How to Spot & Fix an eCommerce Fake in One Step

Every day we seem to hear about a new online scam. Queensland Police recently shut down 3 fake trader websites selling barbecue and fitness equipment, users followed the payment instructions but no goods were ever received.

 

We’ve read about SSL certificates and displaying your ABN as good ways to proclaim your eCommerce legitimacy and it’s decent advice. But when it comes to convincing your customers you’re legit you only need one thing – an easy, transparent dispute resolution process.

 

Having one boils down to choosing the right payment method.

 

Some payment gateways include buyer and fraud detection features that make dispute resolution almost as easy & transparent as the purchase itself.

 

Paypal Buyer Protection

 

Paypal has a policy called Buyer Protection helping anyone that purchases an item through Paypal dispute an order that is wrong or never arrives. They also do a pretty good job of treating both buyer and seller equally, requiring proof and agreement to a final decision. The system works very well for small goods purchases and importantly is clear and well-documented.

 

Stripe Dispute Management

 

Stripe processes transaction payments in checkout, deducting them directly from the purchaser’s credit card. If a transaction is disputed the buyer must do so directly through their credit card company, Stripe responses with a hold on that transaction amount while a formal dispute resolution process is undertaken. The Stripe interface allows you to submit evidence and in general behaves like the Paypal dispute process for the store owner providing clear documentation to help each party finalise the resolution.

 

Paypal and Stripe provide a transparent process for when transactions don’t go according to plan, but what about other payment gateways?

 

Bank Payment Gateways

 

If a customer does not recognise a credit card charge they can lodge a dispute with their card issuer. This triggers a chargeback scenario where the dispute is eventually lodged with the merchant. If you as the merchant are using a payment gateway that deposits funds directly into your bank account then you will need to lodge evidence on your own behalf. The processes here are legitimate and secure but interbank chargeback process can be long and protracted with no one place to see where the dispute resolution process is up to.

 

Third Party Payment Gateways

 

Also secure and legitimate these gateways have a general policy of letting the bank chargeback process take over when disputes arise. And while some popular gateways have good fraud detection features for merchants, you and the buyer are in the same boat as if you were using a bank payment gateway.

 

Transparently Not Fake

 

Fake sites make all eCommerce merchants look bad, but in reality most sites are reputable and real. Your best defence is a good offence, so make sure you have a easy, transparent dispute resolution process included in your payment options. It’s that final reassurance in checkout that removes any buyer nerves or doubt from the transaction.

 

And don’t forget to tell your site shoppers early and often about your return and dispute policies – as online merchants we must go the extra mile to deliver transparency and trust.

 

Conquering the Abandoned Cart

As a successful online retailer it’s second nature to see sales roll through your store, but the frustration of even a single abandoned cart never really goes away. That is unless you understand why it happens and employ tactics to convert them to sales.

 

Close to 67% percent of shopping carts are abandoned and this percentage has been going up every year since online shopping was possible. The reasons why abandoned carts happen have not changed much but the ability to address the problems head-on has.

 

Problem #1: Unclear or High Shipping Costs

 

Every single person out there is looking to try and save money on shipping. No one wants to show off their new item only to find out they paid twice the shipping cost – it’s like walking into a store and asking for a mark UP at the register.

 

Solution: Tell them early, often and be transparent.

 

  1. Australia Post – If you want to do shipping cost by the book then link your cart directly to real time AusPOST shipping costs. No games or great mysteries here because they can price check it directly on the AusPOST website – everyone wins.

  2. Flat rate shipping – You should have your shipping costs and margins down to a science by now but maybe you need flexibility AUSPost does not offer. Switching to a clear, concise rate structure by # of items or weight will allow you to incentivise a higher spend for better shipping rates.

  3. Free shipping – a massive winner so if it’s practical then do it. You can make everything free by adding a standard shipping cost into the price or set simple conditions to qualify and then make sure to remind them of those conditions on every page of your website, by using the word FREE.

