This post is geared toward anybody who does business with any clients outside of their own country. As an online entrepreneur in a global economy, I run into any numbers of problem from week to week, but as a proactive businessperson, I’m always looking for solutions. One of the most recent issues I’ve dealt with is in regards to my in-house shopping cart. Like a lot of people in this global market, I do a lot of business with American clients, but because I am Canadian, most banks recognize transactions with my payment services as ‘international transactions’. For some reason, American financial institutions flag such transactions and in some instances the default setting on credit cards automatically rejects such transactions and requires clients to personally verify and override the default setting. As a result, transactions get declined after you’ve already closed a deal, forcing you to go back and close the deal a second time. Needless to say, clients get suspicious if their financial institution has flagged you and are far less likely to follow through on the sale.
There are a couple of different solutions to this, the most common of which is PayPal. The beautiful thing about PayPal is that it is a trusted name and allows such transactions without any fuss. The problem with using PayPal, other than potential delays, is that it can encourage users to view your site as unprofessional. If you don’t have your own shopping cart, many consumers view your product as being less established, and so may pass on doing business with you. I had heard this before, but was unsure about this assessment until I tested it. I sent some clients to a page with a PayPal shopping cart, and others to my own in-house shopping cart, and the conversion rate was significantly higher than it was with PayPal. If you are selling a small ticket item, PayPal shouldn’t hurt your sales. However, if you are selling high-ticket items, you want to be sure that you look professional and have your own in-house shopping cart.
With the in-house shopping carts, you run the risk of complications with international transactions. I’ve been using Digital Access Pass (DAP), and they have been fantastic, but unfortunately, some transactions have been declined. As I am always looking for solutions for, both for myself and for those I coach, I came across an item call Sam Cart, which can be found at SamCart.com (though the item is not yet officially launched). I was fortunate enough to get in on the beta testing for this product and have seen fantastic results. As it is in beta testing, there are obviously a few glitches, but the company has been responding well to critical input and has made all the appropriate changes. The benefit of the program is that it handles international transactions effortlessly. So if you are an international entrepreneur and you have had problems with transactions being decline, this may be a viable option.
There are other benefits to Sam Cart though. It is a product developed by internet marketers, for internet marketers, so they have made it as efficient as possible for the end user. The product works with seamlessly with the Stripe.com credit card processor and puts through national and international transactions within seconds. It also makes it extremely easy to set up shopping carts for new products. All you need to do is add a description and start selling, so if you are doing something on the fly, it really helps to reduce the amount of time you need to put into trivial duties, which gives you more time to focus on the more important elements of your business. There is a monthly fee, so if you are interested in the product, be sure that your monthly sales offset the cost, which is quite reasonable. As an internet marketer, I have lost literally thousands of dollars because of delayed or declined transactions, so their nominal fee is more than reasonable.
I’ve been coaching on-line entrepreneurs for years now, so I know how important it is to stay competitive, especially when engaging with American consumers. To do this, you must make sure that any transactions you are making with international consumers go through smoothly. PayPal may be a great option for this if you are selling small ticket items, but payments can be delayed. If you are selling high-ticket items, you want to strengthen your brand name. In this instance, using PayPal likely won’t help out much with that. If you are using an in-house shopping cart, be sure to use one that that can handle your international transactions without any complications, otherwise you may be losing thousands of dollars.