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.

Virtual Terminal is bundled with our customizable payment solution, PayPal Payments Pro. Virtual Terminal allows merchants to accept payments virtually anywhere they have Internet access, with no card swipe or software to install, and is ideal for merchants who receive orders by phone, fax, or face to face.

Virtual Terminal has these features and benefits:
  • Grow your business – Process payments for major credit and debit cards. Extend your reach to customers who prefer not to pay online, including customers without a PayPal account.
  • Process payments anywhere – Process payments anywhere through any device with an Internet connection and a web browser.
  • Zero setup – Virtual Terminal requires no coding or specific software installation to get started.
  • Use PayPal as a one-stop payment solution and more – Process your customers' orders through a PayPal-hosted online payment form along with a set of tools for intuitive reporting; printing shipping labels and packing slips; and printing or emailing transaction receipts.
  • Process multiple payments simultaneously – You can launch multiple Virtual Terminal instances to process payments, as in the case of a call center or during heavy demand.

Note: PayPal's Seller Protection Policy doesn't apply to transactions processed using Virtual Terminal.

Here’s how it works:
  1. Log in to Virtual Terminal. When you're ready to process a payment, go to Tools, click Get paid and then Virtual Terminal.
  2. Enter the order. Enter the order details and credit or debit card information. If you're mailing an item, include the shipping information.
  3. Complete the transaction. You'll receive a confirmation for successful transactions. You'll then have the option to print a receipt or packing slip, email the receipt to your customer, or process another payment.
  4. Get paid. Once approved, the money shows up in your PayPal account, usually within minutes. From there, transfer it to your bank account, spend it wherever PayPal is accepted, or use your PayPal Business Debit Mastercard® at the ATM or in stores. You have fast access to your PayPal account, plus the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard offers 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases (It requires enrollment. Cashback applies to signed transactions only.)

Virtual Terminal costs $30/month USD, with no setup, termination, or withdrawal fees. Per-transaction fees of 3.1 percent + $0.30 apply.

See pricing details

If you encounter any issues when signing up or processing payments, reach out to Merchant Technical Support.

See also:
What must I do to start using Virtual Terminal?
How do I enter and process transactions in Virtual Terminal?

All PayPal accounts allow you to send and receive payments.

  • Personal: Recommended for individuals who shop and pay online, or wish to send or receive personal payments for shared expenses such as splitting of dinner bills or rental charges; for casual sellers or non-businesses who wish to get paid online, and who also make online purchases.
  • 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.

Fees:
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.

Here's a short video on how to sign up for a Personal account.


Here's how to quickly sign up for a Business account:
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.
 
 PayPal Payments StandardPayPal Payments ProPayflowPayPal powered by BraintreePayPal Checkout (formerly known as Express Checkout
Monthly Fee
(See all Merchant fees)
$0$30$0$0$0
 
Design and Host your own
check out pages for full control
 (if allowed by your partner site) 
Accept Credit Cards via phone,
fax and mail (VT)
  
Accept credit and debit cards
(your buyers don't need a PayPal account)

(Must have a 3rd party processor)
Accept PayPal payments
Send Invoices online for fast payment 
Accept payments in 25 currencies
from 202 countries
  
Simplified PCI compliance♦**
No long-term contracts, setup,
withdrawal or cancellation fees
Nonprofit discount available
for PayPal transactions
  
Toll-free phone support
Offer special financing on
purchases $99 and up
♦*** (only through PayPal Standard or Checkout)
  






























*Configurable
**Requires use of the hosted templates in PayPal Payments Pro.
As a PayPal customer, you may be eligible for one of several PayPal card products.


PayPal Credit


PayPal Credit is a digital line of credit that allows you to shop everywhere PayPal is accepted. PayPal Credit is for online purchases only; you won’t be provided a physical card. You can apply for PayPal Credit online. Learn more about PayPal Credit.
* PayPal Credit is subject to credit approval.


PayPal Cash Card


The PayPal Cash Card is a Debit Card that’s used with a PayPal Cash Plus account. The PayPal Cash card allows you to cash a check, load cash, do a bank transfer, and direct deposit. Learn more about the PayPal Cash card. Apply now for the PayPal Cash card.


PayPal Business Debit Mastercard



The PayPal Business Debit Mastercard is a Debit Card that works with your Business PayPal account. Learn more about the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard. Apply for PayPal business debit Mastercard.


PayPal PrePaid Mastercard


You can order a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard online or purchase a temporary card at retail locations. Once you receive your card you can load funds and start shopping. Learn more about the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard.


PayPal Extras Mastercard



The PayPal Extras Mastercard is a credit card that allows your to earn points for the purchases you make every day. The points can be used for gift cards, travel vouchers and more. Learn more about the PayPal Extras Mastercard and the benefits it offers. Apply for the PayPal Extras Mastercard.


PayPal Cashback Mastercard



The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a credit card that allows you to earn 2% cash back on every purchase. Learn more about the PayPal Cashback Mastercard and the benefits if offers. Apply for the PayPal Cashback Mastercard.


 

Get started with PayPal Credit

Other PayPal Credit questions


Get Started with the PayPal Cash Card

PayPal Cash Card transactions 

Get Started with the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard

Card information 

Get Started with the PayPal Extras Mastercard

Card information



Get Started with the PayPal Cashback Mastercard


 

Get Started with the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard