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11
Dec

The best alternative to Plasso for recurring payments, invoicing or subscription businesses

As you might have heard, Plasso is going to be shutting down. Fortunately PayWhirl can help with recurring payments and has tools to make the switch easy. 

If you have existing customers in one of our supported payment gateways, you can import them seamlessly with a few clicks! 

The example below shows how to import customers from Stripe but this can be done from any of our supported gateways from the settings page in PayWhirl:

Once you have connected your PayWhirl account to the same gateway your existing customers are in you can use the import link on the gateway settings page in PayWhirl to import all of your customer information. If you are importing a lot of customers make sure to click the 'run import in the background' checkbox.

After you've finished importing your customers into PayWhirl you can "map" your customers to existing payment plans in your account using their imported payment methods.

Note: We are only able to pull in information that is saved in your Stripe Account through this method.

Sometimes it is the customer's billing info instead of shipping info that is imported into the account. If you are migrating over from another recurring payments system, you may want to export your customer's shipping information and use our import tool to fill in the missing info. If you go to the Manage Customer's page you can upload a csv with the correct info to update it. You can also click 'edit' and update their information manually. 

A sample import file can be used as a guide to format the import correctly.

If all your customers bill on the same day of the moth it's relatively easy to match prior billing scheduled because you can just use a billing cycle start date on the plan that you will be subscribing customers to in PayWhirl. This will make sure all START billing on the specific day of the month you'd like.

However, if your existing customers all bill on different days of the month and you'd like to keep them billing on the same days they billed prior to the migration, you will need to be careful to change the billing cycle start date on your plan as you go through your subscriptions.

For example... If half of your customers billed on the 5th of the month and half of your customers billed on the 20th of each month you could do the following:

  1. Setup a PLAN with a billing cycle start date of the 5th
  2. Subscribe all the customers to the plan that should fill on the 5th
  3. Change the PLAN settings for billing cycle start date to be the 20th
  4. Subscribe all the customers to the plan that should fill on the 20th
  5. Repeat as necessary for all the different days your customers bill.


To summarize, the process goes like this to migrate to PayWhirl:

  1. Get all your customers into a supported payment gateway
  2. Import your customers using the gateway settings page in PayWhirl after you've connected to the gateway with your customers.
  3. Update your customers with any additional information through the customer import tool.
  4. Map your imported customers to NEW plans in the system with the correct billing cycle start date set as you are doing the migration to ensure customers are billed on the correct day(s) of the month going forward.

You will also want to be careful about EMAILS that are sent when you subscribe customers to plans. You might want to disable one or more of the emails during the migration to make sure that customers are not notified of changes, etc.

Note: If you are a current client and switching payment gateways (say from Stripe to Authorize.net) you can now use the 'overwrite existing customers' option. This will import the clients from the new gateway and will keep all of the rest of their data so you won't have to resubscribe them. 



20
Nov

Why You Should Be Selling Virtual Gift Cards

Gift Certificates are a thing of the past like beepers and dial up internet. In today’s tech savvy world there is no product as successful or in demand as Gift Cards.  They have become a multi-billion dollar industry growing at an annual rate of 200%.
More than $100 billion is spent on gift cards each year, and with innovations like Virtual Gift Cards, Mobile Gift Cards, and aftermarket Gift Card sales the future forecast is stronger than ever. CEB Global has estimated the total spent on Gift Cards in 2018 will reach $160 billion.
In a study from InComm (a prepaid product and transition service provider) 100% of consumers say they gave at least 1 gift card in 2016 and 92% said they gave 2 or more.

This industry appeals to all age groups and has become available in more forms than one.
Consumers today have the option to purchase:
Physical Gift Cards

are the plastic cards you physically hold and keep in your wallet, but are only growing at a rate of 5-6%.
Virtual Gift Cards
(also known as Digital and e-Gift Cards) are emailed or texted to the recipient. These contain a code or a link the recipient must click in order to “claim” the code.
Mobile Gift Cards
are Virtual Cards delivered to a web-enabled phone with a bar-code or code that can be scanned by the point of sale terminal.They are delivered from app to app so the recipient must download the app to access the card for use.

People can’t go wrong purchasing a gift card, it's a win win for everyone.
Physical cards are still popular since they are well known, used, and accepted by any retailer; however, 50% of people prefer to have Virtual Gift Cards scanned from their phone instead of carrying around a printout or plastic card with the risk of losing it or having it stolen. 

Retailers and financial institutions prioritize Gift Cards as central to their strategies for gaining a share of customers’ wallets. Offering Virtual Gift Cards is a great way to boost traffic online and in-store. They also reduce the volume of returns which means less time and money are spent on processing the returns. If someone loses it or never spends it, retailers don’t lose anything on the sale.

   

Companies with a current Gift Card program in place make small adjustments year over year or do nothing at all. This lets merchants who are just starting to offer Gift Cards shoot into first place by utilizing the best features.
Some of the Best Features a company can provide when offering gift cards are:

  • Design Variety
  • Personalization
  • Ease of Delivery
  • Ease of Redemption
  • Scheduling Delivery Option
  • Flexible Dollar Amount
  • Notification and Reminders
  • Low or No Fees

PayWhirl's Virtual Gift Card program offers all of those features.

The different uses for Gift Cards recently exploded and are being driven by experience instead of purchase.  Popularity is evolving beyond gift giving; using Gift Cards as your companies "Branded Currency" is becoming the new trend.  According to a study by NAPCO half of all merchants* offered gift card promotions and/or used them as incentives in marketing programs within the last year. *Top 100 merchants in US and Canada



Offering Gift Cards provides a way to connect customers to loyalty/reward programs.  It also allows merchants to entice customers with incentives and discount benefits when purchasing a Gift Card. 3 out of 4 consumers prefer to redeem points, miles, and cash back rewards for Gift Cards.


84% of Businesses Use Gift Cards For Employee Rewards or Incentives


They offer a deeper sense of satisfaction since receiving a Gift Card is immediate; you aren't receiving a gift you don't want or need, there's no time spent waiting for a check in the mail, and there isn't a return or exchange factor.

Purchasing Gift Cards for intangible experiences is growing strong among current demographics because people like to give what they want for themselves.  One of the newest trends in this segment is a gift to a subscription service. This includes intangible gifts like a subscription to wine tasting, concert tickets, spa treatments, etc. These types of gifts can be more personal and memorable for the recipient and easier for the giver. 

PayWhirl is now offering Virtual Gift Codes.
Customers can purchase Virtual Gift Codes for any occasion and get all the best features listed above.
The recipient gets a Virtual Gift Code with a prepaid balance, delivered via email, with the option to manage their own account.  

 
Existing customers can purchase gifts for others within their customer portal too, by saving multiple "profiles". This works similar to Amazon's customer profile where you can save multiple profiles with independent shipping and billing information. This way it is easy for your loyal customers to share your products with their firends and family.

Offering Virtual Gift Cards benefits everyone involved.  They are a secure financial transaction option, allow digital flexibility, and amass brand awareness and loyalty.  Gift Card programs not only increase sales by creating new opportunities, they streamline marketing effects and are a gold mine for collecting and tracking data.

With 97% of customers redeeming Gift Cards and 75% Overspending the value by an average of $38 don't you want to be in on the profits?

Come see how PayWhirl can help your company set up a Virtual Gift Card Program!



15
Oct

Offer custom box subscriptions with build-a-box by PayWhirl

Subscription box businesses have been gaining momentum and popularity and aren’t going away anytime soon.  They offer consumers a convenient, personalized and lower cost way to buy what they need and want.  Custom box subscriptions are inherently personal, and have the element of surprise built in which brings a playfulness back to shopping.
Large entrant businesses and start-up subscription box businesses, fueled by venture capital investments, are using this model hoping to accelerate the building of a profitable business.  And it’s no wonder since this market has grown by 100% YoY for the past 5 years, and generating the highest players more than $2.6 billion in 2016.
PayWhirl can help manage and grow your custom box subscription business no matter what you’re selling.
  

47% of Subscription Box Companies Were Started Within The Last Year

  
Individual Experience

Subscription box consumers tend to be young hipster millennial men and women, who like to try new things, are interested in the arts, love shopping online, value product suggestions and reviews. (According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company)  They all want a great experience from start to finish and are willing to subscribe where recurring purchases gives them tangible benefits like lower costs and personalization; especially since it cuts down on trips to the store.  

   
Personalization is key.  Customers are human, driven by their needs and desires. The products they love most are those that have a real emotional benefit they come to depend on.  This is why you need to get customers excited by offering them something they are not expecting which is why custom box subscriptions are an ideal instrument for surprise.  They are not just choosing products out of convenience, although it’s a major factor, they are receiving individual items they personally select and are excited even delighted about getting. 

Subscribers want options with everything from product choices, frequency of deliveries, to payment methods. Custom box subscriptions offer customers a new level of flexibility by adapting. Successful companies have to innovate on a regular basis by refining current products and developing new ones. They have to make sure these items are not only useful and relevant, but things people wouldn’t necessarily find on their own.