 

Problem #2: Not Having the Right Payment Options

 

Having built hundreds of shopping carts ourselves we understand that the payment methods that work for your organisation may not be the ones that customers prefer. But the good news is we’ve come a long way since Paypal as a single option and new options spring up every month, you need to start nimble.

 

Solution: Provide 2-3 options, track what’s most popular on your site and re-evaluate every 12 months.

 

  1. Stripe – Imagine setting up an account in 10 minutes or less that allows you to process credit card payments right on your checkout page (SSL required). This is what you get with Stripe, in addition to removing sales friction from page-directs or extra account setups just to make a payment. It’s easy, seamless and it just works.

  2. Paypal – Still the golden, international standard for online payment processing and we still recommend it as a solid choice for accepting credit card payments. If your clients are also regular eBay shoppers will give them the comfort they need to convert the sale.

  3. Bank Merchant Account – With Stripe and Paypal you still don’t get direct access to your cash until it’s in your bank account. Setting up a merchant account with your bank and processing payments directly into your bank account makes money management easier. Most of the big banks offer this facility, it’s up to you to negotiate the fees associated with your merchant account.

  4. Layby – In the last 12 months multiple online layby options have sprung forth. End customers are really loving this, the immediacy of getting something now and paying for it over time. Zippay and Afterpay are the most popular choices but you need to check the fine print and make sure your preferred layby option will talk to your eCommerce system.

 

Problem #3: They Aren’t Ready to Buy Yet

 

Almost no one goes to a website once, adds a product to cart and checkouts straight away. They compare prices, look at other comparable products and check customer reviews on your products and business. You know this already, so accept it and start building a more memorable customer experience.

 

Solution: Make customers feel respected and supported.

 

  1. Wish Lists – They know you value their money, but have you shown them you value their time? Let customers continue the shopping journey instead of restarting with a Wish List. In return you get an email address and the chance to follow them up and sweeten the deal with marketing automation. If they are serious shoppers they will remember you for saving them time.

  2. Customer Support – All shopping carts being equal, this is where you can really set your experience apart. If your products have some complexity, can they live chat with someone about their questions? Better yet are you using intelligence automation to engage customers and provide answers and reassurance 24/7?

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when shopping carts get dumped, spending too much time on the problem and not the solution.

If you are addressing these top 3 concerns thoughtfully, effectively and with regularity then you’re turning frustration into knowledge and tactics that will help you conquer the challenge of the abandoned cart.

Turnaround Lacklustre eCommerce Sales in 3 Steps

You started your eCommerce site to expand your revenue and your reach, but lately its not doing anything noteworthy and you have a sneaking feeling you’re just coasting. Sound familiar?

 

Having produced and supported hundreds of eCommerce sites across many industries in the last 10 years we’ve seen common themes for successful sites. What these companies do, and the tools they use, can be boiled down to three areas.

 

1. Automate Site Visitor Analysis

eCommerce sales conversion rates average 3% globally, so for those that don’t convert you can still capture valuable behaviour data that will help you convert better in the future.

 

Optimizely for A/B Testing

 

What your designer or developer thinks might convert better could be wrong. Remove the need for arguments by using Optimizely and find out what users respond to. Use that data again to inform future sales strategies on your site.

 

Kissmetrics for Building Ideal Customer Profiles

 

With Kissmetrics, you can leverage data to determine where your best customers come from, who your best customers are, and how to convert more customers on your website. The tool allows you to view revenue metrics broken down by traffic source as well as providing insight into what’s keeping people from checking out.

 

2. Intelligent Pursuit of (More of) Your Ideal Customers

Once you have a decent read on what brings repeat visitors and sales to your site you need more of those customers. An effective content marketing strategy paired with cost-effective advertising will help you do that.

