When you’re starting a business, you may not have the time and resources to fund a website. With social media driving more sales than ever, some businesses might not even need a website. So where does that leave you if you’re looking to accept payments without a website? Today’s post will show you exactly how.
You can easily accept payments without worrying about setting up a website. This is accomplished by creating payment links to cloud-hosted checkout pages that connect to your payment processor.
A cloud-hosted checkout page is a payment gateway that connects with your payment processor and allows you to easily accept credit card payments, with or without a website. You can embed them on your website, or link directly to them from any channel like social media, email, and more.
The benefits of using a checkout page include easy pricing and subscription management, absolutely no coding required to create new products or pages, and more flexible pricing options for your customers. This empowers you to create on-the-fly promotions and offers without paying anyone or making changes to your marketing systems.
While picking a payment processor can be a daunting process, you shouldn't allow yourself to get too stressed out as most top vendors in this space are very trustworthy and experienced. Your payment processor communicates with Debit/Credit card banks to handle the ins-and-outs of withdrawing and transferring money to the proper accounts. Your bank will be connected to your account and will receive automatic deposits. I’m going to cover the Top 3 that I see businesses using below.
Stripe is the leading payment processor in the world, processing payments for thousands of small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. It’s no secret that around here, we love Stripe! Stripe enables powerful fraud detection, advanced and flexible API’s for payments, and a helpful user management interface. We’re using Stripe as our payment processor for this post.
Square is the newest of these 3 on the scene, but not to be overlooked. Chances are, you’ve seen one of their beautiful iPad-esque white cash registers at your favorite cafe or boutique. Square is owned by Twitter (along with Cash App) which is making big waves in the payment processing community. Square’s pricing is the same as Stripe, and the platform offers many of the same benefits - Flexible API for custom programming, intuitive customer interface - but also focuses more on storefront point-of-sale checkouts.
PayPal can be a great option for those just getting started. It allows you to easily request money from friends and customers in a beautiful easy-to-use interface. One challenge reported by many users with PayPal however, is that unlike a traditional payment processor, PayPal has been known to freeze accounts involving disputes and large lump-sum transfers for any amount of time they see fit. This can be a problem for a business heavily dependent on this month’s revenue.
Now that we've chosen our payment processor, it’s time to get started on our payment page. We need a page that's going to do a few things: we want to be able to connect to our payment processor and submit any sales that happen, we also want it to be flexible with our pricing plans, meaning supporting monthly recurring payments or one-time payments.
For today’s example, we’re going to use SecuraCart to easily create a payment form that can be shared online with your customers (no website needed). Creating an account is free and allows you to start collecting payments in less than 5 minutes.
Designing our page is the easy part! Let's get started. First we're going to think of a compelling headline and description that answer any questions our customers might have. Be sure to write in a benefits-oriented way that will help your customer make the right choice. This includes details about what exactly they’re buying, and a clear call to action to purchase. Now that we have our page text figured out, let’s work on creating prices.
Your visitors will be able to choose from the price you create. Feel free to create flexible plans if you think they will help your conversion. You’ll need to decide whether you want to charge a one-time fee, or a recurring charge. This makes it easy to craft flexible payment plans, pricing plans, annual subscriptions, and more.
I thought it might be helpful to include some popular examples of pricing strategies for both a recurring revenue based business, as well as a one-time revenue based business.
Recurring revenue based businesses focus on subscriptions and memberships for services or products. This creates a dependable monthly cycle of revenue coming into the business. Often these kinds of prices will be paired with a free trial that allows a user to sign up with a credit-card but not be charged.
One-time revenue based businesses focus mainly on single purchase goods that are instantly fulfilled by the business. One area to explore deeper here, is the concept of pricing plans. Oftentimes, when selling a larger ticket item, a popular pricing trick is to offer payment plans ie. 3 payments of $333 monthly. This can give a powerful conversion boost to your sales pipeline, by offering more flexibility in your price structure.
Once you’ve decided on the best pricing for your company, we’re ready to move on. So far we’ve created the meat and bones for our page, decided on the pricing models, and now we’re ready to start getting payments. Let’s preview our page first to make sure everything is just right.
Now that we have our pricing page created, it's time to check it out and make sure everything looks perfect. Read through your pricing page from the eyes of a customer. Are all my questions answered? Is there anything unclear? Are there any typos or grammatical errors? All these things hurt conversion, so it’s worth it to take a quick look.
SecuraCart also allows you to perform a test payment so you can see everything that your customers will see, as well as confirm the data is flowing into your Stripe account properly. If you’re happy with the title, description, and prices on your form, then we’re ready to start collecting payments!
Using your payment page Okay so now we have our payment page all set and ready to go. Now for the fun part let's share it with our customers decide from the options below which makes the most sense for your business no case is the same and results may vary by each method.
Social media is one of the best places you could promote your products app if you have many followers in an active base of subscribers than this might be a great option for you. It allows you to track metrics like clicks and interactions with your product as well as answer any questions directly in the feed below your post. To share on social media simply grab your share link and write a compelling post that features the link.
What are the most popular uses for payment links is sending them out in email newsletter campaigns. This could be from providers like MailChimp or activecampaign where you can set up automated email sequences that will nurture your leads and eventually offer them a payment link to a product purchase. This method is also perfect for creating one. Promotional campaigns centered around a large email blast to all of your subscribers.
if you're not using social media or you don't actually collect emails then the direct method would be perfect for your situation. If you're making sales calls or following up with current customers this method allows you to easily create a new email and send them the link so they can check out you can also do this Via SMS text messages.
If your business relies on you or your employees being in the field at job sites etc, then in-person could be a great route for you. This would allow you or your employees to easily open the payment link on their phone and process payment directly in front of the customer this makes it easy and flexible to accept credit cards while also not interfering with your workflow.
Accepting payments online, even without a website, has never been easier. Linking to cloud-hosted payment systems like SecuraCart is a great solution to help you avoid the upfront costs and labor associated with running a website. Combined with social media exposure or pay-per-click advertising, you can start selling your ideas today!
How are you successfully selling your products/services online without a website? Let us know below in the comments section.
If you enjoyed today’s post and want to SecuraCart a try, click here to create your free account and start selling your products online.
Start collecting payments in 5 minutes.