, here are a few things to keep in mind before you cross borders

  1. Identify markets for your products

Though you may already have a rough idea of where to start, it is always good to back business decisions with data. Where possible, find out about competitors selling in the market and what their on-ground sales have been like. This allows you to make a fair projection of what your sales can be. Now you’ll be able to prioritise markets where you need to enter first based on the expected sales volume.

A successful initial entry matters a lot. It gives you the confidence to push forward and also helps convincing future clients that you sell quality products that are accepted in multiple countries.

For example, the food import laws in several countries are quite stringent. You’ll not only need FDA clearances but also ensure your packaging has all the relevant information that is mandatory for the particular country. During your application, you may even have to specifically mention countries where the particular item has been refused entry.

  1. Identify a local distribution partner / retailer

Many start-ups may not have the means to set up a local office unless the conditions are proven viable. For initial market entry, it is best to go with a local distribution partner. These channel partners should be experienced personnel who can give you a taste of what your future sales can look like. They can also be your resource who can provide intelligence on how to tweak things and make it work.

  1. Understand generic laws and tax laws in each country related to products shipped from your country

Even if your product is sold in a particular international market, there may be specific laws applied to products that are shipped from your country. This may include but not limit to taxes, duties and other general laws on quality and quantity.

  1. Identify a shipping partner

Shipping is a biggie. First, you need to get the packaging right which is acceptable to the country you are shipping to. Second, you need someone who has a reputation for timely delivery. Third, you need to work with someone who can initially deliver small quantities and then grow with you to deliver bigger shipments when your market expands. Lastly, shipping costs can eat into your profits, so you’ll need to calculate the shipping partner who provides all of the above at good rates.

  1. Identify a payment partner

After all the groundwork, you’ll need to guide your hard earned money to reach your bank account. For this you’ll first have to ensure that the payment service provider works with multiple countries and currencies, intuitively adds in the most popular wallets in the country, provides easy APIs and makes transfer easy and allows invoicing even if you are on the go. A tall wish list but entirely possible. Sign up for a free demo account here.

There are many things about international sales and export trade that one can learn only from experience. Success isn’t final and failure isn’t fatal if you have an experienced partner to support your journey.