3 Warning Signs that Your Business is Failing

There are almost always warning signs that your business is failing. Online stores generally don't collapse from one day to the next. If you've been selling online for a while and your business is doing well, there'll likely be plenty of warning if things aren't going well.

Knowing what those warning signs are will enable you to take action before it's too late. As such, you can respond before your business is losing money or you barely have any customers left. You likely won't get to that point if you act decisively.

In this article, we'll discuss three warning signs that your business is failing. We'll talk about how to tackle each of these situations and their potential causes. Let's get to it!

1. Sales Keep Falling Month After Month

Almost anyone that runs an online store will tell you that sales vary depending on the time of the year. Most stores do the bulk of their sales during the Christmas holiday season. In turn, this increased revenue can make up for slower months throughout the year.

A single month with low sales can be just a blip on your radar. However, if you notice that sales keep dipping over time, you're probably looking at a much larger problem.

Some potential causes for sales numbers dropping can include:

  • Focusing on seasonal products. If your store focuses on seasonal products, it stands to reason they'll only sell well during that specific season. Outside of those weeks or months, you're probably looking at low sales across the board.
  • Your prices aren't in line with the competition. In some cases, prices can fall across an entire niche due to new, cheaper products entering the market. If you plan on having a higher price point, you need to justify it with higher product quality.
  • Your product quality is dropping. If your store's products leave consumers unhappy, bad reviews and a lack of return customers will quickly start to affect your sales numbers.
  • There's a problem with your online store. In many cases, low sales can stem from problems with your store, such as long loading times or an overall poor customer experience.

Significant dips in sales can be scary. However, if you pay attention to your store's metrics, you can easily spot when the downward trends begin. Then, you can use that information to figure out the problem (and turn it around).

If your store's sale numbers suddenly fall to zero, that usually points toward a technical issue with whatever ecommerce solution you're using. Having an ecommerce solution that enables you to set up simple, customizable checkout pages (such as Buy Now Plus) can prevent technical failures from happening:

A Buy Now Plus checkout screen

Using an ecommerce solution that you can quickly troubleshoot is essential to running a successful online store. That way, if you encounter technical issues, you'll be able to fix them quickly and not miss out on potential sales.

2. Bad Reviews Are Piling Up

Bad reviews can be catastrophic for an online store. A slew of negative feedback can be enough for sales to take a significant downturn, even if the comments themselves are inaccurate:

Multiple bad reviews can be warning signs that your business is failing.

Getting bad reviews is unavoidable if you run an online store for a long time. However, if you're treating customers correctly and offering outstanding products, negative feedback shouldn't outweigh positive comments.

If you run an ecommerce store, you'll need to track two different sets of reviews. Those are:

  1. On-site product reviews: These are the reviews that customers leave for specific products and services. Negative feedback should tell you which service areas your consumers find lacking.
  2. Reviews on third-party websites: Tracking these reviews can be hard unless your company profile is on platforms such as Google My Business or the Yelp website. However, regularly searching for your business' name should enable you to find out what customers are saying about you around the web.

Paying attention to negative feedback is essential because you can be confident that many potential customers will be reading it. A staggering 91% of consumers actively look for reviews before making a purchase. If they see a lot of negative comments, they may choose not to use your business.

If your reviews include ratings, we recommend that you start paying close attention if those numbers fall below 4.5/5 or the equivalent on a ten-point scale. It's essential that you look for repeating complaints in reviews so you can identify pain points with your services and solve them.

3. You Have No Repeat Customers

For many businesses, repeat customers are the ones that keep the ship afloat. Once you convince a consumer to make that first purchase, the chances that they'll make another one are as high as 60 to 70%. Moreover, retaining existing customers costs significantly less than attracting new ones and marketing to them.

If you've been running an online store for a while and you lack repeat business, that doesn't bode well for the future. In most cases, it means one of a few things:

  • You're not selling products or services that lend themselves to repeat purchases.
  • Customers are not satisfied with the quality that you offer.
  • Your customer service experience is lacking and users don't feel heard.
  • The purchasing or shipping experience is not user friendly.

Paying attention to customer testimonials and reviews should enable you to spot all of these issues well before your company goes bankrupt. Not having repeat business might not mean that your store will go under. Still, in a best-case scenario, it severely limits your growth potential.

Conclusion

There are almost always warning signs that a company might go under. Many store owners only pay attention to profits. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, you might miss obvious warning signs that your business is failing.

Some of the most common warning signs for a failing online business include:

  1. Sales keep falling month after month.
  2. Bad reviews are piling up.
  3. You have no repeat customers.

Do you have any questions about turning a failing business around? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook,Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

What You Need to Know Before Starting an Online Business

In a world currently driven by eCommerce, now is an excellent time for starting an online business. Learn what you need to know before getting started!

With the world increasingly becoming a digital-first environment, now is an excellent time to consider starting an online business. However, doing so is no easy task, and it's essential to make sure that you're adequately prepared.

Fortunately, doing a solid amount of research and planning can help ensure that your company succeeds. While errors and mistakes are inevitable, you can reduce your missteps and challenges by taking a strategic and careful approach.

In this post, we'll start by discussing the benefits of starting an online business. Then we'll cover five key tips to consider before you get started. Let's jump in!

The Benefits of Starting an Online Business

There are many benefits to starting an online business that can make it a rewarding and lucrative professional path.

Firstly, customers increasingly turn to the internet to find the products and services they need. You can purchase virtually anything you need online, from groceries and clothing to consulting and professional services:

The Amazon homepage.

Another benefit of an online business is reaching a global audience. You aren't limited to the geographical location of your establishment, nor do you have to deal with costs such as office space rental.

Furthermore, starting an online business can be pretty inexpensive once you have your product or service. You only need to account for a domain name, hosting, and web design and development costs. With the right small business tools, these aspects become easier to manage.

This isn't to say that starting an online business is easy. Certain disadvantages can come with it, such as a crowded online space that makes standing out from competitors difficult. Moreover, you'll need to understand digital marketing trends and techniques.

Fortunately, there are ways to prepare yourself to overcome such obstacles with relative ease. Proper research before launching your business can help increase the likelihood of success.

What You Need to Know Before Starting an Online Business (5 Key Tips)

Now that we've covered the benefits of starting an online business, it's time to dig into what you should know before you do. Here are five tips you can use to make it a productive and profitable endeavor!

1. Take the Time to Create a Detailed Business Plan

With any business, it's crucial to dedicate time to market research and developing a sound business plan. Doing so will help you identify concrete goals and determine how to measure your performance and progress as you grow.

