A wider range of small businesses and digital creators will now be able to sell on Instagram thanks to some new and looser commerce eligibility requirements that went into effect today.
These new eligibility rules for Instagram Shopping applicants were first announced via a blog post on June 23, but they were held from going live until July 9.
Chief among the new requirements: Businesses will need to provide a website where they own and sell “at least one eligible product” in order to use shopping tags on Instagram.
While this excludes sellers who solely use third-party marketplaces like Etsy, or run sales through an affiliate network like Amazon Associates, businesses that don’t normally sell physical products but do have an online following will now be able to take advantage of Instagram for eCommerce revenue.
Per Instagram, the rules include a few more requirements:
Accounts must have demonstrated trustworthiness through avenues such as “an authentic, established presence” or by “maintaining a sufficient follower base.”
Accounts must operate out of a supported market.
Product information must avoid misleading pricing or availability information. In addition, refund and return policies must be stated.
Beyond the eligibility requirements, Instagram is also updating its onboarding process for new business accounts as well as alerting old accounts to the revised rules.
New Rules Aim To Benefit Small Creators
In its announcement post, Instagram specifically mentioned small-time creators as benefiting the most from the new commerce requirements:
Whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merchandise, or a food blogger expanding into your own cookware line, any eligible business or creator account with at least one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase.
All told, smaller businesses that don’t specifically sell physical goods will be able to better tap into their Instagram followers for additional revenue. Previously, businesses that wanted to sell products via Instagram Shopping had to “primarily” peddle physical products, according to the marketplace’s old seller requirements.
In addition, these new rules come at a time when creators and social media influencers are being taken more seriously not only as professionals but as small business owners too.
“2020 will be a watershed year for investment in businesses around the creator economy,” the CEO of the creator networking platform Influence.co, Neil Robertson, told TechCrunch in November 2019. “Influencers and creators are small businesses and if you think about all the things that small businesses need these days to succeed, they will be repurposed for the influencer marketing space.”
More recently, San Francisco startup Karat announced last month the launch the Karat Black Card, which is aimed specifically at those with large swaths of social media followers.
“This is a new type of business, a $15 to $20 billion industry, and there are millions of creators and they make lots of money,” Karat co-founder Will Kim told Forbes. Kim’s fellow co-founder, Eric Wei, added in an interview with Crunchbase News that influencers have “the same business pain points as everybody else.”
Of course, Instagram is part of Facebook, which has come under fire recently for a lack of action towards civil rights injustice. Dozens of companies have signed on to boycott the social media behemoth’s ad platform in response to these claims.
However, for many small businesses and creators, Facebook and its services serve as a lifeblood to reach customers — per Bloomberg, research by Deutsche Bank shows that 76% of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from small- and medium-sized businesses. Meanwhile, Instagram can be quite lucrative for eCommerce shops — a 2019 survey by VidMob found that 34% of Instagram users had made a purchase through the social media platform.
Integrate Your Business With Instagram Shopping
Is your small business set up to sell on Instagram yet? If not, check out how you can reach a wider audience by following Merchant Maverick’s guide to using shoppable Instagram posts.
For those just beginning to tackle the wide world of eCommerce, give our guide to building an online store a peruse.
Do you have a story idea, tip, or press release for the Merchant Maverick news team? Shoot us an email: [email protected].
The post Instagramâs New Commerce Rules For Businesses Are Now Live appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
Have you been thinking about starting an Amazon business? If you said “yes,” and you’re not thinking about a rainforest logging company, you’re probably interested in plugging into the world’s largest e-commerce platform.
As of 2018, Amazon accounted for nearly 50 percent of eCommerce transactions (eCommerce accounts for somewhere north of 10 percent of overall retail sales). If you’re not sure how to tap into that action, you’re not alone. Below, we’ll look at both the necessary and optional steps it takes to get an Amazon business up and running.
Learn How To Sell On Amazon
When people talk about “Amazon businesses,” they’re usually talking about the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) business model. Under an FBA arrangement, Amazon will warehouse and ship your business’s products from theirÂ own fulfillment centers. This allows you to take advantage of Amazon’s well-developed storage and shipping infrastructure and processes. It also grants you access to Amazon’s Prime customer-base, most of whom will be looking to buy products that qualify for 2-day shipping. Be aware, however, that FBA comes with both storage and fulfillment fees (which, notoriously, can change at any time), so you’ll need to do some math to figure out if you’re saving money with the service.
Already have a lot of space and want to handle the shipping costs yourself? Or are you trying a dropshipping model? You can still sell on Amazon without taking the FBA route. You can even still tap into the Prime market via Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) program. In order to qualify, your business has to:
Offer premium shipping options
Ship 99% of your orders on time
Have an order cancellation rate of less than 0.5%
Use Amazon Buy Shipping Services for at least 98.5% of orders
Deliver orders with Amazon-supported SFP carriers
Agree to Amazon’s Returns Policy
Allow Amazon to deal with all customer service inquiries
Pass a trial period to demonstrate compliance with the above, during which the Prime badge will not be displayed on your items
At the time of writing, there was a waitlist for the SFP program, so bear in mind that you may not be able to jump into it immediately.
Finally, you can simply ignore all this Prime business (and customers, potentially) and just sell products on Amazon.
Decide What You’re Going To Sell & Where You’ll Get It
This is arguably the hardest part of starting an Amazon business. There are countless products you could deal in, but far fewer you should deal in.
Your starting budget can help narrow things down a bit. You want to be able to stock enough inventory to build a brand, not just sell a coupleÂ of items and then disappear. Once you have some items in mind, you’ll need to do some research to get a sense of costs and selling prices and see if there’s a niche for that product that you could occupy.
There are numerous ways to go about this, from brute-forcing your way through Amazon’s categories and making a spreadsheet to using popular tools like JungleScout to help find and rate opportunities. Be sure to check out other sales platforms to see the price point at which they’re selling the product. If you’re in the FBA program, you can also use Amazon’s FBA calculator to help sift through data.
Figuring out where to source a product is another part of the puzzle. Do you have a hot connection that can get you products at cost? (Alibaba is a popular tool for finding suppliers, for example.) Are you going to buy popular brands when they’re on sale at retail and then sell them at a higher price point? Are making a product yourself that will compete with similar products on Amazon? Do you need to make dropshipping arrangements with a third party? Remember to think about how sustainable your sourcing method is when creating your strategy.
Finally, also consider the nature of the item you’re sending. Will it sell year-round? Can it be shipped safely without breaking? Is it efficient to ship? Are there state-specific restrictions to consider? The fewer variables you have to worry about, the better.
Determine How Much Money You’ll Need
Once you know how much money you’ll need to launch your business, you can figure out the rest of your costs.
Selling on Amazon, as you can imagine, isn’t free — but it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re commitment-shy and don’t have a ton of product to move, you can get by on as little as $0.99 per sale. If you’re moving more product, you’ll want to budget $39.99/mo for a Professional account (more on that later).
If you’re going the FBA route, you’ll need to account for Amazon’s fulfillment and monthly inventory fees. The former vary by the weight of the item and, at time of writing, start at $2.41. The latter vary by time of year and the size of the items, ranging from $0.48 to $2.40 per cubic foot.
You’ll probably want to also invest some money in presentation and branding to help your business stand out among competitors. How much this costs can vary depending on who you hire (unless you’re a competent graphic designer yourself), but budget between $200-$300 to get something you’ll be proud of.
Finally, if you’re doing your own fulfillment, make sure you can cover shipping costs.
Determine How You’ll Get Funding
It’s not necessarily that expensive to start an Amazon business, but what do you do if you don’t have the funds to cover your starting expenses? Here are some options:
The first place you should probably look for spare cash is your own savings. You saved up for a reason, right? Investing in your new business is as good a reason as any.
The nice thing about using your savings is that you don’t have to worry about debt or accumulated interest.
The downside? If your business is a bust, you’ve lost your savings.
Tap Your Support Network
Another option, especially if you don’t have much in personal savings, is to ask friends and family for a loan. Unlike a private lender, your support system probably isn’t trying to make a profit off of you.
Keep in mind that this comes with its own risks. You may stress your relationships, especially if you aren’t able to pay back these so-called friendly loans quickly. One way to avoid this is to formalize any agreements you make with friends and family so that everyone fully understands what they’re getting into and what the expectations are. You may even want to draw up a formal contract that outlines any expected payments and return on investment.
You’ve probably been warned about leaning too heavily on credit cards, and it’s generally not bad advice. The interest rates can be murder if you carry a balance on your card. However, for purchases that you can pay off quickly, credit cards are actually one of the best ways to buy, especially if you have a card with a reward program that matches your purchasing needs.
Just remember to pay off your credit cards every month, within the interest-free grace period. If your purchase is too large for you to be able to comfortably do that, you’ll probably want to consider another option.
Note: Avoid taking out cash advances on your cards unless absolutely necessary. They come at a very high cost.
Recommended Option: Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
16.24% â 24.24%, Variable
Required credit: Good, excellent
Bonus offer:Â $125 Amazon.com gift card upon approval (if you have an eligible Amazon Prime membership)
Purchase intro APR:Â N/A
Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
Foreign transaction fee:Â None
If you have an eligible Amazon Prime membership:Â 5% back or an extra 90 days interest free on purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
If you do not have an eligible Amazon Prime membership: 3% back or an extra 60 days interest free on purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
2% back on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
1% back on other purchases
Notable perks & benefits:
Employee purchase control withÂ multi-user accounts, shared payment methods, approval workflows, and spending limits
Purchase protection, extended warranty, and travel coverage
More card details (click to expand)
You’re going to be spending a lot of time on Amazon, and possibly buying through it, so the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card may give you the most bang for your buck.
If you have a Prime membership, you’ll earn a whopping 5 percent back on purchases made at Amazon.com, Amazon Business, AWS, and Whole Foods Market — or an extra 90 days interest-free grace period for purchases made at those places. Even if you’re not a Prime member, you’ll get 3 percent or 60 days, respectively. You’ll need to spend around $6,000 to recoup the cost of a Prime membership with points alone, but that’s without factoring in money saved through Prime’s programs (shipping, deals, etc).
Business loans can be hard to come by for new businesses, but you — the human being who owns the business — have presumably been around long enough to acquire a credit history. You can use that to your advantage by getting a personal loan for business purposes.
There are some disadvantages to taking this route, namely that you’re on the hook rather than your business, but if your credit is good, it’s not the worst option out there.
Recommended Option: Lending Club Personal Loans
Time in business: N/A
Business revenue: N/A
Personal credit score: 600
Credit history: 3 years
Borrower requirements for personal loans (click to expand)
Lending Club is a good option for individuals who may not have the strongest credit, but have a good debt-to-income ratio. The borrowing range is fairly narrow at $1k to $40k, but when you’re just starting out, you don’t want to go too deeply into debt anyway. You’ll have three-to-five years to pay it off, which makes it fairly manageable.
Recommended Option: Lendio
Time in business: 6 months
Business revenue: $10,000 per month
Personal credit score: 550
Borrower requirements (click to expand)
If you’re just entering the alternative loan market for the first time, it can be pretty overwhelming. Lendio takes some of that burden off of you by allowing you to effectively apply to their whole network of lenders with one application.
Need more options? Check out our feature on startup loans.
Lines Of Credit
If you anticipate needing to make a lot of smaller purchases over a long period of time, or even just want some “insurance” to fall back, you may want to consider a line of credit.
A line of credit works a bit like a credit card in that you can tap it whenever you want, in whatever amount you want, so long as your purchase doesn’t exceed your credit limit. Most lines of credit are revolving, which means that, as you pay them off, that credit becomes available for you to use again.
