How to help boost online sales: 5 small business tools

Aug 03 2022 | Contributing writer, Mercator Advisory Group

Local retailers face an uphill battle when competing against national brands.

They simply don’t have the budget that the big guys do to spend on best-in-class marketing and business technology. But in the last couple of years, many companies have started developing technology for small retailers that was once only available to large chains – and these tools are helping to increase sales for small businesses.

Innovation in consumer financing technologies, payment card acceptance, e-commerce fraud prevention, and loyalty marketing services, are creating opportunities for small business to increase sales by taking on their larger competitors.

1. Help give customers greater buying power with PayPal Credit
Shoppers have never had so much freedom in how they shop – and more than ever, they expect flexibility. In fact, 64% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase with a retailer that offers interest-free payment options.1

Large retailers, especially the ones selling “big ticket” items like refrigerators, washing machines, and home theater systems have offered consumer financing for years to help their customers make bigger purchases – with PayPal, small businesses can offer their customers this flexibility too (and get access to one of the most useful tools to increase small business sales in the process).

With PayPal Credit,2 your customers can make purchases of $99 or more – with 0% interest for 6 months if paid in full – while you get paid in full upfront. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives your shoppers greater buying power.

2. Let your customers spread the cost with Buy Now Pay Later solutions

Buy now pay later options give your customers the freedom to pay in a way that works best for them, while you get paid upfront. This flexibility can help boost sales and increase average order sizes by giving your customers more options when it comes to buying the things they need. To break up a smaller purchase, shoppers can choose Pay in 4,3 which splits the cost into four interest-free payments with no late fees. Or to spread the cost of a bigger purchase, customers can choose Pay Monthly.4

3. Mobile point-of-sale devices open small businesses to card sales.
Until recently, the ability to accept credit and debit cards was not available to all businesses. Some small businesses don’t have enough sales or a long enough history to qualify for a business account. In addition, many small businesses have struggled to justify the cost of card acceptance, even when it’s an option. The cost to purchase a point-of sale-terminal and the recurring monthly account fees can add up quickly.

But companies like PayPal are turning their attention to creating mobile card readers and apps that make accepting payments affordable for small businesses. Mobile card readers are devices that business owners and store employees can plug into their smartphones and tablets to swipe customers’ cards. They’re simpler and much less expensive than large point-of-sale (POS) terminals, and even support accepting checks and cash like their POS brethren. Plus, the companies that provide them often charge more predictable fees than some merchant service providers. Moving beyond simple card acceptance, these providers are working to popularize consumer payment apps that work with their mobile card readers. For example, with the PayPal mobile app, a consumer can walk into any business that accepts PayPal and pay by “checking-in,” without having to swipe a credit card.

The development of these technologies is a great benefit to retailers because it enables them to offer customers the much appreciated, and often expected, convenience of broader and faster payment acceptance.

4. Loyalty programs can help drive new business and strengthen your customer relationships.
How to get more sales for small businesses? Try a loyalty program. Some of the companies that provide the most economical credit card acceptance services combine them with automated loyalty programs. For instance, some providers have developed a tablet-based card acceptance solution that also tracks and applies the retailer’s discounts when consumers make a purchase.

Other companies focus entirely on providing loyalty services to small businesses. In general, these solutions are versatile. Retailers can use them to help attract new customers, turn occasional customers into loyal customers, and keep their loyal customers satisfied.

The power of each of these solutions comes from their ability to track offer redemptions to unique customers. This helps retailers get to know their customers better and allows them to evaluate the effectiveness of their promotions. All retailers want to reward their most loyal customers, and now small businesses have access to technology that can help them manage customer data on an individual basis.

5. Combating fraud to limit e-commerce risks.
Fraud is another concern for retailers, especially those selling products online. The Internet connects small businesses to customers around the world, but the anonymity creates opportunity for abuse. National retailers spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars every year on technology that helps them detect when a potential customer is using a stolen credit card or is part of an organized crime ring.

The risk is perhaps even greater for small businesses.

Accepting even one fraudulent order can put you out of business if it’s large enough. Local retailers shouldn’t experiment with e-commerce without first looking into the number of applications that can help them manage the risk.

As consumers have embraced online shopping, more businesses are venturing into cyberspace. Fortunately, many e-commerce companies that service small- and medium-sized businesses either sell fraud detection software or provide fraud services as a component of their offering.

For instance, PayPal offers solutions that filter transactions through a variety of screening criteria to help prevent fraud. Both companies give users the flexibility to customize the filters to target specific threats to the business. Also included is the ability to check for things like discrepancies between the customers IP address and shipping address, the Card Code Verification (CVV) number (the three or four-digit security code on a credit card), and when several orders are submitted in rapid succession. Online retailers that use these tools stand a much better chance against fraudster’s attacks than those that go it alone.

The battle between local and national retailers might never be a fair fight, but there are several ways that smaller businesses can use technology to become more competitive and increase small business sales. Credit, buy now pay later solutions, card acceptance, loyalty services, and fraud detection technology are becoming accessible to retailers of all sizes for the first time.

Not every new technology makes sense for every business, but these innovations are so central to retail operations that business owners should consider them carefully. New card acceptance and fraud prevention technologies both help businesses contain costs, while loyalty and consumer financing services help drive revenue. Smaller retailers that take advantage of both kinds of technology greatly improve their chances of successfully taking on their national competitors.

About Mercator Advisory Group
Mercator Advisory Group is the leading, independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world's largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, merchants, and associations to leading technology providers and investors. Mercator Advisory Group is also the publisher of the online payments and banking news and information portal

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.