There are a variety of elements that your business plan should cover, including:

  • Your target audience and customer personas
  • An executive summary and mission statement
  • A market analysis
  • Financial planning and a budget

You can make the process easier by using a business plan template:

A business plan template.

The more comprehensive and detailed your business plan, the easier it will be to get your company off the ground. Ideally, we recommend starting with a two to five-year plan.

2. Start With a Service Before Moving Onto Products

It usually makes sense for most online businesses to start by selling services, then eventually moving to products. Services tend to require less investment and development.

Once you get your footing, you'll be in a more stable position to expand and scale your business to incorporate products. This approach can also make it easier for you to find and nurture customer relationships to learn about your target buyers and their most important needs.

3. Invest in Website Design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When running an online business, your website is of utmost importance. It influences how customers perceive your brand. Your site also affects your engagement and conversion rates.

Therefore, a large portion of your focus should be on developing a high-quality website optimized for users and search engines. It's also a good idea to select a premium WordPress theme to showcase your products and services in a professional, reliable light.

There are plenty of free options available in the WordPress theme directory. You can also use marketplace sites such as Envato:

The Envato website.

However, even the most beautifully designed website won't help drive sales if customers cannot find it. This is why it's also essential to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

It's important to make sure your content is correctly optimized for Google best practices and ranking signals. You can do this is by installing a plugin such All In One SEO (AIOSEO):

The AIOSEO WordPress plugin.

You can also use PageSpeed Insights to analyze your site and identify opportunities for improvement. Knowing which tools to use can go a long way in optimizing your website.

4. Focus on Optimizing the Customer Experience

You can't have a successful business without satisfied customers. Therefore, it's crucial to provide a positive User Experience (UX).

This process can include creating a seamless checkout process with plenty of payment gateway options. We also recommend minimizing the number of steps needed for customers to complete their purchases.

One of the best ways to do this is with buy now buttons:

An example of a buy it now button.

You can easily add one of these elements to your site using our Buy Now Plus plugin:

The Buy Now Plus website.

You can quickly design and create your own buy now buttons to use across various channels. Then your visitors can check out immediately, helping to increase revenue.

5. Social and Email Marketing Are Key

Social media and email marketing are powerful, cost-effective solutions for generating brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and reaching your target audience. It's wise to develop a marketing strategy that incorporates both platforms.

We recommend figuring out which platforms your target audience uses most and focusing your campaigns there.

For example, Facebook Advertisements can be highly effective and affordable:

A DreamHost Facebook ad.

You can even sell directly from social media, whether you have a website or not. Regardless of your strategy, it's crucial to create a strong social media presence that is consistent with your branding.

Social media and email can also be incredibly effective for engaging your customers through targeted messaging. You might consider starting an email newsletter to help promote your brand, expand your reach, and drive traffic to your site.

An easy way to do this is to use a tool such as ActiveCampaign:

The ActiveCampaign logo.

This email and digital marketing platform can help you create and grow your subscriber list. You can also use it to collect leads, track email marketing analytics, and design custom customer experiences across every channel.

Conclusion

In this digital era, now is the perfect time to consider starting an online business. However, knowing where and how to begin can be difficult. Fortunately, all it takes is a little research and planning.

As we discussed in this post, here are five tips to consider before starting an online business:

  1. Spend time creating a detailed business plan.
  2. Start by offering services before moving onto products.
  3. Invest in your website design and SEO.
  4. Focus on optimizing the customer experience and checkout process.
  5. Social media and email marketing are key.

Do you have any questions about starting an online business? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Accept Donations Online (Everything Nonprofits Need to Know)

Many people prefer to complete tasks online. From scheduling appointments to paying electric bills, if users can't do it virtually, they might not do it at all. This same mentality can hold true when it comes to making donations.

Fortunately, enabling your nonprofit to accept donations from your website is a simple process. In fact, once you're online, you may find it's easier and more effective than using mailers or in-person events.

In this post, we'll explore why you should consider accepting online donations. Then we'll show you how to receive contributions using Buy Now Plus. Let's get started!

Why You May Want to Accept Online Donations

These days, many people prefer online donations and don't always have cash or checks at hand. If you're not able to accept online contributions, you're making it difficult, if not impossible, for these people to support your organization.

Enabling online donations can also help you to reach a wider audience. Rather than relying on more traditional methods, you can share your website across social media and email campaigns.

You'll also make it easier for your followers to share your information with their own networks:

Austin Pets Alive has several donation buttons on its website.

Finally, handling donations online can cut down on your paper usage. You can reduce or eliminate your reliance on paper mailers, saving you money on postage costs.

Accepting online contributions is also a significant first step for transitioning to paperless bookkeeping. As such, this method can be advantageous for environmentally conscious businesses.

How to Accept Donations Online (In 3 Easy Steps)

Now that we've covered the benefits of accepting online donations, let's look at starting the process with Buy Now Plus.

1. Sign Up for Buy Now Plus

When you sign up for Buy Now Plus, you'll be asked to connect your Stripe account. This step provides you and your donors with a secure payment gateway.

If you don't have a Stripe account, you'll be able to create one during the Buy Now Plus setup process:

Signing up for a Buy Now Plus account.

If you already have a Stripe account but would like to create a new one for donations, you can also handle that at this time.

Buy Now Plus enables you to add more than one Stripe account, which could come in handy for organizing your accounting.

2. Design Your Donate Button

Now that you have your Buy Now Plus account ready, it's time to create your first donation button. Start by logging in to your account and navigating to the Buttons page. Then, click on the Add New button.

Here you can add the basic information about your button. This is also where you'll choose which Stripe account to use with it:

How to create a new button in Buy Now Plus

You may want to set the price to Variable using the dropdown menu. This setting enables your donors to choose how much they'd like to give.

Alternatively, you might create a few buttons with preset amounts to encourage donations:

Changing the price option from fixed to variable.

Under the Advanced tab, you can change the text on your button. You can also set a URL that will direct users to a new page once they complete their donations:

How to change the text on a donation button.

Once you're satisfied with your button, click on the Create button to save it.

3. Share Your Button Everywhere

Finally, you can start sharing your button with your network. Buy Now Plus makes it easy to embed your button anywhere you can add a link.

You may want to start by adding the button in a few places across your website. You might include one in your main navigation menu as well as above the fold on your homepage.

It's also a smart idea to create a landing page dedicated to accepting donations.

You can still share your donation button even if you don't have a website. If you're active on social media, that's a great place to start. You can also include a donation button in your email campaigns.

Regardless of where you'd like to place your button, the process is pretty similar. Simply click on the Share button to the right of your donation button. You'll see a pop up with a link and an embed code:

Embed options for Buy Now Plus.