In contrast to credit cards, lines of credit usually have lower interest rates, making them better for the times you have to carry a balance. However, many do have annual fees and some charge a fee whenever you tap them, and they can take up to 24 hours to process your request. You also generally (there are exceptions) won’t find the generous rewards programs you’ll find with credit cards.
Recommended Option: Fundbox
No time in business requirements, but must have used a compatible accounting or invoicing software for at least 2 months, or a compatible business bank account for at least 3 months.
Business revenue: $50,000 per year
No specific personal credit score requirement
Borrower requirements (click to expand)
Fundbox provides lines of credit up to $100,000 to U.S. businesses. There’s no minimum credit score, you just have to have annual revenue of at least $50,000.
Fundbox charges based on the amount you draw, but fees start at 4.66%. Repayments are made weekly over 12 or 24 weeks.
Vendor financing is a very specialized form of business loan where a company will lend a buyer a sum of money, which the buyer then uses to buy inventory from the vendor.
Recommended Option: Amazon Lending
Amazon monitors your account and extends a financing offer if your business is eligible. To qualify, you must:
Be a registered Amazon seller for at least one year
Make at least $10,000 in sales
Be in good standing according to Amazon’s Customer Satisfaction and Amazon Style Guide metrics
Borrower requirements (click to expand)
Did you know Amazon offers loans to sellers on its platform? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Amazon doesn’t really advertise the service much, and you can only access it by invitation. Knowing that it is an option, however, may be useful should it arise.
Amazon loans range between $1,000 and $750,000, and must be used to purchase inventory to sell on Amazon. Rather than being based on your credit score, Amazon loans are based on your performance on the site.
Purchase Order Financing
Another highly specialized type of financing that sellers can tap into is purchase order financing (sometimes just “purchase financing”). Basically, purchase financing is used to fill large orders that may exceed your current inventory or your ability to restock with cash on hand. A purchase financer will generally require confirmation of the order and proof that your company has experience handling orders of this size.
Recommended Option: Behalf
No specific time in business, revenue, or credit score requirements.
Borrower requirements (click to expand)
Behalf can offer businesses between $300 – $50,000 in purchase financing for most types of inventory. Term lengths are pretty short (1 – 6 months), and you’ll be charged 1 – 3 percent interest every month. Payments are made weekly or monthly, with weekly payers receiving a 10 percent reduction in their borrowing fees.
If you haven’t heard ofÂ Rollovers as Business StartupsÂ (ROBS), don’t feel bad. They’re extremely niche products for entrepreneurs with retirement accounts like 401(k)s.
For a fee, a ROBS provider allows you to use money from your retirement account to pay for startup costs without incurring the tax penalty you normally would by tapping those funds early.
As is the case with personal savings, you are risking your own money.
ROBS will be overkill for most new businesses, but if your startup costs look like they’re going to pile up, keep them in mind.
Recommended Option: Guidant Financial
Time in business: Unknown
Credit utilization: Less than 50%
Credit score: 690+
Borrower requirements (click to expand)
If you’re in the market for a ROBS, it’s worth checking out Guidant Financial. If your retirement account has at least $40k in it, you can roll over up to 100 percent of your funds.
Need more options? Check out our feature on startup loans.
Register Your Business
If you don’t want to be selling products under your birth name, you’ll probably want to register your business.
This part is technically optional, but if you’re planning to build your business into more than an occasional source of freelance income, you should probably register your business.
If you do nothing at all, your business will default to a sole proprietorship (or a partnership, if you’re starting it with someone else). This essentially means that you’ve started a business with your own name. If you want to change it to something else, you can file a DBA (Doing Business As), which will protect your new business name and allow you to–you guessed it–do business under that name.
Sole proprietorships have the advantage of being cheap and easy to start. Your taxes will also be easier to file (and lower) than they would generally be with other forms of incorporation. Keep in mind, however, that for liability purposes, sole proprietorships and the individuals behind them are essentially one and the same.
Other forms of incorporation will require a bit more work and come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Here are the most popular ways to incorporate:
Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs):Â If you’ve seen LLC after a corporation’s name, you’re dealing with this type of company. LLCs offer limited liability protection for their owners without the full complexity of a corporation. Each state has its own rules for how to start and maintain an LLC, and you don’t necessarily have to register your LLC in the state where you’re doing business (although you’ll generally want to). LLC owners report theirÂ business earnings and losses on their personal taxes.
C-Corp:Â This is the “basic,” default form of incorporation. Shareholders are considered the owner(s) of the company and receive limited liability protection; however, the business decisions are made by corporate officers who may or may not be shareholders. The corporation is taxed separately and shareholders pay income tax on dividends. To form a C-corp, you’ll file articles of incorporation with your state.
S-Corp:Â S-corps are similar to C-corps in most ways, but come with a few additional restrictions: you have to have fewer than 100 shareholders and they have to all be U.S. citizens or residents. Unlike C-corps, profits and losses are reported on personal taxes, not unlike an LLC. In addition to filing articles of incorporation, you’ll also need to file IRS Form 2553.
Get Business Insurance
Depending on where you incorporate, business insurance may be optional or mandatory, but since you’re going to be dealing with a lot of tangible goods shipped through the postal service to remote customers, you’ll probably want to consider it.
General liability insurance can protect you in the case of lawsuits or accidents, including property damage and personal injury claims against your business. It can also make your business seem more professional to prospective clients.
There are other, more specialized types of insurance you may want to consider depending on what you’re selling and to whom. These include:
Property Insurance: Protects the property needed to run your business.
Business Interruption: Covers costs related to unforeseen events that make your business unable to function.
Professional Liability (Error and Omissions): Covers the costs of defending your company in lawsuits in cases where your business caused a financial loss.
Create An Amazon Seller Account
Access to the platform is pretty straightforward and involves creating an Amazon account if you don’t already have one. You’ll be asked for information about your business, tax information, product information, billing and deposit accounts, and compliance with the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement.
Amazon offers two plans:
Professional: $39.99/month, grants access to order reports and order-related fees, selling in multiple categories, and the ability to customize shipping rates
Individual: $0.99 per sale closing fee on each item you sell on Amazon.
If you plan on doing more than just the occasional sale, you’ll probably want to choose Professional.
List Your Inventory
Now that you’re ready to go, you just need your potential customers to be able to see your product.
From your Amazons Seller account, under the inventory tab, you can add a product. You can then either search Amazon’s catalog to see if that product is already listed or create a new listing. If your product category is restricted, it will need to be approved before you can get beyond this stage, so if possible, try to find a rationale to categorize it into an unrestricted one.
At this point, you can either make your product go live (if you have the inventory ready to be shipped)Â or simply list it if you need to send your inventory to Amazon (in the case of FBAs). You can then fill in the information about your product. If you need a UPC code, you can buy one online.
There are a number of different strategies for getting your products to stand out on Amazon. Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies will serve you well here, so be sure to identify useful keywords that will help customers find your products. Another critical element is taking good pictures of your products so they’ll look appealing on the site. If you aren’t confident that you can take quality pictures yourself, you may want to spring for some professional ones.
A lot of other things can also affect your ranking, from conversion ratesÂ to customer reviews, pricing, time spent by customers on your page, bounce rate, and more, but the guiding rule is this: Amazon likes sellers who make them money, and will promote the ones they feel most reliably turn queries into sales and create satisfied and returning customers.
Amazon has changed the way many people shop, but it has also has provided sellers with a potentially low-cost way to get tangible products to customers. Competition is intense on the platform, but shrewd salespersons can still take advantage of its unparalleled convenience.
The post How To Start And Fund An Amazon Business appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
So you’re considering using GoDaddy as your website builder, and you’re looking for GoDaddy website builder examples for inspiration and confirmation that you’re making the right choice.
See GoDaddy’s Current Website Builder Pricing here…
GoDaddy is the big brand in the website services industry. From their Super Bowl ads to TV ads to online advertising, they are by far the most well-known choice for domains, hosting, website builders, and productivity products for small businesses.
And when it comes to their website builder (known as “GoCentral”), GoDaddy is known for its raw simplicity. The setup is extremely straightforward (fill-in-the-blank style), which makes it extremely appealing to DIY-ers with limited website building experience.
And while simple is great, there are some major tradeoffs, particularly in terms of functionality.
As we dive into examples of what GoDaddy websites look like in the wild, there is one thing to keep in mind when you’re evaluating a website platform: it’s not just about how the websites look. How they operate matters too. That’s the main consideration for all my website builder reviews & my guide to choosing the best website builder.
Think of it like buying a car. You have a make / model in mind, and you’re probably looking to see them drive by on the road to see how they actually look. However, you also care about how they operate. Does it accelerate well? Does it have the hauling capabilities you need? How is the gas mileage?
Looking at a website platform should be done in the same way. We collected the following GoDaddy GoCentral (their website builder brand name) examples not just to show you how they look, but how GoDaddy websites can function so you can be sure you have a website that fits both the style you want and the functionality you need.
Disclosure – I receive customer referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All data & opinions are based on my professional judgement as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
General Website Examples
Let’s start with a general round up of solid GoDaddy website builder examples. We’ve pulled these examples based on functionality, design, and usability. Again,GoDaddy works well for DIY-ers who want an easy-to-use website that they can throw up on their own without having to worry about the inner-workings. However, be aware that with this comes trade-offs (i.e. you give up control, functionality, customization, etc.)
If you’re looking for a straightforward website where you can post content (like menus), this GoDaddy website builder example is a great place to start for inspiration. The homepage is straightforward, with a simple call to action to sign up for the email list. The navigation is also clear, with the Dine and Drink tabs bringing visitors to pages where they can download a PDF version of the dining and drinks menus.
Augusta Blues Company
What stood out to us about this GoDaddy website was how it makes the most of its simplicity. By using a custom graphic on the homepage for the header image, Augusta Blues Company has added some custom flair to this straightforward template. We also found the navigation to be straightforward and easy to use, which is a key hallmark of a good website!
And for those who need to provide directions on their website, this GoDaddy website builder example showcases how you can integrate a map on the homepage. We particularly liked how August Blues Company paired the map with other contact information.
Explore Similar GoDaddy Templates!
Wedding Website Example
Wedding websites are a great way to give guests information about the big day, show off your personality, and post updates / pictures / anything else you may want to share with those who are involved with your wedding. Given this website has a shorter lifespan than say, a business website, you’ll want something that’s easy to customize, edit, and manage. Here’s a great example of what you can do with a GoDaddy GoCentral wedding website:
Dave and Nuria
If you’re looking for a simple, polished, easy-to-use wedding website, this example from Dave and Nuria is a great place to start for inspiration. It has all of the necessary information, from the itinerary for the weekend to how to plan your trip, and the RSVP is a simple contact form. It’s a great example of a plug and play website template that saves you time and money, which is especially useful for a site that doesn’t have a long lifespan!
Explore Similar GoDaddy Templates!
Photography Website Example
Photography websites are all about the portfolio of work. When looking for a GoDaddy website builder example to serve as inspiration for your photography, pay special attention to the layout options for your work. You want to be sure you’re showing off your photos in a creative way without sacrificing the user experience (AKA fast photo load speed, easy to navigate, high quality images, etc). Here are a few examples of GoDaddy photography websites we liked:
What makes this GoDaddy website a great example for photographers is the layout of the portfolio page. The grid style makes it easy to get an overview of the photographer’s work without overloading the functionality or making it too difficult for visitors to get an idea of their style.
Richard’s site provides another photography inspiration example, specifically in how the work is displayed. Notice how this GoDaddy website uses a carousel to feature photos, with a bar underneath that changes as the photos move. It’s a unique way to showcase Richard’s work in a way that’s interactive without being overwhelming.
Explore Similar GoDaddy Templates!
