So you’re building a business. You’ve got a lot of the hard work out of the way – you’ve got a name, a catchy tagline and you’ve even put together a beautiful website. Better yet, you’ve got an audience ready to part with their hard-earned cash for your product, and all you need to do now is sell it to them. But how are you going to take payment online? How are you going to keep track of orders? How are you going to make sure that more customers visit that beautiful new website?
ParcelHero knows how difficult it can be to build a new business, and we have worked with small and medium businesses around the world to build their customer base and maximise profit. There are a variety of tools that makes things simpler for you as a business, and we’ve collected some of our favourites.
The question remains however, how do you go about boosting your sales? The only way to make money from your business is to take payments – but no one is going to spend money on a website that they don’t trust. That’s where your payment platform comes into play – when your customer sees a name that they trust when the time comes to pay, they are more likely to actually make a purchase.
Stripe may be the new kid on the block for payment platforms, but they are quickly building a strong presence. Using Stripe is very simple. They’ll take a small cut of whatever payment they process for you, along with another, separate fee for the processing. This works out to about 34 pence for a £10 order.
With no monthly fee to worry about, the only thing that might change that is international orders, which have different rates to worry about. They’re easily recognisable too, with a unique style, and customers will be comfortable using Stripe.
Worldpay is one of the most established payment providers in the world, so it is familiar to most consumers active on the web. It is a good value option for smaller businesses, as the monthly rate of £19.95 covers 350 transactions a month. You’ll be charged an extra ten pence on every transaction over 350, but that still works out to a good rate.
For more transactions, you will require a Worldpay Zinc account. Opening one costs £79.99, with a £5.99 monthly fee afterwards. This is a similar method to Stripe, where you pay a percentage of every purchase – but Worldpay’s rate is just 1.95 per cent, which is excellent. This option gets more affordable the more transactions that are made, so it works well for growing businesses.
If you’re planning a different business model and would rather invoice your customers for your goods or services, you’ll need a tool that can handle both payment and invoicing for you. Paypal is one of the biggest names in the business for a reason, and is one of the most flexible services available.
By signing up to Paypal as a business, you gain access to a whole host of tools that help you keep track of your payments, payments received and invoices sent. It’s remarkably simple to use, and many of the options available are intuitive enough that learning to use them takes only a few moments.
Paypal also offers good rates on taking payment, working out to about 50 pence for a £10 order – just a little more than Stripe. As it’s also instantly familiar to everyone on the internet, Paypal may also encourage more consistent conversions and sales.
And once you have sold your goods and services, you have to keep up with the goods you have sold. The more successful you are, the more difficult that becomes. Thankfully, you can use a tool like Delivrd to keep track of your orders, and the stock you have. Delivrd is a cloud based system that is best for narrow focus businesses – like online retailers. There are two versions of the software, one free and one a subscription model that costs $50 a month. For most small businesses, the free version will likely be sufficient.
A particularly nice aspect of Delivrd is the look of the program; with clean, simple display it is simple to understand and keep track of your stock and manage inventory. And if you work with ecommerce programs like Shopify already, Delivrd integrates directly into that software.
Once you’ve got some satisfied, you want to keep them that way – and keep them coming back. Keeping in touch can be difficult, but not when you’re making use of a tool like Mail Chimp to keep track of what you’re telling your customers – and when!
With both free and paid versions, there’s flexibility to find the version that works best for your business. Either allows you to plan and schedule your communication with your customers – from weekly newsletters to a special discount code every now and then. Reminding your customers that you exist is a great way to get them coming back to your site, and Mail Chimp helps you orchestrate that.
By using it alongside some of the other online tools that we have discussed above, you’ll be taking the initiative, which is key when trying to boost your online sales. Few businesses are successful by sitting back and waiting, and it’s a tactic that is unlikely to work for you either. By being proactive in the tools that you are using, you are giving yourself the best chance possible to drive sales and find success.