With South Africa’s unemployment rate sitting on a record high of 27.7%, South Africans are forced to look into alternative ways of earning an income. If you cannot find a job or have suffered through retrenchment, the only logical next step is to start a business. But how do you start or grow your business with little to no capital?
Our answer is to take your business online!
More and more people around the world prefer to shop online and buy products from several brands and companies that would be otherwise inaccessible to them. All that shoppers require is an internet connection and a credit or debit card. As a merchant, all you need is a Facebook page or website and the ability to be able to take payments from those cards. Here’s how WAPPoint can help you:
Accept card payments online via one of these four payment services:
A Stand Alone Card Payment solution via a Widget that easily connects to your website / Facebook page.
Shopping Cart Card Payments via a Plugin that easily connects to your website’s online store.
MasterPass The Secure Digital Wallet App. Customers scan / snap / zap your QR Code to pay you!
Instant EFT Online Payments through our Ozow (I-Pay) service which can be integrated into a shopping cart or can be set up to allow you to SMS a customer a link to make payments.
What’s in Online Shopping for ME, you ask? Here are 10 good reasons why YOU should have online shopping in your business:
1. Global access, 24/7
Being open and available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with automated order and payment processing, sales can be made at any time of the day or night and customers all over the world can buy when it suits them best. According to research done, the most popular time for online shopping is 12pm to 2pm on weekdays, and on Sunday evenings. These are not normal shopping hours and your business may be losing out. Online shopping is a very helpful way of buying products through the internet, especially during the holidays and clearance seasons.
2. Expanded geographical reach
Your business can instantly become nationwide or international (depending on your product/s), just by having an effective e-commerce strategy.
3. Reduced overheads
An online store costs less to set up and run than a physical shop, especially in an expensive shopping center.
4. Lower marketing costs
Online promotions can be more precisely aimed at potential customers than using conventional media, which is much cheaper and leads to less paper waste.
5. Improved client service through greater flexibility and improved customer profiling
An online store can be updated instantly and as often as you like – for example, to promote a ‘deal of the day’ on your front page, without needing expensive printed display material. You also have the opportunity to target products and services at specific client groups based on buying data and market research.
6. Faster delivery of products
By contracting with a good, affordable courier company, you can ensure safe, affordable and quick service to your clients.
7. Broader potential customer base
An online shop and an e-commerce business is an additional buying channel that potentially attracts customers who have not bought before.
8. Increased visibility for your business
If you use search engine optimisation and online promotions, an online shop is more accessible to customers searching for products similar to yours.
9. The ability to market your business through another channel
When an online store operates alongside a conventional shop outlet, you can provide information about opening hours, contact details and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Your online store can also include customer reviews and testimonials.
10. Opportunities to manage your business from anywhere in the world
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in the Bahamas or in your dream place and work from there?!
When creating your own online store, doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t have to be a web designer to create your own website.
There are various free website design platforms that do all the technical and design work for you so you can just add your content and images:
- Shopify: This is an easy-to-use online store builder, great for marketing on Facebook and making your own website. The basic package for R30 is all you need to start selling. If you want in-depth reporting and a 3D secure payment portal, install the WAPPoint Widget .
- Wix.com: Wix gives 100s of templates, unlimited pages & top grade hosting FREE. The eCommerce option however is an additional R260 pm. You can however set up your shop without a checkout option and use a WAPPoint online payment solution. Find out more about the various eCommerce payment methods here
- Facebook Page: Another option is setting up a Facebook page for your business. This is completely free of charge and you can advertise your products on there without having to have a website.
Your customers can pay you by Widget or Ozow (iPay), which is an instant EFT payment method or even direct people to pay on a link with a payment portal connected to your bank for R99 a month.