Ecommerce Website Example
Ecommerce websites are all about their products. A good ecommerce website should have high-quality product images, be easy to navigate, and keep the focus on what you have to offer your shoppers! You’ll also want to include strong product descriptions and an easy check out process. Here are a few of our favorite GoDaddy ecommerce website examples:
What stood out to us about this GoDaddy ecommerce website was the product page organization. The categories help visitors sort through what they’re looking for easily, and the ratings provide another layer of “trust factor” that’s key for ecommerce websites. If you’re looking for a simple way to list products, this website could be a great place to start for inspiration.
Better Living Market
If you’re looking for a bit more “design flair”, check out Better Market Living. This ecommerce website uses a high-quality header image to spruce up the homepage, but still keeps navigation ultra-simple with the shop now button.
Something to note about GoDaddy website builder websites in general: while GoDaddy is known for its simplicity, that does mean limited design customization and functionality. For example, most websites have a similar, block layout. For e-commerce websites specific, the product pages don’t vary much beyond this layout.
Again, you should choose your website builder not just on design, but on the functionality and levels of customization you need. If you’re looking for a more customized ecommerce shop, there could be better options for you.
Explore Similar GoDaddy Templates!
Artist Website Example
Need to showcase your art? An artist website is a great way to create a digital portfolio of your work. These websites should be easy to navigate, keep the focus on your artwork, and allow prospective clients / commissioners to contact you easily. Here’s an example of a great artist GoDaddy website:
Jules Art & Design
Sometimes, less is more… and that’s exactly what makes Jule’s website so effective. The clean layout draws your eye right to her artwork, and the simple navigation at the top of the page makes it easy to find exactly what you need on her website. This is another example of a GoDaddy portfolio website that is a good fit for a DIY-er who just needs a place to showcase their work in an easily digestible format.
Explore Similar GoDaddy Templates!
Music Website Example
Similar to artist websites, music websites are all about the music. Which means if you’re creating a music website, you’ll need a player so visitors can listen to your work on your site. You’ll also want to give people the opportunity to connect with you by listing social media channels, tour dates, and places they can buy your albums! Here’s an example of a music website created with GoDaddy:
This GoDaddy music website keeps the focus solely on the music. In fact, the music page is a simple, embedded music player where visitors can listen to the band’s most recent album. While it could be more sophisticated, it doesn’t necessarily need to be. Again, it all comes down to your needs. If you wanted some advanced functionality on your music website (like full discography, Spotify integrations, Ticketmaster and Eventbrite integrations, etc.), GoDaddy may not be the best option for you.
Here’s how I’d recommend building a long-term music website with WordPress. Wix also provides a good drag & drop option.
Business Website Example
A strong business website showcases your services, gives customers the opportunity to contact you, and builds social proof. Visitors should be able to know exactly who you are and what you do when they land on their site, and should be able to easily navigate to what they’re looking for from your homepage. Here are a few examples of strong GoDaddy Website Builder business website examples:
Women Working in Technology
Women Working in Technology has a fairly robust navigation, which goes to show just how much content you can have on your GoDaddy business website. However, the navigation keeps it organized with sub-menus, which means despite the large amount of content on the site, it’s easy to find your way around.
We also liked how Women Working in Technology used a video on their homepage to tell visitors what they’re all about.
It provides a great way to make the site more interactive without having to build something completely custom!
Crescent Flight Ops
Again, GoDaddy tends to skew towards block-style website templates, and while this business site by Crescent Flight Ops is a bit blocky, their color palette and use of different media types help with the flow. We included this website to show how if you wanted the simplicity, you could still make your theme look different by customizing the colors and actual content on the page.
Explore Similar GoDaddy Templates!
Personal Website Examples
Personal websites are exactly what they sound like… personal! Whether it’s a resume / portfolio website you use to get booked or a blog you use to create content, this type of site is all about getting your personal brand online and owning your space on the Internet. Personal website should be easy to edit, manage, and customize. Here’s an example of a GoDaddy personal website to use for inspiration:
It’s easy to get caught up in showcasing your personality and creativity on your personal website. And while adding in some flair is fine, you don’t want to sacrifice clarity in the name of creativity. Marc’s website includes the right balance of both. We loved how his work stands out in contrast to the black background, but isn’t overwhelming in its grid format.
We also liked how Marc included a downloadable version of his resume on the homepage. This is a great way to share your qualifications with those who may be looking to hire you.
Explore Similar GoDaddy Templates! Or explore how I like to build personal websites.
At the end of the day, choosing your website platform goes far beyond design. Why? Because all web pages are made of HTML & CSS with a few scripts thrown in. This means that any website template can exist on any good web platform.
What YOU want to focus on is the design elements and functionality that are available on the platform you’re choosing.
If you feel like GoDaddy fits the design and functionality needs you have for your website, you can explore more GoDaddy templates here.
Not sure if GoDaddy is a right fit? Explore other website builder options here or see how GoDaddy stacks up against popular brands like Wix & Weebly.
The post 11+ GoDaddy Website Builder Examples for Inspiration appeared first on ShivarWeb.
You may have seen mentions of “SecureCode” around, on TV and elsewhere. After all, when Hugh Jackman (aka Wolverine) stands on a scenic rooftop and asks if we know that SecureCode is a more secure way to pay, itâs hard to ignore.
But what the heck is SecureCode?
Simple! MasterCard’s SecureCode is a private code known only to the account holder that provides an additional layer of security for online purchases. The program is free for consumers as well as merchants.Â
MasterCard SecureCode ostensibly comes with these benefits:
Guaranteeing e-commerce payments
Reduced chargeback risk to merchant
Improved cardholder confidenceÂ
With online payment security an ever-present concerns for both online shoppers and merchants alike, these Mastercard SecureCode claims deserve a closer look. Keep in mind that both the merchant and the cardholder need to opt into the program for either party to benefit from it.Â
Whether you are a cardholder who is thinking about setting up a SecureCode yourself, or you are a curious business owner who wants to know how you can improve security for online purchases, read on for an explanation of how SecureCard works and whether it’s right for you!
How SecureCode Works For Online Shoppers
The basic concept of MasterCard SecureCode is very similar to using a PIN to process a debit payment at the checkout. Just like during a debit transaction, where the PIN is kept private, the SecureCode should always remain private to the account holder.
When your customer fills their cart with your wares and begins the checkout process, they will also enter their MasterCard SecureCode to verify their identity as the cardholder. But there is one major caveat. Instead of sharing their SecureCode directly with you, the merchant, an issuer-provided inline window appears with a personal greeting that is only known by the cardholder. If the customer recognizes their personal greeting, they enter their SecureCode. In just a few seconds, the issuer verifies that the true cardholder is making the transaction and the checkout process continues.Â
How Can Cardholder Enroll?
MasterCard customers who have cards issued from participating financial institutions can enroll in SecureCard and register any of their debit or credit cards. To find out if you can enroll, can contact your institution or view the list of participating financial institutions updated by MasterCard.Â
MasterCard SecureCode For Businesses
If you are a merchant wondering why you should bother offering SecureCode, it makes sense to take the time to understand more about it. From a merchant standpoint, MasterCard SecureCode can give your current and future customers greater confidence and security while shopping online with you. This extra layer of authentication and security also protects you from fraudulent use and some types of chargebacks (more on that below).
It is important to note that if you decide to go with SecureCode, itâs not mandatory for all of your customers to enter in a code to finish the sale with you. Authentication with a personal code is only required for customers who have already signed up for SecureCode. Whenever a customer connects a card with SecureCode and the merchant is also signed up, the SecureCode is required, however. But if you decide to offer SecureCode and your customer isnât signed up, they’ll enter their credit card information just like they would with any other sale, and it is processed as usual.Â
For SecureCode transactions, merchants can gain protection from unauthorized cardholderÂ chargebacks, and customers who have activated SecureCode get more protection, too.
How To Offer MasterCard SecureCode
If you are a business owner who is ready to get this new layer of security live on your site, here is what you need to know: Your transaction processor may already support the MasterCard SecureCode program, so give them a call first and see if they can get you started.
The setup process is fairly simple if you’re used to maintaining your website yourself, and involves installing a plug-in to your site. After everything is up and running successfully, MasterCard also provides you with a logo you can put on your site to identify your program involvement.
It’s also worth mentioning that many processing companies, including Stripe, offer an extra layer of authentication through 3D SecureÂ (sometimes abbreviated as 3DS). 3D Secure is a security protocolÂ that bundles MasterCard SecureCode with the Visa equivalent, Verified by Visa. It gets its name from the fact that a third party, the card network, is involved in verifying the credit card purchase. In some regions, 3D Secure authentication also includes American Express SafeKey. Your merchant account provider may offer 3DS authentication as part of its service, though you might also need to configure this option in your payment options if it isn’t enabled by default.
How SecureCode Reduces Fraud & Guarantee eCommerce Payments
MasterCard claims that SecureCode helps reduce fraud and guarantees ecommerce payments. Let’s say a hacker manages to lift someone’s card number from a skimming device or a compromised website and they post it on the Dark Web. Another scammer buys it and then tries to make a purchase with the card details. A CVV check (another common ecommerce security feature) might stop some transactions, but CVV checks aren’t universally used in ecommerce. Plus, we often give away our CVVs when we place an orderÂ over the phone (Chinese takeout, anyone?) — if that business has a shady employee who lifts customers’ numbers, they now also have your CVV.Â And of course, if a fraudster does get a physical card, they have everything they need to start making purchases.
SecureCode prevents unauthorized use in these types of situationsÂ because unlike a credit card number, SecureCode isnât entered on a business’ site or shared over the phone.Â The SecureCode acts like a PIN between the issuing credit card company and the customer. If the person using the card doesn’t provide the correct code, or doesn’t enter any code, the transaction can’t go through.Â
Keep in mind that SecureCode doesnât take the place of authorization approval;Â it is simply an additional authentication step. Every card-not-present transaction, no matter how small, will be authorized by the issuing bank.
How SecureCode Reduces Chargebacks
We’ve already talked about how SecureCode protects against unauthorized card use. It also provides protection against friendly fraud via chargebacks.Â
For a business owner, a chargeback is a loss of revenue (both in terms of the money refunded to the customer and the fees charged by the processor for the chargeback), and too many chargebacks can negatively affect your standing with your credit card processing company. In essence, a chargeback happens whenever a customer files a dispute with their bank, saying that a charge was not authorized by the customer.Â
Despite the somewhat innocent-sounding name, friendly fraud can cause a lot of grief. Friendly fraud refers to a type of chargeback that happens when a customer falsely claims they didnât make a purchase in order to get their money back.Â They may have changed their mind or filed a chargeback claim directly with their credit card company instead of returning the product to you. Whether the customer’s intent was purposely malicious or not, these types of chargeback claims can be a big problem for any online retailer. They actually account for the majority of chargebacks.
If you’re a merchant, the great thing about SecureCode’s extra authentication step is that it’s much harder for a customer to claim they never ordered from you if they authenticated their purchase with their private code. You can make a stronger case when it comes to proving your customer actually made the purchase, so much of the liability in these types of “friendly fraud” or chargeback cases shifts away from you and to the user and their bank — which means you don’t lose out on the money from that purchase.Â
If you want to read up a little bit more on chargebacks and what you can do as an online merchant, visit our post, The Complete Guide to Preventing and Winning Chargebacks.
