Updated: Feb 14
Are you a small-business owner operating an online store? Today, I would like to discuss a payment gateway program that I recommend which can grow your business significantly. Everybody talks about marketing programs, effective SEO, advertising platforms, and all these other add-ons that you can bring value to your website that cost money and drive your sales up. Yet, the one thing that nobody ever thinks about is the gateway.
Gateways have evolved over the last number of years. Simply put, finding the right bank or payment company to process your transactions at the right cost is great for your bottom line, but does it effectively grow your top-line? You might be taken back by reading this past sentence I wrote. How on earth can a gateway help me grow my business top line?
That is where you must put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. What is your consumer’s age range and what does that consumer represent in a socioeconomic position? Are they just out of college and have six digits full of student loans or are they someone in their late 30s with a family living paycheck-to-paycheck? More so, they are on your website because they need to buy something from you. Whatever the situation of the consumer is, sometimes we need to use it as an opportunity to grow our online businesses.
Let us take a step back and look at infomercials, catalogs, and home shopping television channels.
Each of these three areas have been focused on the consumer for the longest time. “I'm going to sell you this $900 piece of jewelry and expect you to buy it today.” Are you able to? Does your budget allow for it? The honest answer is that you are only going to have a small percentage of buyers who do buy a $900 piece of jewelry, because they either have the money sitting around or will put it on credit cards, but to the average consumer, there is a good chance that they will not be able to buy that awesome piece of jewelry because of their budget.
Yet, some may think, oh, that is just placing the debt on a credit card and paying it off every month, or special monthly financing. The truth is - it is not.
The mindset of these three groups of outlets listed above have created a business model that allows the consumer to make payments; and split up with 4, 6, or 12 equal interest-free installments. This allows more people to make a higher purchase because they can split it out and budget accordingly. Now, do not get me wrong, there is a level risk involved in this, where some people may go buy the item and then have no intention to pay for it. We all know that evil exists in the world. However, 90% of the time, people are going to make their payments and it's going to be more budget conscious.
When we go back to the e-commerce websites, for the longest time it was either charge it with the debit or credit card or pay through PayPal. Then additional payment options became available such as paying with an Amazon, Apple, Google, or another associated pay module to complement the gateway. Yet, there has been a flourish of a new type of payment gateway, and that is the defined installment pay gateway.
I am sure that some of you are still puzzled on how this is going to help your top line. The blunt answer is that many of you who sell high-ticket items, are only interested in a certain audience, people that have money and will pay for it, right, there, and then.
However, when you open your audience up to the ability to make equal interest-free installments, you start shifting to a different audience. Now, when you implement a solution that allows for installment payments, you must hang your ego up and understand that right away this has given you the opportunity to earn more business because a new type of consumer is knocking on your door.
The second thing that an installment program does is that it allows the consumer to know that you understand their financial situation without actually knowing it. You are creating a solution to a purchase problem.
If the only reason the consumer did not buy your product, was because they did not have enough money, now you have enabled them to make the purchase by offering an installment opportunity, hence you made them a customer. You should treat them equally just like every other paying customer.
Many of your customers may just pay on a credit card, and while some probably pay their balance off every month, others continue to pay the minimum and paying the minimum will take forever for the debt to be paid off. Those high-interest credit cards are not consumer-friendly and can wreak havoc in an overall budget.
By allowing an installment program like this where they are interest-free payments, you are showing the consumer that you care about their quality of financial life.
From the back side of these platforms, we as merchants, will continue to pay a payment gateway fee. This is how those businesses make money. This is a part of being in business online.
I know I sound like a sales funnel, and I am sure that the online marketers and SEO specialists are going to say, “Big Deal! How is that going to impact bringing customers to the website?” The simple answer is that you must continue to have a SEO plan. Do not give that up! SEO is important, BUT this is the other side of these installment gateway companies that are so important. You see…they operate a marketplace that has a listing of different types of businesses. The easiest way to understand this marketplace, is like going and checking out the sign at the local mall and it lists out the stores by the
category. Here's your women's apparel, watch stores, music shops, candy, etc.
These companies, then take the money that they make and have built a marketing platform to bring traffic into their site, buy things from all our stores, and rinse and repeat – money maker. So, imagine where you have your regular gateway, PayPal, a few additional options such as Amazon pay or Apple pay, and then you have a couple of these installment gateway checkouts, such as Sezzle. On one side you are helping your customer, with a budget-friendly offering, and then on the other side, Sezzle is bringing customers to your store. There is your top line growth! This is the value of the new gateway, a gateway that benefits your customer, and a gateway that brings customers to you.
Personally, I have used a few of these Gateway programs, but the only one that I truly recommend would be Sezzle. Whether you have an online store on Wix, Shopify, Big commerce, Magenta, or someone else (Sezzle offers API solutions), I would recommend you give them a try.
To give you an example of how successful I have been utilizing Sezzle on my Inspired Gift Shop website and orders generated from Sezzle have a 30% higher average order value (AOV) than an order through my regular gateway.
Do not limit yourself for growth by marketing platforms, ads, or another associated means to enhance the user experience. There are areas of your online business that can be enhanced where you did not think it was possible. Gateway installment is another successful tool to help drive your business growth forward.