You can also use the social buttons to go directly to the platforms you'd like to share on.

Conclusion

Accepting donations online can be a smart move for any nonprofit. Your donors will likely appreciate the convenience, and it may even save your organization some time and money. Best of all, it's easy to get set up using Buy Now Plus.

Let's recap the three steps to accepting online donations:

  1. Sign up for Buy Now Plus.
  2. Design your donate button.
  3. Share your button everywhere.

Do you have questions about receiving contributions online? Ask us in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

How to Keep Your Ecommerce Customers Safe (4 Tips)

If you own an ecommerce business, chances are the threat of a data breach is never too far from your mind. This is no surprise, considering how serious the consequences can be when information falls into the wrong hands.

While the possibility of exposing user information is a scary one, you're certainly not powerless to keep your customers safe.

You can significantly lessen the chances of a data breach by processing payments securely and following other safety best practices.

In this post, we'll look at why protecting personal information is so important for ecommerce businesses. Then, we'll share four tips for keeping your customers safe. Let's go!

Why Protecting Customer Information is Crucial

Perhaps now more than ever, data privacy has become a central concern for anyone who spends time online. Unfortunately, this wariness is in response to a rising number of data breaches, which has been trending upwards since 2005.

Ecommerce sites may be especially attractive to bad actors as they're likely to store payment details as well as personal information.

Stolen data is not only a concern for the owners of the information, but it can also have serious consequences for your business.

The financial impact can be especially devastating, as the cost to recover can be pretty high. In 2020, the global average cost per data breach was $3.86 million.

In addition to taking a financial hit, you could lose the trust of your existing customers, who may take their business elsewhere. These customers may also warn their networks against doing business with you, resulting in further losses.

How to Keep Your Ecommerce Customers Safe (4 Tips)

Now that we've discussed the seriousness of a data breach, let's look at a few tips you can use to keep your business and customers safe.

1. Process Payments With Buy Now Plus

Since payment information is especially sensitive, you may want to make protecting it your first priority.

Using a tool like Buy Now Plus will not only make the buying process easier for your customers, but it will also provide additional security as it's built on top of Stripe:

Buy Now Plus uses Stripe to keep payments secure.

Stripe is a very secure payment solution. All transactions processed through it are Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protected to keep data safe while it's being transmitted. Moreover, credit card numbers are encrypted and kept secure in Stripe's data center.

Getting started with Buy Now Plus is quick and easy, even if you don't have a Stripe account yet. To get started, click on the Connect to Stripe button on the Buy Now Plus login page.

Then, you'll be prompted to enter the email associated with your Stripe account. If you don't have one, any email will do:

The login screen for Buy Now Plus.

On the next screen, you'll create a password for your Stripe account. You'll then need to secure your account using a mobile number. Enter the code that you'll receive via text to continue.

At this point, you can either connect to an existing Stripe account or create a new account to use with Buy Now Plus:

Connecting a Stripe account to Buy Now Plus.

Next, you'll need to enter some details about your business, as well as some personal information.

When you're ready, you can connect your new Stripe account to Buy Now Plus.

2. Control Access With Strong Passwords

Chances are you protect sensitive information with passwords, so you'll want to be sure they're up to the task. Your best strategy for this is to follow some simple password best practices:

  • Never use the same password for more than one account.
  • Ensure that passwords are both long and complex.
  • Change passwords regularly.
  • Avoid sharing passwords.
  • Never write passwords down.

You might also consider implementing Multi-Factor Authorization (MFA). MFA adds an additional security challenge after an individual has entered this password.

This challenge could be answering a security question, entering a pin, or using a one time password (OTP) provided via text or email.

If you'd like to add this functionality to your WordPress site, you can use a plugin called WP 2FA:

The WP 2FA plugin which adds two factor authorization.

This free plugin is easy to set up and supports several OTP-generating apps. You can also configure it to force users to set up MFA immediately or give them a grace period.

3. Collect Only the Information You Need

Simply put, hackers can't steal information that you don't have. For this reason, it's best that you only collect the information needed to provide an efficient service. Remember that you can always ask for additional details later.

Aside from security concerns, asking for too much data up front can contribute to a poor customer experience. The last thing you want is to be losing customers during your signup or checkout process.

If you've already collected information you don't need, you might want to delete it now.

You'll not only keep your customers safer, but this can also help you comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Take the time to carefully consider what information you truly need. You may want to develop guidelines for the collection, storage, and eventual deletion of customer data.

Firm policies are beneficial if you work with a small team to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

4. Keep Your Software Up to Date

Outdated websites and software make desirable targets for hackers. Once word gets out about a vulnerability, it will likely be exploited quickly.

To keep your website safe, it's important to be vigilant about any updates developers release for the software and tools you use.

You'll want to be especially aware of any emergency patches which are often issued in response to a potential threat.

You can be even more proactive about this by regularly checking your software vendors' websites for any updates you may have missed. Ensuring that all of the plugins on your site are updated on a regular basis can help keep your site safe.

Conclusion

As the owner of an ecommerce business, you have an obligation to your customers to keep their private information secure. Fortunately, there are ways to protect both your customers and your company.

Let's recap the four tips we shared for protecting user data:

  • Process secure payments with Buy Now Plus.
  • Control access with strong passwords.
  • Collect only the information you need.
  • Keep your software up to date.

Do you still have questions about keeping your customers safe? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

4 Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2022

Let's be honest: the world of ecommerce changes fast. That means running a successful business can come down to sales strategies that adapt.

However, it can be hard to create adaptable strategies when consumer opinions are constantly shifting.

Fortunately, it doesn't have to be a guessing game. By familiarizing yourself with a few likely trends for the coming year, you can prepare to leverage them to your business's advantage.

In this article, we'll cover four ecommerce trends that you might want to keep an eye out for in 2022. We'll also provide you with a few tips on how to account for them in your marketing strategy. Let's begin!

4 Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2022

All eyes forward! Here are four big trends for the coming year that you may want to pay attention to.

1. Personalization Will Remain a Priority

Personalized service has been a crucial part of customer expectations for the past couple of years. Recent data shows that this trend is here to stay: a whopping 90% of customers are willing to share more data for a better brand experience.

This represents a huge opportunity. As you might have guessed, collecting data is crucial to creating a customized experience. That means as users share more information, you'll be more able to produce the tailored content they're looking for.

If you haven't started collecting this information yet, we highly recommend you get started right away. Even basic statistics like age, gender, and location can give you a leg up in marketing – especially if you're a small business that's just starting out.

