Credit Card Processing Blog

If you’re looking for a way to increase how much traffic your e-commerce website receives, content marketing is an excellent option. While this approach does require an upfront investment of resources, once the ball gets rolling, you will see ongoing results.

Because the Internet changes so rapidly, not every marketing technique remains useful. So to ensure that you’re on the right path throughout the rest of 2018 and into 2019, we’ve put together the five best tips for finding success with e-commerce content marketing:

  1. Create a Hub

Whether it’s a blog or other location on your website, it’s important to have a central hub for all your content. One reason this type of hub is essential is it will allow you to optimize the types of elements we’re going to discuss in subsequent tips. Another benefit is having all of your content together will maximize the SEO benefits that it reaps from Google.

  1. Utilize Email

Publishing great content is the key to getting people to your website. But because there’s so much happening online, attracting attention isn’t enough to ensure conversions. In order to really move the needle, you need to develop a relationship with these visitors. One of the best ways to do that is through email.

Start by adding opt-in forms throughout the content you publish. The more custom and relevant you can make those forms, the better. Then you can use email to continue providing value. Although you don’t want to send constant offers, you can mix that in with what you send out.

  1. Get Customers Involved

Creating content isn’t something you have to do alone. In fact, it will always be better when you get real customers involved. Whether you ask their opinion through a poll or share their images, this type of collaboration is a proven way to elevate content to the next level.

  1. Use Data

Tools like Google Analytics provide tons of insights into what people are liking, so be sure to use this information to your advantage. You can get inspired for future content ideas and even find specific pieces you’ve already published that may benefit from some revisions.

  1. Focus on Quality

A few years ago, pumping out tons of blog posts was a reliable way to get both search engine and social media traffic. However, times have changed, and these platforms no longer respond to that approach. What will get traction is content with true engagement. So instead of worrying about publishing something new on a set schedule, focus on making each piece you create the absolute best it can be.

By putting these tips into action, it won’t take long to start seeing significant increases in the amount of traffic your website receives. If you want to be sure that new visitors are always able to buy even when your site gets very busy, having a great processing company on your side will help a lot.

If you sell products or services through your website, some people are going to have questions that they want to be answered before buying. While descriptions and FAQs can go a long way towards answering many of those questions, it’s not always possible to anticipate every single question someone might have before they ever ask it.

The good news is there’s a very effective tool for connecting with these types of people and converting them into customers. That tool is live chat. By adding this piece of software to your website, visitors can begin chatting with you or a member of your team in just a matter of seconds. To get a better understanding of what makes live chat so great, we’re going to look at a few of its key benefits, as well as cover several of the most popular tools:

5 Reasons to Add Live Chat to Your Website

The first reasons to use this tool is multiple studies have shown that it directly boosts sales and conversions. The average B2B company sees a 20% lift in conversions by using live chat, while 35% of general consumers have stated that being able to chat persuaded them to buy.

The next benefit is live chat can actually reduce your support costs. Although it may initially seem like it will increase them, the reason that’s not true is a single member of your team can easily manage 4-6 chats at the same time. This is far more effective than phone support. An added benefit is it cuts wait times for customers.

Another reason to start using live chat now is you’ll have a competitive advantage. Despite its effectiveness, live chat is still not a widespread standard. This advantage ties into the next benefit, which is building trust. Being able to chat will give your site an actual personality.

The last reason we want to highlight is increasing order size. Because chat provides an easy way to offer relevant recommendations, it’s not uncommon to see an average order value increase of 15% after implementation.

The 3 Best Live Chat Tools

Now that we’ve covered what makes live chat such a useful tool, let’s dive into a few of the different offerings that are available. The 3 options that routinely make the top of lists are LiveChat, LiveAgent and Zendesk chat.

Each of these tools offers canned responses, geo-targeting, offline forms, proactive chat and lots of third-party integrations. Because each of the three takes a slightly different approach to pricing, it’s worth looking over each to see which one is the best fit for your specific situation.

While live chat is great, it’s just one of many ways to optimize your website. If you’re interested in expanding the payment functionality of your site as well, choosing to partner with a top payment processor can provide access to exactly what you need.

The EMV liability shift is still the biggest change that has occurred within the payments industry over the last few years. While the entire process ended up taking longer than most people predicted, the outcome seems to be a success. Switching to chip and PIN readers across the US has resulted in a significant decrease in physical credit card fraud.

Although that’s very good news for both consumers and retailers, it doesn’t mean this problem is completely solved. Since EMV has made it much harder for scammers to use stolen credit card numbers in person, many of these criminals have migrated online. Given the number of high-profile data breaches that continue to occur, the pool of stolen card numbers has grown incredibly large.

Because digital fraud is currently a huge problem with no clear-cut solution, card providers and other technology companies are working very hard to come up with ways to combat it. If you’re wondering what solutions are currently available and which are the most promising, keep reading to get a look at the top three options:

  1. OCR

Even though this technology has been around for some time, what makes it an interesting option for verifying transactions is it’s become much faster and more accurate. It’s now possible to request documents for upload without creating too much user friction. OCR makes a lot of sense for verifying larger transactions.

  1. Blockchain

Despite the peaks and valleys of cryptocurrency, steady innovations within blockchain continue to show its real potential. As this technology continues to mature, it will become an even more seamless option for verifying all types of digital transactions.