How SecureCode Improves Cardholder Confidence
In the past, MasterCard cardholders and merchants alike had some issues with the user experience because SecureCode used a pop-up window. Business owners were rightfully concerned because customers are naturally suspicious of pop-ups. The last thing any business owner wants when they try to improve security is also to increase cart abandonment.Â MasterCard took these concerns to heart and improved the experience by switching to an inline window rather than a pop-up for the SecureCode authentication.Â
Now, the streamlined experience ensures that the entire checkout and verification process is embedded directly in the merchant site. When you offer SecureCode on your site, it gives your shoppers an added layer of security, too. Especially for smaller businesses, having this added layer of security helps to legitimize your site and improve overall confidence.Â
More International Buying & Selling Opportunities
As if adding security in an insecure world wasnât enough, the MasterCard SecureCode program may help you expand your business internationally! When you add SecureCode to your website checkout, you can start processing payments from customers overseas who use Â Maestro cards (owned by MasterCard). This factor can potentially help you expand to Europe and other countries abroad where shoppers use debit cards much more frequently than credit. In countries like Germany, Maestro has replaced the Eurocheque system. All of this gives you extra reach when it comes to processing payments. Â
Should I Use SecureCode On My Site?
Now more than ever, payment security is the subject of much focus and debate. While customers expect things to be streamlined and convenient, the truth is that they also expect their data to be secure. In a world where the cost of fraud continues to increase, adding solutions to protect everyone involved makes senseâ especially when they involve no extra costs for you or your customers. While it may take a few extra moments for a customer to enter in their personal code, authenticating their identity can prevent fraud and save everyone a lot of heartaches (and headaches).
The truth is that merchants are the ones that shoulder the cost of chargebacks and fraud, so finding better solutions to protect yourself, your time, and your sanity is a very smart business move. However, not all eCommerce processors are the same. Some have robust solutions that keep up with the current threats, and some lag behind. I encourage you to take the time to find out what your merchant account is doing for you in regards to security, and if you don’t love it, find something that is better. We have a plethora of resources for you here at Merchant Maverick.
If you want to find a better payment processor that specializes in online businesses, we recommend checking out our post,Â How To Choose An eCommerce Merchant Account.
The post MasterCard SecureCode: What It Is And How To Use It appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
The odds are that if you’ve been scouring the web for a deal, you’ve come across Groupon. In recent years, Groupon has become a touchstone for people who are looking for great deals on quality services, products, and more. And advertising your business on Groupon can put you in the millions of people who use the platform each day.
I believe that Groupon is one of the least utilized advertising platforms around. Using this e-commerce platform means that you won’t have to compete as much with competitors for advertising real estate. Utilizing the platform efficient can help attract repeat customers, increase brand recognition, and make more profit along the way.
So, save some paper and embrace the era of digital couponing we’re all living through right now. Here’s how you can advertise your business or brand on Groupon.
between 18- and 44-years-old. Men and women appear to use the platform in similar numbers, meaning that businesses can expect advertisement and deals that are inclusive to all genders to do best.
Using Groupon couldn’t be easier: both merchants and customers create profiles geared toward their interests or businesses and can choose to shop or advertise throughout the e-commerce platform. The ease of use and access to Groupon has only helped the commerce company not only grow in popularity but made it a viable place for other business to market their products, services, etc..
By leveraging Groupon’s broad demographic appeal, you can establish a strong presence on the platform that directly affects your bottom lines.
www.groupon.com/login, a login page will pop up that will request the following criteria:
Your legal first and last name
Your business or personal email address
Your desired Password
Choose whether or not you want to receive email newsletters from Groupon
Choose whether or not you want the device you’re on to remember your inputs
After signing up, you’ll have the ability to do deep dives in local, national, or international markets. It’s worth noting that more than 70 percent of all Groupon sales remain bought by locals seeking deals on products and services in their neighborhoods.
Groupon Merchant Blog, which we’ll get into later, has many accounts of restaurants experiencing more traffic from using Groupon. From offering one-time deals on certain dishes to revolving discounted specials, Groupon can help grow your business traffic.
One of the more exciting perks of your restaurant being a Groupon Merchant is that you can offer Loyalty Rewards programs. Much like in other iterations, these loyalty programs can help attract long-time customers and bring attention to your eatery.
There needs to be a reason for your customers to want a loyalty program through Groupon. Consider offering deals and incentives to customers to sign up for loyalty rewards to receive. Recently, The National Restaurant News found that people who have a Loyalty Program to a specific restaurant will spend almost 40 percent more (on average) when they’re closer to receiving an award.
Even if you don’t choose to start a Loyalty Program for your restaurant, you can continue to offer deals. Research shows that people are many times more likely to spend more on a more expensive meal if they believe they’re getting it cheaper than usual.
Advertising on Groupon for your restaurant is a win-win: Your bottom lines and customer traffic grow, and your eaters leave having saved on a good meal.
How to Advertise on Groupon for Health and Beauty
Nail and hair salons, spas, massage companies, and more health and beauty businesses can all benefit by leveraging Groupon to expand their outreach. Research shows that even during times of recession, Americans tend to continue to spend the same on health and beauty products and services. But Groupon can do more than help you get more clients.
Groupon allows Groupon Merchants to streamline appointments by simplifying the booking process. Using “Groupon Appointments,” you can allow customers to request appointments after they purchase a ticket, voucher, or digital reservation card for your business. Your “Groupon Calendar” will immediately be updated to accommodate the customer, and that specific time will be unable to be booked that day. This streamlined process also eliminates the risk of double booking from happening.
Also, you can help boost traffic for our other online health and beauty services by cross-linking to your “Groupon Page.” You’ll have the option to link to your main business website through both your Groupon Page and advertisement, itself. By creating easy access to your main website, you can introduce new and old customers to services that are available, but not through Groupon.
How To Advertise on Groupon Effectively appeared first on ShivarWeb.
There is a myth making the rounds on the wide world of the internet that email marketing has outlived its usefulness, but that is simply untrue. The data is in, and email marketing campaigns can have a wide variety of positive effects on your business:
Having said that, some of the software providers in the email marketing world charge a crippling price for smaller businesses. Before you hang your heads in defeat, though, take heart. There are a number of free email marketing software apps that might suit your needs without ever costing you a cent. With a free email marketing tool, you’re not going to have access to unlimited emails and templates, and you’ll be restricted to a certain number of email addresses. Marketing automation tools may also be limited or non-existent with a free plan. But if you need to send out a simple email newsletter to your contacts and want basic access to click-through rates and other simple analytics, free email marketing services can be a godsend.
Compiled here for your reading pleasure is Merchant Maverick’s favorites in the free email marketing software world. A quick word about criteria: Each of these apps were evaluated based on their feature set, ease of use, and pros vs cons. With that out of the way, let’s get started!
Serving upwards of 73,000 users around the globe, Benchmark (read our review) has not moved on from its original mission of serving small businesses. With a reputation for great customer service and ease-of-use, this is one of the most widely recommended emailÂ marketing apps out there. And, as you might expect since it is on this list, there is a free version!
It should come as no surprise that the free version of Benchmark is less powerful than the versions you actually pay for. With a subscriber cap of 2,000 members and a limitation of 14,000 emails per month, the free version of Benchmark will be best suited to the email campaigns of very small businesses and nonprofits. It is the other features, or, rather, lack of them, that might make the final decision for you. Non-paying users of Benchmark will find that they have access to an email builder and little more. You’ll get the “insanely simple drag-and-drop editor,”Â a wide library of templates, and an automated signup form, as well as Google analytics, several campaign styles (drip and RSS), and a few other handy items. What you don’t get, however, are unlimited emails, basic features like A/B testing and more advanced tools like cart abandonment automation and other automated behavioral trackingÂ features.
As I mentioned above, Benchmark is generally considered to be extremely easy to use. Most comments in user reviews agree that navigating the app, building emails, and implementing new campaigns are all done with aÂ minimal learning curve. Based on these userÂ reviews, as well as my own test of the product, I have to agree with Benchmark’s marketing claim: “No design experience required.”
Generally speaking, Benchmark has far more pros than cons. Beyond the ease of use I mentioned above, this company also maintain some of the best customer service in the industry, with 24/7 phone, live chat, and email support. As for cons, the major downside for free users will be the limitations placed on free accounts regarding Benchmark’s more advanced features. Some users have also complained that their experience with the app was plagued by bugs, though I should note that those affected seem few and far between.
SendinBlue (read our review) is best known for theÂ accessibility of its software. With a focus on simplicity in both features and pricing, this is an app that aims to get new users in particular up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible. Generally speaking, SendinBlue is a good choice for anyone looking to get great bang for their buck, especially if you are willing to work with a simplified interface. Indeed, as an ESP (email service provider), SendinBlue is clearly not intended for experienced marketers, but rather for single proprietors and small LLC owners. Appropriately, then, the free version of SendinBlue offers an interesting alternative to the other apps we will discuss here.
Unlike Benchmark, SendinBlue does not limit how many subscribers or contacts their free users can have. Likewise, there is no limit in place for monthly emails. Rather, there is aÂ dailyÂ limit of 300 emails. From one perspective, this limitation may seem an opportunity to reach significantly more subscribers than would be possible with Benchmark’s plan. From another perspective, it means someone at your (presumably) small company will be spending at leastÂ some time every day working on emails; isn’t that why you wanted an email marketing app anyway? Fortunately, SendinBlueÂ does make it easy to design attractive emails with a nice email editor and template library. Free users also get real-time reporting, phone and email support, and customizable sign-up forms. As with Benchmark, you lose access to many features by choosing to use SendinBlue for free, though since SendinBlue is a simpler app in the first place, the limitations seem less important.
The biggest pro for using SendinBlue is the all-around simplicity of this app, as well as the template library, which is varied and diverse. Like Benchmark, SendinBlue tends to impress customers with their support options as well. In terms of cons, there are only a few integrations available, and some users complain of an outdated interface as well. On the whole, SendinBlue is widely liked by those who use it, though it does not inspire the same superlative-laden user reviews of some of its competitors.
MailChimpÂ (read our review) is pretty much synonymous with email marketing. Maybe it is the quirky name, maybe it is the goofy grin on the face of their mascot, but this app just sticks in the mind, making it one of the first examples I think of when discussing email marketing. Fortunately, if your budget does not have space for an ESP among so many other important expenses, you are in luck. There is a free version of MailChimp, widely regarded as one of the best in the business.
To start things off, if you want to use MailChimp for free, you are looking at a subscriber cap of 2,000 users and an email limit of 12,000 per month. Eagle-eyed readers will note that Benchmark allows more emails per month, but where this email marketing platform sets itself apart is in the features free users gain access to. The standard emailÂ editor and template library are in place, as expected, but MailChimp also provides an automated email campaignsÂ features that most of their competitors keep locked behind paywalls. These automations allow you to pre-write messages and determine triggers that will prompt the app to automatically send follow-up emails based on the behavior of individual subscribers. Whether it is a welcome message for new contacts, a notification of an abandoned shopping cart, or even a gentle reminder that your business still exists to customers that have been away awhile, if you are trying to build an ecommerce business, these tools can be invaluable to you.
The pros of using MailChimp should be readily apparent. With powerful features, a user-friendly interface, and a minimal learning curve — for the low monthly cost of $0, it may seem that there is no reason to not set up a MailChimp account this very second. However, unlike the other two apps discussed above, MailChimp does not have a spotless customer service record, with some users finding communication slow and unresponsive. Fortunately, there are more satisfied customers than disgruntled ones, but it remains a concern.
Basically, what we have here are three email marketing apps that would leave nearly any subscriber satisfied. Having said that, I think there is a definite winner here: MailChimp. Especially if you are working in e-commerce, the automation tools included in this free email marketing software may prove indispensable to growing your business.
Having said that, I can think of a few reasons for using the other software programs I described above. If your needs exceed the 12,000 emails offered by MailChimp, Benchmark might be the better choice for you. If you need an extra-simplified feature set, SendinBlue’s free plan may be more attractive. On top of that, both these alternatives have higher reputations for customer service, certainly more so than Mailchimp.
