Are you ready to set up your business to thrive in the virtual economy?
There are many steps in the process of getting your business ready for digital success.
This is part 4 of the series, Thriving in the Virtual Economy. Today we’re simplifying the process of accepting payments online. We’ll also dive into a few pricing tips and ideas to help guide you.
To sell your products and services, you need a way to accept payment. There are many options for payment processing. When choosing, consider the following guidance.
What to consider when choosing a payment processing service
The number one consideration regarding payment processing is security. This is your top priority. It’s vital that purchasers have access to a safe and secure portal for paying for your offers.
Unfortunately, there is never a way to guarantee 100% security over the internet. But you must do your due diligence to select payment options that have solid security in place.
*Seamlessness (for clients)
You want to create a seamless process for your buyers. They need to be able to go from interested to purchased without hiccups and obstacles. If during the checkout/purchase stages, customers encounter off-putting hurdles, they’ll likely click away and you’ll lose those sales.
*Ease of use (for you)
Also consider how easy payment portals are for you to use. Depending on your sales process, you’ll either need to send potential customers a link to purchase or they will click on a link on your platform.
Either way, you will have to set this up. Unless you have a web developer or assistant helping you, the whole process needs to be something you can set up without much complication. Choose a payment process that makes the steps easier. You can search for demo videos released by the company to get an idea of ease of use.
You also need to be able to make adjustments fairly quickly. For example, if you set a promotional price, how easy is it for you to change that price in the future?
One thing that may sway your decision here is customer support. There’s often a wealth of feedback and reviews of payment portals on the web. Do a search for a payment portal you’re considering and specifically look for comments/complaints about customer support. While searching, answer the following:
- How easy is it to reach a someone live if there’s a payment/transaction issue?
- How does the company handle refunds?
- Is there ease of access to community files/FAQs/live customer service?
These things matter, especially if you are expecting a large volume of sales. Do not be in a hurry to set things up, without doing your due diligence first. Choosing the wrong payment processor can lead to mountains of headaches as your virtual business gets rolling.
*Access to your funds
How easy is it for you to access your funds? Also, when do you get access to your funds. Before signing up with a payment portal, check their Terms of Service. They each have different rules and timelines for when and how you access your money. You want to choose an option that best suits your needs.
So, with all of those considerations, let’s look at a few of the current most popular options.
Common payment processing options
PayPal and Stripe allow you to create buttons on your website that people click and pay. They both also have the option for creating and sending invoices to clients.
Gumroad allows you to sell digital downloads (eBooks and other digital files, for example).
Payment processors are one piece of the payment pie, but how do you decide how much to charge?
Here are a few quick tips.
How to price your products
Step 1: Find a base price
Do your market research to find out the base price of the type of products and services you will be offering.
Finding a base price does not mean this is the price you’ll use, but it’s information you’ll use in your pricing decision. It gives you perspective and context for what’s being charged in the market.
Step 2: Calculate your markup
Now that you know the base (average) price, you can mark your product up (or down) to match your business goals and product quality.
Step 3: If still unsure, test with promotional/special offers
As always, test. Make a prudent decision and then test the market for what works. A good way to do this is with promotions or special offers. This works because special offer prices are not set in stone. Your audience is aware that the price will likely be changing.
So far, you’ve been guided through creating a product, building a platform, and setting up payment and pricing for your offers. You’re on your way to digital success.
It takes one step after the other to build your virtual business and presence on the internet. Start taking steps today.