Woman sitting on couch setting up her online store.

Why you need to set up your online store

COVID-19 has well and truly defined and transformed the year 2020.

Gatherings have dwindled from hundreds of people to single digits and restrictions remain volatile.

Australians have had to adapt quickly to social distancing rules and limit their time spent out and about in the community. 

With these adaptations, we’re seeing consumers changing the way they spend their money to better accommodate more time spent at home.

As a result, merchants have had to adapt to this change and offer new and increasingly supported ways of shopping.

 

How are Australians shopping now?

Australians were forced to adapt and did so very quickly.

So quickly, panic buying began to set in.

Many pharmacies and grocery stores couldn’t keep up with the demand for toilet paper and hand sanitiser.

After panic buying caused concern for close contact in physical stores, a surge of online shopping began to develop.

Since March, Australian eCommerce growth skyrocketed up to over 73% since March 2019 (Aus Post, 2020).

And as conditions in Victoria continue to worsen, eCommerce is gaining momentum and reaching its highest peaks recorded this year.

The three top eCommerce growth categories were:

  1. Home and garden – up 82% since 2019
  2. Food and liquor – up 76% since 2019
  3. Health and beauty – up 71% since 2019

Surprisingly, the biggest shifts in purchases month on month were health and beauty, arts and crafts and books.

Seemingly, consumers are still making more online purchases than ever before and are purchasing things that help preoccupy them whilst they stay home.

There was also an evident shift from overseas orders to local orders.

57% of consumers said their reasons for opting for local stores over international stores was to support local Australian businesses and the economy.

So, with Australian consumers actively searching to support local Australian businesses and when they find them, they are purchasing more from them, should be a motivating enough factor for businesses to set up their online store.

 

Businesses need to respond to consumer demand

Physical businesses without an online store are likely missing out on a significant chunk of exposure and sales opportunity.

And it’s not just a temporary opportunity, with pockets of community transmission still occurring throughout Australia, storefront businesses could be required to close up at any time to stop the spread.

With an online store, businesses will have a safety net.

They will have the ability to continue making sales, no matter whether community transmission takes off in their local area.

In addition to responding to short term demand, there are also a number of benefits of setting up an eCommerce store in the long term including:

  • Diversifies your business and business offering
  • Online shopping appeals to an ever-growing number of Australian shoppers
  • Provides consumers with the added convenience to shop wherever and whenever
  • Gives businesses the opportunity to expand their business scope without incurring the heavy costs of expansion associated with physical storefronts

If you want to continue competing with your competitors and be supported by your fellow Aussies, you’re going to want to listen to consumer demand and respond to it promptly.

 

Set up your online store with LatPay

LatPay is a one-stop-shop payment gateway for online stores.

With LatPay you can enjoy:

  • Merchant services and facilities
  • Real-time payments
  • Direct debit facilities
  • Recurring payments
  • Alternative payments
  • Fraud management 
  • Hosted payment pages
  • Shopping carts
  • Mobile payment solutions
  • Payment links

If you’re ready to take a step in the right direction and set up an online store for your business, follow our helpful guide to setting up your eCommerce business and start reaping the rewards of a secure payment gateway with LatPay.

Alternatively, reach out to our friendly staff, and we’ll get you on your way to achieving greater sales with an online store.

Hosted Payment pages vs APIs: What’s the difference?

If you’re looking for ways to accept payments online, you’ve probably heard of hosted payment pages and APIs. While quite different in functionality, both are great solutions for taking payments and should be considered when setting up your online store.

To help you decide which option is best for you, here we define exactly what each solution entails, their key benefits and things to keep in mind when choosing a payment service provider.

 

What is a hosted payment page?

Hosted payment pages are a common way for businesses to accept payments online. Using a third-party platform like Latpay, businesses can redirect customers to a secure payment page from their website, allowing a simple way for customers to pay. 

With the ability to brand the page in line with the rest of the website, customers are often unaware they have been directed away from the original site. 

 

Benefits of hosted payment pages:

Hosted payment pages come with a range of benefits for both customers and merchants, including:

  • Simple set up and integration – no developers needed
  • Increased payment security – payments are processed away from your website  
  • Simple and secure management of payments 
  • Intuitive and convenient checkout processes 
  • PCI DSS Level 1 compliance (if your payment service provider offers this)

 

Choosing the right hosted payment page:

There are thousands of payment service providers (PSP) out there offering hosted payment services, so it’s important to do some research and ensure you’re choosing the right one for your needs.

As a minimum, look for a PSP that complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). However, it’s also worthwhile looking into the level of compliance they adhere to. PSPs who maintain Level 1 PCI compliance are better equipped at keeping your data safe and are working to the most stringent guidelines outlined for the industry. 

You’ll also want to engage a PSP that offers great design customisability for your page. In some cases, customers will feel uncomfortable paying if they feel they’ve been directed to an untrustworthy site. So making sure the experience is seamless from your website to payment is crucial. 