If this sounds like you, consider investing some time in Google Analytics. While there tends to be a learning curve at first, we think the work is well worth all the actionable results you'll get in return.

One tool we recommend, MonsterInsights, can help simplify Google Analytics for you. And it also lets you view your data right from your WordPress dashboard.

Nevertheless, any tool that can accurately gather data on your users will work.

Once you have this info, make sure it's a core part of your marketing and content. A key factor in this trend is that consumers will be expecting a better experience in return for their info.

If you don't provide one, they may be less willing to share in the future.

2. Social Media Referrals Will Become Essential

Social media has become a constant in most of our lives. Most of your customers are no different. The number of visits to ecommerce sites that come from social media has risen to 21% for tablet users.

There could be a few reasons behind this. Some users may get familiar with your store's social media page and feel comfortable enough to make a purchase. Others may casually see an interesting ad and decide to pay you a visit.

Regardless of how it happens, the implication is the same: social media will be a crucial source of potential conversions. Thus, providing users with easy ways to access your site will be necessary for 2022.

However, you may be worried about losing this opportunity if you don't have a website. Fortunately, you're in luck. Our Buy Now Plus service can help.

The Buy Now Plus banner logo.

Our tool creates an easy way for your customers to make a purchase even without a website. Once you've set it up, all your fans have to do is click the “buy now” button. Then, they'll be able to use a secure Stripe-based checkout.

If you're not on social media yet, this is definitely the time to get started. Consider beginning with Facebook. As the leading social media platform for small business advertising, it's a popular way to start taking advantage of this powerful trend.

3. Customers Will Expect Environmentally Friendly Services

Doing damage to our environment will have devastating effects on our planet. As more people become aware of this truth, the desire for sustainable brands has continues to trend up.

The result is that 81% of people now expect companies to be environmentally aware.

It's worth noting the study's specific language here as well. Consumers don't view earth-friendliness as a nice perk to have – it's a base expectation.

So it's extremely important that you make your efforts toward preserving and protecting the environment clear. It could be a deciding factor for your customers.

That's why we recommend that you start openly advertising your sustainability. If you can do so in the first stage of the buyer's journey, even better.

That early exposure can help consumers directly associate your brand with environmental responsibility.

Consider integrating it into your big sales, too. For example, Patagonia made protecting the environment the foundation of their recent black Friday sale by donating 100% of Black Friday sales revenue to environmental groups.

Patagonia ad highlighting their sustainability.

The company projected sales of around $2 million, but ended up pulling in an incredible $10 million in sales. Their campaign exceeded expectations by five times!

Nevertheless, your approach doesn't have to be as aggressive. Even a small contribution can cement your brand as environmentally conscious in consumers' minds.

The bottom line is that a customers will be more inspired to buy if they know their purchase will contribute to this important cause.

4. Desktop Purchases Will Be the Most Profitable

In our modern age, people can buy things from just about any device. However, that doesn't mean that all of them are used equally.

Despite the huge number of smartphone users, desktop purchases raked in an impressive average purchase of $184.44.

This figure makes desktops the highest-return device for businesses. Mobile purchases took second place at $134.39, with tablets in third at $101.18:

The desktop spending ecommerce trends heading into 2022.

You may also notice from this graph that average desktop purchases jumped nearly $50 in the last year. This suggests that the desktop average will continue to grow into 2022.

This could be a helpful statistic if you're short on time. It can be hard to keep a website's mobile, tablet, and desktop layouts equally maintained. If you're too busy to cover all your bases, you may want to prioritize an attractive desktop site.

However, you may have also noticed that the mobile purchase average rose in the past year as well. As such, disregarding mobile users may not be the most effective approach.

That's why you might want to go the easier route: selling exclusively on social media.

These platforms are already optimized to work on all kinds of devices. By simply integrating the shopping experience into those profiles, you can skip the tech stuff and focus on your sales.

Conclusion

A lot of sales strategy is about offering your customers what they want. However, this task can be next to impossible if you don't know what that is.

Fortunately, you can give yourself a competitive edge by understanding future ecommerce trends. In this article, we covered four ecommerce trends to watch in 2022:

  1. Consumers will be increasingly willing to share data in exchange for personalization.
  2. Social media referrals will remain an essential source of customers.
  3. Environmentally friendly practices will become a prerequisite to purchases.
  4. Desktop purchases will continue to earn the highest average spend across devices.

Do you have any questions about preparing your business for 2022? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

5 Ways to Improve the Online Checkout Experience

You've got a beautiful website, great products, and buyers who want what you have. They get to the cart and hit the checkout button, only to be met with a complicated process with too many hoops to jump through.

Many may become impatient and leave.

Fortunately, you can make sure your customers don’t leave your site empty-handed and frustrated. By streamlining your checkout process, you can help prevent cart abandonment and increase your conversions.

In this post, we’ll look at some common checkout problems that often lead to cart abandonment. Then we’ll share five tips to help you improve your store’s checkout process. Let’s get started!

Common Checkout Issues That Can Lead to Cart Abandonment 

cart abandonment

According to recent studies, over 69% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts. Some of the main reasons for this include:

  • A lengthy or confusing checkout experience
  • Forcing visitors to sign up for accounts before they can check out
  • Jarring design that’s inconsistent with the brand
  • Sketchy-looking payment pages that don’t offer a sense of security

If buyers can’t get what they came for quickly, they’re likely to leave your site and do their shopping elsewhere.

Therefore, it's vital to ensure that your checkout process is quick and easy, and that it blends in nicely with the rest of the shopping journey.

5 Ways to Improve the Online Checkout Experience

Luckily, optimizing the checkout process doesn’t have to be complicated and time-consuming. Here are five simple ways you can improve the online checkout experience for your customers.

1. Simplify the Checkout Page

Typically, you’ll only want billing and shipping information on your checkout page. You may also want to gather some additional details, such as email addresses or phone numbers for sending order updates.

However, we recommend that you only ask for the information you need.

Moreover, the checkout page should be clean and distraction-free. If you run ads on your site, you may want to try to keep the order pages clear of them.

Here's an example of a clean and streamlined checkout page:

An example of a simple checkout page

As you can see, this page asks for minimal information. There are no visual distractions, and the process is short enough that it fits on one page.

2. Make Sure Your Checkout is Mobile-Friendly

With more and more customers making purchases on their mobile phones, it’s important to ensure that you have a mobile-friendly checkout.

For instance, you may want to enable payments with digital wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay:

Apple Pay homepage

This way customers can use their stored payment details to complete their orders more quickly.