Offering a stellar individual experience for everyone who signs up can be difficult.  Customers will often cancel services that don’t deliver superior end to end experiences like poor quality, lack of perceived value, or dissatisfaction with assortment of items. They also cancel when they can’t customize order volumes to match their requirements so they prefer to go out and buy the products when they need them.  Or when they are not provided with options to add/edit/change their subscription and they get bored.
  

1/3 Cancel In Less Than 3 Months & Over 1/2 Cancel Within 6 Months

Catering to your customer increases loyalty, keeping people signed up for a longer period of time. You have to ask customers what they want, listen to their answers and act on it.  Successful custom box subscriptions adapt and personalize options to each individual consumer based on data collected.

Knowing the attitude and behavior of your shoppers gives you the ability to optimize your budget allocation and target audiences more effectively.  PayWhirl offers various data and metric reports to help you learn about and understand your customer demographics.  They also have widgets that can be chained together allowing your customers to build custom box subscriptions that include the product or service they want or need delivered at their desired frequency.


Expanded Consumer Base

The variety of products and ease of signing up for box subscriptions is resonating with consumers everywhere, not only in the U.S.  Custom box subscriptions offer enterprises an opportunity to interact with audiences they may not have been familiar with before.  While it’s important to know and delight your current customers, there are additional opportunities to share and open up your brand to consumers outside the U.S.
The Subscription Box market in the UK is taking off and it may be time to look out of the box for more subscription box customers.  Year-to-year online visits has risen 30%+ in 2017 to 76.7 million according to a study by Hitwise.

Because of low upfront costs companies may see different kinds of consumers take advantage of budget friendly options offered.  It’s no secret consumers are always looking for the best deal for their dollar when it comes to goods and services; this includes consumers outside the U.S. subscription box bubble.
Consumer demographics in the UK are slightly different than the U.S. expanding the opportunity for acquiring new customers.  While the audience in the UK tends to be younger females with a spread of income who like to experiment, are ethical, and influenced by celebrities; the largest growth recently was seen from males and older audiences who enjoy change and embrace adventure.

PayWhirl integrates with multiple gateway and shipping solution companies that businesses can use throughout the world.  There is no limit on the distance you can go to provide goods and services to customers. If you decide to go international PayWhirl is there to support you.


Maturing & Evolving

It’s no secret we have seen explosive growth with custom box subscriptions in the U.S.  According to a study done by Hitwise, online visits have risen from 4.7 million in 2014 to 41.7 million in April of 2018. This growth rate has slowed down showing only a 3% increase YoY.  The top subscription sites dominance is dropping allowing more competition to enter.

  

Today’s subscription box providers are focusing on more specialized niche offerings.  65% of subscription companies select items for customers based on knowledge of their tastes, while 14% provide items the customer will need on a defined schedule like razors, or pet food; according to a study by SUBTA and Snapfulfil.  Smaller, niche category markets are on the rise and the ones seeing an increase in visitors so far this year, according to a study by Hitwise.

The custom subscription box industry is maturing, but by no means is going away.  There is room for new players and innovative brands to enter niche markets like Kids Boxes and Apparel Boxes; and there is good reason to keep an eye on Lifestyle and Pet categories since interest is growing.  “Some of the larger chains are looking at the penetration into the market.You are going to see new entrants into the space” says Paul Chambers, co-founder of Subscription Trade Association.
The UK is seeing attention toward niche markets linked to evolving consumer interests.  This is based on new key words used when searching for subscription boxes in Q4 of 2017.

The market outlook is bright for growth and retention as it matures.  It will always be evolving and changing as demographics and interests change.  Even though major retail brands like Amazon, Walmart, and Sephora have all introduced some type of subscription box, space still remains for smaller businesses and for collaboration between major retailers and smaller box distributors.

PayWhirl lets you update subscription box items customers get to choose from, so they continue seeing and are able to choose new and exciting options.  This flexibility allows you to stay up to date with changing consumer interests. They also offer payment widgets you can embed directly into your site or launch from a button for a full white label experience.


Are You Ready

Subscribing to products in physical world is exciting and new, so naturally custom box subscriptions are one of the fastest growing segments of online retail.  “Demand will continue to grow as shoppers discover the range of options available via subscription” said Chambers.
  

By 2023:
65% Of Sub Companies Believe They’ll See Revenue Growth Of 100%
36% Of Sub Companies Believe They'll See Revenue Growth Of 501%

      
There are a number of things to look at when starting or adding a custom box subscription service to your business strategy. Companies must consider how to process payments, cost of service or product, order and warehouse management, shipping fulfillment etc. Tracking these responsibilities can be challenging especially with the growth of interest worldwide.

A company like PayWhirl can help implement these services effectively and handle the majority of operational tasks required when offering custom box subscriptions. They offer flexible options for almost everything; from what a company can customize and use on their website to flexible service plan options, they have you covered.

When you are ready to dive into this market and offer custom box subscriptions let PayWhirl handle all your operating needs, it’s what they do.



22
May

3 Reasons you should be saving customer payment methods

These days’ consumers use credit cards and debit cards to make purchases online and expect this process to be as easy as possible. Whether it’s for recurring utility or subscription billing, a one-time purchase, or payment for services already provided, nobody wants to have to re-enter all of their information over and over. Consumers feel vulnerable the more times they have to give the same information; and with the many security breaches they have every right to. It’s important for merchants to let the consumer know their data is safe to be saved by them and doing this offers them several other benefits.

1. Simplifies Recurring Payment Processing
The most obvious benefit of saving customer payment information is because it simplifies the recurring payment process. It guarantees money coming in from “Default Payment” customers’ because merchants are using verified and confirmed credit and debit card data.
Believe it or not there are still companies who process recurring payments the old fashion way. They open the invoice to be paid, enter the customers payment information, process the payment, print the receipt/paid invoice to file, send a copy to the customer, and then move onto the next open invoice for which they already have authorization to charge a card they have on file. Lets’ also not forget what happens when they come across a card that declines or is expired; they have to chase down the card holder, and get a new card to put on file. This is not only a time consuming process, it ultimately takes up file/office space, and leaves highly sensitive customer information unsecured and available for theft.

There are companies like PayWhirl that handle this entire process for their customers and more. In a technology driven world you shouldn’t have to waste time processing payments the old fashion way; you should use that time on more important things your business needs.
Businesses are figuring out ways to provide their products through a subscription business model because of the many benefits it provides, including repeat customers and guaranteed revenue. In order for this business model to be beneficial, saving customer payment information is crucial. It saves time and money when running payments for recurring invoices. It also saves file space and provides a higher level of security when you use a company like PayWhirl to handle all your payment processing needs.

2. Convenience
Saved payment information is convenient for both consumers and merchants. Convenience is the number 1 driving factor in eCommerce. It reduces cart abandonment increasing conversions, improving sales revenue. More than 1 in 4 U.S. shoppers with intent to buy abandoned their cart because the check-out process was too long or too complicated. Saving customer payment information helps eliminate this factor. In this era of eCommerce competition for time is high. You need to be able to push customers through the process as quickly as possible because you risk losing them every second to a new notification they can receive. Accelerated check out takes advantage of new technologies; it doesn’t make sense to have to re-enter the same information over and over across the internet. If your customers payment information is already saved and ready to be used you reduce your cart abandonment rate.

Saved customer payment information makes it as easy as possible for customers to pay and is essential for increasing conversions and sales. Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits up to 95%. It is also convenient for health care providers to collect their no-show fees, deductibles and other monies owed, it’s a merchants’ safety net. PayWhirl is integrated with Shopify, including the newly launched Shopify Pay, which allows customers to save their personal information and payment details to checkout in just 1 step on hundreds of thousands of stores; even ones they are visiting for the first time. This technology allows your customers to check out 3 times faster and can make conversion rates 4 times higher than normal.

3. Customer Service Factor
Saving customer payment information is also an important customer service factor. According to Walker Consulting 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. The future belongs to the experience around your product or service through each stage of sales funnel including and most important, the checkout process. If a customer can’t count on your brand for clear descriptive product pages, easy check out, and speedy delivery you’ve already fallen behind. Studies show that satisfied customers tell 9 other people about their positive experience, while dissatisfied customers are likely to talk about their negative experience with 22 other people. That’s 2.44 times more people that hear bad news.

“Personalization will be the differentiating factor in ecommerce and digital commerce going forward especially for multi-channel retailers and new entrants online” says David Selinger CEO of RichRelevance. No customer satisfaction means no retention; customer satisfaction can make or break your business.
PayWhirl Customer Portal caters to the customer service experience so your customers can do everything from your website; i.e. securely manage their payment information, subscriptions, billing history; and allows them to browse available subscriptions and go through purchase funnels you set up.

Reasons to save customers payment information is a no brainer. It simplifies recurring billing, it’s convenient, and is an important customer service factor; not to mention it brings your business into the new age of technology. All these points are important in customer retention and conversions. So make sure you choose a safe, secure, and easy to use platform like PayWhirl for all your payment processing needs.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We are available through live chat on PayWhirl.com and via our support website at https://docs.paywhirl.com



15
May

Why having a Customer Portal is important

2018 has been declared: Year of the Customer. They have become demanding and want their questions answered and problems solved quickly. Expectations are always evolving and customers are using new methods to connect with companies for which they do business. Customer portals provide personalized self-service and, allow customers to interact with businesses when and how they want, at their convenience. Self-service tools are among the most demanded enhancements of businesses trying to improve their customer experience. PayWhirl’s customer portal is included with any level plan, can be embedded into your website quickly (or hosted independently) and lets your customers manage their own account or subscription information on their own, without having to contact you.