In the end, the best way to figure out which free email marketing software app is best for you is to give one or all of them a try. Considering they are free, there is really not much to lose. Your email newsletter is just begging to be sent, and this month is as good a time as any! Start generating contacts, write that opt-in email, create some sign-up forms, and get out there!
If you’re looking for a little more bang for your buck, you might consider doing a free trial of another email marketing platform like AWeber, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, or Active Campaign, or simply using the paid version of any one of the programs above. With a premium service, you’re going to get more templates, unlimited emails and contacts, advanced marketing automations, social media integration, and better all-around email marketing tools. Read our full selection of email marketing software reviews for more information, or check out our ESP comparison chart.
The post The Best Free Email Marketing Software Programs appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
A visitor has taken some sort of action on your site… hurray!
Before you celebrate too much, let’s talk about your Thank You page.
The Thank You page is one of the most underrated pages on a website. We often focus so much on getting someone to take an action (like purchasing a product, signing up for a webinar, downloading a whitepaper) that we forget how valuable a Thank You page can be, or the effort we should put into it.
A Thank You page, when used correctly, can be a crucial part of nurturing your audience.
But before we dive into some best practices, let’s cover the basics.
What is a Thank You Page?
A Thank You page is where a visitor is taken after completing a desired action on your website. It’s also sometimes referred to as a “confirmation” page because it confirms an action was taken.
A Thank You page can follow up any desired action on your site, from filling out a contact form to subscribing to an email newsletter or purchasing a product on your site.
Do I Need a Thank You Page?
If you have some sort of action you want visitors to take (also known as a “conversion” in marketing speak), then you absolutely need a Thank You page on your website.
This page not only serves as a way to confirm the action was taken successfully, but it also allows you to continue to engage your visitors, especially while they’re still “warm” (sales jargon for they’re more likely to want to interact/do business with you).
A visitor who has just taken an action on your site is incredibly valuable because they’re indicating they’re interested in you and what you have to offer. An effective Thank You page is a way to further that relationship and keep that interest growing.
Plus, saying thank you after your audience does something on your site is just plain polite.
Thank You Page vs. Thank You Message
A lot of forms and landing pages include built-in functionality to display a confirmation message once an action is completed. This functionality generally keeps users on the same page and simply replaces the form/download button/purchase area with a thank you message.
While showing this message is enough to confirm the action, in most cases, it doesn’t do much for continuing to engage with your audience. This is where a dedicated Thank You page can do wonders for your post-conversion opportunities.
By leveraging an individual page instead of a message on the existing page, you have more flexibility and opportunities to increase engagement, share relevant content, and provide additional opportunities to convert.
For more about thank you pages vs. thank you messages, check out this article by Hubspot.
Thank You Page Best Practices
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the details. Here are seven Thank You page best practices you can implement on your own site.
The first thing your Thank You page should do is confirm whatever action your visitor just took was completed successfully. For example, if they’ve just subscribed to your weekly newsletter, your page might say something like, “Thank you for subscribing to our weekly newsletter.”
Your Thank You page should also confirm any relevant details relating to the conversion, such as how long it will take you to respond after they’ve filled out a contact form, or when they can expect to receive the whitepaper they’ve opted-in for.
Remember, this is someone who has indicated interest in your business. You want them to feel valued right off the bat and to know that the action they took actually worked. The best way to do that is to confirm all of the details as soon as they finish the conversion.
One of the worst things you can do on your Thank You page is keep your audience stranded there. These are people who have just indicated they’re into what you have to offer, which means this is the perfect time to keep them hanging around your site!
At the very least, your Thank You page should include your website’s navigation to allow your audience to stick around and explore your site some more.
Ex: The Skimm
Provide Related Content/Actions
Aside from using your navigation to give your audience an opportunity to stick around, your Thank You page is also a great place to provide related content or additional actions your lead may find interesting.
For example, if they’ve just opted-in to a whitepaper, you could provide related content on the same or a similar subject. This is a great way to continue to “warm up” your visitors (AKA make their interest in you grow) without being overly sales-y.
You could also use this opportunity to lead your users further “down the funnel” (the next step closer to purchasing) by offering another relevant action. For example, Hubspot offers a free session to learn more about their software after you opt-in to download one of their guides.
If your Thank You page shows when a visitor has already taken a purchasing action, you can still use related content to keep them engaged. The easiest way to do so is to display related items they may also be interested in — Amazon is renowned for doing just that!
Add an Offer/Promotion
Did a customer just enter to win a free product? Why not offer a coupon code to encourage them to purchase something sooner?
Adding an offer or promotion can be an excellent way to encourage warm visitors to convert, or to increase the value of a converting customer by enticing them to purchase additional items.
Keep in mind that your offer should be something relevant to their action and worthy of their attention. You don’t want to come across as spammy over overly sales-y. You want to provide something that feels uniquely valuable to your audience and relates to whatever action they just took.
Encouraging people to connect with you on social media is a great way to further connect with a warm audience.
Instead of just leaving links to your social profiles, take it a step further and tell visitors why they should follow you. What can they expect to see if on they follow you? News about your business? Tips and tricks related to the action they just took? Spell out the value and make it clear it’s worth it.
Ex: Katelyn Dramis
You can also use your Thank You page as an opportunity to spread the word about your business. This works particularly well for actions like webinar registrations and offer redemptions.
If your Thank You page is confirming an offer redemption or webinar sign-up, include social share buttons to encourage your converters to spread the word on social media with their friends. They obviously think what you have to offer is worth signing up for! There’s a good chance they’ll spread the word for you, too.
Show Off Testimonials
Even if your visitor has just completed a purchase, your Thank You page can still be a place of reassurance that you’re as great as you say you are.
Use your page as an opportunity to show off social proof, whether it be customer testimonials, the number of social media fans you have, or a quick stat or case study.
Your Thank You page should continue to warm your visitors and encourage them either to purchase down the road or to purchase again. Using social proof to help reassure them that you’re the real deal can help this process significantly.
Encourage Opt-Ins & Account Sign-Ups
A Thank You page is the perfect time to ask your audience to become a regular part of your community and an ongoing converter.
For e-commerce businesses, asking your purchases to create an account after converting can yield far more results than asking prior to purchase (and can reduce cart abandonment).
If your business doesn’t include the opportunity for customers to create accounts, you can still invite converters to be regulars by asking them to opt-in to your email newsletter on your Thank You page. Make sure you specify why your audience would want to subscribe to your newsletter — what is it you’ll be offering that makes it worthwhile?
Conclusion & Next Steps
Your Thank You page can be an amazing tool in your sales arsenal if used correctly. Don’t let all of your focus go toward the conversion — spend adequate time on your confirmation page and yield the benefits time and time again.
Start by taking a look at your own Thank You page. Does it confirm the action your visitor took? Does it offer opportunities to stay engaged with your business? If it doesn’t, start by introducing one way for users to continue to interact with you.
Remember, like all pages on your website, your Thank You page isn’t set in stone. Test one approach to adding some meat to your page (like adding related content or a call-to-action to follow you on social media) and see how it works. Then, adapt!
Charge card fraud, for most of us, invokes 1 of 2 scenarios. First, you will find data breaches à la Target or Lowe’s, where thieves connect to the system and steal charge card figures, names, along with other data. Beyond that, you may consider online card fraud, where shady people use stolen card figures (sometimes acquired in data breaches such as the formerly pointed out ones) to purchase a lot of stuff online. Even though you start digging into ways retailers can safeguard against card fraud, the overwhelming quantity of sources are directed at eCommerce an internet-based transactions, and the ways to prevent fraud there. There isn’t many details whatsoever about card-present fraud — that’s, transactions which are still not legitimate but occur inside a store, in which the card is swiped or dipped.
Overall, card-present charge card fraud is really a smaller sized bit of the cake than online fraud, that is likely why there is a disproportionate quantity of sources regarding internet-based cons. But it’s still necessary that retailers take each step they are able to to safeguard themselves. Which includes being aware of what risks you face within the brick-and-mortar atmosphere.
Table of Contents
Understanding the kinds of Charge Card Fraud
I’m penning this mostly to describe how to prevent fraud. I shouldn’t enter into all the various scams and methods that fraudsters use because you can write a little ebook about them. But generally, all charge card fraud (or bank card fraud) falls into 1 of 3 groups:
Cloned/Counterfeit Card Fraud: This is a kind of card-present fraud in which the fraudster forges a card with another person’s username and passwords and uses it inside a brick-and-mortar storefront.
Lost/Stolen Card Fraud: This kind of fraud is most familiar to consumers, and sure concern for a lot of retailers: a fraudster using another person’s card to create a transaction (frequently a really large one). This could happen online or perhaps in a store.
Card-Not-Present Fraud: Any kind of fraudulent online transaction falls into this category, simply due to the credit card not swiped or dipped. While there are several tools retailers may use to mitigate this risk, generally, it’s the easiest kind of fraud to commit. CNP fraud comprises nearly all card fraud, especially as EMV makes it harder to clone or counterfeit cards.
It is also important to note there’s a couple other kinds of fraud retailers have to be cautious about:
ATM Fraud: Scammers uses a couple of different tactics to obtain either money or card data from ATMs, including installing card skimmers (we’ll discuss individuals inside a bit) or deliberately blocking the money distribution mechanism. For those who have an ATM on-site at the business, be familiar with it as being a possible target.
Check Fraud: Checks are certainly decreasing. Actually, based on the Fed, the entire quantity of check payments produced in the U.S. fell typically 6.2 percent each year from 2000 to 2012, and from 2012 to 2015, fell by typically 4.4 % yearly. In 2015, consumers authored as many as 19.4 billion checks, that was a complete loss of 3.1 billion over 2012 figures. However, the Given also reports that the need for the checks risen has elevated — and therefore while individuals are writing them less often, they have a tendency to create them for more and more bigger purchases. Check acceptance isn’t universal, however if you simply do accept checks, utilizing a digital service for example Telecheck to instantly convert payments and flag dangerous transactions is a great way to safeguard yourself.
I am not likely to really enter into CNP fraud, as the majority of it requires running an eCommerce store. This short article won’t cope with ATM or check fraud in-depth simply because they don’t affect nearly all retailers. Our focus is particularly card fraud at brick-and-mortar stores, whether it is debit or charge card related.
The Charge Card Fraud Game-Changer: EMV
Before the EMV liability shift required place, fraud experts were predicting that CNP fraud would increase with a tremendous amount in america because other nations that implemented EMV observed an identical pattern, and individuals predictions have held true. Credit monitoring agency Experian reported a rise of CNP fraud totaling 33% when compared with 2015.
One of the reasons for elevated CNP fraud may be the development of shopping online. As increasing numbers of use online, the entire amount of charge card fraud is likely to increase. However, the rollout of EMV can also be playing a job within the increase of card-not-present fraud.
Particularly, the chips in EMV cards tend to be harder to repeat and reproduce than the usual magstripe card (which is dependant on technology straight from the 1970s). So rather, scammers are switching to purchasing online, where you can find no techniques to physically authenticate the credit card. Rather, most security checks depend around the CVV or AVS checks to recognize suspicious transactions.
That’s not saying cloned or counterfeited cards aren’t an issue whatsoever. They’re. EMV market saturation in america isn’t 100%, as well as if consumers have nick cards, that does not mean retailers are outfitted to simply accept nick cards. As well as if counterfeited card fraud is decreasing, there’s still lost/stolen card fraud to bother with.
6 Methods to Reduce Charge Card Fraud in Brick-and-Mortar Stores
So, your house you need to antiques store. Someone is available in to purchase some furniture for his or her new house. Two days and a few 1000 dollars later, you discover the card used would be a stolen card. The cardholder has filed a chargeback, meaning the entire transaction amount continues to be deducted from your bank account and put on hold pending analysis. Not just that, but you’re the actual merchandise, effectively doubling whatever is lost.
