Running an online store is no simple task. Between marketing and shipping, checkout processes and return policies, you’ve got a lot on your mind as you build your business online.
One thing you might not think much about is how you process payment in your online shop. You’ve probably implemented some sort of method for payment, but are you using the right one? Making a switch could be the boost you’re seeking for your shop.
How Do You Process Payment?
Plenty of online stores accept a payment processing service such as Paypal, often because it’s the easiest way to set up online payment processing. In the past, these services were available to even small merchants, and they allow customers to make purchases on debit or credit cards, without requiring the merchant to pay for processing them or collect information. It was also secure and trusted.
Fast forward, and while many shops still accept these payment methods, consumers are shifting away from them. Fewer people have active accounts, and fewer people want to take the time to sign up for an account. If the only way your customers can pay is through one of these services, it’s time to change how you process payment.
Accepting Cards Directly
Merchant accounts for processing online payments used to be difficult to get. Now, however, it’s relatively easy for even a small online shop to get a merchant account with a payment processing provider. Your shop can then accept credit and debit card payments directly.
Consumers want to pay directly too. It saves them the hassle of signing up for yet another service or trying to remember the password for an account they haven’t used in forever and a day. If you accept credit cards directly, there’s a good chance you’ll increase your sales. Customers want to be able to choose how they pay, and very often, they’ll pick the most convenient method!
Another reason online payment services are falling out of favor is security. In the past, these services were widely considered the most secure way to pay; the merchant never received any credit card information, and they didn’t have to store the information either. Instead, everything was processed through the third-party payment service.
Today, better security measures make it just as safe for consumers to pay directly by card on most websites. While everyone still needs to be cautious—shady websites still exist out there—most people would agree online credit card payments have become more secure.
In fact, payment services like PayPal might actually be more insecure, since they’re simply huge repositories of consumers’ credit and financial information. A hacker is more likely to breach their servers than to come after you—although you need to take precautions and protect both your customers and your business.
How Switching Increases Sales
You’re probably thinking this all sounds great, but how exactly does it help your online store thrive? Simply put, consumers want choice in how they pay, and they love convenience. Paying you directly, rather than signing into a third-party service, is much more convenient for them! And, given improvements in security, most customers feel safe and confident paying a merchant directly.
Giving your customers more freedom and choice in payment options make them more likely to shop with you, to spend more money, and to shop more frequently. Making payment more convenient also has this effect; the easier it is to do business with you, and to pay the way they want to pay, the more likely the consumer is to purchase from you and to become a repeat shopper.
They’re also more likely to recommend you to their friends and family, becoming ambassadors for your online shop. And all you have to do is change the way you process payment!