With everyone being home at the time, it’s easy to see why online businesses are all the rage right now. They’re perfect not only for making a little extra on the side but also for sharing your passions with the world.
When it comes to any kind of business—whether it be selling baked goods, providing home services, or creative side hustles—we’ve all got to start somewhere. Because of that, we’re constantly looking for ways to expand our business.
One of the best ways to do so is to start accepting different payment methods.
The current state of online payments
Right now, credit cards are the king of the online payment ecosystem, almost to the point where online businesses won’t be able to survive without them.
Already got that payment method? Good! However, that doesn’t mean you can just sit back and relax—there’s always room for expansion. If you’re really serious about expanding your sales, then it’s time to think about accepting other payment methods.
Other payment options to think about
We understand that looking through payment alternatives can be a little intimidating. There are hundreds, if not thousands, out there. Don’t fret. Here are a few payment options to get you started:
Online payment gateways
Third-party payment gateways are a great way to get your feet wet. The best example of these services is PayPal.
Before, the biggest problem with PayPal was that you needed to be logged in to the site (i.e. have an account) before making any payments. Fortunately, it isn’t like that anymore. Now, customers can pay with PayPal and then decide later on whether or not they want to create an account. Through PayPal, your customers can make secure payments with various currencies supported.
If you’re looking to try PayPal as an alternative payment option, it’s incredibly easy to set up. Just head over to their site and create an account or install their mobile app.
Debit cards are a rising star in the online payment game mainly because of their general ease (near-instant payments) and more private nature (no credit or banking information needed) compared to credit cards.
With debit cards, there is no “pay later” option. Once you pay, you pay in full—which can be appealing to some. Another useful feature of allowing debit card payments is that you tap into a whole new market: people who don’t use credit cards for online purchases.
Offline payment options
Despite us living in a digital age, it’s still important to add an option for offline payments. We have to remember that there are still people out there who are iffy about giving any kind of information through the Internet despite the secure systems already in place.
A good example of an offline payment option is CoD (cash on delivery). Although this method’s popularity varies per country, it can still be an excellent way to expand your customer base. It’s the perfect alleyway for people who like to shop online, but don’t want to input any of their payment information.
Accepting payments with Bitcoin is incredibly easy. All you need to start is a Bitcoin wallet and you’re ready to go!
Bitcoin is still one of the cheapest and fastest ways to send payments worldwide, so there are already many companies that accept bitcoin as payment.
There are a couple of other advantages to accepting Bitcoin as a payment option. For one, it gives you access to a worldwide market. In a way, Bitcoin provides the world with a financial passport, allowing anyone to participate in online transactions.
Bitcoin is built on what may be the most secure network on the planet yet: the blockchain. It’s not only secure and somewhat unhackable but also fully transparent.
Lastly, it’s also a perfect marketing opportunity. By simply announcing that you accept Bitcoin, you’re showcasing to the world that you’ve got a business that’s forward-thinking and innovative.
If you’re looking to take in this new-age form of payment, you can start by putting a small banner up on your site saying that you accept Bitcoin. Suppose you want something a little more professional. In that case, you can use one of the many Bitcoin payment intermediaries on the net—just be sure to do your homework and pick one that’s trustworthy.
Variety is a priority
When it comes to expanding your business and increasing sales, it’s all about giving your customers the option to choose. By not accepting a particular payment method, you’re cutting off a rich tapestry of people who prefer that option.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to rush out right now and start accepting all the payment methods at once. Take your time, evaluate which payment options are better for you at the moment, then slowly roll it out—there’s no rush here. You want to make sure you do things right, or else you could end up with a whole new mess entirely.
At the end of the day, the welfare of your business should be at the top of your priorities. If there are more pressing matters at hand, make sure you focus on those before going head-first into expansion.
Right now, we live in an almost entirely digital world. There are tons of great online stores within our grasp, but there are also many buggy and mismanaged sites. Make sure that you’re part of the former rather than the latter and you should be good.
This article has been contributed on behalf of Paxful. However, the information provided herein is not and is not intended to be, investment, financial, or other advice.