 

GoAnimate Explainer Video Creation to Demonstrate Product Benefits

 

The engagement stats on using video versus any other content medium are undeniable and exponential in some cases. Building shareable (and if lucky viral) product content is best executed through GoAnimate because its easy, engaging and cost-effective. Adding these to your website, your YouTube channel and social media also gives you a baseline of shareable content that can be used and reused.

 

Tribe to Find Your Ideal Social Media Influencer

 

To achieve faster and more high profile exposure for your brand use Tribe to find your power middle influencer. Tribe puts you in direct contact with the 250,000+ Australians that have more than 5000 social media followers. Submit your campaign brief and influencers will bid for your business then you get to choose who you work with and how. Aligning with a rising star is a powerful possibility with Tribe.

 

Google Shopping for a More Targeted Ad Spend

 

Advertising with Google Shopping is a visual and cost-effective way to display what you sell, matching up head to head with your competition. Product comparison via Google Shopping is a standard starting point for most online shoppers so make it easier for them to find your products linking directly to your website where all your great product content and authority lives. Conversion rates from Shopping campaigns can easily convert at 3 times the rate of general Search campaigns.

 

3. Find Your Evangelists and Loyal Supporters and Keep Them Close

You’re now intelligently and actively courting your new batch of ideal customers, but make sure not to leave your loyal fans hanging. They’re the ones who interact regularly with your brand and provide unsolicited positive feedback so ask them to formalise that positivity and then reward them for good behaviour.

 

Reviews.io to Harness the Power of Positive Feedback

 

You have to work hard for sales, but getting people to say nice things about your products & service is harder right? Not with Reviews.io. 90% of happy buyers will provide a review and this software not only manages the entire review collection and distribution process but it will help you achieve the coveted Google seller rating faster than a manual review process which helps you save even more on your Google Shopping advertising campaigns.

 

Smile.io to Create and Automate Your Customer Loyalty Program

 

They’ve already given you positive feedback and referred you to others, now it’s time to reward them. Personal emails and one off discounts are nice, but scaling the power of positivity should be automated and delineated.  Smile.io is a powerful and cost-effective tool allowing you to create your own influencers, putting you in the driver seat of managing your online reputation.

 

From Lacklustre to Arse-kicker

 

There is a theme here:

 

  1. Automate data capture to create insight about what works
  2. Use that data and insight to spend wisely, attracting more of what works
  3. Get serious about capturing crowd-sourced data and insight to create a continous loop attracting more of what works
Creating your own eco-system of what works does take effort, but so does starting an online store in the first place. In the fastest moving marketplace your data collection and analysis methods must be sharp and evolving, but thanks to the growth in apps most of the hard work is now automated.
These ideas and tools will give you the power to choose how fast you grow and that is anything but lacklustre.

Women ARE Bad Drivers And Robots ARE Evil

Traitor…that is likely the nicest thing my female colleagues, team members, friends and family are thinking right now. Shame on me really, because I’m here to tell you why we should throw those antiquated ideas out the (car) window.

 

Women, on average, are are looking after more then one person at any given time, requiring more patience and thought in getting from here to there.  So if we take a bit more time or allow more than one car to merge remember the literal and metaphorical band-aid at the back of our mind.

 

The Light Bulb Moment

 

As a managing director I think a lot about our customers and the service experience we deliver. The best win we get is the light bulb moment on a client’s face telling us we nailed it and frankly I got into this business because of those damn light bulb moments. Helping people can be addictive and (spoiler alert) the IT industry is actually full of people like me.

 

So we love these “nailed it” moments but in reality we now have to nail it each time customers need our help, not just when we are face to face.

 

As our client base grows we have to be more strategic about that “nailed it” service delivery. How do we keep the service personal and effective, but expand it in a smart way?

 

The statistics around our customer service expectations are that at least 50% of us expect it to be 24/7. We also don’t want our time to be in vain, spending precious time on the phone, only to not get the answer or solve the problem.