 

What is an API (application program interface) integration?

An application program interface integration allows your website to collect customer payment details before passing them through the API and on to the payment gateway to be processed.

 

Benefits of an API integration 

Implementing an API for payment processing involves much more work on the business side than a payment page. However, there is also a range of key advantages that make an API worthwhile in certain circumstances. 

  • Increased customisability – design the page exactly how you’d like
  • Have complete control over the checkout process and how it is managed
  • Offer a streamlined checkout process all within your website

 

Choosing the right API integration

API integrations involve passing sensitive customer data through multiple environments for processing. This means that you, as a business, are required to comply with PCI DSS to ensure the security of payment information. Alternatively, you can partner with a reputable PSP to ensure all requirements are adhered to. 

 

Should I choose a hosted payment page or API integration? 

Ultimately, the best solution for taking payments online will depend on your specific circumstances and goals for your customers. 

As a PCI DSS Level 1 service provider, Latpay can work with you to determine the best solution for your business and implement it with optimal security and usability in mind.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about our hosted payment and API solutions. 

Crafting a solid omnichannel strategy for your retail business

There is an ever-increasing push from customers to continuously improve customer service efforts and to satisfy their wants and needs as best and as quickly as possible. 

This is especially important for businesses operating in the incredibly competitive retail industry. 

Consumers nowadays want to shop when they want, how they want and where they want and they want you to make that possible.

The good news is that you can satisfy these consumer needs with a simple solution – an omnichannel strategy.

What is an omnichannel strategy?

An omnichannel strategy interconnects a brand across multiple channels in order to ensure a seamless customer journey.

More and more customers are opting to shop on the go and value hassle-free, convenient shopping experiences. 

Introducing an omnichannel strategy within your company will not only offer the service customers are asking for but will also drive sales and ensure positive customer experiences. 

Why you should adopt this approach?

The Harvard Business Review (2017) conducted a study on the impact of omnichannel strategies on businesses.

The results from over 46,000 shoppers showed that 7% shopped exclusively online, 20% were store-only shoppers and 73% used multiple channels.

Moreover, the Harvard Business Review also found that customers offered an omnichannel experience were more likely to spend more online and in-store and continue returning to that company.

An omnichannel strategy is now considered a crucial part of any successful business. 

The strategy offers an overall seamless experience with the protection and enhancement of the customer experience across all channels.

Without an omnichannel strategy, companies can expect to lose customers, customer share and eventually, any power within the market.

How to craft your omnichannel strategy

A solid omnichannel strategy begins with a single hub.

Through that single hub, you should have the ability to accept all customer payments across all possible sales channels.

Possible sales channels include via telephone, mobile payments, in-app purchases, online payments and point-of-sale device (POS).

Not only will a single hub offer your customers the convenience to shop wherever and whenever they want, but it also offers your company single integrated access to a truly global market reach.

Craft your solid omnichannel strategy for your retail business with LatPay

LatPay offers a hassle-free, simple integration that provides your retail business with a sophisticated, bespoke suite of services with a range of local and global payment methods.

The omnichannel payment hub works simply by offering customers the ability to purchase from your business wherever and whenever they choose.

This is made possible with LatPay’s industry-leading security processing and multi-currency gateway which has access to over 90 local and global payment methods.

This payment network then allows for real-time payments in line with PCI certification.

If you’re interested in utilising one simple integration across all sales touchpoints to provide your customers with the ability to shop however they please, LatPay is the solution.

Find out more about LatPay’s omnichannel capabilities and talk to the team today to discuss any queries you might have. 

BENEFITS-OF-A-SUBSCRIPTION-BASED-BUSINESS-MODEL

Benefits of a subscription-based business model

Recurring billing methods are transforming traditional business models by offering customers a new way to acquire products and services. If you’re looking to boost revenue and streamline sales in the post-COVID climate, consider whether a subscription-based model might be right for your business. 

Benefits of a subscription model 

Minimise missed or late payments with regular customers 

With the ability to automate subscription billing, your business will benefit from greatly reduced missed or late payments. Just set up the recurring payment when the customer signs up and have confidence in that regular payment rolling in. 

Reduce admin costs with subscription billing automation

Spend less time and money chasing payments, creating invoices and completing other administrative tasks with simple payment automation. 

Maximise payment security

Top payment service providers like Latpay utilise tokenisation and comply with PCI DSS Level 1 requirements, meaning you and your customers can rest easy knowing that every payment is protected by industry-leading security. 

Enhance the customer experience  

Take the hassle out of regular, manual payments with a set-and-forget method that requires less time and effort from your customers. 

Attract more customers to your products or services  

Rather than requesting a large, one-off payment, subscription-based models can attract more customers to shop with you by offering a smaller, more manageable fee. This means immediate access to your products or services at a cost that seems more affordable to them. 