Regrettably, this could and does occur to retailers. Although some industries are much more likely than the others to become victims of card fraud, any and each business should know the potential risks and take safeguards.
Which industries are most in danger? Based on an american Bank presentation, a few of the MCCs (merchant category codes, accustomed to identify the kind of services or products a business offers) which are most focused on fraud range from the following:
5411: Supermarkets and Supermarkets
5732: Electronics Stores
5812: Dining Establishments and Restaurants
5999: Miscellaneous and Niche Stores
4722: Travel Agencies and Tour Operators
5661: Shoe Stores
Exactly what do you need to do to safeguard yourself? To begin with, you should know of whether you’re in the kind of industry that’s enjoy being focused on card-present fraud. A dry-cleaning business or perhaps a cafe? Most likely less. An gallery, a furniture or electronics store, or other business where consumers can drop hundreds or 1000s of dollars all at once? Most certainly a target.
Second, make certain you implement procedures and policies that will help mitigate fraud. We’ll begin with a very fundamental one, that we suspect lots of retailers overlook:
1. Check Network Guidelines for Card Acceptance
I mention mtss is a lot — by a great deal, I am talking about in nearly every review I write — but READ YOUR CONTRACT. Understand what you’re signing and just what rules and needs you’re being certain to. It’s important to maintain your credit card merchant account open so that you can keep accepting cards. But it’s also wise to consider the merchant guidelines the various card systems (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Uncover) offer. They often cover guidelines for example displaying marks of acceptance, surcharging, and minimum/maximum transaction amounts. Hidden in individuals guidelines will also be policies which cover safety measures you’re likely to take and list of positive actions if you feel a card is fraudulent or even the transaction otherwise seems suspicious.
To help you get began, I suggest checking the Visa card acceptance guidelines, in addition to MasterCard’s rules.
2. Secure Your POS and Hardware
In addition to the threats resulting from counterfeited or stolen cards, it’s also wise to be familiar with the opportunity of an information breach. If a person has the capacity to access the body and compromise your customers’ private information, it may be devastating for both you and your business. Data breaches can occur in lots of ways.
Among the apparent ones is skimming, in which a fraudster installs a tool over your terminal or pin pad that captures the credit card data and stores it. Skimmers may take only seconds to set up and therefore are difficult to place unless of course you are aware how to acknowledge the twelve signs. Scammers may also result in a data breach by using adware and spyware in your POS system or else hacking it. They are more complex techniques in most cases directed at high-value targets, but they’re possible you should know of, particularly if you store any type of customer data.
PCI Compliance: What you ought to Know
Technically, PCI DSS compliance (usually just known as PCI compliance) isn’t just about POS systems. Sturdy your hardware, too. More often than not that’s lumped along with your POS, though, particularly if you come with an integrated solution.
PCI DSS means Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It’s a unified policy indicating the steps retailers have to take to secure their transaction data through hardware and also the POS system, laid by the PCI Security Standards Council. Retailers are sorted into certainly one of four levels with respect to the type and number of transactions yearly. Most small companies are Level 3 or Level 4, that have the least steps to consider to keep compliance.
There’s an excellent chance that, should you didn’t construct your system yourself, you’re already PCI compliant. Software and equipment vendors will need to go via a certification process when they handle payment card information. However, should you store any customer data (particularly in a database you develop and keep yourself) or route it via a website you maintain yourself, that won’t function as the situation. You need to speak to your credit card merchant account provider or software vendor by what steps are needed to make sure your compliance. You might be needed to accomplish quarterly scans or self-assessments.
PCI compliance could be summarized into 12 points of action lumped into six groups. The reason here is obtained from the PCI SCC Quick Reference Guide.
Build and keep a safe and secure Network 1. Install and keep a firewall configuration to safeguard cardholder data. 2. Don’t use vendor-provided defaults for system passwords along with other security parameters.
Safeguard Cardholder Data 3. Safeguard stored cardholder data. 4. Secure transmission of cardholder data across open, public systems.
Conserve a Vulnerability Management Program 5. Use and frequently update anti-virus software or programs. 6. Develop and keep secure systems and applications.
Implement Strong Access Control Measures 7. Restrict use of cardholder data by business have to know. 8. Assign a distinctive ID to every person with computer access. 9. Restrict physical use of cardholder data.
Regularly Monitor and Test Systems 10. Track and monitor all use of network sources and cardholder data. 11. Regularly test home security systems and procedures.
Maintain an info Security Policy 12. Conserve a policy that addresses information to safeguard all personnel.
For retailers, I believe the important thing takeaway is the fact that PCI compliance (and knowledge peace of mind in general) isn’t a one-and-done type deal. You have to positively take preventive steps and monitoring the body, from updating software and firmware when updates seem to watching the employees and ensuring they’re educated on card security issues and proper procedures to handle.
Beyond PCI Compliance: How to maintain your POS (and knowledge) Secure
Learning all the intricacies of PCI compliance is most certainly challenging for anybody, the experts! However, since, data security isn’t something take proper care of once rather than consider again, you need to certainly take a moment to discover security.
Two big terms at this time are file encryption and tokenization. PCI DSS signifies that the POS and hardware should secure transactions. There’s two major kinds of file encryption, point-to-point and finish-to-finish.
Tokenization isn’t yet a business standard, though it’s increasingly common, mostly because of NFC/contactless payments. Tokenization generates a 1-time-use card number and substitutes it for that actual card number. Even when information is breached and decrypted, that tokenized number is useless to scammers. That’s just how Apple Pay and Samsung Pay and Android Pay keep the card data secure: Your card number is kept in a cloud vault which your phone have access to. Your phone generates the token and passes it to the system, which verifies the amount.
If you would like to understand more about how you can secure your POS, check out our POS 101 article around the subject, in addition to PC Mag’s article regarding how to place skimmers.
3. Capture Signatures, Even on Low-Value Transactions
Credit (and debit) cards possess a space around the back for customers to sign them because, theoretically, retailers are meant to compare that signature towards the one around the receipt as a way of verification. The truth is couple of or no retailers really do that.
Within the interest of speeding along transactions, particularly in environments where customers be prepared to be interior and exterior the checkout fairly rapidly, the credit card systems have relaxed their guidelines with no longer need a signature on all transactions. Low-value transactions (under $25 or $50 with respect to the network) frequently waive the signature requirement.
mPOS systems — Square, PayPal Here, SumUp, etc. — plus some POS systems frequently allow retailers to disable signatures on low-value transactions. For mPOS systems, the brink is generally $25. For full-fledged POS systems, that threshold may also be in the merchant’s discretion.
Realistically speaking, quick-serve cafes and restaurants, supermarkets, etc., where you’re likely to encounter low-value transactions, aren’t an enormous risk. And also the losses, unless of course you’re experiencing a huge string of fraudulent transactions, are minimal. It isn’t that you simply absolutely must enable signatures on all transactions to safeguard yourself. That’s not true. However if you simply want to maximise your protection out on another mind the additional time to gather a signature throughout the checkout phase, you are able to enable them.
For top-value transactions, you need to absolutely be collecting signatures on everything. Actually, for large transactions, signed invoices are an easy way to safeguard your company and reduce the chances of chargebacks.
4. Request Customer Identification
Some consumers, rather of filling out the backs of the cards, decide to write “SEE ID” for the reason that space. This informs retailers they ought to request a photo ID and compare it towards the name around the card.
A great practice. Not every retailers get it done, especially with increasingly more consumer-facing PIN pads and terminals in which the cashier never handles the credit card.
But there’s only one small problem:
A merchant can ask to determine a photograph ID for any transaction, but legally, the customer isn’t obligated to supply it. Visa’s guide, 5 Important Visa Rules That Each Merchant Ought To Know, explains it such as this:
“A Merchant may request cardholder identification inside a face-to-face atmosphere. When the name around the identification doesn’t match the name around the card, the merchant could decide whether or not to accept the credit card. When the cardholder doesn’t have, or perhaps is reluctant to provide, cardholder identification, the merchant should recognition the credit card should they have acquired evidence of card presence, a legitimate authorization, along with a valid signature or PIN.”
Therefore if a person provides an ID that does not match the name around the card, the merchant can pick to say no the transaction. When the customer will not offer an ID or doesn’t have one, Visa’s rules condition that you ought to process the transaction, provided you will find the card in hands plus they sign or enter their PIN.
That stated, requesting ID continues to be generally a great policy. Just be familiar with the credit card systems acceptance rules (see point #1 above).
5. Avoid Keyed Transactions
It’s story time!
A lengthy, lengthy time ago (OK, a lot more like eight years back), after i labored like a cashier somewhere that shall ‘t be named, I recall from time to time getting to place a card inside a plastic grocery bag and swipe it to obtain the POS to see it. I’m still unsure why this labored, however it did. Them which had this issue were usually old and worn — sometimes worn to the stage the elevated figures weren’t as elevated because they must have been, and also the whole card appeared thinner, even extended. They often left worn-lower, overstuffed wallets, therefore i just generally assumed the put on evolved as the result of in which the card was stored. Sometimes, though, even that didn’t work, since the card might have a split inside it within the magstripe or it simply wouldn’t read. In individuals cases, I could (and did) by hand go into the card.
I do not determine if the cards I processed by doing this were fraudulent, but I know since it was a danger. Card network guidelines, in addition to other security experts, suggest that you inspect the physical card for indications of damage or tampering before you decide to process a transaction. Broken cards — particularly if it normally won’t swipe — can (but don’t always) indicate counterfeit or cloned cards. Entering the transaction means the POS does not have to physically look into the card, because it’s treated like a card-not-present transaction.
First, keyed transactions always are more expensive than swiped or dipped ones. PayPal and Square both charge 3.5% + $.15, that is well over the 2.7% and a pair of.75% (correspondingly) they charge for swiped or dipped transactions. Traditional merchant services may also assess a greater fee, although it varies more.
Second, getting a lot of keyed transactions is frequently a warning sign for a free account provider. It shows that someone may be processing cards that aren’t even physically contained in the shop, that is, clearly, a large no-no. A particular quantity of keyed transactions should be expected, but a lot of can result in a hold, freeze, or termination.
So your very best to prevent entering card information, because this will safeguard your company. Most security experts also recommend searching at the processing background and making note associated with a patterns — whether these transactions happen in a particular time consistently, or maybe one cashier is much more vulnerable to keyed transactions than the others.
6. Change to EMV Acceptance
Should you not curently have a POS and hardware that accepts EMV transactions, it’s about time you are making the switch. No exceptions, no excuses. Yes, it may appear costly, you will find, the EMV rollout continues to be rather slow partly due to the backlog on hardware and software certifications. But there are many EMV-certified hardware and software open to retailers. If you were postponing the switch, just start it already. It’s probably the most important methods for you to safeguard your company from charge card fraud.
Like I stated earlier, it’s a great deal harder (not possible, but very, very hard) to repeat a nick card. That is why many scammers are relocating to CNP fraud. On October 1, 2015, liability for fraudulent nick card transactions shifted in the banks to “the least-secure party,” which within this situation means retailers who aren’t outfitted to simply accept EMV.
Remember the instance I began with, using the antique furniture. Repeat the person purchasing the products have a counterfeit nick card. However, you, the merchant, have only a magstripe readers. If you’d had an EMV readers, it could have been in a position to identify the card was fraudulent. But rather, you processed the magstripe transaction — which leaves you entirely responsible for the entire mess.
The problem could be different when the fraudster were built with a stolen EMV card and tried on the extender in an EMV terminal. For the reason that situation, the liability would fall around the card provider.