 

Over time technology has rushed to fill the gap, sometimes quite effectively. Live Chat, as an example, is a personal and convenient conversation that can help us get the answer we seek or progress it to a point where we know what we need to do next.

 

What live chat does not fully solve, and it is a big gap for companies, is true scalability. As you grow your client base you need more team members to staff the chat. You train them on the same content, the same procedures and sit them in the same desk solving the same problems. Formulaic but not cost-effective in the long run.

 

Our own light bulb moment came last year when we saw how far artificial intelligence had come. Google, Apple and Facebook have been at this for years, but for the rest of us the technology has evolved from esoteric movie fodder to something far more practical and democratic.

 

Artificial Intelligence For Business

 

Companies of all sizes and industries can now have their own personalised service agent using artificial intelligence. Think of it as a harmonic merge of Siri and live chat, tailored for your business objectives.

 

Front line chat agents are expediters to the end game, allowing companies to be “on” all the time cost-effectively. They free up people on your team to excel at solving the complex issues, allowing you to hire for unique skills rather than repetitive tasks that scream low ROI.

 

While this opportunity may sound scary to some make no mistake, your competitors, your board, the CEO is already thinking about this. It is time for all of us to join the conversation and make technology work for us, improving the service experience while still preserving our fundamental humanity and those beautiful light bulb moments.

Why You Shouldn’t Rule Out eCommerce for Your Business

Ecommerce is an invaluable tool for any business. Not only does it reduce, or completely eliminate, overheads associated with a physical storefront, it also creates an entirely new customer base through national and international shipping. With an online store at your fingertips, customers from all over the world can purchase your products at the click of a button. The possibilities are endless, and open to every type of business imaginable.

All you need is a website, a product, and the right mindset to present it to the world. It’s time to embrace thinking outside the box and start putting round pegs into square holes. Think differently is what we’re are saying!

 

BUT MY PRODUCTS ARE TOO BULKY TO SHIP!

 

If you sell bulky products such as fridges, furniture or exercise equipment you may be tempted to forgo ecommerce due to the various challenges associated with shipping them. Due to their size, such items cannot be posted by regular means and must generally either be hand delivered by your business, or sent via courier. Both options are entirely feasible and utilised by countless online businesses to great effect.

 

Websites such as Appliances Online offer free delivery of fridges and other large appliances to their customers by dispatching their own trucks from their warehouse. Obviously this isn’t an option for everyone so websites like Gym and Fitness ship fitness equipment to customers and charge for delivery based on the postcode of the buyer.

 

If you’re worried about charging for delivery, don’t be. Customers who purchase products online are generally prepared to pay for reasonable shipping – it’s all part of the experience, and the trade-off for being able to shop from the comfort of your couch.

Of course, there are always more creative methods such as factoring the cost of shipping into the total cost of the product itself.

 

MY PRODUCTS ARE TOO UNIQUE / CUSTOMISABLE TO SELL ONLINE

 

The uniqueness or customisability of your product should never be a barrier to utilising the advantages of ecommerce. While it can present a problem for instant purchasing, there are many ways this can be positively presented through an online business. For example, take a look at RedBubble, a website that prides itself on selling unique, customisable products. From T-shirts to posters and home décor the options are endless, and most allow the customer to customise the item to their preferred taste. Posters, for example, have multiple prints, sizes and materials to choose from. Other examples include Spread Shirt, which allows the customer to create custom clothing and Pimp My Fridge for customisable fridges.

 

Alternatively, if your product has too many options to realistically list, you can provide a price range and then offer the customer direct communication through an email form or phone number, to enquire further. Using an ecommerce store front as a lead generation tool is a clever way to upsell your products too.

 

WHAT IF I DON’T SELL A PHYSICAL PRODUCT?

 

This is no obstacle. When it comes to online shopping, services are products – it’s just a matter of how you package them. Services can be displayed and purchased like any physical product; the only difference is what the customer receives. In fact, services have multiple advantages over physical products. They have no manufacturing costs, they don’t need to be stockpiled or ordered and they don’t require shipping. You have complete control. You can offer as much, or as little, in each package as you like.

