I don't do a lot in terms of selling products and services. My small business revolves around providing content to clients, and collecting later by invoicing through FreshBooks or PayPal. However, I know plenty of small business owners who need storefront solutions. Whether selling online, or selling in person, it makes sense to look for a storefront solution that works for you. Here are 5 ways to ensure that you get paid -- no matter where and how you do business:
This up-and-coming player in the storefront business allows you to accept credit cards from anywhere. With PayAnywhere, you can get a free tablet, stand, and app for your brick and mortar location. The cost is the same, no matter what credit cards are used, starting at 1.69% per swipe, and there is a low monthly fee of $12.95. All major credit cards are accepted, and PayAnywhere is also integrated with PayPal to make things even easier for shoppers to pay in whatever way works best for them. It's also possible to use a mobile card reader, attached to your phone or tablet, with a 2.69% cost per swipe.
Either way, you can receive next-day funding, which is vital when it comes to cash flow for your small business. You receive reporting as well, so that you can get an idea of what your customers are buying, and when they buy it.
If you don't have an online storefront, Shopify can help you build one. You can create an ecommerce web site, and then accept major credit cards and other forms of payment. It's also possible to support mobile commerce with this company. Not only can you set up an online store with this storefront solution, but you can also use Shopify as an offline solution. You can start with a 14-day trial, and then you pay a monthly fee, depending on what features you want. Gift cards and reports cost more, and swipe fees for credit cards start at 2.15% when you purchase the most expensive offline package. Online fees and credit card rates are different to what you see when you use Shopify as an offline storefront solution.
3. Amazon Webstore
If you want to be integrated with Amazon, the company offers an online solution. You won't be able to accept offline payments without getting a separate point of sale device, but if you are looking for ease when it comes to customizing your ecommerce site, Amazon Webstore can be a good choice. If you like the idea of better integrating with Amazon, and having access to the payment options on Amazon, this can be a viable solution. It can also provide you with a little more insight when you are deciding how to set prices for your small business.
However, you need to remember that the Amazon ecommerce portion might not be easily transferred to another online storefront solution. You can receive a 30-day free trial. After that, packages start at $79 per month, and transaction fees start at 2%, plus there is a payment processing fee and fraud protection fee, depending on the amount of the sale.
For small business owners more interested in selling via their own online storefront based in WordPress, there's WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a very popular plugin, and starts out free. Add-ons to increase the customizability and flexibility of your WooCommerce plugin cost extra. Some of the extensions you can add include payment gateways, accounting integration, tax configuration, shopping, marketing, reporting, and more. If you aren't careful with the extensions you use, though, things can get pretty expensive pretty quickly.
Most small business owners are familiar with the Square storefront solution. It's possible to get a stand, offering a complete point of sale solution for offline businesses, as well as a card reader that can be plugged into your mobile device. While the mobile card reader is free, the stand for your storefront costs $99. You can also use Square to open an online store, and accept online orders for pickup or shipping. Transaction fees start at 2.75% per transaction, which is one of the more expensive options, and manual card entry fees start at 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction.
Depending on your needs, there are a number of different storefront solutions for your small business. What do you use for your online or offline storefront? What is your favorite solution?