Encourage customer retention 

With a payment that’s set up at regular intervals, customers don’t have to make a conscious decision to continue doing business with you. This means they’re more likely to stay on board for longer periods of time. 

Boost your bottom line with predictable revenue

Traditional, one-off payment methods require that you continue reaching and converting new customers to ensure a steady stream of revenue. 

Recurring card payments or direct debits, on the other hand, provide predictable revenue that you can count on. This, in turn, makes it easier to forecast and allows you to acquire only as much stock as you need.

 

Why customers love subscriptions:

  • Gain immediate access to their favourite products and services
  • Minimise the risk of penalty fees for late or forgotten payments
  • Have consistent access to products or services without completing manual top-ups

 

Subscription-based models are great for:

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software products have been historically expensive, requiring a large, one-off payment for lifetime use of a particular product. Nowadays, many software companies have adopted the SaaS subscription-billing model to make products more accessible to their customers and to ensure continued use over a longer period of time. 

Health and fitness

Consumers, in general, are becoming increasingly health-conscious. With this in mind, many health and fitness brands are now offering monthly subscriptions to ensure consistent access to their latest and greatest wellness products. From vitamins and supplements to health foods and even gym gear, subscription business models are booming within the health and fitness space.

Food & meal plans

People lead busy lives, and that isn’t changing. To help overcome the challenges of a busy lifestyle, many food businesses are now offering a regular delivery using subscriptions. This includes everything from regular groceries to weekly meals and food plans to make planning and cooking meals simple.

Clothing & fashion 

Fashion is another industry that has begun adopting subscription-based models. People love receiving new goods in the mail and retail subscriptions have allowed them to do this on a regular basis without having to trawl through online stores. 

Subscription billing with Latpay

At Latpay, we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes to help them transform their operation and enhance the way they interact with their customers. Whether you’re operating business-to-business or direct to consumer, our subscription billing facilities and batch payments allow for greater automation and control of regular purchases and payments. 

Get in touch to learn more about the power of set-and-forget payments through Latpay.

Benefits of using tokenisation for payment security

Tokenisation is the process of generating a random string of values (known as a unique ID number or token) to substitute sensitive data like payment details. 

Using tokenisation, businesses can offer a smooth and secure method of taking payments that allows increased protection against payment fraud. 

So how does it work? In essence, cardholder data is stored in a secure token vault that can only be accessed by the payment provider; consumer data is tokenised immediately upon making payment so their actual card data never passes through payment systems. 

What’s the difference between tokenisation and encryption?

When talking about tokenisation, many people think of encryption. However, tokenisation offers significantly greater security than encryption, quickly becoming the industry-leading method of securing data for payment processing. Here are some of the key differences: 

Encryption:

  • Mathematically generates cipher text using an algorithm and key
  • Format preservation means lower security strength
  • Encrypted data leaves the organisation

Tokenisation:

  • Randomly generates a value for plain text
  • Format maintained without any loss of security
  • Encrypted data remains within the organisation, allowing heightened security

Benefits of using tokenisation for payment security

Reduced impact of a potential data breach

While we hope it won’t happen, data breaches are all too common in businesses and industries across the board. You don’t have to be a large corporation to become a target, either. In fact, SME’s are often recognised for their inferior systems security, making them a primary target for hackers. 

Using tokenisation, however, sensitive data like credit card numbers aren’t accessible during a  breach. This is due to the fact that data is stored as tokens, and are therefore unusable to anyone but your organisation. So while tokenisation may not be able to protect your business against a breach, the financial impact will be significantly reduced by using tokenisation for data security. 

 

Protect your reputation and build trust

As a business, your reputation is arguably your most valuable asset, one that can take years to build yet an instant to destroy. To ensure your reputation remains intact, building and maintaining trust among your customers is absolutely critical.

Particularly for online businesses, customers need to have significant trust in your ability to protect their data in order to feel comfortable making a purchase.  

Tokenisation helps businesses to build and maintain this trust by demonstrating a dedication to data security. As the most impenetrable method of protecting payment data, consumers feel confident that their card details are safe and your business maintains a reputation of putting customers first.

 

Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

To ensure security of cardholder data, any business accepting, processing, or storing card details must be compliant with PCI-DSS regulations. 

There are 12 levels of PCI-DSS requirements depending on various factors of your business – primarily, how many annual transactions you process. Regardless of your requirements, striving for the highest level of compliance is always recommended and tokenisation is a great way to achieve this. 

Of course, tokenisation doesn’t guarantee compliance. However, partnering with a PCI-compliant payment service provider to offer tokenisation means you’ll also benefit from other secure services that help you to meet your compliance obligations.

 

Offer industry-leading security with tokenisation

Tokenisation is undoubtedly the most advanced way of securing cardholder data for payment processing. If the security of your customers is paramount to your business, learn more about implementing tokenisation with a PCI DSS Level 1 certified provider like Latpay.