 

Websites that utilise this to great effect sell services such as content for everyday things like LinkedIn bios, legal services, and streamed movies and TV shows.

 

Whether you sell bulky objects, unique and customisable products, or intangible services, ecommerce can help you do it. The options are infinite and the only limitations are the ones you impose on yourself.

Do You Really Need an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificates can be difficult to wrap your head around. For some websites, they’re incredibly important. For others, not so much.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is essentially a guarantee that the website people are visiting is in fact secure. It’s a small file hosted on your web server that binds a cryptographic “key” to your business. When a person uses their browser to visit your site, it sends a request to connect. Your site will then respond with their SSL certificate, and the visitor’s browser will ensure that the SSL certificate is valid. It’s slightly more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it.

When you’re browsing online, you might notice that some sites’ addresses are http://, while others are https:// – the “s” means that the site has an SSL certificate. Some businesses obtain an Extended Validation SSL certificate, which, among other things, allows them to display their business name at the start of the address in most browsers. A good example of this is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, found at commbank.com.au.

Why are SSL Certificates used?

SSL certificates are usually employed on websites that require a secure connection. This can involve credit card transactions, or even situations where people may be required to log in for a particular reason. If your site does not have an SSL certificate, then the information that travels between it and users is very unprotected and able to be easily accessed by outside parties. This can be a major concern if users are entering credit card information or other personal data into your site.

The Benefits of an SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate ensures that you and your clients’ sensitive information is protected while en route, via encryption. It also provides authentication for users, ensuring that their information is being sent to the correct server, rather than an intermediary or imposter who may be attempting to farm data.

There is also a trust element to SSL certificates. Users, whether consciously or subconsciously, have been shown to inherently trust sites that display the padlock symbol or green colour associated with SSL certificates. When your site is receiving thousands of hits and every conversion matters, an SSL certificate can certainly help to improve your conversion rates. You wouldn’t stay in a hotel with no doors any more than you would give your card details to an unsecured site.

Beyond that, there may be some search engine optimisation advantages to using an SSL certificate. Google announced in 2014 that it would start giving a minor ranking boost to sites that hold an SSL certificate. Google is committed to a secure internet, and while an SSL certificate only forms a small part of their overall ranking algorithm, every little bit can help.

The Disadvantages of an SSL Certificate

The disadvantages to having an SSL certificate are minor. The cost can be an obvious deterrent for many small businesses, particularly if they aren’t running an ecommerce store or don’t have a pressing need to protect customer data.

Another concern is performance, as the extra transmittance of data between browser and server can cause additional load. However, this is usually only a factor for websites with large traffic.

Do you REALLY need an SSL Certificate?

There is no law or “internet rule” that requires most websites to have an SSL certificate. However, if you’re engaged in online commerce or otherwise handling personal data, it is highly recommended. For most small brick and mortar businesses simply seeking to have an online presence, an SSL certificate is not a major concern.

If you’re considering getting an SSL certificate, do your research first. Ensure that you implement any required redirects, as well as updating links where required. You may also need to perform a “fetch as Google” via your webmaster tools to ensure that Google can still crawl all pages on your site.

At the end of the day, the decision comes down to the function of your website. If data is travelling between your website and the user, then you need an SSL. If not, then you’ll be just fine.

In Passionate Defense of Point of Sale

WK Digital is passionate about point of sale – kinda weird huh? Well not really when you consider its the thing that keeps all your customer purchases, staff and profit in check every damn day.

#onlinePOS

We build online point of sale software, what does that even mean? Well principally its your own customised website that processes online orders as efficiently as if your customer was in store.

#hardwarevendors

Sometimes our software is used in replacement of hardware based point of sale, for some it makes sense. But we’re not hardware vendors, our partners are.