  1. AI

Instead of thinking of AI as a type of robot, what it really is in the context of transaction verification is a type of binding mechanism. The powerful processing abilities of AI means it can look at different options and create a type of cohesion that verifies with as much trust as possible.

What These Options May Mean for Your Business

While there are some very interesting identity verification options on the above list, they are all quite technical in nature. That means it’s unlikely for a merchant to implement any of them on their own. Fortunately, that’s not necessary to reap the benefits they can provide.

If you want to ensure that all of your payment channels are protected by the latest security standards, having the right processor on your side will make it easy. By working with a trusted processing company, you can ensure that your security and verification options don’t ever fall behind.

To learn more about which processors are leading the way, take a look at our list of the highest-rated credit card processing companies.

2018 has not been an easy year for Facebook. Between data breaches and information coming to light that the platform was potentially used to influence the latest US presidential election, it seems like every week brings a new set of challenges for the company. Although they’ve been hitting plenty of speed bumps, it has not stopped the giant social network from moving forward.

Over the last few years, one of the areas where Facebook has invested a lot of capital and resources is into virtual reality technology. While VR may still have a very bright future, all of their work has failed as of yet to move the needle in a truly meaningful way. On the other hand, there are some other initiatives that Facebook has pursued which may be less cutting-edge but have already shown a return on their bottom line.

Payment is the perfect example of that type of initiative. This is not only an area that the company already understands but one where they continue to push hard to take market share from some of the other big players. To get a better understanding of how Facebook is approaching payments, let’s take a closer look at their latest initiative:

A Dedicated Payment Platform

When Facebook first dipped their toes into the payment waters, it was through their own site. Then with the acquisition of WhatsApp, they were able to experiment with some new payment features. And over the last six months or so, they’ve been doing the same type of thing with Instagram.

Although each of those pursuits has achieved varying levels of success, it seems that Facebook is setting their sights even higher. The reason is multiple sources say they are working on an independent payments platform. As of now, some reports have said that instead of P2P payments, this app would enable peer to merchant payments.

If you’re wondering how Facebook is suddenly going to roll out this type of app into the competitive US market, the answer is they’re not. Instead, they plan to launch it in India. There are several reasons why debuting this app in that country makes a lot of sense.

The first is the sheer size of India. Even though the country is still going through a lot of development, it is home to more than two billion people. The next is Facebook hasn’t experienced nearly as much negative PR in India as the United States. And because India is a very mobile-first market, Facebook is likely hoping to nail a very contained shopping experience.

As far as what this may mean for US merchants, that ultimately comes down to the success of the app. If Facebook is able to get its users engaged, there’s a very good chance they will put a lot of resources behind rolling out the platform in the United States.

Even if Facebook isn’t able to completely disrupt payments, it’s safe to say they will continue influencing how consumers move money online. If you want to be sure that it’s always easy for your customers to pay online, choosing a great processing company is the best way to make that happen.

In a perfect world, every new business would keep perfect books from Day 1. But in the real world, plenty of businesses view accounting as a lower priority when they’re just trying to start up and survive. However, as a business does start to grow, the importance of accounting becomes much more apparent.

A common misconception by new business owners is that accounting is mainly to keep track of their tax obligations. While this is one component of good accounting practices, the true impact of accounting goes far beyond. Once you get past the very early stages of a business where it’s possible to keep a tally of everything in your head, proper accounting is the only way to really understand the true financial health of your business.

It’s far more common than many people realize for a business to consistently grow its revenue while failing to increase profit. The worst situations are when growing revenue actually causes a business to lose more money. Since the goal of most small businesses is to maximize net profit each year, we’re going to cover the four most relevant accounting topics:

1. Cash Flow

Out of all small businesses that fail, the majority do so because they run out of cash. Unlike VC funded companies that can afford to burn huge amounts of cash between raising rounds, most small businesses can only extend themselves so far before disaster strikes.

The good news is you can avoid this type of crunch by staying on top of your accounting. Having everything calculated means you won’t have to guess about how much cash is flowing in or out. Instead, you’ll have clear numbers that can guide your decisions.

2. Unexpected Expenses

Recurring expenses don’t tend to cause problems for businesses. Instead, issues usually arise when a large unexpected expense comes up and there isn’t a cushion to absorb it. Keeping up to date with accounting can help you build up the necessary buffer to avoid a major hit.

3. Taxes

New businesses or those that undergo sudden growth are often caught off guard by how much they owe in taxes. By staying on top of your accounting numbers, you can be sure that enough money is consistently being set aside to avoid feeling a big strain when your tax bill comes due.

4. Payroll Management

Hiring employees is an exciting milestone for any business. It’s also one that can come with some challenges. Since it can be hard to mentally calculate the full cost of new employees, having these numbers laid out in front of you will prevent your business from accidentally hiring someone it can’t actually afford.

Making accounting a priority will allow you to take far more control over the financial health of your business. If these new insights lead you to realize that bringing down your costs are a must, one place to look is your payment processor.

Not only do the rates charged by processing companies vary a lot, but so does the support and features they provide. To see what’s being offered by industry leaders, take a look at our list of the top payment processors.