Online shopping has reached record levels in recent years. With the ability to search for and purchase items from just about anywhere in the world, consumers have grown to expect a certain level of professionalism from online retailers. Just because your business is online-based doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow the same rules as a brick and mortar store when it comes to payments. Here are five rules for payment processing anyone selling online should know.
1. Security is Number One
Processing payments online is risky business. Hackers and cybercriminals from all over the world lurk on the web, looking to crack your security protocols and collect precious bank and other personal information that belongs to your customers.
Ensuring your site is secure will not only give your customers peace of mind and keep you in compliance, but it will lend a general feeling of trust to your business in the eyes of new or potential customers. Caring about security lets your customers know you’re putting their needs first, and that is an invaluable asset that any business would be proud of.
This sobering article at Business Insider shows just how many online retailers were hacked last year, and some of the big names in retail might just surprise you. Macy’s, Adidas, and KMart all reported online breaches in 2018, exposing customers to potential risk from hackers.
Whichever payment processing software/company you choose for your online store should have strict security protocols when it comes to processing bank and credit card information. Your site should also be secure, as a breach in your internal network could have the potential to be disastrous.
Be sure to research the security protocols of any ePOS software you choose to use for your site, and if there are any questions or concerns, give the company a call and see if they can assist you with the problem. Never leave your customer’s personal information to chance, or you likely won’t be in business very long.
2. Slow Payment Processing Means Disengagement
Have you ever tried to purchase something online, only to have the payment take ages to process or the website crashed midway through? This is not only incredibly frustrating but can be costly for the customers if they’re accidentally charged more than once for the same transaction.
Ensuring your ePOS system integrates well with your website and is quick and efficient will help reduce the chance for such errors, giving your customers peace of mind about their money and the item they’re purchasing.
Be sure to consult with the company you purchased your ePOS software from if you notice a change in the software’s behavior or a slow down in processing time. A long payment processing time can mean a customer simply disengages and visits another site; costing you a transaction and that person’s future business.
3. Accept Multiple Payment Methods
The great thing about an online store is that you should be able to accept just about any payment method out there (minus cash, of course). Paypal, electronic checks, credit and debit cards are just a few payment methods preferred by online shoppers.
Ensuring your ePOS system accepts various payments methods can help widen your customer base and give your business a reputation of modernism. The way we pay for products and service is constantly changing, so as an online retailer, you should be ahead of the game and keep yourself up to date.
The ability to accept many payment methods is a standard feature of just about any ePOS system you can get your hands on, but it’s always good to check the product description or call the company that created it to be sure. Don’t spend money on something before you’re certain it will meet all of your needs!
4. Don’t Forget Marketing!
An online store requires marketing as much as a brick and mortar store, if not more. Since you won’t have a physical presence anywhere, reaching customers and potential customers can prove to be much more difficult.
Using your ePOS system to create effective marketing campaigns will help keep you on top and appeal to potential buyers. Your ePOS system will help create customer profiles, collecting information on email addresses, phone numbers, and purchases. From there, you can tailor your marketing efforts to better meet the needs of your customers.
5. Check the Price
Some ePOS systems will charge on each transaction, some charge a subscription fee, and some will charge a percentage based on how much money you’re making. Choosing a service depends on what you’re willing to pay, and comparing rates is the best way to get a better deal.
First, you’ll want to choose what serves your business the best. If you’re a small store, you might want to opt for a per-transaction fee or a percentage fee; larger stores may want something more like a subscription fee so they’re not charged for every purchase.
Be sure that the price of the service or software matches its quality as well. You wouldn’t want to pay too much for a service of sub-par quality that will leave both you and your customers confused and/or frustrated.
Payment processing is a sensitive area for any business. Ensuring the safety and security of your customers’ information should be your top concern, as well as creating and managing a smooth website and processing page. The quicker and more secure your transactions are, the happier your customers will be.