These days we use the computer to accomplish anything from planning a wedding to “diagnosing” an illness. What used to take hours now takes seconds, including tasks associated with running a business.
Businesses establish themselves online for marketing, meetings, customer service, and more. Many, as you know, also do it to accept online payments. As a business owner, are you equipped to do so? If not, let’s discuss how you could benefit. Here are the top 3 reasons your business should accept online payments:
- Your competition is already doing it. Sure, you may know a guy down the block who doesn’t, but you also know a strong competitor who does. While the online payment revolution originated in specific business-to-consumer industries, it has spread rapidly. If you have a B2C offering, you’re a bit behind the curve. If you’re a business-to-business offering, there are still holdout industries that prefer the familiarity of a paper invoice and check. Read on to see some stats that might peak your interest. Also, keep in mind that accepting online payments doesn’t mean you have to abandon past techniques (although you may want to after time); it simply adds another option so it’s easier for your customers to pay you.
- Business happens online. We’ve all heard the past few years’ Black Friday performance—when retail sales have been down or less than expected, online sales have continued to grow. If your business is B2B, you may be thinking, “Well, my customers aren’t buying shoes and books.” But did you know that other small businesses will spend over $66 billion online in 2011? And, over 87% of business decision-makers researched a product online before purchasing it offline.In addition, all of this online purchasing and abundance of information at our fingertips has actually changed the way we shop. Before, in our purchasing process, we consistently whittled down our options. But today, the number of products or services we consider actually grows—escalating the need to make your online customer experience stand out above that of your competitors even more important. A recent study from the ECSB shows this evolution:
Businesses that exist online throughout the purchasing process, including the transaction itself, are setting themselves up to receive a larger chunk of the pie.
- It will save you time. The return on time invested in setting up online payments is very fast – mainly because, having chosen the right vendor, it can be a breeze. In a recent blog post, we went into more detail about how to set up a merchant account. What that post didn’t cover was the immediate benefits reaped from setting up online payments for your business. After you upload your customer database or set up your online payment pages, online payment acceptance can commence immediately. You save time with automatic payment reminders, fewer trips to the bank, and less time spent physically sorting and recording payments. Plus, the convenience your customers receive adds even more to the return on investment.
If you’re reading this, you are obviously online, so now’s the time to consider accepting online payments. There are a variety of solutions out there to get you going – some are even industry-specific. If you’re in need of payment acceptance capabilities first, check out one of our recent posts,10 things you should know about opening a merchant account for help.