You can also use a buy now button to give customers the option of skipping straight to the checkout page. Especially on mobile devices, people appreciate a fast and easy purchasing process without the extra loading time.

At Buy Now Plus, we help you create high-converting buttons for a quick and easy checkout on any device.

Moreover, you'll be able to use these buttons on other platforms, including your social media pages and newsletters. This means you can accept payments from anywhere online.

3. Eliminate Surprises

A general rule of thumb for user experience (UX) is this: the more predictable your design and flow are, the better. Jarring, surprising experiences are an easy way to drive visitors away.

Therefore, it's a good idea to guide your users through the checkout process. You can use a multi-step checkout, which is excellent for reducing the amount of scrolling buyers have to do.

This enables you to cleanly display everything on a single page using a multi-step form:

An example of a step-by-step checkout process.

There’s another surprise no one likes to see: high shipping costs. Depending on the platform you’re using, it may not be possible to give an exact shipping amount early on.

However, you might want to provide an estimate or make it clear that there will be shipping and handling fees.

If you’re looking to speed up your checkout process a little more, you could offer a guest checkout option. Many customers, especially one-time buyers, don’t want to deal with setting up another account.

4. Keep the Checkout Design Consistent With Your Site

Having a professionally designed site can help you build trust. On the other hand, messy and inconsistent design might make your site look suspicious, scaring customers away.

Your checkout style should be consistent with your site. This means it should avoid any jarring, unnatural transitions.

You never want to make customers feel like they’re being shipped off to someone else to make their payments, unsure if they’re paying you or a third party.

With Buy Now Plus, you can fully customize your buy now buttons so they match your branding. This way, you can keep a cohesive design throughout your checkout process.

5. Include Obvious Security Features

Finally, your checkout process should also show users they can trust you with their payment details. Therefore, you may want to provide secure payment options such as PayPal and Stripe:

The Stripe homepage

Displaying the names and logos of your payment providers can be a great way to offer that additional sense of security. Additionally, you'll want to ensure that these options are placed in a prominent area on your site, so customers are able to see them right away.

You'll be pleased to learn that Buy Now Plus runs on Stripe. This means that, as an online seller, you and your customers will benefit from Stripe's fraud protection and other security features.

Conclusion

A simple checkout experience can mean the difference between customers leaving your site with the products they love, or walking away empty-handed and frustrated.

Fortunately, you don't need to put a lot of effort (or money) into optimizing your customer journey.

In this post, we looked at five effective ways to improve your online checkout experience:

  1. Simplify your checkout page by only asking for information that you need and minimizing visual distractions.
  2. Make sure your checkout process is mobile-friendly and cuts out extra steps, by using a service like Buy Now Plus.
  3. Get rid of surprises like high shipping costs, and let buyers know exactly where they are in the checkout process.
  4. Keep your checkout design consistent with your brand.
  5. Include secure payment methods, such as PayPal and Stripe, so your buyers feel safe when they’re checking out.

Do you have any questions about how you can implement these tips to improve your customers’ online checkout experience? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

How to Monetize Your Blog (4 Revenue-Generating Tips)

Thanks to the rise of user-friendly content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, it’s never been easier to create a blog. However, you may want to convert all of that time and effort into cash at some point. 

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to make money as a blogger. If you’re generating a healthy amount of traffic, you’re in a prime position to turn your visitors into revenue. 

In this post, we’ll discuss why so many people are monetizing their blogs. We’ll then share three of our favorite revenue-generating tips. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Consider Monetizing Your Blog

There are many different reasons why people decide to start a blog. You might have dreamed about monetization all along. Alternatively, perhaps you’re knowledgeable about a particular subject and want to share your passion with the world:

An example of a passion blog about growing succulents.

You might even use your posts as part of a content marketing strategy for a related business. 

Regardless of why you started blogging, running a successful blog requires time and effort. At some point, you may want to be reimbursed for all your hard work.

Blogging can also turn into an expensive hobby. While there are plenty of free tools, you’ll usually end up investing some hard-earned cash into your blog. 

Most commonly, these costs include purchasing web hosting and a domain name. However, you can also incur additional miscellaneous fees.

For example, you may pay for specialist training to help grow your audience. Alternatively, you might run advertising campaigns on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google.

By monetizing your blog, you can recoup some of these costs and perhaps even turn a profit.

While blogging is a hugely competitive industry, it’s still possible to convert a popular site into an additional revenue stream. You might even achieve the ultimate dream and trade your job for a career as a full-time blogger.

How to Monetize Your Blog (4 Revenue-Generating Tips)

If your blog has an audience, there are many ways to convert those visitors into revenue. Here are three ways to earn money from blogging.

1. Use a Paywall Plugin

As with any product, one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to make money off your content is to sell it.

If you have a WordPress site (and what blogger doesn't?), a high-quality paywall plugin is your best bet. The most popular one out there is MemberPress – and for good reason.

The MemberPress homepage.

The plugin is super easy to use, requires no coding, and lets you do things like…

  • Create a new paywalled site
  • Add subscriptions to your existing site
  • Use super customized paywalling with flexible sampling (lead-in, metered, and hard paywalls) like The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times, for example
  • Create and sell online courses
  • Build a dedicated community
  • Accept credit cards and digital wallet payments right on your site

The real beauty of MemberPress is in its Content Protection Rules and Memberships functions.

Through Content Protection Rules, you can really drill down how you monetize your content. You can protect…

  • All content – Your entire website
  • Posts categorized and posts tagged – All content under a specific category or tag
  • Single posts – Any individual post
  • All posts – All posts except those you specify as exempt
  • Custom URIs – Specific URLs (super useful if you want to restrict content like ebooks or digital downloads)
  • Custom post types – Any custom post type you create

MemberPress basically makes your blog work like any of the big, fancy online publications out there. And if you run into any issues with the plugin – or your site in general – reach out to the MemberPress wizards over at WP Tech Support.

2. Become an Affiliate Marketer

As an affiliate marketer, you’ll partner with third-party businesses and promote their products and services via your blog. You’ll earn a commission for all sales originating from your unique affiliate links. 

Affiliate marketing is big business. With annual spending estimated at $12 billion, bloggers have a huge opportunity to make money online. 

A quick search will reveal hundreds of affiliate programs that you can join. To help drive conversions, we recommend searching for a partner or products that will appeal to your existing readership.

If you’re unsure about your audience demographics, then you can learn more about your visitors using a tool such as Google Analytics:

The Google Analytics dashboard.

It’s also wise to feature products related to your blog’s content. For example, if you write about your experiences as a parent, it may make sense to promote baby-themed products.

These relevant promotions will make your affiliate links feel more authentic, which can help drive conversions.