Customers prefer self-service tools over other forms of support; and 40% prefer it over human contact. 70% of customers expect a company’s website to have a self-service feature (according to survey results from Gartner Customer 360 Summit). Having a Customer Portal is an essential part of creating a satisfying self-service support experience.

According to a study by Capterra 75% of customers want to find answers or solutions to their issues online themselves without relying on someone else. 73% prefer to use a company’s website instead of social media, SMS, or live chat.

Customer Portals allow consumers to connect and interact with your business outside standard business hours, on weekends, or whenever it is convenient for them. Portals provide information and help customers resolve issues with payment methods, due dates, or altering subscription items for example.

This self-service request from customers reduces demands on customer service agents. It can reduce customer service costs by as much as $11 per call according to a study by Forrester Research & Oracle. Helping customers help themselves saves time, resources and money. It also allows customer service agents to focus on more complex service issues.

Companies just now understand the importance of a customer’s experience and are starting to redirect resources to innovations that enhance the customer experience. PayWhirl has understood this from the beginning. Not only do we provide a Customer Portal, but we are known for having exceptional customer service. The future belongs to the experience around your product or service. When people use a service or product they subconsciously go in with certain expectations in regards to their experience. Customer experience has become the key differentiator and competitive advantage in a company’s success. 

According to a Customer Experience Report by Right Now Technologies, 80% of U.S. adults are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, and 78% said a friendly customer service made them fall in love with a brand. Customers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experience.

There are many ways for a company to personalize their customers’ experience, and offering a customer portal is one of them. A site with a good user experience provides precise information, clear, easy to use navigation and action elements. Customers who regularly engage with a company feel like they are a part of it and can offer helpful ideas and insights on products and/or services. This user feedback provides important data for companies to understand who their customers are and their needs.

The journey and experience for a customer who signs’ up for a subscription service is deeper than that of a one-time purchase customer. They are prepared to make a repeating purchase that could go on for months or years so the experience leading up to and following this decision is extremely significant for customer retention. This is why providing a positive, personalized experience that meets or exceeds customer expectations is vital to the success of a company.

Good service and fast solutions make customers happy and more likely to recommend your brand to other people. 82% of Americans look for recommendations from friends and family when considering making a purchase or signing up for a subscription. It takes about 12 good reviews to undo 1 bad review, so providing a good experience for every customer can go a long way. It’s especially important when it comes to subscription based services. Customer retention is important, and returning customers are 9 times more likely to place a new order than a new customer.

The core of a company’s’ success is due to happy customers who stay with you longer and make you profitable. At the end of the day, good customer service and experience will keep a company in business. PayWhirl is there to help in every way no matter the type of customer; everyone is treated like a VIP.

Here is a look at PayWhirl's customer portal and some of the benefits it provides.

With PayWhirl your customers can manage their own account information and subscription from your online customer portal. You have the ability to decide what customers can control and what they can’t. You can also customize the portal on your website so customers don’t get confused and think they are being transferred to a third party to access account information.

All customer accounts are created after the 1st step of registration, but before purchase. The check-out flow was designed this way to keep track of the “lost” or “abandoned cart” customers. You can then remarket to these customers using integration like Mail Chimp to help increase sales.

The customer portal can be accessed several ways, but the best and recommended way is by embedding a customer portal login widget into a page on your website to provide direct access. Customers can also get access through an email link, clicking on “I already have an account” widget on your site, and they will also be logged into the portal after making a purchase. So no matter what device your customer is using or where they are, there are a variety of convenient ways for them to log into the customer portal.

PayWhirls’ Customer Portal includes the following sections to make changes or obtain information in:
Calendar, My Subscriptions, Invoices for Subscriptions, Order Summary, My Payment Methods, My Profile, Billing History, Cart, Browse Menu

Customers can skip installment(s) should they need to from within the customer portal. They can also make changes to the billing cycle to better accommodate their financial situation. These options help reduce churn and increases LTV.

The ‘Browse Menu’ lets customers shop while logged into the customer portal and purchase additional subscriptions using saved information.

They can also cancel and remove payment methods at their convenience. Make changes to a subscription plan before it’s processed. Add promo codes or pay invoices early.
Any changes made will be carried forward to future subscriptions, which make it easy for customers to manage even complex subscriptions.

PayWhirls’ customer portal offers a personalized self-service experience todays’ customer looks for in a business. It’s predicted that in just 2 years customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator; and 89% of businesses expect the customer experience will be the main way in which they will compete for wallet share. Join PayWhirl and give your customers the kind of experience they want, and put yourself one step ahead of the rest who are still trying to figure it out.

If you have any questions about our customer portal or how it can help your business, please feel free to send us an email or get in contact through our support page at https://docs.paywhirl.com



29
Mar

Why you should offer payment plan options to your customers

How consumers pay for things has always kept pace with technology and recent growth of digital commerce is transforming consumer payment methods like never before. Payment plan options are not just for memberships, car payments, utility payments and loans anymore. Recurring payment options have become commonplace in the eCommerce world. Customers and businesses both benefit from having such options, and thus it’s considered a win / win scenario for most businesses.

Recurring payment options are a great way to mitigate late payment issues, make invoicing easy, provide flexibility to customers, collect payments on time without having to chase down customers. Offering payment plan options can boost sales, increase cash flow and provides freedom for customers. Letting customers choose to pay at a rate that matches their financial throughput and/or allowing clients to break down large purchases into multiple payments provides significant flexibility to the customer but it also helps the business close sales it would not have if the payment options were not in place.

The e-commerce industry is growing faster than other channels and expected to reach $.5 trillion this year (2018); and the growth of mobile commerce has an even more impressive forecast expected to almost double reaching 242 billion by 2020.

Payment options are a way for customers to afford and pay for things they really want but might not be able to purchase with a single payment. They are useful with expensive products people want and they know are worth the price but ultimately are intimidated by the price. Offering different options for payment increases the average purchase value and can mean the difference between a customer leaving and making a purchase. In one report, up to 30% of customers would have passed on a big ticket purchase if it wasn’t for a 6 month financing offer. 

Example: Adobe Photoshop
From its original concept developed in 1988,to the introduction of the Creative Suite in 2002, and expanding in 2013 to the Creative Cloud, Adobe has transformed their product and the ways you can purchase and use them.You used to have to buy the whole program then use it, but as more program options were introduced for graphic design, video editing and web development they needed to develop a way for the various users to purchase the license to use each program specific to their industry.

In 2013 with the introduction of the Creative Suite they changed the licensing scheme to a SaaS (Software as a Service) rental model that is offered on a monthly or annual subscription service.They have subscription plans geared and priced for individuals, businesses, students or teachers, and for schools or universities.They also allow you to try the program and then decide if you want to buy in or not.

As their products expanded getting more industry specific and expensive, their payment options for desired products also expanded becoming affordable for all customers no matter their interest, industry, or budget.

Offering payment plan options helps customers and provides businesses with a stable, predictable source of revenue.Businesses have more payment platform options than ever before and each with advantages and disadvantages depending on your industry.When deciding to offer recurring payment options or when switching from another recurring payment platform you should make sure the company you choose to manage your payment plans provides the key features you need for type of plan you wish to provide.For example Pay Whirl provides options at checkout like subscriptions, build a box, digital goods, payment plans (layaway), and custom recurring donations, all of which you can customize per your industry and needs.

Offering customers payment options is an important convenience and increases a customer’s perceived value. Such as: the ability to skip subscription installments, adjust their subscription options between shipments, or the ability to switch payment methods from debit card to credit to ACH, or even cancel without having to contact anyone at the business. Customers can become hesitant if they feel like they don’t have control over their own accounts.Flexibility eases this uncertainty about setting up a payment plan, or purchasing products / services.Consumers who feel like they can work with a business and make alternative payment arrangements, if necessary, are more likely to commit and be loyal.

Recurring eCommerce revenue is the driver force behind the trend that has started around “default payments;” which are payments made with Credit Card, Debit Card, and Bank Account details that have been stored for ongoing and future transactions. According to the Deloitte Center for Financial Services study 84% of all digital payment transactions are Default Payments. They are the dominate mode of payment in digital transactions used extensively in online shopping with mobile apps, and mobile wallets at the physical (POS).In line with current trends theses default payments on ecommerce sites and mobile apps/wallets is only expected to increase over a period of several years.

In this Deloitte University study on default payment methods 74% of payments made on websites were made using default payment options and 87% of consumer payments for in app purchases. Discretionary payments are dominate here and expected to increase as opposed to non-discretionary payments.