Should you haven’t already, get EMV-capable card-readers and make certain your POS is EMV certified, too. It’s absolutely worthwhile, and every one of our top-rated merchant providers offer EMV acceptance, just like our top-rated mPOS providers.
Conclusion: How Large a danger is Card-Present Charge Card Fraud?
Realistically, retailers who sell online face an even bigger threat than brick-and-mortar retailers. That’s largely because of the EMV liability shift and rollout of nick cards. Unfortunately, even nick cards can’t safeguard against stolen or lost card fraud. And until EMV market saturation hits 100%, there’s still a danger of accepting counterfeit cards.
Fortunately, you are able to take measures to safeguard your and yourself business. Understanding is power, especially within the payments industry. So review your processing contract, the credit card networks’ laws and regulations, and also the legal matters affecting your industry. Make certain that you simply keep the POS secure, out on another overlook simple defenses for example collecting signatures or requesting IDs, and keeping keyed transactions low. Applying EMV, should you haven’t already, is among the most critical methods for you to safeguard your company.
If you have questions, we’d like to respond to them! Take a look at our comment guidelines by leaving your question inside a comment. Thanks for studying!
Melissa Manley is definitely an independent author and editor who loves e-commerce, internet marketing, technology, and social networking. Not so long ago, she earned a journalism degree, but she continued to uncover that they could work at home, researching, editing, and covering the items she found most fascinating. When she’s not associated with her laptop, Melissa usually can be based in the kitchen, studying a magazine, or doing something from the nerdy persuasion.
If there’s one page that’s accountable for the greatest effect on a company, it’s the merchandise page for e-commerce shops.
Being an e-commerce store, you’re only as effective as the product pages. These pages can really do or die a purchase, and could be the main difference involving the store thriving on the internet and tanking.
With this said… why is a good product page?
Listed here are eight guidelines to make use of in your product pages to make sure they’re obtaining the task finished.
Your Products Page Should…
Showcase your product or service rich in-quality images/videos
When customers buy online, it normally won’t possess the luxury of having the ability to the touch and hold your product or service — meaning high-quality product images are mandatory in your product page.
But it isn’t just the caliber of the image… the image size can impact profits.
While exact specifications for the images is determined by what your product or service are and the way your website is designed, here are a few general product photo guidelines you are able to follow to make certain your images complete the job:
Make certain resolution reaches least 72 dots per inch for optimal clearness
Feature multiple angles of the products (i.e. back, front, sides, etc.)
Include image zoom to focus on information on your products
Keep your image lighting, saturation and background consistent across product shots
Apart from high-quality images, video may also be an amazing tool inside your product page toolbox. Inside a study by Stacksandstacks.com, visitors who viewed video on the product page were 144% more prone to give a product for their cart.
With this stated, video isn’t essential-have for each online business. For instance, if you are selling men’s ties, a relevant video isn’t essential to observe how the tie looks on the model. Rather, you’d wish to depend on the nice zoom feature to focus on the facts of the ties.
Who rid of it: Adidas
Have unique, interesting product descriptions
While product images are very important for your product page design, product descriptions are essential. A properly-written, informative description of product can produce a purchase.
While it’s tempting to chop and paste your products descriptions across similar products, this creates a terrible consumer experience (as well as possibilities for organic traffic). Product descriptions are an opportunity to provide information to visitors regarding your value proposition. Why is the product different? What problem are you currently solving together with your product?
Your products descriptions should hit around the unique value proposition of every product inside a obvious and concise way. The copy ought to be informative but to the stage, explaining the precise product features and benefits without counting on industry jargon to speak your message.
Who rid of it: REI
Tell visitors how to proceed next
Tthere shouldn’t be doubt what your clients must do in your product page. What this means is the page requires a obvious road to purchase, beginning having a prominent proactive approach.
Your CTA doesn’t have to anything fancy — an easy “add to cart” button can suffice. It ought to, however, be simple to find and employ.
Provide your CTA on the prominent location in your product page, and employ contrast to really make it obvious against other elements of design in your page, like the background imagery.
Finally, make certain it’s working prior to going live! You may also give a confirmation, for example “[product] continues to be put into your cart!”, to allow customers know they’ve effectively completed the experience they would like to take.
Who rid of it: Grovemade
Say you’re searching for any new vehicle. You discover two which have each of the features you’re searching for, but there’s one primary difference. You have a lot of reviews — some positive, some negative — and yet another doesn’t have reviews.
Can you buy the one which doesn’t have feedback from customers? Most likely not.
Testimonials are crucial for creating trust with potential customers — especially online. Inside a survey conducted by eMarketer, 80.7% of respondents mentioned product critiques were either essential or somewhat vital that you their decision of if you should buy the product.
This best practice goes for both — you don’t only wish to feature reviews in your product page, but it’s also wise to offer a good way for the people to leave reviews for the products.
Who rid of it: The House Depot
Include trust badges
Shopping online could be nerve-wracking particularly if you’re unfamiliar with a brandname. Online fraud is really a major problem, meaning being an e-commerce business, the onus is for you to determine trust and credibility together with your customers.
Displaying trust badges (a seal the verifies a website is legitimate) is a straightforward method to boost confidence together with your visitors that you’re a genuine business and therefore are taking precautionary measures to have their information safe. Trust badge companies collect data in regards to a business, verifying its identity and authenticity and granting it a badge to verify its trustworthiness.
There are many badge types that will help convey you’re a reliable business, from security shields to buyer protection shields. To understand more about which trust badges could be suitable for your company and the way to acquire one, see here.
Who rid of it: Bourbon & Boots
Be transparent about shipping and returns
Maybe you have found the right product online, only to discover around the last step of checkout you need to pay a leg along with a leg for shipping? If you are like the majority of internet buyers, you most likely abandoned ship.
Actually, unpredicted shipping costs was the key reason for site abandonment based on this 2016 study by VWO.
Shoppers want complete transparency in their entire shopping online experience — meaning no hidden shipping costs!
If you are charging customers for shipping, make sure to display your policy clearly in your product page so that your customers know before they can add their product for their cart that they’ll have to take into account shipping charges when purchasing.
This insurance policy pertains to returns, too. If your customer isn’t 100% offered in your product, they’re likely to need to know just how lengthy they need to give it a try before it must be back with you. Could it be fourteen days? An entire month? Are returns free? Spell it in your product pages so visitors don’t need to go looking for the data.
Who rid of it: Nike
Prioritize page speed
Page load time is a big element in site abandonment. You’ll have a terrifically-designed product page with beautiful images, great product descriptions, and killer reviews… however, if the page takes forever to load, it will not matter a little.
Consumers have become to anticipate almost immediate page strain on websites. Based on Kissmetrics, 79% of internet shoppers who have a problem with a site’s performance won’t go back to shop there again, and 1 / 2 of internet users expect pages to load in 2 seconds or fewer.
Your page speed can have a number of things, like a complex web site design, your server response time, large images and files, large pages, etc.
To check on your page speed and identify possibilities for optimization, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Be enhanced for mobile/tablet
By 2020, mobile e-commerce is forecasted to create up 45% of america e-commerce market. Shoppers are spending increasingly more time on their own cellular devices, so your website must be enhanced for mobile encounters.
An excellent mobile e-commerce page features product images that are simple to see and explore, quick page load, along with a seamless mobile checkout experience.
Who rid of it: ETQ
Since you have the very best practices lower for the product page, it’s time for you to dive a little much deeper. A stick out product page can produce a massive difference inside your site’s rate of conversion if done properly. Listed here are a couple of tips and methods to make certain you’re getting the most from your products pages.
Make use of the scarcity principle
Creating a feeling of emergency could be a terrific way to improve conversions in your site. Using the scarcity principle in your product pages, you develop a feeling of emergency for the website visitors and eliminate time they might spend mulling of if you should purchase. If something is selling out rapidly, customers might be more prone to visit it before time expires.
Bear in mind that the product page needs to follow general guidelines to operate. Departing a note like “only 3 left!” on the product page that’s poorly designed, slow to load, and doesn’t feature great product images isn’t likely to strengthen your conversions.
Amazon . com uses scarcity principle frequently, particularly when they’re offering deals on select products.
Leverage your FAQ to assist remove doubt
Because of so many options online, it’s your decision to supply all the information your clients need to comprehend the need for your product or service and just what enables you to much better than your competitors.
Among the simplest ways to get this done on the product page would be to leverage information out of your FAQ page to reply to common questions regarding your product or service and take away any remaining doubt when you are transparent and detailed together with your product information (without completely overwhelming your products page with sentences of knowledge).
Should there be common questions across all products, you are able to pull information out of your FAQ page and have it underneath the fold in your product page. You may also link straight to your FAQ page out of your product page to provide obvious direction on where users might opt for solutions to common questions.
Under Armour requires a unique method of this by providing a “Questions” area at the end of the product pages that highlight product-specific questions and solutions, as well as allow shoppers to submit questions.
Show cost comparisons
If you are offering discounts, sales, or lower-than-list prices, display it in public on your products page. Besides this show internet buyers your value proposition — additionally, it causes it to be so that your visitors do not have to depart your website to check prices.
Wayfair is a superb illustration of an e-commerce site who this well. Furthermore they reveal a reduced price… they reveal customers just how much they’re saving using the reduced add up to fully show the worth save.
Personalize Product Recommendations
Mix-selling products with related product recommendations could be a terrific way to increase overall cart value, but using personalized product recommendations could be a game-changer.
Personalized product recommendations use actual user behavior to recommend items that are often viewed, visited, and purchased together. You’ve probably seen this on Amazon . com, that has been awing customers for a long time using their highly personalized product recommendations.
Rather of recommending standard products overall (which may be unrelated as to the your customer is actually trying to find), personalized product recommendations help make your shop seem like it’s produced only for the consumer, since it shows products they’re apt to be thinking about.
Your products pages are perhaps probably the most pages in your e-commerce website. From your images for your descriptions can produce a serious effect on a shopper’s decision to buy or abandon ship.
To create superior product pages, focus first around the fundamentals. Make certain you’ve high-quality images which include multiple angels of the products along with a zoomed-in character at them also. Also spend time crafting thoughtful descriptions. Keep in mind that users do not have the chance to physically touch and feel your product or service or discover their whereabouts at scale, so depend in your descriptions to supply a full picture of the products.
Lastly, keep in mind that transparency is essential. Shoppers need to know everything upfront — shipping, returns, prices, discounts, etc. Make certain to provide them all the information inside a digestible and simply discoverable format.
If I’m being entirely honest, SumUp type of jogs my memory of Square’s sophisticated European cousin who’s arrived at the united states to remain. Lean, sleek, and delicate, standing as opposed to Square’s large, colorful profile. However in the finish, they’re both family — by that, I am talking about they’re both mobile POS apps that allow almost anybody take payments anywhere they are able to get data or Wi-Fi. It’s fair to state that Square offers quite a bit more about its plate recently, using its retail-focused application and many add-on services. But when you’re just searching in their mobile processing — a method to take payments on the smartphone or perhaps a tablet — the more sensible choice? I’m here to have a look at Square versus. SumUp to determine the way they compare.
Table of Contents
Products & Services
I am not counting Square for Retail or any one of Square’s add-on services within this comparison because it’s unfair considering that these types of services cost extra. Rather, I’m evaluating the conventional Square application to SumUp’s application. Despite that limitation placed, Square arrives in front of the game.
We begin using the mPOS apps. Getting used both, I’ve found each super easy to navigate. They’re fairly intuitive as soon as you initially sign in. There are a handful of features it’s important to contact SumUp to activate, since you can’t get it done from inside the application itself (tipping, for instance), and Sumup works just slightly not the same as other mPOS apps. It isn’t an obstacle. I believe it’s more SumUp showing its European roots.