While using affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to generate money from blogging, affiliate URLs aren’t always pretty.

These links are often long and complex with obvious tracking codes. They can be off-putting to your readers, who may even wonder whether these odd-looking URLs are spam.

For this reason, we recommend simplifying your affiliate URLs using a link shortener such as the Pretty Links plugin:

Monetize your blog using the Pretty Links plugin.

With Pretty Links, you don't have to worry about lengthy URLs scaring your readers away. Simply enter the target link into the dashboard. Then, the plugin will generate a shorter, neater alternative, ready for you to post to your blog.

3. Enrol in an Advertising Network

Many businesses, including blogs, generate revenue by selling advertising space. There are various ad networks, but Google AdSense is one of the biggest platforms. In fact, it is used by over 38 million blogs and websites.

All of Google’s ads are mobile-responsive, so you can earn revenue regardless of whether readers are using a desktop, smartphone, or tablet.

Google even tailors these adverts based on the visitor’s geographical location, which is great for driving conversions.

There are multiple ways to display Google advertisements on your blog, but WordPress users may want to check out Site Kit. This plugin adds a range of popular Google services to your WordPress dashboard, including Google AdSense:

The Google Site Kit plugin.

After activating and configuring this plugin, you’ll need to wait for Google to approve your blog. However, as soon as you get the go-ahead, it will start displaying ads across your site.

Site Kit will even optimize your advertisements automatically by determining their optimal sizes, types, and placements. With this tool, you can avoid alienating your readers by displaying intrusive or irrelevant adverts. 

4. Add Buy Now Buttons to Your Blog Posts

Some of the biggest websites in the world use buy now buttons to encourage visitors to make a purchase. These buttons simplify the purchasing process by enabling customers to jump straight to checkout:

An example of a buy now button.

Although they’re commonly associated with ecommerce giants such as Amazon and eBay, you can add buy now buttons to your blog posts. If you sell products or services in addition to writing articles, these buttons can convert your readers into customers.

Alternatively, you can use buy now buttons to promote your affiliate URLs if you're part of an affiliate network. 

Even if you don’t have any products to promote, you can still monetize your site using buy now buttons. Many writers publish blogs for free but ask visitors to donate if they enjoyed the content.

If you create your buttons using a flexible service such as our Buy Now Plus plugin, then it’s easy to transform them into donation prompts: 

The Buy Now Plus dashboard.

By simply changing the button’s label, you can start accepting donations. Buy Now Plus even supports variable pricing, so your readers can choose how much money to send you. This flexibility may result in more contributions. 

Conclusion

Creating a successful blog takes time and dedication. At some point, you may want to be reimbursed for all of your hard work. 

Let’s quickly recap three ways to monetize your blog:

  1. Become an affiliate marketer, using a plugin such as Pretty Links.
  2. Enrol in an advertising network.
  3. Add buy now buttons to your blog posts, with our Buy Now Plus service.

Do you have any questions about how to make money as a blogger? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

How to Use Stripe Reports to Grow Your Business

A quick glance at the Stripe dashboard is all it takes to get an overview of your finances. However, if you really want to maximize your profits, then it’s time to dig deeper. 

Fortunately, the Stripe platform has everything you need to generate in-depth reports. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to see the impact of all your marketing and advertising activities.

You might even be able to root out suspicious payments, including fraudsters.

In this post, we’ll explore the purpose of Stripe reports and why they’re essential for achieving success.

We’ll then show you how to generate the detailed financial accounts you need to help your business reach its full potential. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Stripe Reports (And Why They’re Important)

Payments are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s vital that you monitor them carefully. This is where Stripe reports come in. 

Stripe’s reports generally fall into two categories. Firstly, balance reports are an itemized list of all the transactions made from your account, similar to a traditional bank statement:

An example of a Stripe report.

Meanwhile, the payout reconciliation report helps you match the payments received in your bank account with the activity in your Stripe account.

As such, payout reconciliation reports can be handy if you use Stripe to make payments via a business bank account. Note that these documents are only available if you have automatic payouts enabled. 

By analyzing these reports, you can gain a deeper insight into your customers. You may also identify opportunities to increase your sales.

For example, some data might indicate that you’re attracting high traffic from a particular region. In this scenario, you might devise marketing strategies that specifically target this demographic. Therefore, you could convert this influx of visitors into paying customers. 

Additionally, Stripe reports can help you zero in on fraudulent activity. You can then take steps to limit the financial impact on your business. 

The Two Types of Stripe Reports (And How They Work)

To take a closer look at Stripe’s reports, log into your dashboard and select Reports from the left-hand menu.

Once you’re there, you’re ready to explore Stripe’s payment reconciliation and balance reports in more detail. Let’s dive in! 

1. Stripe’s Balance Report 

To export your balance report, navigate to Reports > Balance in the Stripe dashboard. You can then use the controls to set a date range.

The Stripe dashboard will update to display your starting and ending balance for the selected period. It will also show a high-level summary of your activity during this period. This data can be useful for getting a quick overview of your finances. 

For a more in-depth look, click on Download. This launches a popup where you can specify the number of columns to include in your report: 

The Stripe Report dashboard.

Next, click on Show. You can then choose which columns to display in your report: 

Stripe's Download Report dialog.

When you’re happy with your settings, click on Download. Stripe will now generate your report as a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) file.

This document can help evaluate your cash flow by displaying each reporting category's gross, fee, and net values.

The report can also help you to calculate Stripe fees. This process isn't always easy, because increasing the overall sales also raises the corresponding Stripe charge.

However, monitoring the balance report ensures that you’re passing the appropriate fee on to your customers. You may also want to use this document when seeking external funding, such from as a shareholder or investor. 

2. Payout Reconciliation Report

Navigate back to the Reports tab and select Payment Reconciliation. Then, select a date range.

This section will now update to display a breakdown of the automatic payouts received during this period, grouped into reporting categories.

You can then select Download. At this point, you have the option to download a Summary. This is the data displayed in the Payout Reconciliation section of the Stripe dashboard:

The Payout Reconciliation export settings.

Alternatively, you can select Itemized. This will download a complete list of the individual transactions that are summarized in the Stripe dashboard.

If you select this option, then you can choose which reporting categories to include:

The charges and refunds settings, in the Stripe Report dashboard.

Charges include payments from cards plus any other payment methods. If you’re authorizing and capturing payments separately, then only the selected charges will be included here.

Meanwhile, Refunds will display data for all the payments you’ve refunded to your customers. Just be aware that this doesn’t include charge failures or partial capture reversals. 

