First you dream of a business. You do the research, you investigate the market, and you draw up a plan. You draw up products or services. You build a marketing plan and create a website. But there’s one key piece missing: You need to get paid!
If your website is running on WordPress I have a good news for you: there are several plugin options available to help you accept payments. Whether you customers will buy one option quickly and confidently, or whether you hope to entice customers into loading up a shopping cart, there’s an option available to make sure they pay, and you get paid.
In some situations, it makes most sense to make the payment system as easy as clicking a button.
Let’s say, for example, you offer webinars for a niche market. Your customers have a choice of five different webinars and typically do not attend more than one. In this situation, a PayPal Buy Now Button can be an easy way to make the exchange of funds as easy as possible.
Customers see exactly what they want, they click one button on your website, and the payment is facilitated through PayPal. The customer then has the opportunity to pay via credit card, debit card, or a PayPal account.
There’s little stress on your end, as well, with only a transaction fee, and no monthly setup, or cancellations fees from PayPal. This method is also incredibly easy to install: you can accept payments in a matter of minutes!
If, however, your business offers loads of options, and your customers will want to go on a shopping spree, this is not the best option for you. Read on!
Easy Digital Downloads Plugin for WordPress
It sounds like an unlikely name for a payment vehicle, but Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) has a great reputation for helping website owners create online stores quickly and easily.
Once you install this plugin, you’ll notice how easy it is to accept payments own your WordPress site.
Easy Digital Downloads allows for the option of Buy Now or Add to Cart options, making it suitable for many types of shops, services, and even special offers.
Features include customizable button text to add to your sales pages, registered user or guest checkout options, “Terms of Agreement” review before finalizing purchase, and allowing customers to save their carts for later review. These are great features for protecting both your business and your buyer.
Easy Digital Downloads also allows for customer and data reporting, which can be handy when tracking trends in sales.
You can easily track customers by their individual customer record, allowing them to track lifetime purchases, and easily track any inquiries, rather than having to search for a specific sales number. This is also handy for bulk sales, and managing large group discounts.
Additionally, you can track sales by dates, categories, products, and more, which can be a big help when it comes to reviewing trends, and coordinating discounts and offers.
WooCommerce: transform your WordPress!
Another popular and well-respected plugin is WooCommerce. Woo advertises itself as a “fully-fledged e-commerce store solution.” After review of the services offered, it is a very well-rounded product.
WooCommerce allows users to set up Product, Cart, and Checkout pages, organize secure payments, configure shipping options, including rates and label printing, automate taxes, integrate with Google Analytics, MailChimp (do you know what MailChimp is?), and Facebook, as well as allow full customization to ensure your retail site is always on brand.
Extensions are available, both free and paid, to add even more features for global shops, online bookings, subscription memberships, and more.
You can also find extensions to help you connect to shipping companies around the world, allowing you to set up shipping zones and accommodate flat rates for companies like FedEx, Royal Mail and more.
The fun feature of WooCommerce is that users can build it with extensions to handle their business needs, and, if those business needs change, you can make the updates you need with little fuss.
Suggested Payment Gateways to Get Paid
While these systems will help you accept payments, it’s important to note that none of these options will get money from the customer’s wallet to your bank account without a payment gateway.
In the simplest of terms, a payment gateway is what authorizes and processes payment. This is how you get paid. The two most popular payment gateways right now are PayPal and Stripe.
For small businesses that are just getting started, PayPal Standard is one option to consider.
This service has no setup fees or monthly charges, and can be set up with WooCommerce quickly and for free. The service is available in over 200 countries, which means many potential customers will be able to use this system. The fees are typically per-transaction, and low. The checkout process is handled externally, however.
Once the customer decides to check out, they will be taken to PayPal, where they can pay via credit card or PayPal account. Payments are then automatically transferred to your bank account every 3-4 days. PayPal Pro or Express may be an option to review for higher-volume businesses, with higher levels of capability and options.
Stripe is also popular due to having no monthly fee or set up costs. In the Stripe model, the check out process is handled on your site, so there’s no waiting for an additional connection.
In the customer’s eyes, the process is handled in a straightforward, linear manner. Customers are able to pay using any major credit card, and the per-transaction fees are very similar to those of PayPal Standard.
Stripe deposits your money to your bank on a two-day rolling calendar.
You can easily integrate Stripe or PayPal on WooCommerce and Easy Digital Download through a step-by-step setup.
When it comes to starting a business, everyone wants to get paid. Choosing a payment system and corresponding gateway is an important part of building a successful business.
Luckily, these WordPress plugins make the process as simple as possible, allowing you to focus on the more pressing matters of building a business.
Not only do Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce give you the ability to collect your well-deserved money: you can also use them to analyze sales trends, customer demand, and create an easy-flow transaction process for both your customer and your bank.
When paired with the best payment gateway for your business, customers will find making a purchase nice and simple, and you’ll feel better knowing you can get paid easily!