Of the 84% of transactions that are classified as “Default Payments” only 30% are non-discretionary meaning payments which are a fixed part of a consumer’s budget for ongoing expenses like electric/utility bills, mortgage/car payments etc.; and 54% of the Default Payments are discretionary which means customers have more budgetary discretion depending on cash flow and credit appetite. These payments are mainly made on websites and online market place sites.

Offering payment options that lead to Default Payment methods being setup is attractive for all age groups any industry would want to sell to.Millennials (18-35 years old) are comfortable using default payment options; and Gen Xers (35-55 years old) account for the highest share of spending through default payment options. Since the age range of consumers is so vast it’s important to accept all forms of payment options not only for convenience, but you don’t want to lose customers because you only accept one or two forms of payments. According to the Deloitte Center for Financial Services Study 46% of Default Payments were made through Bank Accounts, 20% with Debit Cards, and 34% with Credit Cards.

So what does this all mean? Payment plans, like default payments, are the dominant mode of payments now and will continue with changes in technology and ecommerce. The continued merging of the physical and digital world, coupled with the acceleration of ecommerce will ensure default payments will stay relevant for decades to come. Now is the time for payment providers and retailers to develop strategies that take advantage of this consumer behavior and capitalize by staying ahead of the curve.



20
Mar

How to save time by automating invoices

No more stacks of paper on your desk, missing invoices, or chasing down people for payments; save time, money, and valuable accounts payable resources by automating and streamlining the entire invoice process from creation to settlement. We are witnessing a fundamental change in the way customers purchase everyday products and services. There is an overwhelming preference for the convenience and peace of mind of memberships, subscriptions and other forms of recurring billing related products or services. Consumers would rather subscribe than buy, or rent than own, which makes automating your invoice and payment process an attractive time saver.

PayWhirl can help businesses in nearly every industry automate their billing and invoicing processes. Some common examples include donations, subscription billing, services billing, subscription boxes, membership programs, clubs, layaway programs, etc. Let’s also not forget any businesses with loyal customers who purchase on a regular and seasonal basis. You can save time by storing custom payment methods securely for future use. This helps both the business and the customer, as both have access to the information by default. Customers will love that they will be able to make changes to their account without having to contact anyone at your business and you'll save time (aka money) on customer service. 


Here are a few reasons why automating your invoicing and payment processing is the right move to make.


1. Streamline Bookkeeping

PayWhirl is a recurring payments solution that can help you automatically create invoices once every week, month, or any predefined period of time.This makes revenue more predictable leading to better cash flow management so you have more time to spend on tasks that make you money. You will save an estimated 65% on invoice processing costs and 90% of processing time. Once your customers’ information is saved and the recurring invoices are being created automatically, you will start spending less time on customer management, and more time on your core business. 

Choosing the right invoicing or payment platform for your business is key to making the automation process work seamlessly and successfully. Among the basics you should get from a subscription commerce platform (like a customer portal, customized emails, developer tools & API, and customer intelligence tracking) you need to be sure platforms can accommodate your more specific needs which will help streamline your bookkeeping and vary depending on your industry or business model. 

For example, if you work with foreign clients, accepting foreign mailing addresses and dealing with foreign currencies will be important. Another important factor is customization; making sure the payment platform can accommodate your customer specific needs like custom profiles, address management, multiple payment methods, ease of working with invoices, etc. Flexible scheduling is another detail to consider and will help streamline your bookkeeping process. For example, sending invoices during your customers’ business hours allows you to get paid faster. Automated payment reminders should also be sent out during business hours to effectively reach and remind the person in charge of this task. 


2. Predictable Revenue

Whether you are a small business or have investors, one thing everyone wants to know are the estimated revenues for the month, quarter, or year. Recurring payments and automated invoicing allows a merchant to charge a customers’ stored payment method on file for goods or service, on a pre-arranged recurring schedule; instead of customers having to remember to pay each invoice manually. It allows businesses to get paid faster and customers more convenience. Having even a portion of your customers on an automated invoicing helps you lower costs, and build customer loyalty. If you have the right tools to manage automatic payments, you are going to free up a lot of time you used to spend on invoicing, chasing down customers and waiting for payments. Additionally, scheduled payments are predictable in nature and therefore help with predicting monthly revenues (MRR) and inventory needs. Tools, like PayWhirl, make it easy to see statistics like MRR, ARR, LTV, Churn, Customer Acquisition Source & more.


3. Business Forecasting

Automating invoices not only saves time with billing, it provides valuable information for business analytics. Analyzing invoice data can provide valuable information and PayWhirl's built-in reporting tools and data exports make it easy to access. PayWhirl automatically tracks the key statistics related to invoices and you can also track customer data and interactions using custom scripts from 3rd party systems to gather even more data. The system also provides information on your CLTV (customer lifetime time value) and allows you to keep an eye on your customer churn rate as well.

All the information is there for the various financial reports you would want to run from tracking cash flow, revenue loss and retention, to product sales, profitability by subscription plan and invoice aging information. You will also be able to audit your accounts with real time visibility and permanent transaction history for all your customers.
Studies show many companies don’t keep track of important customer metrics. As Smart Insights reported, research from Totango found: only 35% of businesses track the cost of retention, 46% track customer health, 49% track customer lifetime value, and only 54% monitor revenues per customer. With PayWhirl tracking these data and metrics already, you have from an automated invoicing system helps you to forecast future revenues, growth rate, churn rate, and revenue trends to make sure your business is headed in the right direction.

Automating invoices streamlines billing and simplifies the payment process allowing businesses to direct their focus to customer experience thus improving retention and customer acquisition. It also allows customers and businesses to focus on their core services and products at hand. There are many companies providing these types of services in today's world, so make sure you compare and review what each billing platform has to offer. 

Ready to give it a whirl? Sign up now for free! PayWhirl has a flexible pricing for all business sizes including a free monthly plan so you only pay when you sell.




01
Mar

3 Ways to Increase Revenue with Recurring Payments

Recurring payments are good for business and good for consumers.The number of services available via online subscriptions is exploding and only just now gaining momentum. Companies want to turn one time purchases into regularly recurring subscription or memberships. They want to be able to win a subscriber or member and sit back reaping the benefits. However, too often subscription models don’t generate the expected high, ongoing revenue stream. 

Here are a few things you can do to help increase revenue with recurring payments.

1. Provide Flexible Subscription Options

Whether you have a core or hybrid subscription/membership business model, flexibility provides opportunity. Offering different types of subscriptions such as: freemium, box, pay per access, mixed term, or seasonal, for example, provides a variety of options for the customer to choose from.  Allowing your customer to choose the delivery frequency for their desired subscription also makes them feel in control and satisfied with their ongoing commitment. 

For example: Harry’s is an online service that delivers blades and shaving cream to subscribers every two, three, or five months.But for customers who keep track of how rapidly they use up those products, they can set their own quantities and delivery schedule.
These are flexible options that accommodate the consumer.

Subscriptions that come with a reward is another incentive that can be offered as an option.You can reward those who choose to commit to long or more frequent term subscriptions with lower or discounted costs, exclusive promotional discounts, and loyalty incentives.
Accepting a wide variety of payment gateways for subscription payments is another attractive option to offer. Customers payment preferences are changing and they want a spectrum of available payment types. They are becoming less inclined to put their bank, debit, or credit information online opening that sensitive information up to hackers.With over 90 payment method options out there you need to make sure you are accepting the right methods popular in your target regions, especially if you are conducting business internationally. If you want to thrive internationally you need to accept all regionally popular payment methods and be able to conduct transactions in local currencies and languages as well.


2. Use Strategic Billing Practices to Directly Impact Revenue and Subscriber Growth.

You can add revenue with hybrid business models freeing your monetization strategy from limits set by basic billing. Being able to mix and match business models allow you to blend traditional subscriptions with options like: metered usage, micro transactions, and limited time upgrades depending on the products and services your company provides.
Optimizing pricing can make a big difference in your revenue. You can make small price increases annually and be satisfied with an equally small jump in revenue. Make sure your subscription provider offers benchmarking data that targets similar businesses. You can use this data to get an updated pricing analysis to make sure you aren’t pricing your goods or services to high or too low. Basic billing solutions don’t offer analysis based insights you would get from benchmarking data.


3. Customer Retention

The smallest increase in customer retention can result in large subscription revenue increases due to the inherent power of the ACLV (Average Customer Life Value).  Resolving subscribers billing issues can increase revenue via retaining customers by as much as 5%. Analysis and optimization can reduce passive churn by as much as 25% and lead to an increase in revenue and retention.
On a grand scale, involuntary churn causes a business to fall short of estimated growth and profits.When subscriptions are canceled without action from the customer it severely impacts revenue projections; 28% of subscriptions are cancelled after customers receive new cards and fail to update their information. 

Consider what happened to Netflix in 2015 as the U.S. switch to EMV cards. According to Bloomberg, the company claimed its stunted growth in the 3rd quarter of 2015 was a result of massive involuntary churn. As subscribers received new EMV cards, their old ones were automatically deactivated. When customers didn’t update their information on Netflix their payment couldn’t go through and their subscriptions were canceled.The transition also caused issue with Netflix’s payment processor.
The resulting involuntary churn left Netflix with 880,000 new U.S. subscribers which was far below the $1.3 million Wall Street expected; as a result Netflix shares fell nearly 7%. This situation can happen to subscription billing businesses in any industry.