After making this decision, you can use the Columns and Show/Hide controls to specify which data to include in your report. Then, click on Download

Reconciliation is an important accounting process that ensures the money spent or earned matches the money leaving or entering your account.

After generating this document, you may want to check for fraudulent activity or financial statement errors. For example, you can use source_id to connect a transaction to a particular Stripe object.

You can also use subscription_id to pinpoint how many sales come from billing subscriptions connected to your Stripe account.

How to Get the Most Out of Stripe Reports

It’s wise to check your Stripe reports regularly. This puts you in a strong position to identify any suspicious activity before it causes irreparable damage to your business. 

This data can also help you evaluate the success of your marketing and advertising efforts. For this reason, it could be smart to schedule a review following all major campaigns.

However, you can also refer to Stripe’s reports throughout your campaigns. In this way, you can refine and optimize your in-progress marketing and advertising strategies to deliver even better results.

Since these reports contain such a wealth of information, it’s important to share your findings with other departments.

Wherever possible, we recommend sharing the raw data. Your co-workers may have a unique insight or interpretation of the results.

If you’re using other financial tools, you may want to consider integrating them with your reports. By doing so, you can have a single location to analyze all of your financial data.

If you’re using QuickBooks accounting software or the cloud-based NetSuite, then you'll be happy to know that Stripe reports are compatible with both tools. 

Conclusion

Keeping a close eye on your funds is essential for any business owner. While the Stripe dashboard does provide an overview, you could benefit from analyzing detailed data records.

To help you assess the health of your business, let’s recap the two categories of Stripe reports: 

  1. Balance report: This itemized Comma-Separated Values (CSV) file can help evaluate your cash flow and accurately calculate Stripe fees. 
  2. Payout reconciliation report: A breakdown of the automatic payouts received in your bank account. It is ideal for identifying suspicious activity, including potential fraudsters. 

Do you have any other questions about how to get the most out of Stripe reports? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

What’s the Best Way to Accept Credit Card Payments?

Credit cards are one of the most popular payment methods for online purchases. Therefore, accommodating these purchases is essential if you want to run your business effectively.

However, there are risks of fraud associated with credit cards, so you'll need to choose your payment providers carefully.

Fortunately, there are a few different ways to accept credit card payments safely. By choosing the best solution for your needs, you can attract and keep customers by making their checkout experiences safe and seamless.

In this guide, we look at the best way to accept credit card payments. We'll also discuss the benefits and dangers of credit cards, and how to choose the best payment method for your business. Let’s get started!

The Benefits of Accepting Credit Card Payments

Credit cards are one of the most common payment methods, especially online. In fact, more than 56% of Americans use this method for online payments. When you consider that more than 365 million Americans had credit cards in 2020, that's a lot of purchases.

If your business doesn't accept these types of payments, you may miss out on a lot of potential sales. Therefore, it's in your best interests to support credit card purchases, and to make the checkout process as easy as possible.

The Dangers of Credit Card Payments

Of course, some customers are wary of using their credit cards to pay online. In 2020, credit cards were the main source of fraud reports for online payments. Additionally, they were the source of 12% of payment data breaches in the same year.

Identity theft and fraudulent payments are dangers for your customers and your business. That's why it's important to choose a secure payment gateway that can protect against these threats.

Credit card payments can also come with transaction and conversion fees. It's vital to know about these fees upfront. Fortunately, there are some payment methods that minimize the fees you're responsible for.

3 Ways to Accept Credit Card Payments

There are multiple ways that you can accept credit card payments online and in person. Each method comes with its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your business' needs. Let's take a look at three of the most popular options.

1. Buy Now Plus

Blue background with an orange button and text describing the Buy Now Plus plugin

Buy Now Plus is one of the easiest and safest ways to accept online credit card payments. You can place buttons on your website that direct customers to a secure payment gateway that works with Stripe.

One of our plugin's best features is that it's free to set up, and only charges you a flat 3% fee for every transaction. Regular credit card merchant fees can be as high as 4-5%, so this can mean significant savings for your business.

Buy Now Plus also offers a very user-friendly interface, and has customizable options. You can set up recurring billing for your customers or process simple transactions. In addition, it uses Stripe, which has reliable anti-fraud protections in place.

However, Buy Now Plus does not accept PayPal payments. You will also need a Stripe account to use it.

Buy Now Plus Fees: 3%

2. PayPal

An advertisement of the PayPal commerce platform

PayPal Commerce is another popular option for small to medium-sized businesses. It's a sophisticated financial platform that enables you to accept and make payments, track your business' growth, and benefit from fraud protection.

The key advantage of the PayPal platform is its streamlined dashboard. There, you can view detailed statistics on your payments and business. You can also access tools that help grow your business and increase online conversions.

PayPal also has sophisticated fraud protection measures. The platform constantly identifies and protects you against payment fraud with its updating algorithms.

However, you should be mindful that PayPal Commerce has higher merchant fees than other credit card platforms. It charges 2.9 percent plus a fixed fee for domestic payments. For international transactions, the amount can be even higher.

PayPal is also not the most user-friendly option. If you do run into issues, it can be challenging to contact the customer service team and receive help promptly.

PayPal Fees: 2.9% + fixed fee for domestic payments

3. EFTPOS

Swiping a card through an EFTPOS terminal
Image credit: Pixabay

Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) is a payment option in most physical stores. These machines accept many card types, and charge the customer instantly when they swipe your card and enter their PIN.

EFTPOS can be an excellent option if you have a physical store or the capacity to accept card details over the phone. These machines process transactions quickly, and store details electronically so you can track transactions. They are also very easy to use.

However, you cannot use EFTPOS to accept transactions online. Therefore, this payment method can be restrictive for many businesses.

EFTPOS Fees: 0.5-1%

How to Choose the Best Way to Accept Credit Card Payments

There are a few factors you might want to consider when you choose a credit card payment platform from the above options.

First, if you have an online business, Buy Now Plus and PayPal Commerce are the most viable options. EFTPOS works via a physical machine, so it's better suited to physical shopfronts. Both PayPal and Buy Now Plus have excellent fraud prevention measures in place to protect your business.

If you want to minimize the fees you pay, Buy Now Plus is the more affordable option. It is also more streamlined and user-friendly, so it could be suitable for users with less technological expertise.

PayPal might be the correct choice for you if you want access to its analytics and business growth tools. These features, when paired with its limited customer service, mean that the platform could suit those with a higher level of familiarity with payment systems.

Overall, we recommend Buy Now Plus for most businesses. Unless you want access to PayPal's analytics, you can benefit more from the lower fees and user-friendly interface.

