5 ways to grow your online business.

Aug 17 2018 | PayPal editorial staff

You’ve successfully launched your e-commerce business, and now it’s time to bring customers to your virtual door. How do you do that? Following the five tips we’ve outlined below can help you raise awareness of your online business and build a loyal customer base.
For more details and ideas, download our ebook, Grow your online business.

1. Build trust in your online business.

Even though you’ve taken steps to make your online business secure, wary shoppers need clear signs that they can trust you before they load up their carts. Try to alleviate anxiety throughout the buying cycle, from browsing through checkout. You can help do this by:
  • Giving your site a tune-up. A solid e-commerce site gives shoppers confidence that the entire experience, including privacy and security, will go smoothly. Test your infrastructure, clean up broken links and images and fix misspelled words or poor grammar.
  • Posting trust seals. Trust and security seals can help reassure customers that their personal and financial information is secure throughout the checkout process. Just be sure to do research and only display trust seals from reputable sources.
  • Telling your story. Shoppers feel comfortable buying online when they know that real people run a company. Create an “About Us” or “Company History” section, and include pictures of employees, offices, and warehouses if you have them.

2. Study up on search engine optimization (SEO).

Help to ensure your products show up on the first few pages of search results, otherwise known as search engine optimization or SEO. While you can’t maintain complete control over where your company and products appear in search results, you can control elements of your website that can move you up or down in search results.
  • Create concise title tags. It’s worth your time to craft clear descriptions of each page, including keywords that tell search engines and users what the page is about.
  • Write powerful meta-descriptions. Similarly, meta-descriptions text appears just underneath the title tag in search results. Here, too, clear and accurate text helps users understand what you’re offering, and whether they want to click–or move on.
  • Make sure you’re mobile-friendly. Search engines prioritize mobile-optimized sites in their rankings. Ensure that yours passes common tests for mobile usability.

3. Optimize your checkout.

If shoppers get stuck in checkout trying to finish a purchase, they’ll move on to another online storefront. Fortunately, there are easy ways to make your checkout process more customer friendly, helping to convert more shoppers into buyers.
  • Conduct some user testing. You don’t need to commission an expensive study—ask friends and family to try to buy some products. Watch as they shop, noting where they get frustrated. Just five or six “testers” can point out checkout issues.
  • Reduce unnecessary steps. The more steps in your checkout, the more likely it is that customers will abandon their carts. Weigh your desire for data against the need to encourage completed purchases.
  • Consider allowing guest checkout. Many shoppers want instant gratification. Allowing them to check out as guests can help build loyalty—and return shoppers should be more likely to create accounts.

4. Attract customers with remarketing.

Remarketing (also called retargeting) is a way to recapture the attention of shoppers who’ve shown interest in your business, but who have left your website. Ads for your business “follow” them to other sites, reminding them that they can come back and buy.

5. Go global.

To create an online presence and test a few target markets, do some homework on how shoppers in other countries purchase online and what their preferred payment methods are. Visit the PayPal PassPort site, which has valuable stats, such as seasonal sales peaks around holidays and events worldwide; cultural customs, taboos, and trends that can affect e-commerce; shipping and distribution logistics; taxes and duties; and more.
To read more about growing a successful online business, download our ebook, How to grow your online business.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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Frequently asked questions.

Whether you're getting ready to start a business, advance your small business, or grow an online business, PayPal has a product for you. From complex business products to simple solutions for your business, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s more information on the different business products PayPal offers.

PayPal Payments Standard: PayPal Payments Standard is loaded with everything you need to get paid online, including a checkout experience that’s already optimized across devices.

PayPal Payments Advanced: PayPal Payments Advanced is an all-in-one payment-processing system that lets you accept payments online, offline, or on the go. PayPal Payments Advanced lets customers using a credit or debit card check out directly on your website.

PayPal Payments Pro: PayPal Payments Pro gives you the flexibility and payment processing security to build a professional-grade ecommerce site. It can be configured to suite your business needs – and works across devices. Plus, because it’s from PayPal, you can tap into over 184+ million active customer accounts around the globe.

Payflow Payment Gateway: A payment gateway links your website to your processing network and merchant account. Like most gateways, Payflow Payment Gateway handles all major credit and debit cards. What makes our gateway different is the low rates and incremental sales boost from offering PayPal and PayPal Credit payment options on your site.

PayPal Here: One app, many ways to get paid. Choose your reader for accepting card payments, then with the PayPal Here app, you can issue receipts, manually enter card payments, track cash and check payments and send invoices.

PayPal Checkout: Add PayPal as a payment option to your checkout page - or use it as a stand-alone solution. You’ll open the door to over 169 million active PayPal users who look for and use this fast, easy, and secure way to pay.

Virtual Terminal: You can use Virtual Terminal wherever you have Internet access—at your office, at a trade show, even at the airport. To take a credit card order, simply log in to your PayPal account and enter the payment details into the secure Virtual Terminal order form. We’ll process the payment and send you a confirmation.  

PayPal powered by Braintree PayPal powered by Braintree makes it easy to accept payments through your Partner store. Our payment gateway is similar to the credit card terminal you swipe your card through at the grocery store—we'll make sure your customer's payment information gets to the right places and doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
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All PayPal accounts allow you to send and receive payments.

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  • Business: Recommended for merchants who operate under a company/group name. It offers additional features such as allowing up to 200 employees limited access to your account and customer service email alias for customer issues to be routed for faster follow-ups.

For complete information on PayPal transaction fees, please see the fees section of our User Agreement or click Fees at the bottom of any PayPal webpage.

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Here's how to quickly sign up for a Business account:
PayPal Commerce Platform provides merchants with a simple way to run their business. With one integration, you can enable global and local payment methods whether you have an online or physical store. You have access to an entire suite of solutions, including tools for accepting all kinds of payments, financing the next phase of your business, detecting fraud in advance, and so much more.

For more information about this and how to integrate, please visit the PayPal developer document site.
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