A joint research project from Emarsys (a marketing software service) and WBR Digital (a worldwide research firm) found that email marketing is the driving force of customer retention. It is the world’s most arguably popular service (Google alone has 1 billion active users monthly) and should be the primary choice for companies using subscription and membership service business models. It’s a valuable tool for enhancing the experience of existing customers. With that, an effective online marketing strategy is a great way to reduce subscriber churn and maintain revenue streams.

Email can also be used to engage current subscribers for their opinions to gain insight into what they want, and how to improve the customer experience to reduce future churn. Communicating with your subscribers at the right time can greatly influence their decision to stay a current customer, and keep them engaged with your products and services.

Flexibility, communication, incentives, creativity, and easy to buy products and services are important driving factors in retaining your subscribers, staying competitive, and generating solid revenues in this subscription/membership business world that is taking off.
So make sure your online payment solution platform provider offers the necessary tools to be successful and profitable.



23
Oct

Trick or Treat? Maximizing your revenue with recurring payments, increase your web sales with this easy trick!

PayWhirl Recurring Payments

When it comes to managing your business, one of the largest challenges is getting customers to come to your site and purchase your products or services. Too many businesses are throwing away all of the time and money spent acquiring the customers, by not vaulting their payment information for a future sale.

Today’s most successful businesses are already using this strategy to dominate the online sales market. It is one of the easiest ways to break down the barrier for purchase. Major companies like Amazon have pioneered this simple technique and now you can take advantage of it too.

Every aspect of the checkout is designed to help your business grow.

As customers go through the checkout flow their information is captured at every step. For example they are prompted to create an account before they enter their payment information. Some customers may decide to abandon the checkout process after they have provided an email address.

Instead of discarding this potentially valuable customer information, we create the customer record in PayWhirl as soon as an email address if provided and trigger the "Welcome Email" in your account. This allows you to add your inactive customers to an email list later on to re-market to them and offer them something to return. You can even automate this process with our Mailchimp integration.


Are you making the mistake of thinking your business won’t benefit from a recurring payment system?

Every business can benefit from saved payment information in one way or another. Here are 3 common misconceptions about recurring payments.


1 - “I don’t need recurring payments because my products are not subscriptions”

That’s ok PayWhirl has you covered. You can create on time payments plans to capture customers’ payment information for a future purchase. This way it is easier for them to come back to your site and purchase another item. This could be just another one time purchase or you get the most out of the system by creating a monthly subscription box as well. Many clients end up also creating a subscription box bundle with some their most popular items. Not only does this increase your sales as customers sign up for the box but you could use the bundle to include of items that are not selling. This could be to just clear out random items that have been clogging up your inventor or it could be to give customers a sample of something new.


2 - “I have thousands of products, creating a plan for each one would take way too long”

PayWhirl has you covered here too. One of our most popular features is the ability to create membership discounts for your site. With our Shopify integration we can tag customers with their subscription to give them additional discounts through you store. With our BigCommerce integration we can assign them to customer groups to get special members only discounts. Not only does this add to your revenue stream, as now you have recurring revenue, but you are also encouraging your customers to buy from you, instead of your competitors.


3 - “I don’t want customers to leave my site to checkout”

Unlike many of our competitors who redirect customers to a 3rd party checkout page that is off your site, our system is designed to be completely seamless. Customers never get redirected to a 3rd party site, infact the customer doesn’t even have to leave the page they are on! Instead you embed a PayWhirl ‘widget’ directly into the page. This could be the existing product page or a custom page you designed just for the subscription. Even the customer portal, the ‘widget’ customers use to manage their subscription, can be embedded directly in your site. From the customer’s point of view they are just creating an account with your site. They never have to know you are using PayWhirl.

Ready to give it a whirl? Sign up now for free! PayWhirl has a flexible pricing for all business sizes including a free monthly plan so you only pay when you sell.



02
Aug

Redesigning your website can boost revenue up to 300%

Regardless of whether you’re speaking about fashion, interior or web design, one thing is certain: fads are constantly coming and going.

When it comes to web design specifically, it’s important for retailers to stay on top of trends in order to deliver the best possible customer experience. If your site looks or feels outdated, you risk confusing the visitor or losing their trust, meaning you miss out on sales.

Redesigning your site often is important not only to appear cutting-edge, but also to ensure your site is functioning as well as possible. Site design encompasses more than how your online store looks; in fact, how your site functions is a much more important element of web design. No matter how clean or beautiful your site may appear at first glance, if it isn’t user-friendly, it’s not going to convert.

Even if you’re happy with your current site, changing it up now and then is proven to attract customer attention in a positive way. In fact, design matters so much to customers that brands that redesign their site experience anywhere from a 20% to 300% growth in revenue within the first six months post-launch.

Unsure of where your site could be improved? Start out by borrowing some tips and inspiration from the best in the business.

BigCommerce recently held our annual Design Awards, highlighting the best site designs by industry. After analyzing the results and anecdotes from some of the winners, here are five redesign trends we’ve seen lead to impressive results with real examples of how they can improve your customer experience and help your brand grow.

Show the product in action

This tip sounds simple, but is often overlooked by companies, especially those selling particularly complex or unique products. Whether you’re selling sporting goods or a smartwatch, seeing exactly how the product works can boost customer confidence.

Soundwall is an innovative company offering flat-panel wall speakers with interchangeable art. Their product is so innovative, in fact, that customers visiting the site had a hard time wrapping their head around exactly how the product worked. The company decided to undergo a site redesign with a new emphasis on displaying the product at work.

On the new home page, Soundwall simplified their message to tell customers exactly what they’re selling, and paired the text with a large photo of the product in action. This was a vital change for the brand in making it clear they were selling a two-part purchase: a speaker and a piece of art.

“‘Stream Music from a Work of Art’ was the primary message,” said Adam Goodman, president of Soundwall. “From there, we expanded on key features paired with simple illustrations. We wanted site visitors to truly understand the product prior to guiding them toward the art selection and buy page.”

After relaunching the site, the average amount of time visitors spend on Soundwall’s site has increased by over 200%. Visitors are also more engaged and less confused by the new homepage, which intrigues them just enough to encourage them to further explore the site. The new site saw an increase in average pages per session from 1.25 to 2.5, and a 60% increase in engagement from the home page to shop page.

Now visitors better understand what the company is offering from the get go and are directed with a strong call to action to “Shop Now,” creating a 50% reduction in site bounce rate. The clear messaging and imagery not only gained the interest of individual shoppers but also commercial shoppers, most notably large hospitality companies.

The new and simplified design led to Soundwall’s most important win yet: one of the largest hotel goods distributors in the industry decided to feature Soundwall’s products in their line globally.


Let the customer build their own product

When customers are buying items like furniture, it can be hard to know how the piece will actually look or fit in their home. That’s why Human Solution decided to ensure every piece works for their customers by letting customers design the products themselves.

Human Solution’s customizable office products harness the power of personalization to make sales. While many companies sell ergonomic desks and office chairs, Human Solution is one of the few that allows customers to completely build their own products online, making decisions on product size, color and material.

“Our inspiration came from our standing desk customers,” said Greg Venditto of Human Solution. “We know they love to build custom desks, select options, add accessories and more, and we wanted to give them an online experience that would let them quickly and easily build the desk they’ve always wanted.”

Human Solution redesigned their site to put the customization aspect of their products at the forefront of their messaging. Additionally, they made it easy for customers to picture what their products would look like by including dynamic product imagery that changes in real time to reflect every choice a customer makes, allowing them to watch their desk come to life on their screen.

Customers can even visualize their entire office setup before ever purchasing a product, as the website allows users to add in the lights, standing mats, storage, keyboard trays and other accessories to the image. This not only helps customers get a clear visual picture of how their future office will look, it also helps the company upsell office accessories.

Since the launch, Human Solutions has seen a 21% increase in overall conversions, with an even larger increase in mobile conversions.


Capture mobile sales with one-page checkout

There has been a shift industry-wide toward customers using their mobile devices just as often, if not more, to browse online stores. If your site is not responsive on mobile devices or tablets, it’s likely hurting your business.

NatoMounts offers magnetic mounts that can hold mobile devices, tablets and even laptops firmly in place while operating a vehicle. Prior to redesign, the site ironically had a lackluster mobile experience with a tedious checkout process.

“We designed our website to tackle the growing mobile market, and allow visitors to checkout in less than a minute,” said Brandon Chatham of NatoMounts. “We specifically used the new one-page checkout provided by BigCommerce and modified the cart page design to accomplish this goal.”

After launching the new, mobile-friendly site, NatoMounts grew their conversion rate by 6%, and now see more than 70% of their traffic coming in on mobile devices.


Leverage customer images

Social media is not only a great way to promote your store; it’s also a great way to build brand loyalty and showcase a type of customer reviews by leveraging photos your customers post.

Fashion brandPink Lily sells clothing that is colorful, crisp and fun. But the retailer sells more than clothes; they truly sell a lifestyle, centered around being young, fun, classy and girly.