Conclusion

Credit cards are one of the preferred online payment methods for customers all over the world. If you run a business, you'll need a secure and straightforward way to accept these payments.

The good news is that you have a few different options. If you have a physical store or can accept phone payments, the EFTPOS system can be viable. Otherwise, using Buy Now Plus is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to accept credit card payments.

Do you have any questions about using Buy Now Plus to accept online payments? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

4 Places You Can Find and Buy Online Businesses for Sale

Building your own business can be a rewarding experience. However, it can also mean long hours, many rounds of trial and error, and lots of hard work.

Fortunately, there is a way to fast-track through those turbulent early years. By purchasing a ready-made business, you can take over an operation that's already generating healthy profits and has a loyal customer base.

In this post, we’ll discuss why becoming a successful business owner doesn't always mean starting your empire from scratch. We’ll then share four places where you can purchase a profitable online business today. Let’s jump right in!

Why You Might Want to Buy an Online Business

Starting your own business can be rewarding and lucrative. However, building a business from the ground up isn't always the best option.

Whenever you start a new venture, there’s always an element of the unknown. Even if you’ve created a thorough business plan, there’s no guarantee that your company will be profitable.

In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.

Instead of taking a gamble, you might decide to buy into a businesses that has a proven track record.

By purchasing a company that's already established, you can fast-forward through those turbulent early years and get straight to the fun part: running a successful online business and enjoying the profits.

You may also want to buy a ready-made business if you have limited experience building a company from scratch. Purchasing a pre-made empire is particularly attractive to first-time entrepreneurs who dream of running their own businesses, but are unsure where to start.

Some entrepreneurs also purchase online businesses as a means of generating passive income, sometimes in addition to working a full-time job.

Since the business is already established, it can often start providing revenue immediately, with very little manual input from you.

Alternatively, we’ve seen business owners buy into an existing company in order to gain more market share within their industry. By absorbing some of the competition, you can position yourself as a true market leader.

For all these reasons and more, buying an already established company can often be a smart option. Below, we'll take a look at where to find online businesses for sale.

4 Places You Can Find and Buy Online Businesses for Sale

If you’re keen to invest in a thriving and profitable online business, there's no time like the present to start shopping.

Here are four of our favorite marketplaces that specialize in helping eager buyers find the perfect five-star online ventures for their needs.

1. Shopify Exchange

Shopify Exchange is a marketplace dedicated entirely to businesses built on the Shopify platform. Any company you purchase via this marketplace is guaranteed to be built using this popular ecommerce software.

This makes Exchange perfect for anyone who has previous experience with the platform, or if you're specifically looking for a Shopify-based business:

The Shopify Exchange marketplace.

Shopify Exchange plays host to a wide variety of stores. There is a useful search function that can help you to pinpoint your dream business.

You can use search filters to quickly narrow down your search based on crucial characteristics, including business type and size:

Searching for online businesses to buy on Shopify Exchange.

When purchasing an existing company, it's important to keep your eyes out for incorrect information. Some unscrupulous sellers may attempt to withhold details or even tweak their statistics to try and secure a sale.

However, Shopify business owners integrate their stores directly with Shopify Exchange. This prevents them from tampering with any of the data that’s pulled from their sales listings.

While we always recommend conducting thorough due diligence, this integration provides great peace of mind and helps buyers to make confident purchases.

2. AcquireBase

AcquireBase has a huge database of online businesses for sale, and a powerful search function with all the filters you need to find the company that’s right for you.

You can use these filters to narrow down listings based on keywords, or to view only businesses that adhere to a specific model.

With its focus on startups, AcquireBase is a good choice for anyone looking to purchase a smaller business:

The AcquireBase marketplace for online businesses.

One feature that really makes AcquireBase unique is its Premium membership ($299 when purchased annually). With this, you’ll be able to view listings and contact sellers 14 days earlier than regular buyers:

Searching for online businesses to buy on AcquireBase.

AcquireBase doesn’t charge a commission for successful sales. To ensure that transactions are secure, online business sales are facilitated through a partnership with the leading online escrow service, Escrow.com.

3. Flippa

With almost 6,500 live listings at the time of writing, Flippa offers plenty of choice, and claims to have generated over $400 million in sales. Flippa isn’t solely dedicated to selling online businesses, as it also sells applications and domains.

However, the service divides its offerings into categories, so you’ll have no problem narrowing your search to online businesses only:

The Flippa marketplace for online businesses.

Flippa even offers subcategories for all of its listings. This means that you can easily filter your results to view ecommerce businesses created using Shopify, Amazon FBA, and more.

These fine-grained filters mean that Flippa is ideal if you’re searching for an online business that uses a specific platform or technology:

Searching for online businesses to buy on Flippa.

Unlike some other online marketplaces, Flippa offers its own escrow service rather than partnering with an external provider. This integrated approach promises to make the transaction process smooth and secure.

Uniquely, Flippa also offers two legal service packages, which are geared toward sales under $100,000 and over $100,000.

4. Empire Flippers

Empire Flippers is an Inc. 5000 company and marketplace that boasts an 83% sales success rate. Unlike some other marketplaces, Empire Flippers takes a hands-on, personalized approach to help people purchase online businesses:

Empire Flippers' has a range of hand-picked online businesses for sale.

Every company listed for sale on the Empire Flippers marketplace has been carefully vetted. While this may result in fewer listings when compared to competing marketplaces, Empire Flippers promise to deliver quality over quantity:

Searching for online businesses to buy on Empire Flippers.

Empire Flippers may be a good fit if you have the funds to invest in a more established business that’s already generating lots of revenue.

Due to its selective approach, Empire Flippers is also best suited to entrepreneurs who are willing to wait for the perfect business to get listed.

If you find a company you’re interested in learning more about, you can access 12 months of store data by paying a 5% refundable deposit.

All of this information has been examined by the Empire Flippers team, which gives it a higher degree of legitimacy. The info includes Google Analytics data, plus a profit and loss statement.

Conclusion

Many people dream of owning their own businesses, but hesitate due to the risks involved. The good news is that buying an existing company is often less risky (and faster) than starting your empire from scratch.

If you want to fast-forward through the startup phase, here are four places where you can buy an online business:

  1. Shopify Exchange: A marketplace that focuses exclusively on buying and selling Shopify websites.
  2. AcquireBase: A platform offering a unique premium membership that’s ideal for serious buyers.
  3. Flippa: A website that boats its own escrow service and legal service packages.
  4. Empire Flippers: A marketplace that offers fewer listings than some of its competitors, but focuses on quality over quantity.

Do you have any questions about how to purchase a successful online business? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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