Suppose you own an online art supply business. What is the right credit card processing system for your needs?
Art is a broad term that covers everything from weekend hobbies to classroom sessions. Your range of merchandise may include brushes, paint, canvas, notebooks, easels, and much more. Since your business is based online, you probably don’t have a physical store. You might have a warehouse, but you probably don’t receive customers in person, although it may happen on rare occasions.
This type of business may spend a lot on postage, so you want to be sure your delivery system is sound. For local orders, you can do your own deliveries, or hire a team of delivery guys. International and out-of-state sales may be a little more complex, but you can still outsource your deliveries. Just find a reliable service.
Artists are very particular. The average consumer may not know the difference between acrylics and oil colors, but an artist can probably distinguish among crimson, scarlet, vermilion, burgundy, and cherry. This means they’ll probably want to inspect their purchases before they buy. They’ll be even keener knowing they made their purchase online.
Let your customers pay at their door
To build up your customers’ trust, let them take a closer look at their orders before they confirm their purchase. The best way to do this is by accepting credit cards. That way customers know that they will have the opportunity to open and look at their supplies and a recourse if their order was not what they reasonably expected. Of course you need careful terms of service, and a thoroughly drafted return policy so that there are no surprises for either party when it comes to the process for your customers.
Then, within reason, allow your customers to peek before they pay. One solution is to mail custom sample cards on request showing the paint (or ink, or what have you) as it appears when it’s applied and dried. For a tiny initial outlay, you can make sure your customer gets exactly what they want. And while your customer is happily selecting colors to receive thinking that they are getting something for nothing, studies show that receiving a free gift creates a sense of obligation that many customers find difficult to resist. And think about it: if they can get a free sample from you, then why would they order from any other online store that doesn’t send free samples? And once they receive the sample and know exactly what they’ll be getting if they order from you, why would they then order from anybody else?
Ensure security for mass purchases
As you’re deciding on which merchant processor to use, look for a merchant processor that guarantees instant verification so that customers can pay for their supplies and and complete their transactions in seconds. Schools and institutions often buy in bulk, and may make the biggest portion of your store’s clientele. The bigger the purchase, the more more important security becomes, so use a payment processor that has very high levels of encryption, preferably military-grade, if possible.
Your merchant processor should be registered and compliant with PCI QIR regulations, offering your customers and additional layer of purchase protection.
For more information on the right credit card processing system for your needs, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.