However, the Pink Lily team knew their current website was not reflecting this lifestyle, and decided to redesign it to better fit their and their customers’ aesthetic. One of the easiest ways to showcase the brand’s aesthetic and build customer loyalty was by displaying the clothing on the customers themselves.

They added featured images of customers wearing Pink Lily items on the home page of the new website, along with colorful product photos and complementary design elements.

“We have customers tell us daily how beautiful our website is,” said Chris Gerbig, founder of Pink Lily. “We started out of our garage three years ago, and now we have 25,000 customers per day. They are coming to PinkLily.com because the website is beautifully designed and our products complement the look of the website.”


Go bigger with your imagery

One of the drawbacks of online shopping for many customers is that they cannot see or handle the products as they would in real life. If your current site is not displaying products in a way that shows or can be expanded to show fine details, you may be missing out on sales. This is doubly true if you sell customized, non-returnable or high-priced items.

MotoXArt provides graphics for racing bikes, for professionals and hobbyists alike. Many of their pieces are customized, and all contain a range of small decal pieces, making it imperative for their customers to be sure of what they’re buying before they check out.

When the MotoXArt team decided to redesign their site, they first chose a predesigned theme as a starting point, then customized elements of the site in order to resize their product images and display large thumbnails. This made it easier for customers to find what they were looking for while browsing and to differentiate between similar patterns and designs.

“Since we re-designed the website, we find that customers are more attracted to the site and browse longer,” said Steven Webb of MotoXart. “[They’re] visiting more items which has led to a 25% increase in sales over a 12-month period.”

Style Rocks is another retailer who benefitted from putting an emphasis on imagery on their revamped site. The fine custom jewelry brand redesigned its site to display detailed images of their one-of-a-kind jewelry.

“In addition to showcasing the product beautifully in a suitably premium environment, [our new website theme] also translated well into mobile and tablet environments,” said Pascale Helyar-Moray, founder and CEO of Style Rocks. “The theme also allowed for a bigger showcase of the beautiful product photography we have, with the carousels being wider than ever.”

The Style Rocks team elevated customer reviews as a focal point of the site, as these are a crucial element of the decision-making process for customers buying high-priced, customized items.

Since the unveiling of the new website in late 2016, Style Rocks’ conversion rate increased from 0.39% to 0.57% for the first quarter of 2017 as compared to the previous year. There has also been a boost in the average order value from $730 to over $800.

You don’t always need a complete design overhaul to get the job done. Sometimes small tweaks, like using larger, more detailed images or showcasing your customers front and center, can do wonders in growing your revenue.

Take the time to visit your site, this time with fresh eyes as a customer would. Is it easy to browse products? Is checking out as quick and simple as possible? Often, the answer to keeping up with today’s design trends is easy: simplify.



02
Jun

Make the most of each fundraising opportunity by offering recurring donation options to perspective donors on your website.

Trying to raise money online for your organization, church or group can be difficult without the correct “web-tools” in place help you capitalize on each fundraising opportunity. If you’re like most organizations, you invest a lot of time and maybe even a little money trying to create awareness about your fundraising efforts and causes on a regular basis.

It’s not easy to get others to give in general, and it can be especially hard online, even for the most worthy causes. The people that you do eventually connect with make small donations and leave, never to be seen or heard from again! Sound familiar? Or maybe you’ve got one-time donations options already setup on your website and you’re researching new donation channels for your organization? Or perhaps you’re just trying to to establish some level of predictability for your fundraising to help budget for the future?

Whatever your reason might be for discovering this blog post, we’re glad you did because setting up flexible recurring donations can make a BIG impact on fundraising. Adding a simple recurring donation widget to your website will allow visitors to give whatever they can afford AND select the frequency they wish to give (that last part being the key).

People often CAN afford to give “a little” every so often but will inevitably forget in today’s overly stimulating world in which we all live. However, by simply offering website visitors the option of giving on a regular basis you can gain so much more from each interaction. Collecting donations in a typical online payment scenario limits your opportunity to a single donation or interaction but in a post-recurring payment world, each interaction with a perspective donor has infinite opportunity.

That’s the beauty of implementing recurring options for your online visitors, it maximizes the opportunity of each interaction because people can subscribe and donate automatically, on a set schedule they choose. You can let people select the amount they wish to donate and the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly yearly or a custom schedule) and the system will automatically collect the donations using their stored payment method on file (credit, debit, ACH, PayPal, etc).

We figured we would show you how to offer recurring donations on the BigCommerce eCommerce platform specifically in a short tutorial below… You'll need the PayWhirl app for BigCommerce to get started.

How to setup recurring donations on BigCommerce in a few simple steps!

  1. Setup donation PLANS in PayWhirl
  2. Setup donation WIDGETS in PayWhirl
  3. Embed your widget into BigCommerce (or whatever website platform you use)

In this example we’re going to setup recurring donation widget that allows your customers to input any amount they wish for their donation (aka a flexible payment form) and then we will forward customers to a pricing table widget so they can select their desired frequency.

First, we need to create PLANS in PayWhirl for each frequency you would like your customer to be able to select (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or on specific dates). The plans will all cost $0 because we just want them to set the frequency of our subscription as we will forward people to another widget where they can input the amount they would like to donate.

Let’s setup three frequency options for visitors to choose from:

Weekly - Plan should bill $0 every week and we’ll use no limit for the number of installments so it continues indefinitely.

Monthly - Plan should bill $0 every month and we’ll use no limit for the number of installments so it continues indefinitely.

Yearly - Plan should bill $0 every year and we’ll use no limit for the number of installments so it continues indefinitely.

Once you have your plans setup we can move along to setup our “build-a-donation” checkout funnel. We will create two widgets to accomplish this:

Widget #1 - Pricing Table includes all three of your plans (frequency options) as sections in the widget.

Widget #2 - Payment Form with “flexible” selected for the type

After both widgets have been created, you can chain them together to create your funnel using the “Forward to Widget” setting in the first widget to forward to the second. You’ll also want to make sure the clear cart on reload setting is set to NO in your pricing table widget (#2). 

The last step is to copy & paste the embed code from your FIRST widget with 3 plans into a page on bigcommerce so people so visitors on your website can start donating on a recurring basis, automatically!

For more information please refer to our support doc on how to setup recurring donations. If you have any questions about recurring donations or implementing recurring payments for your business, church or organization please feel free to reach out to our support team.

Team PayWhirl



15
May

How to Overcome the Dreaded Sales Plateau and Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Do you read business blogs? Chances are you mostly see headlines centered around the peaks and valleys of business life, because let’s face it — those make for the most interesting stories. But there's a lesser-discussed, yet just as common state of operations that can be extremely troublesome and downright annoying for business owners across industries:

The dreaded sales plateau.

Sure, experiencing a plateau is not the worst thing that could happen to your business. But even if sales are stable, most business owners want more.

They want growth.

Of course, earning more revenue is easier said than done.

Maybe you don't know where to begin finding areas for growth, or maybe the tactics you've tried for growing sales haven't worked so far.

Don’t fear — this article may just contain the advice and inspiration you need to start the upward climb once again.


Find the root of the problem

In order to overcome your plateau, you must first figure out where the issue stems from. That means taking a deep dive into your analytics to determine the answer to two questions:

  • are you simply not driving enough traffic to your site
  • or are you driving traffic but failing to convert visitors into customers?

Rest assured that both are common ecommerce afflictions and both are completely curable.

Once you’ve determined the issue you want to target (or have decided there’s room for improvement on both fronts), there are a few key approaches that will help you overcome your plateau and see growth once again.


If you’re failing to drive traffic:

If you simply aren’t pushing enough prospective customers to your store, it doesn’t matter how unique your products are or how compelling your site experience is. Your opportunity for sales will be limited.

Try upping your efforts in three key areas:

  1. SEO
  2. Multi-channel selling
  3. Content marketing


SEO

Think about the last time you used Google’s search function. For most of us, it was within the last couple hours.

Now, think about how many times you’ve ventured past the first page of search results to find what you need — probably not often.

This is why search engine optimization (SEO) is important. In an increasingly saturated online marketplace, consumers don’t have time — or need — to scroll through pages of results. So your business needs an SEO strategy to have a fighting chance at appearing in the first page of search results.

The first page of search results is the holy grail for your products, and you won’t get there without SEO.


To get your SEO strategy up to speed, first test yourself and your site’s current SEO health with these four questions:

  1. Can Google find my site? Don’t assume that Google knows your site exists. Create a sitemap, implement microdata to improve search results and use Google’s Search Console to highlight key elements of your site.
  2. Can Google crawl my site? What’s the number one rule of the Internet? Play nice with Google. If Google’s bots have issues crawling your page due to technical difficulties or numerous reroutes, you will suffer by ranking lower in search results due to the bots’ inability to find valuable content related to the searcher’s query. Find out if you have errors by using Google’s Crawl Error reporting tool.
  3. Can Google index my site? Ever wondered how a search engine works? Once Google crawls pages, it then indexes pages that are deemed valuable by containing content related to what online visitors are searching for. Use Google’s Index report to ensure your pages can be found and is indexed for the appropriate keywords.
  4. Can Google rank my site? Once your pages have been crawled and indexed, Google will rank your site based on more than 200 factors, including keyword volume, search intent and how many sites you’re competing with for various keywords.