#beautifulcatherding

9 times out of 10 what business owners are looking for is a great point of sale system that does in store what can be described as the most beautifully choreographed cat herding exercise every damn day.

#ohyeahnailedit

Minus pepperoni on the meatlovers half of your extra large pizza? Chicken schnitzel in the front kitchen made first before the lamb wrap in the deli for the same order? Need a shirt send from another store? In store POS systems have you covered.

#takeyourmumtothedoctor

Even better, these systems give you a real time view of profits based on orders less staff and other operational costs, to your phone while you’re taking your mum to the doctor.

#nowhingies

POS systems = control and the ability to make fast decisions. Slow day on a public holiday, losing money? Shut the shop early based on the information, not a whingy staff member.

#nottooexpensive

The feedback we get, is that in store POS systems are too expensive. And maybe some of them are, but speaking to most of our industry brethren they’ve adjusted pricing to give you options – so hear them out.

#dumbfridges

And we know your other equipment costs money, but your fridge can’t tell you (yet) whether you’re making money. So invest in something that does.

#antihassle

We have our favourite POS vendors sure, but only based on a mutual desire to see clients get the very best service for the very best price and the least amount of hassle.

#webposhandsbloodyfree

The best part is, if you’ve invested in a good system then getting a website to boost your profits is easy with WebPOS. We set it up and then we send the orders to your POS, just like now. You update product information on your POS, the site is updated at the same time, no extra work. Hands bloody free.

#everydamnday

So in 2016 technology and information has made it easier to own and build businesses, but without a software system that controls your operation you’ll just keep wishing you had one, every damn day.

FROLO Explained

There has been significant upheaval in the restaurant online ordering space in the last 12 months, companies have merged, companies have been bought out for hundreds of millions of dollars and some have gone out of business.

We can’t predict exactly what will happen to aggregated online ordering sites but we can explain a new phrase, FROLO, that has popped up.

FROLO stands for free restaurant online ordering and that in itself sounds pretty good, who doesn’t love free?

Please read the fine print though because what FROLO vendors offer is not free. You pay to build your own online ordering website and you have a flat monthly support cost to host the website.

This is the nature of all websites, pay for the expertise to have your site built and then while you are happy with the service continue to pay for your website to be hosted, supported and secured.

The “free” part of FROLO is that no commission is charged for each order, and that is a great idea. In fact its such a great idea we thought of it back in 2008 and have been building and hosting restaurant online ordering sites since then, NEVER charging a commission on sales.

The online ordering industry is ripe for a shakeup and we think this will be good for restaurant owners across Australia. We will continue building custom, feature-packed online ordering websites that never tax your profits – how good is that?’,

3 Keys to Successful Software Integration

We get a kick out of making our customers lives easier through websites and software that just works. Ultimately the biggest bang for buck for our customers is in software integration…but what does that mean?

In a nutshell its taking one piece of software and getting it to talk successfully to another piece of software to save manually transferring information that businesses need for daily operation.

Think automatic transfer and syncing of your online sales to your accounting software or your newsletter subscribers to your email marketing program, these are good examples of time savers for busy people and the list of integrations is endless.

Your website provider should be talking to you about how you can save time and money through integration, but before you get their help here are three important keys to successful software integration.

1. It should be cost-effective – get ready to think about the time cost of manual data entry versus the effort to integrate. No one has an unlimited budget so have an approximate idea of the time you are spending on that manual task to start with.

2. It should clearly replace a time-consuming process – don’t settle for a partial integration when the full process is what gets the win. Make sure your provider clearly identifies what you are getting and the benefits

3. A willingness to work with others to get the job done – we find that the key factor in successful integration projects is a willingness to work with other software providers. It is so rare for companies have one supplier for everything, so being able to talk to the people who already support your business is absolutely critical

Did we already mention we love software integration? And once you’ve taken the step to connect dots in your business that you did not know were possible we think you will too!