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Partner Perspective: Five tips for growing your online business

Ecommerce is not just about retail, it’s about transforming peoples’ lives. Whether it’s paying for parking, booking a holiday, buying prescriptions or ordering car parts, many businesses are moving online to simplify the way people go about their daily lives. Yet this does mean that ecommerce is becoming a crowded space, with businesses all competing for customers, revenue and attention.

At Ingenico, since we work with a myriad of businesses, we’ve collected a range of insights into how to grow an online business:

1. Look past the border

Since commerce went digital, traditional geographical barriers have started to erase, as a customer in Italy can buy from a merchant in Germany and delivery can happen within days. This trend of shopping internationally is growing – during Black Friday 2018, we saw cross-border sales surge by 70% compared to 2017.

While such transactions can help your business grow, remember that customers in each region have different payment preferences and will need to be targeted differently with multiple language options, payment methods and currency choices.

A number of our customers feature in the Growth 2000 index, showing how ecommerce has removed many national barriers.

2. Customers want the mobile touch

You’re not going to be able to compete with the likes of Amazon on size and scale. What you do have over such giants is the ability to get up close and personal with your customers.

Most people spend all day with their mobiles, so don’t let this opportunity pass by. Developing a small screen-friendly website can make all the difference to the customer experience, as can easy and seamless payments.

3. Payment is critical

Everyone hates getting to the checkout page and having their card declined. It only needs to happen once before a customer abandons their basket and heads straight to another merchant.

A quick and easy payment experience makes all the difference, so don’t lose customers by ignoring the payment-approval rate at the checkout.

4. Protect customers before it’s too late

Fraud. Authorisation. Data security. Compliance. Customers rarely trouble themselves with these terms until they themselves experience a challenging situation.

Regulations such as PSD2 and SCA are bringing the security to online transactions that chip and PIN brought in-store, yet many merchants worry about the new guidelines impacting their sales. While any change causes some initial disruption to conversion rates, never forget that you don’t want to lose trust, customers and sales all in one go!

5. Know who’s out there to help you

Europe boasts a vibrant entrepreneurship culture and ecommerce has created a level playing field where online giants can be challenged by smaller players. At Ingenico, we are here to support merchants of all sizes as they scale their businesses.

We are a global business with strong local footprints across key markets and a strong understanding of how people like to pay in each market. As ecommerce continues to simplify lives, we are thrilled to be part of this societal transformation. Whatever the future holds, Ingenico is with you every step of your transformation journey, bringing frictionless, seamless payments that let businesses grow.

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