If the idea of incorporating SEO into your marketing strategy intimidates you, you’re not alone. Google constantly changes its algorithm, making SEO a hard nut to crack even for professionals. But what doesn’t change is that an informative, clear, and well-organized site is always good for SEO.

If you find room for improvement after your SEO health check-up, check out these 15 ways to improve your search ranking.


Multi-channel sales

You may have noticed that when you search for products on Google, you’re presented first with thumbnails of Google Shopping results. If your business is having trouble reaching enough eyeballs, posting your products on Google Shopping can be a great way to stand out from the search results and drive more sales.

Peter Baseio, founder and CEO of baby product company Organic Munchkin, connected his BigCommerce account to Google Shopping to reach new customers with rich, visual ads. “Google Shopping allows our products to be listed in a visual format, increasing brand awareness for our niche market, as well as revenue,” said Baseio. “It has tripled our revenue stream, bringing in customers we never knew we had access to."

Selling on online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and even Facebook can also help you increase the size of your audience pool.

While these platforms will take a cut of your profits, they typically bring in enough extra revenue to quickly pay for themselves. And once a visitor has purchased from you on one of these marketplaces, you can add them to your email list and reach out directly to drive future purchases.

If you’re thinking that adding more channels sounds like a lot of work, make sure your ecommerce platform supports multi-channel management. If it does, you’ll be able to upload your products at the click of a button and sync inventory automatically across channels.


Content marketing

It’s no secret content marketing is helping even the smallest of brands reach audiences around the world. Sharing blogs, videos, customer stories, infographics and other content that’s relevant to your visitors can instill and build trust in your brand, expand brand awareness and drive traffic to your site.

You can rely on a mix of creating your own original pieces and sharing others’ content. The key is just to ensure it’s relevant to your audience, interesting enough to be shared and on-brand for your store.

Here are a few tips for creating content that boosts traffic:

  • Determine the highest-value topics. Try to find your niche or longtail keywords that will make it easier for consumers to find your content. Use Google to search for terms related to your products to find what people are interested in, then work to find a new, unique angle you can present to your readers.
  • Seek out the competition. While searching for related content on Google, you will also be able to identify your toughest competitors. Once you’ve written a list of your top competitors, use Buzzsumo.com to keep tabs on their content and promotion strategies.
  • Share (and reshare) your content. Writing a great piece of content takes time and so does getting it into the right hands; make the most of your efforts by sharing your content on social media and in email campaigns.
  • Get more backlinks with guest blogging. Find sites who share the same audience and ask to write a guest blog for their site. This offers you the chance to link to your own site within the post, diverting some of that site’s readers to your own site and helping you look more “legitimate” to Google, who factors in reputable referral traffic into your SEO ranking.
  • Extend your content with PPC. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising leverages a platform like Facebook or Google to deliver targeted ads to specific audience members, such as certain demographics or people who have visited your site.

Once you’ve worked hard to create your content, don’t let it go to waste. Check out this blog for more ideas on driving sustained traffic to your content and this post for 30 ways to drive more traffic to your site.


If you’re failing to convert traffic or create return customers:

For most businesses, return customers should be the bread and butter of your revenue stream. There are a variety of tools to help you track your web visitors’ actions to determine how they are coming to your site, how often they return to your site and where they are falling off in the buyer’s journey.

Here are a few ways to turn web visitors into repeat customers and keep them coming back to your site — and converting — again and again:


Email marketing

What better way to bring a visitor back to your site than by offering them a deal? Email marketing is the most effective channel for ecommerce sites, and automation tools makes it easy to customize and send campaigns with little work on your end.

Set up transactional messages and promotional offers to trigger when someone visits your site, fills their cart without checking out or a host of other actions. Get ideas for email campaigns that stand out and actually receive clicks in this blog.


Landing pages

Let customers know you can meet their specific needs by creating niche landing pages. Landing pages can be the destination point from a variety of mediums, such as ads, emails or social media posts.

Here’s a great example of a landing page done right by My Magic Mud:


Customer testimonials

Your existing customers can be one of your best marketing resources. Today’s online shoppers are overwhelmed with choices, and 92% rely on online reviews and testimonials to help guide their purchasing decisions.

Testimonials and reviews not only help drive conversions, they can also be useful in cross-selling, up-selling and driving up the average order value (AOV) per purchase due to added brand trust. They can also serve as content; for example, a customer quote could be placed on a graphic and posted across social media platforms.

Learn more about the other ways customer testimonials can be utilized to grow your customer base and revenue.


Checkout page optimization

After all of your efforts to increase traffic to your site, don’t lose your hard-earned visitor at the final step of conversion.

The checkout page is a frequently overlooked and undervalued marketing tool. After all, you’re asking customers to entrust you with their payment and personal information, as well as their cash. It is imperative to continue building the trust you began to instill through your ads, landing pages, content and website by nailing the checkout page.

Here are a few common barriers that cause customers to abandon their cart on the checkout page:

  • Additional fees, such as shipping and taxes, were too costly when added to final price
  • They didn’t want to create an account
  • The checkout process was lengthy or complex
  • The website had errors or crashed
  • They didn’t trust the store with their personal and payment information

Many of these barriers causing cart abandonment are easily avoidable by creating a user-friendly, simple and transparent check out experience — this blog has tips for optimizing your checkout page.

If your revenue growth has gone stale, there’s no need to panic. As you can see, there are quite literally hundreds of marketing tactics you can employ to reach new visitors and attract old customers once again.

Once you pick a new approach, test, test and test again until you find what works best for your brand, and remember to celebrate every little bit of success along the way.



Author: Amanda Farmer

Amanda Farmer is a BigCommerce researcher and copywriter. She is also the principal at Dreamtown Creative, a marketing firm working with Fortune 500 companies to grow revenue through online initiatives and campaigns. Her deep understanding of branding, content marketing and storytelling across a wide variety of platforms has won her multiple awards, including placement as a Screenplay Competition Finalist at the Austin Film Festival. 



07
Nov

FEATURED - PayWhirl works with Stripe Showcase!

PayWhirl works with Stripe

Works with StripeEvery once in a while a new tool comes along that changes an industry… Stripe was one of those new tools on the web a few years ago (est. 2011) and has helped change the way that businesses across the world accept payments online.

We were lucky enough to cross paths with Stripe early on in 2013 and quickly became familiar with their APIs and toolset while building a couple of ecommerce projects. We quickly realized that we were dealing with a special company and signed our first partnership with Stripe in 2014, before the release of our v1 beta of, “PayWhirl Recurring Payments.”

Since then, both PayWhirl and Stripe have grown tremendously as more and more businesses have realized how easy its become to process online payments without coding, using integrations like PayWhirl to simplify the process. At PayWhirl we make recurring payments, subscriptions and invoicing easier for businesses of all shapes & sizes. We constantly iterate on our platform to help simplify processes wherever possible.

We understand that time is incredibly valuable for any business and we have always focused on building integrations that, “get out of the way” of our business customers. With the launch of our new “v2” PayWhirl system this summer and our new eCommerce platform integrations such as  Bigcommerce and Lightspeed, we could not be more excited about the future of recurring payments. Our partnership with Stripe was one of the best decisions we ever made and is a big reason why we are one of the leaders in the recurring payment software space today…

With that said, I am happy to announce our continuing partnership with Stripe and our new featured integration on the new “ PayWhirl Works with Stripe” section of the Stripe website...

Stripe works with PayWhirl

Learn more about how PayWhirl works with Stripe...



31
Oct

PayWhirl + BigCommerce App & Integration

We're happy to announce that the new PayWhirl + BigCommerce App & integration is now LIVE... If you've been looking for a solution to sell subscriptions on BigCommerce, or process recurring payments, or sell layaway products, or offer payment plans, or a wholesale program we've got you covered! With the new PayWhirl + BigCommerce App we tie directly into the native order system in Big Commerce and allow you to control how orders are generated for each of your plans in the system.

  • Sell Subscriptions, Payment Plans, Offer Layaway Programs, Take Pre-Orders, Create Wholesale Programs & MUCH MORE!
  • A Seamless Integration with BigCommerce ORDERS, CUSTOMERS & THEMES.
  • Customers Can Login & Manage Subscriptions, Credit Cards & Custom Account Information.

PayWhirl Recurring Payments makes it easy to create & manage subscriptions, payment plans and automatic invoicing on BigCommerce. PayWhirl eliminates all the custom development required to create the many pages that allow your customers to subscribe to payment plans, login, manage their own subscriptions, credit / debit cards on file, addresses, etc.

With PayWhirl + BigCommerce, your customers will be able to login and manage their own information, see their billing history and make changes to their account. Customers will love that they will be able to add / remove payment plans, update cards on file, store multiple addresses & profiles, see upcoming payments and more… All without having to contact anyone at your business, which saves you time and money!

Learn more about how to integrate PayWhirl with the BigCommerce platform...



