Online shopping and eCommerce is growing extremely fast in Canada. It has been growing around 20% per year and 2020 has seen an explosion of growth due to COVID. Online shopping grew more than 30% in 2020. Consumers are now quite comfortable with online shopping, even to the point where people buy groceries and cars online.
For many small businesses, it is tough to compete online with companies like Amazon and Walmart. They offer a wide range of products with fast shipping. Two simple ways to become more competitive and grow your online business are 1) offer flexible online payments and 2) ensure you have low cost online payment processing.
Flexible online payments means more sales
Your online payments system needs to be flexible. This means several things. Overall, you want to be able to adapt to the ways that consumers want to pay online, support curbside pickup, and you’ll want to support any type of credit card, to name a few things.
Accept online payments from any credit card globally
There are dozens of types of credit cards and debit cards. Visa and MasterCard are the powerhouses, but there’s also AMEX, Discover, China Union Pay, and Diners, to name a few. The more credit card payments you support, the more accessible your online store is for potential customers. You’ll want a payment processor that supports them all, particularly if they can turn the supported cards on and off for you. Keep in mind that some credit cards are cheaper than others for merchants.
Support different currencies online
You may want to allow people to buy your products in their own currency. A specific currency sometimes makes buyers feel more comfortable and therefore there’s a higher likelihood they will spend.
A modern payment gateway has dynamic currency conversion (DCC). This means you can offer your product in 70+ different currencies, whichever your customer would like. Then your payments are automatically deposited into your bank account in your home currency.
Give the option for online subscription payments
If you have a recurring service or an option for people to buy a product monthly, you can set up a subscription plan, also known as a recurring payments plan. This automatically charges your customer in whatever frequency. This creates a “sticky” product and increases the lifetime value of your customer. This drastically increases the chances you’ll have a repeat customer.
Seamlessly integrate payments into your business software
You’ll want your online payments system to easily integrate into your other systems. This might be your website platform like WordPress, your accounting system like QuickBooks, or even your POS system in a physical storefront. Simple integration makes your workflow and operations more efficient and productive.
Allow for email invoicing with an online payment page
Sometimes your business may evolve where you invoice customers. You can send a customized invoice over email and people can pay in advance or even after they get the product. This allows for a low contact experience for consumers. Email invoicing has been growing rapidly because it gives customers the convenience to pay at their convenience.
Low cost online payments means more cashflow
Payment processing can be expensive. Many merchants are paying 3% to 6% and they don’t even know it. Double check your fees and get to know your effective rate as soon as you can. Low cost online payments means more cashflow giving you a competitive advantage.
Make sure you have cost-plus pricing, flat-fee, or membership pricing
Most merchants are on a tiered pricing model. This is not because they chose it. It’s because their payment processor sold it that way so they can charge higher rates. Paying the lowest rates means moving to a transparent pricing model like cost plus (interchange plus), flat-fee pricing, or membership pricing. Read more about the best pricing models for payments.
No cancellation fees
Don’t get locked into a payment processing contract with cancellation fees. Some payment processors have a $300 to $800 fee if you cancel. Sign up with a processor that allows you to move whenever you want.
Look for payment processors with no rate increases
Another critical point to get low cost payment processing is to move to a payment processor that has a commitment to not raise rates. It is common practice in the payment industry to raise rates every six months. Avoid that at all cost.
It’s all too common with merchants that switch to Clearly Payments who tell us their rates have been raised. Don’t wait for 2 years down the road, when you start to dig into your payment processing statement and find out you’re paying 6% of all your hard-earned sales to a payment system.
Get low cost online payments with Clearly Payments today.
Clearly Payments offers a one-stop-shop for a merchant account, payment gateway, and credit card processing. We’ll get you up and running in less than 24 hours.