It’s when you begin to obtain lower to individual application features that Square shines better than SumUp. I shouldn’t get into an entire complex comparison here. If you wish to find out more, I encourage you to look at our individual Square and SumUp reviews, where we’ve detailed the characteristics each application offers pretty much. However, I’ll state that both offer the majority of the standard features you’d expect: quick purchase mode, item libraries, tips, disabling signatures for small transactions, etc.
I actually do wish to draw attention to a few the main variations within the mPOS application, though. First of all, Square enables inventory counts and overall its inventory management features tend to be more advanced. It will also support discounts by percentage or amount of money. SumUp doesn’t offer these features. I’m also a bit disappointed by the possible lack of invoicing support from SumUp. In addition, you’ll observe that there isn’t any customer database within the SumUp application. While the possible lack of these functions is in no way an offer-breaker, it will provide the upper hands to Square.
What may well be a deal-breaker is the possible lack of keyed entry within the SumUp application. When the card won’t swipe, the nick malfunctions, or even the NFC features won’t work, there isn’t a handbook override. Again, I believe this mostly comes from SumUp’s roots in Europe, though I actually do hope this limitation might disappear later on. For the time being, the nearest approximation is SumUp’s SMS payments feature. Should you not get access to a card readers, however your customers get their phones, you are able to send them a hyperlink inside a text (SMS). Which will direct these to a website where they are able to enter their payment information.
Both services provide a virtual terminal without fee every month, but you’ll pay a little more than you’d for any transaction within the mobile application. Likewise, both provide e-commerce abilities, though Square’s is much more comprehensive, with your own domain name, a totally free site, shopping cart software integrations, as well as an API. SumUp’s is simply an API.
That stated, SumUp has one service that Square doesn’t: worldwide processing. Granted, this really is limited simply to the 16 countries SumUp presently are operating in. However if you simply are going to the United kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Chile, South america, or among the other nations by which SumUp already operates, you are able to contact the organization and keep these things give your account to process transactions abroad. And that’s pretty awesome, because most US services (except the-costly Inner Fence) have no idea compare to offering this capacity.
I know full well that Square works together with an enormous range of hardware, beginning using the various card readers it provides. Additionally towards the fundamental magstripe readers it’s been delivering out free for a long time, there is a magstripe/EMV readers, an EMV/NFC readers (no magstripe abilities), along with a licensed third-party readers (Miura M010). Obviously, remember the attractive Square Stand using its built-in magstripe readers. And that’s just the credit card readers. Many of these visitors only so-to me. I have seen worse designs, but in addition to the simple the Square Stand, many of them are awkward to make use of. My personal favorite from the bunch may be the Miura M010, that is an iOS-exclusive for that Square ecosystem.
Take a look at our other articles on Square’s hardware for any more in-depth look: Unboxing the Miura M010 Readers, Square EMV Readers Unboxing and Review, and just how Do Square’s Card Readers Rival Competitors?
Past the card readers, there’s lots of other hardware to think about for companies that are looking a countertop solution in addition to a mobile one. Square is satisfied to bundle kits composed of tablet stands, cash drawers, receipt printers, and optional tablets. You can buy multiple printers and funds drawers in addition to stands, and all sorts of for any fairly reasonable cost. Plus, you can include a Bluetooth scanner if you want it. Hardware compatibility depends upon which device you utilize to operate the Square application. Square maintains separate lists for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices if you wish to know which specific printers and funds drawers work.
In comparison, SumUp offers only one readers: an exciting-in-one device known as the SumUp Air. Take a look at our unboxing overview of the readers for additional, however i do such as this device. I love it supports the 3 types of transactions, and that i like its heft within my hands, even when I discovered it simply a smidge too big within my hands. Again, you will see the large difference here’s that SumUp doesn’t even provide a free magstripe readers. Rather, the environment readers runs for $69 plus tax, with free delivery.
So far as other devices, there isn’t any pier for that Air readers. SumUp doesn’t presently provide a stand in america, either. The application doesn’t support checking, so there’s no requirement for a Bluetooth scanner. But a minimum of the application works with multiple receipt printers, based on a help-desk article.
SumUp will also support cash drawers, though it should be suitable for the receipt printer you’ve selected if you would like it to operate instantly. (Otherwise, you will be able to use any manual drawer.) But the organization doesn’t sell any kind of printer or cash drawer directly. You’ll need to find them yourself from another source.
As I like the SumUp readers much better than the majority of Square’s hardware, Square wins this round. The variety of card readers aside, the truth that Square offers pre-bundled kits and all sorts of hardware you can need in one location is super-convenient for retailers.
Realistically, though, do most retailers need everything? If you are merely a mobile business, then no. You almost certainly don’t have any use for the features. If you wish to operate a countertop system along with a mobile one simultaneously, Square may be the obvious champion. However for retailers who just want mobile processing, I honestly think you will be offered as well by of those options.
Charges & Rates
Prices for Square versus. SumUp is very comparable, that is nice. For many transactions, you’re likely to pay 2.75%. Neither requires any monthly charges or minimum processing amounts. You pay for which you utilize, and that’s why processors such as this are ideal for new retailers, mobile companies, and individuals that just process infrequently.
I’ve personally written a great deal about the price of using Square. For context into both Square and SumUp’s prices schemes and just how they rival, say, an interchange-plus plan, I suggest looking at our analysis article: Is Square the Least expensive Processor for the Business?
With Square, you’re likely to pay 1 of 3 charges:
2.75%: For those swiped, dipped, or contactless transactions in the purpose of Purchase application
2.9% + $.30: For those eCommerce transactions and invoices
3.5% + $.15: For those virtual terminal and keyed-in transactions
Square means it when the organization states “No other fees” — it’s even began waiving the chargeback fee, that is uncommon within the payments industry.
SumUp has two rates with respect to the kind of transaction:
2.75%: For all swiped, dipped, or contactless transactions within the SumUp application
2.9% + $.15: for those virtual terminal or SMS payments transactions
In addition, there’s a $10 chargeback fee for transactions made the decision within the customer’s favor. However, there aren’t any other charges.
SumUp really offers better prices than Square on its additional services, but unless of course the virtual terminal comprises nearly all your transactions, you most likely won’t see much financial savings. And SumUp does not have an invoicing capacity whatsoever, making that the moot point, much to my dismay. So, with that said, I will call prices a draw because for many individuals transactions you’ll spend the money for same cost in either case.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
With companies requiring no contract, no monthly charges, with no monthly minimum on the top of the obvious prices strategy, it’s very easy to state SumUp matches Square perfectly within the sales and advertising transparency. Both of them are third-party processors having a small natural chance of a free account termination, however they overall appear to be really stable.
That stated, if you would like some coaching and tools to higher manage your company, Square certainly outshines SumUp concerning informational sources. The Townsquare blog is a superb resource for every type of economic-related topics, from payroll to marketing. SumUp’s US site doesn’t have blog, however the United kingdom site does — though it isn’t updated with nearly the regularity of america site. I guess that could be a direct result SumUp’s large worldwide achieve.
Customer Support & Tech Support Team
I’ll be truthful: Square does obtain a bad rap for customer support. The majority of that, In my opinion, comes from the actual way it handles account terminations. If Square closes your bank account, it’ll shut you lower via email, without any reason given, with no possibility of appeal. If you’re only handling a freeze or perhaps a hold, there’s a little more leeway.
For any lengthy time, Square also got lots of grief because of its insufficient phone support. A few years ago, it finally added phone support, however with a caveat: first, you need to get yourself a code so that you can get in touch with. This remains an origin of frustration from retailers who’ve account troubles, but others appear fine by using it.
Square also provides Twitter support, a ticket-based system, a really thorough self-service understanding base, or even a online community. All this appears pretty sufficient. Like I stated only a moment ago, the majority of the complaints about Square’s service appear to increase particularly to account terminations and holds instead of unhelpful customer support reps or perhaps response occasions.
SumUp does not have a passionate Twitter take into account customer care, also it does not have a residential area forum, however it comes with phone support, a ticket-based support system, along with a fairly comprehensive understanding base. Additionally, it has phone support and, unlike Square, its not necessary to acquire a customer code to in.
It’s difficult to get recent complaints about SumUp’s customer support. Most complaints tend to be more than 4 years old at this time, plus they don’t connect with SumUp’s services in america since the organization only has been stateside for around annually. I’ll state that my own encounters with SumUp’s customer care happen to be good which the chatter on the internet play is mainly positive. The organization is even answering some reviews with technical support.
I will refer to this as one a draw. Square includes a wider variety of support options, but SumUp has cut through a few of the bureaucracy by not requiring a person code because of its phone support.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
It always feels a little weird to a champion within this category. How can you really decide who arrives on the top when evaluating the worst from the worst comments about each company? That has less complaints? Whose complaints are less awful? My approach type of fluctuates based on who I’m discussing because context absolutely matters.
Here, we’re coping with one service that’s enormous in america and the other that’s still quite small in the usa but includes a bigger following abroad. We do not have hard figures for either. So knowing by complaint volume, even adjusted for relative size, is tough. Therefore, this time around I’m searching more at content.
SumUp and Square complaints have numerous similarities: a number of complaints about customer support, a few about account terminations, an periodic complaint about glitchy hardware. Square’s greatest supply of complaints is terminations, undoubtedly. People will not similar to their accounts being ended, that is completely understandable. However I think area of the frustration comes from how the organization handles terminations: an easy email, without any reason, no appeal, with no opportunity to achieve anybody on the telephone.
SumUp has far less complaints overall, but, again, it features a much smaller sized subscriber base, mainly in the US. It is also still a newcomer here. I’ve checked out the complaints concerning the service worldwide too, to obtain a broader sample.
My gut states, in line with the research I’ve done, that it is a real attract this category.
Reviews That Are Positive & Testimonials
Again, how can you call a champion here? Square is really a media darling, to be certain. And that’s as well as its various partnerships or even the implicit praise provided by a merchant’s ongoing utilisation of the service. SumUp is smaller sized, but it’s established some partnerships across Europe already. It features a smaller sized subscriber base, however i begin to see the same kind of reviews that are positive I see from Square users.
Within the finish, customers like how easy it is to buy registered. That they like the simple to use hardware and also the intuitive application. That’s all it boils lower to.
I stated it before, and I’ll express it again: Square and SumUp are extremely similar in their hearts. Yeah, sure, Square includes a very American “let’s try a little bit of everything!” mentality whereas SumUp is leaner and much more selective. However in the finish, the household resemblance continues to be strikingly obvious.
There are plenty of ways that Square and SumUp take presctiption level footing. Ultimately though, Square sticks out when it comes to features in addition to hardware options, for this reason within the finish I must declare Square the champion within the Square versus. SumUp debate. Square can adapt easily to countertop and mobile environments, it’s more features (especially so far as inventory goes), along with a great range of compatible hardware you can buy directly. SumUp is an extremely capable mobile application, however it can’t do countertop. It doesn’t support invoicing, and it is e-commerce support is restricted strictly for an API.
That’s not necessarily a bad factor. It simply implies that SumUp is actually intended to be mostly a mobile processing application, whereas Square is definitely an entire ecosystem for any business. If you want everything, that’s great. Square will be beneficial. Should you just require a mobile option, I’ve no hesitation in recommending either choice for you.
Thank you for studying! Remember to look at our full SumUp and Square reviews to learn more about each service. You can take a look at our other favorite mobile payments options too!
Melissa Manley is definitely an independent author and editor who loves e-commerce, internet marketing, technology, and social networking. Not so long ago, she earned a journalism degree, but she continued to uncover that they could work at home, researching, editing, and covering the items she found most fascinating. When she’s not associated with her laptop, Melissa usually can be based in the kitchen, studying a magazine, or doing something from the nerdy persuasion.