30
Sep

PayWhirl + Lightspeed eCommerce App & Integration

We're excited to announce the release of our new PayWhirl Lightspeed App & Integration. If you use the lightspeed omnichannel or ecommerce products you can now take advantage of our native Lightspeed app to add recurring payment and invoicing features to your online store.

  • Offer Subscriptions, Payment Plans, Layaway Programs, Pre-Orders, Wholesale Clubs & MORE!
  • Seamless Integration with LightSpeed ORDERS, CUSTOMERS & THEMES.
  • Customers Can Login to Manage Subscriptions, Credit Cards & Account Information.

PayWhirl's lightspeed app makes it easy to create & manage subscriptions, payment plans and automatic invoicing on the Lightspeed ecommerce platform. PayWhirl eliminates all the custom development required to create the many pages that allow your customers to subscribe to payment plans, login, manage their own subscriptions and credit / debit cards on file.

With PayWhirl + Lightspeed Ecommerce, your customers will be able to login and manage their own information, see their billing history and make changes to their account. Customers will love that they will be able to add / remove payment plans, update their cards on file, addresses & profile information, etc... All without having to contact anyone at your business.

Learn more about how to integrate Lightspeed eCommerce with PayWhirl...



17
Mar

PayWhirl's new website & public beta launch of version 2

Hey everyone!

We've been hard at work for the last few months implementing feature requests for the new system. We're happy to announce that the private beta for version 2 has been going well and we're now opening up the new beta to the public via our brand new website at https://app.paywhirl.com

The system is still in beta so please take caution but anyone can now signup for the new system by typing in "PWBETA" on registration. Also, if you'd like to use the original version of PayWhirl (aka paywhirl classic) while we work out the kinks, you can still register for V1 here.

Note: All paid plans on the new V2 beta come with free trials until June 1st 2016. However, all plans will be still subject to application processing fees (%) immediately. 

New Paywhirl.com website design


Learn more about the differences between version 1 and version 2 of PayWhirl.




10
Mar

PayWhirl is headed to Collision Conference 2016 as an ALPHA Startup April 26th -28th in New Orleans

PayWhirl Alpha Startup Collision 2016

PayWhirl has been invited to attend Collision Conference this year in NOLA! Collision is “America’s fastest growing tech conference” created by the team behind Web Summit. In two years, Collision has grown to over 7,500 attendees from more than 50 countries. Attendees include CEOs of both the world’s fastest growing startups and the world’s largest companies, alongside leading investors and media.

We're apart of the ALPHA Startup program this year and will be showing off our brand new beta for version 2 of PayWhirl at the conference. If you're attending collision or are going to be in New Orleans the last week of April this year and want say hello please contact us via email.

Team PayWhirl



31
Dec

How Adopt-a-Singer uses PayWhirl to manage their recurring sponsorships and donations for their Alzheimer's programs and services

“Adopt-a-Singer” provides professional level music and entertainment to seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, palliative care, special needs and seniors in general who reside in nursing home and adult day care facilities.

They get by on “Sponsorships” from businesses and philanthropic individuals who wish to supplement the small fee from these places, we sing old-time, rock n roll, crooning, country ballads and rock, and many more songs that seniors can relate to. We also hold monthly outings at local bowling clubs for seniors to come as a group from these facilities on their buses and enjoy a “Seniors Morning Tea” concert along with lunch, these have been a great hit for the 100+ facilities in our area.

They found PayWhirl for recurring sponsors who wish to get behind their activities on a monthly recurring basis… They discovered Paywhirl through Stripe.com while researching addons for recurring payments. Paywhirl is used for their sponsors who donate regular monthly sponsorship and give “Joy & Happiness to Seniors Through The Gift of Music”

They say Stripe and Paywhirl are amazingly easy to use and implement, if you run your own website and want a very effective yet simple fix for recurring payments then Paywhirl is what I consider to be the best in it’s class for recurring payments and embedded forms and recurring payment options. :)

Their website is www.AdoptASinger.com.au



05
Dec

How Your Solver uses PayWhirl's widgets to streamline customer registration and automate payments

YourSolver Logo

Can you please tell us a little about your company and product(s) / services?

Our company is a custom mobile apps development company. We create custom Apple and Android apps for small businesses. We help businesses in engaging with their customers more easily and on their terms. Anything from taking online food ordering, making reservations, maintaining loyalty programs, or offering coupons and specials. All done inside their custom app and by way of push notifications. This is extremely beneficial for our clients as now, their customers no longer need to go to countless social or internet platforms, read emails, or look for their print advertisements. It's offers them very high ROI's since they do push notifications. Did you know push notifications have a 97% open rate? FAR superior to email click rates or even hoping their post/ads shows up in someones news feed. This will truly be the new digital marketing standard soon and we want our clients to be ready and be the first to market. YourSolver.com

What is your role at your company and how did you discover PayWhirl Payments?

I am one of the Co-Founders and we discovered PayWhirl when looking for something to automate our payment processes, especially on the reoccurring side. We wanted to cut down on our monthly invoicing needs and remembering to do it each month. (Hello automation!)

What do you use PayWhirl for and how has it helped your business?

We created the payment widgets and are now getting our customers to sign up and pay that way.Very automated and is exactly what we wanted and were looking for.

Have you used any other payment platforms? If so, what were your experience(s)?

We were using PayPal. PayPal is nice but lacks a lot of features I feel a growing business needs. Plus, the fees can be a substantial bite into revenue. And as a startup, we like to keep our monies so we can continue to invest in our plans, not theirs.

What advice can you share with others looking to process payments online or in similar industries?

If you're a business owner and you're looking to have a more automated process, then you owe it to your business to check out PayWhirl. The features are very robust and the functionality is easy as well. Plus, it is super easy to add the code to your business website and begin using it right away.



22
Nov

How Wherewolf uses PayWhirl to manage thier recurrent monthly subscriptions and license fees

Wherewolf-logo

I'm Wulf, one of the founders of Wherewolf http://wherewolf.co.nz/ We're a New Zealand based company building bespoke "Arrival Apps" for adventure tourism / accommodation / health care. Instead our client's guests/patients filling out a clipboard upon arrival, they are presented with a beautiful app on an iPad into which they type their name, Date of Birth, other personal details, read the liability/waiver and sign on the screen with their finger. Being digital, their guest record / patient profile is easily pushed into CRMs, booking engines, email/SMS campaign tools and much more. Pretty useful tool, we've been developing "under the radar" for the past two years to ensure we have a good product, during which time we've launched to over 100 clients in 10 countries and greeted 600,000 guests and as of last month started getting a bit more intrusive to the larger US / EU markets.

Instead of walking in the door and being greeted with a clipboard, you're greeted with a slick iPad


Can you please tell us a little about your company and product(s) / services?

From Queenstown, New Zealand, the world’s adventure capital, comes Wherewolf - the arrival app. Wherewolf changing the way tourism operators manage customers in one of the most exciting and dynamic industries on the planet. In 2013, two adventurous entrepreneurs, Ben Calder and Wulf Sölter, created an app delivering flawless functionality for NZ’s thriving NZ$7.3 billion tourism industry. Capitalising on the opportunity to capture customer info, Wherewolf enables operators to better manage customers from their point of arrival. Burning the paper trail, Wherewolf provides operators with their own branded app - replacing the traditional liability waiver, while capturing critical customer data in real time, with the questions clients want answered. The result is the more effective management of customers, the moment they walk through the door. Never before have operators gained such clarity on exactly who their customers are, with incredible insights to make smarter and faster decisions, improve efficiencies and build better bottom lines. Trip manifests and reports, daily guest lists, customer tally sheets and more – Wherewolf is becoming the leading global platform in managing customers and arrivals across the entire tourism industry. Let your first impression, be a lasting impression. Curate the customer arrival experience, beautifully and effortlessly – while simultaneously gaining aggressive insights and data to effectively grow your business.


What is your role at your company and how did you discover PayWhirl Payments?

I am Wulf Sölter, the CTO, and my role is to ensure our product, as well as any external services, are up to satisfactory standards. Behind the 3 letter acronym are of course first commits, drilling old friends for knowledge, many long hours writing code and late nights babysitting servers. I discovered PayWhirl after hundreds of hours had been spent on pursuing competing automated billing and invoicing systems that either don't work, require extensive custom development or are ugly.


What do you use PayWhirl for and how has it helped your business?

We use PayWhirl to manage our recurrent monthly subscriptions and license fees across both international and local clients, as well as easily and rapidly process the initial set-up fee.


Have you used any other payment platforms? If so, what were your experience(s)?

We have tried them all! From payment providers like BrainTree, PayPal, Payment Express through to automated subscription services like Chargify, Chargebee, SwipeHQ and Recurly, we have looked into each one extensively. Each lacked functionality, was convoluted and complex or visually atrocious.


What advice can you share with others looking to process payments online or in similar industries?

Stop messing with legacy providers! There are many many reasons why the old players like PayPal, DPS and Payment Express are trembling in their shoes - because Stripe performs so so much better and easier. With a Stripe account and a PayWhirl interface, everything can be managed flawlessly.





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