Hello there. We’re now going to talk about how you can accept payments and manage orders as part of your e-commerce activities. And we’ll show you how this can help your business.
One of the primary features of your e-commerce shop is being able to accept payments online. There are many options that can do this for you, and they range from relatively simple to fairly complex.
Let’s say you’re a furniture craftsman who offers limited edition artisan pieces, such as bookcases, tables and chairs. You have a website that showcases a gallery of bespoke furniture. But as it stands, customers have to ring, or visit your shop, to make an actual purchase.
Of course, you want to make things easier for your customers, by accepting payments online. You can do this using any number of online payment solutions, or what’s known as third-party payment processing, with services such as PayPal and Nochex.
These types of payment solutions let you add a button to your website, which customers can click to make a payment. This takes them to a separate payment website, which takes care of the transaction for you. Then after the order is complete, the customer is sent back to your site.
As transactions occur, you will receive all the information you need to fulfill the actual customer orders. So this approach means you can just focus on your business, while someone else takes care of the complex electronic transactions.
At some point, you might want to integrate the transaction experience into your website, such as offering online payments and a shopping cart that lets customers buy multiple items in one session.
Despite the additional costs, this integrated process provides very real benefits. One way to start is to use an “off-the-shelf” service, like Squarespace. These services give you more control over the shopping and checkout process and let you make changes and improvements.
For example, you might want to customise the thank-you page with specific offers. Or promote other furniture designs relevant to what the customer has already purchased.
Another benefit? You can track the entire customer experience, including the digital marketing campaign that brought visitors to your site. You can get more information about these people and see what website content they interacted with. And, you can learn what the most likely prospects tend to do on your site.
Now, let’s say your furniture design business has grown. And now you want to expand and offer furniture sets for every room, in every possible wood finish, to customers throughout the UK.
When you have loads of products to sell online to a broad audience, it’s probably time to consider a full e-commerce solution. There are many on the market— such as Shopify, Volusion or Magento.
Some are free, others you’ll need to pay for. And they all offer a wide range of features. But one common thing many of them offer is the ability to create and manage a fully functional online store.
A fully functional online store has a big benefit: a backend system with order management.
Let’s take a closer look at how a backend system can help you.
Well, first, your customers can create accounts and manage their personal information, billing preferences, and shipping addresses. You can offer them coupon codes, integrate multiple payment options, and even customise the checkout process.
And rather than program all of this yourself, you can use these e-commerce services to upload and manage product and inventory details, create and organise category, subcategory and product pages, and offer advanced product search.
Many solutions manage orders, track shipping and fulfillment details, and integrate with your financial and accounting systems.
Let’s sum up.
As an merchant growing your business online, you’ll need the right tools to accept payments and manage orders. Depending on your needs, a variety of options are available: from simple, third-party payment processing services to a fully developed e-commerce platforms.
Whatever option you choose, selling online is a great way to grow your business.
- handling online payments
- managing orders.