  1. Online study commissioned by PayPal and conducted by Logica Research in May 2020 involving 2000 US consumers, half were PayPal Credit users and half were non-PayPal Credit users.
  2. Customers get No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more. Customers must check out with PayPal and use PayPal Credit. PayPal Credit is subject to consumer credit approval.
  3. About Pay in 4: Loans to California residents are made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law License. PayPal, Inc. is a Georgia Installment Lender Licensee, NMLS #910457. Rhode Island Small Loan Lender Licensee.
  4. Pay Monthly is subject to consumer credit approval. 9.99-29.99% APR based on the customer's credit worthiness. PayPal, Inc.: RI Loan Broker Licensee. The lender for Pay Monthly is WebBank.

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Frequently asked questions.

WithBusiness Insurance by Aon, PayPal’s small business merchants can get the coveragethey need quickly, simply, and online.

Here's how you can purchase Business Insurance by Aon:

  1. Go to the PayPal App Center.
  2. Click the Aon Business Insurance tile.
  3. Complete the Aon application.
  4. Review quotes online, or speak to one of Aon’s licensed insurance advisors to guide you.
  5. Purchase the insurance policy.
  6. Access your certificate of insurance.


Where canI get more information about the Business Insurance by Aon?

Youcan contact Aon online at or overthe phone at (267) 459-2643.

Ifyou have an active policy, you can access online chat within the Aon portal at



Here’s how to link a bank account to a PayPal Business account:

  1. Log in to your PayPal Business account. 
  2. Click the Pay & Get Paid tab at the top of the page
  3. Click Banks and Cards under Wallet. 
  4. Click Link a new bank under Banks.
  5. Select and log into your external bank account.
  6. Within two business days, PayPal will make two test deposits. 
  7. To verify the account, go back to Bank & Cards again.
  8. Click your bank account.
  9. Then click Confirm now.
  10. Enter the two test deposit amounts you received.
  11. Then click Confirm Your Bank to finish linking your bank.

Option 1: Link a bank account instantly
To link your bank account instantly, you'll need to enter your user ID and password for your online banking. We'll match this information with your bank to confirm your account ownership. Once this information is entered correctly, your bank account will be confirmed instantly.

Option 2: Link and confirm a bank account manually
If you enter your bank account number manually, you'll be prompted to confirm this bank account. You must complete this step before you can use your bank account to make payments or add money to your PayPal account.

Within 3 business days, review your bank statement to find 2 small deposits (each between $0.01 and $0.99 USD) that we sent to your bank account. You can also contact your bank to find out the exact amounts of these deposits. After you find out the amounts of these deposit, here's how to complete the confirmation process online:

  1. Click the Pay & Get Paid tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click Banks and Cards.
  3. Click the bank account you want to confirm, and click Confirm.
  4. Enter the exact amounts of the 2 deposits made to your account. For example, if you receive two deposits of $.05 and $.15, enter .05 and .15 on the screen.
  5. Click Submit.


  • Some banks combine the 2 small deposit amounts into 1 lump sum. In this situation, please contact us to confirm your bank or try to link your bank instantly.
  • The small deposits are temporary and will be removed from your bank account. If the deposits are $.05 and $.15, you'll also see a debit of $.20 by PayPal on your bank statement.
  • Click here for common issues you might encounter when linking a bank account.

Learn how to link a debit or credit card to your PayPal account.

You need to confirm your bank account so you can move money into your PayPal account. With a confirmed bank account, you are able to withdraw money to a bank account or a debit card, pay anyone with a debit/credit card, and receive money.

Here’s how to initiate the confirmation:
  1. Click the Pay & Get Paid tab at the top of the page.
  2. Under 'Wallet', click Banks and Cards.
  3. Click the bank account to confirm.
  4. Click Confirm.
We’ll send 2 small deposits (each between $0.01 and $0.99 USD) to the bank account you want to confirm.

After 2 to 3 business days, review your bank statement or contact your bank to find out the exact amounts of these deposits. With this information, you can complete the confirmation process online.

Here’s how to complete the confirmation process online:
  1. Click the Pay & Get Paid tab at the top of the page.
  2. Under 'Wallet', click Banks and Cards.
  3. Click the bank account to confirm, and click Confirm.
  4. Enter the exact amounts of the 2 deposits made to your account, then click Confirm.
Note: These random deposits are temporary and will eventually be debited from your bank account. If you don't see them in your bank statement, go to your Money page and PayPal will resend them to you.
PayPal is an online payment service that enables businesses of all sizes, as well as individuals, to accept bank or card payments for the items they sell. When a customer pays for his or her purchases, PayPal processes the payment and transfers the funds to the seller’s PayPal account. PayPal also offers a start-to-finish shopping cart and checkout system.

With PayPal, you can:
  • Accept all types of payments, on almost any device. We’re built to help you accept cards, PayPal, PayPal Credit, and the latest digital wallets via your phone, tablet, laptop, or storefront – in 203 markets around the globe.
  • Use our fastest, easiest checkout yet. Create a better buying experience with fewer screens and fewer clicks. Plus, customers choosing to pay with PayPal have a 44% higher checkout conversion than those using credit cards.
  • Get credit for your business in minutes. You may be eligible to apply for a PayPal Working Capital business loan, giving you better cash flow with no credit check.
  • Offer credit to your customers too. Help increase your online sales by giving your customers the flexibility to pay for purchases over time with PayPal Credit. Even though your customers get more time to pay, you still get paid in full upfront.
  • Get set up quickly, plus get help from our live support when you need it. Integrating payments into your business is easy, and we’ll give you the help you need – from a real human.
PayPal facilitates online payments for hundreds of thousands of Internet e-commerce ventures, as well as traditional brick-and-mortar businesses that have an online presence.

See how PayPal works and get started:


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