Are you looking for ideas on going green? Using online payment solutions can be a win for both the environment and your business.
Being green may no longer be optional in the future. According to the 2018 State of Green Business Report from media company GreenBiz, companies are increasingly responding to customer wishes for greener products and business models.
Being eco-conscious today can help boost your company brand or image, save you money and give you a competitive advantage.
Going green doesn't need to be time-consuming and it doesn't have to cost a lot. There are easy and inexpensive ways to go green.
1. Provide online payment solutions.
In this digital age, one of the quickest ways to reduce your company's environmental impact may be to adopt online payment solutions.
With online payment solutions, you can get rid of paperwork and bank checks. Other benefits include:
- saving time for you and your clients by eliminating the need to take business credit card numbers over the phone.
- getting paid faster. (With online payment solutions, you can receive payments 24/7, and not just when you're open for business, which can help ease cash-flow issues.)
- removing the stress out of the payment process. Now your clients can pay you instantly and you don't have to chase down payments.
There's a wide choice of online payment solutions. As you search for one that's suitable for your business and work, make sure the process for online payments is safe and easy.
If you haven't made a sale from someone who has been on your mailing list for a long time, it may be time to remove them.
Besides being an environmentally-friendly option, using online payment solutions can help your bottom line. Often website visitors abandon their shopping cart due to the online payment process. Make sure you address the following issues when looking at online payment solutions:
- Offer guest checkout. Busy customers may find having to create an account to check out a waste of time. Allow customers to check out as guests.
- Address concerns about privacy and security. Customers are concerned they might get hacked while making purchases online. Make sure your checkout page is secure by taking any necessary cybersecurity steps for your business, such as protecting log-in credentials and using an SSL certificate on your website.
- Offer multiple payment methods. Consider providing multiple payment options such as major credit cards, payment gateway providers and even transfers from bank accounts if feasible.
You can also help your customers out by taking the pain out of fixing errors. It's easy to make mistakes when filling out a checkout form. Make it easy to find where the error is so that customers can correct it without wasting time trying to figure out what's wrong. Another tip: If customers make a mistake in filling the form, don't erase all the information they typed and force them to restart the process. It's frustrating for customers to have to retype their information.
And one last thing: Make sure people pay only once in the transaction. In a recent purchase, I mistakenly clicked twice on "place your order." (The system was slow.) I ended up with a double charge for the same item and no way to fix it during the transaction.
Even if your business isn't online, you can still provide an online payment solution for your customers. You can add a payment link to the invoice that leads to a payment page on your website, for example.
2. Search for green suppliers.
In addition to providing online payment solutions, another way to go green is to do business with green vendors. Small, simple initiatives can make a difference for the environment. Consider:
- using janitorial services for your place of business and making sure they use environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
- asking your printer to use recycled paper for your printing jobs.
- asking your coffee supply company to do away with unnecessary disposable items such as straws and stir sticks.
- choosing caterers who provide local, organic seasonal food and sustainable seafood if you order food for events.
- using web hosting companies that have gone green.
3. Update a stale mailing list.
I receive several expensive catalogs from companies I either have never done business with or haven't bought from in years. The catalogs keep coming and end up immediately in the recycling bins. Calling and asking the companies to stop the mailings are not always effective. In some cases, it seems as though once you appear on a company mailing list, it's almost impossible to be removed.
To avoid this waste of money and to help in your efforts to go green, make it easy for people to opt out of your direct mail marketing lists. Make it visible and clear on your marketing items where they can call or write to be removed from the list.
Track your direct mailing campaign as well. Are orders coming in as a direct result of the mailing campaign? If you haven't made a sale from someone who has been on your mailing list for a long time, it may be time to remove them.
Green initiatives are not only good for our planet, but they may also be pivotal to your business success. Showing customers that you are eco-conscious sends a positive message about your company. Being kind to the earth may pay double dividends.
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