Shopping online is becoming less of a bonus and more of an expectation these days. While mega online stores like Amazon and eBay aren't as popular here in NZ as they are in other countries, it won't s
tay that way for long. With many big NZ chains already having online stores and Amazon planning to add Prime to NZ anytime, online shopping is likely to become a the method of choice for Kiwis too.
This means that when possible, small businesses should be considering adding e-commerce options--options for purchasing products directly from the website--to make sure that customers can find what they're looking for and can buy what they want easily.
However, deciding to sell products on a website isn't as straightforward as checking a box. There are two major elements to consider when creating an e-commerce site: online catalogues (how inventory is handled) and payment gateways (how transactions are handled).
What's the right inventory management system?
While you might be able to try to keep track of your inventory with a notebook and a pen, it's a lot of trouble that can be automated away with an online inventory management system. Depending on your business size, a simple database manager may do the trick, or you might need a comprehensive digital suite to make sure everything is handled properly.
Using an online inventory management keeps track of how many of each product you have left and allows you to quickly change prices for sales. Many will also automatically track sales numbers and create reports comparing month-to-month performance. There on many to choose from, but we're going to compare five popular options: Unleashed, Trade Gecko, Oracle, Sortly Pro, and Asset Panda.
|Name||Price||Number of Products Tracked||Trial Period||Extras|
|$135-$710+ (Excludes GST)||Unlimited||14 Days||Multiple Currencies; Optional B2B eCommerce; API Access; Document Designer|
|$39-$600/month (USD)||50 Sales/month||14 Days||Accounting Integration; Multiple Currencies; 24/7 email tech support; Optional Batch & Expiry Tracking|
|$27.50-$75/month||Not Specified||30 Days||Bulk imports; Profit per item tracking; Send invoices and quotes; Multiple Currencies (Premium only)|
|FREE-$99/Month ($1188 Annually)||Tiered: 100/2000/Unlimited||14 Days||Desktop/Mobile Access; API Access; Cloud Storage; 30-90 Day storage; Auto sync data|
|Not Specified (Get Quote Button)||Not Specified||Guided Tour||Data Import/Export; Barcode Generator; Custom APIs; Custom fields; Inventory by warehouse;|
Choosing the right payment gateway
If you decide to sell products on your site, protecting sensitive customer information is one of the most important things that you can do. While website maintenance can protect some of your customer details, financial information should never be in a position to be compromised, and using a decent payment gateway makes sure hacker and data thieves shall not pass through.
There are many different payment gateways to choose from, each with different upfront and per-transaction costs. But there's more to consider than simply cost. Some offer better service or incentives, while others aim to provide the service for the lowest cost, but have minimal customer support or extras. To help with your decision, we're making a comparison of five of the most popular choices in NZ: PayPal, Stripe, Windcave (Formerly Paymark Click), Swipe HQ, and Payment Express.
|$0||$0||3.4% + $0.45 per transaction (For less than $5000/month)||Usually within minutes (To your own PayPal Account, not bank)||Online invoices and Mobile Payments included; lower rates with more sales|
|$0||$0||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction||4 Business Days||Real-time reporting; Pay as you go; Multiple Payment Methods accepted; Anti-Fraud tools|
|Not Specified||$0||Tiered 0 - 50 transactions: $19; 51 - 100 transactions: $29; 101 - 200 transactions: $59; 201 - 500 transactions: $119; 501 - 1000 transactions: $219; 1001 - 2000 transactions: $399||Overnight||24/7 local NZ support|
|$99||$0||2.85%; 1.29% for charities||Same day (Before 6PM)||Recurring payments accepted; e-invoices; Sell using App; Mini CRM; No "Card not present" fee|
|$150||$50 (1o0 Free Transactions)||Not specified; contact sales team.||Overnight||Automated Phone Payments; Batch Processing|
How do I use these to sell items on my site?
So you've looked through the inventory management systems and payment gateways and think you have the best one to suit your needs. Now what? How do you use them to sell your items on your site? We've got you covered; simply follow these 9 steps and to get selling products!
- Get a website
- Choose and purchase an inventory management system
- Choose and purchase a payment gateway
- Integrate inventory management and payment gateway into your site
- Write out descriptions of all your products and services and add to each product page
- Take images and/or videos of products and services
- Customise your checkout page
- Sort out freight fees (if having items delivered)
- Preview and test your new online store to see if everything is working properly.
It's a bit of work upfront, but having the option to purchase online can open you up to a whole new segment of the market! If you're unsure about doing any of these steps on your own or would rather have an experienced team handle your getting your store ready for product and service sales for you, get in touch with us today and let's talk about how we can help!