How to Use PayPal to Earn More from Your Website
Since launching in 1998, PayPal has grown from strength to strength to become the world’s #1 online payment processing solution.
But have you ever stopped to consider how you can use PayPal more effectively on your website?
Sure PayPal is widely popular amongst sellers and developers across the globe, but do you know how many niche services PayPal offer sellers?
In this guide we’ll show you how to use PayPal to earn more from your website. From breaking down the services that PayPal offer, to smarter ways to use PayPal to drive increased expenditure, by the end of this guide you’ll have the tools and knowledge to begin earning big online!
Start simple with PayPal payment buttons
If you’re new to PayPal, then you’ll be pleased to know there’s a super-simple way you can begin accepting payments on your site.
PayPal buttons have been around for many years and allow online retailers to sell different kinds of items across their sites by adding a payment button with some unique tagging that will take customers off-site to a PayPal payment gateway where they can make payment.
The beauty of PayPal's button product is that you can configure a number of different button types from your PayPal console by visiting the Tools > All Tools menu as per below:
When you’re ready to create your button you can select from the following button types:
- Shopping Cart
- Buy Now
- Automatic Billing, and
- Instalment Plans
Each of these button types has an solid array of features which can be configured including the ability to customise the look and feel of your button to suit your site layout. So whether you're looking to accept recurring payments or process a single payment, PayPal buttons are an excellent option.
Integrating PayPal with your existing shopping cart (and CMS)
Because PayPal is so widely used by the eCommerce community, it’s logical to assume that eCommerce CMS’ such as Magento, Shopify, Bigcommerce and WooCommerce would all provide a simple means of adding PayPal as a payment option.
What this allows you to achieve is essentially enhancing your existing payment gateway by adding a second payment method (i.e. PayPal). For many customers PayPal is an option they look for when visiting eCommerce sites, and services such as Magento and the like offer a super-simple way for you to do this.
When it comes to working with well-known eCommerce services PayPal provides solid documentation and is often built directly into the eCommerce platform only requiring you to enter a few basic credentials to get moving.
Investigate PayPal's Website Payments Pro service
If you’re looking to develop a custom-designed shopping cart and payment gateway solution for your website, then PayPal’s Website Payments Pro is for you.
There are many benefits of using Payments Pro for your website’s payment solution. This includes:
- Use of PayPal’s API to build a solution that will look and feel as if it was built entirely by your team
- Your customers will not be required to leave your site during the shopping cart process
- The ability to process Visa, Mastercard and PayPal payments
- The option to up-sell customers with smarts built into your check-out screen
- Full PCI compliance
- Hosted via an iFrame on your site
If you have a high volume of transactions going through your site, are looking to provide the best possible user experience for your customer base, or are looking to take complete control of your payment solution, then using PayPal Payments Pro on your website will likely earn you more and provide your customers with an extremely polished product.
Build customer confidence using PayPal logos and trust seals
One thing customers on eCommerce sites like to see are trust seals and logos of reputable vendors. Why is this so important to customers? Because the relationship between a vendor and a customer is built on trust, and if you can align yourself with well-known brands who have already earned the trust of a broad customer base, this will usually go a long way to securing you more sales and help to decrease the number of customer support enquiries you receive.
In the case of PayPal, there are a number of logos and trust seals provided by PayPal themselves within your console which can be embedded on your site. We’ve provided a few of these as an example to the left of screen.
When adding trust seals, do so tastefully and try not to go overboard. A strategically placed trust seal in the footer of your site and during your checkout process should be enough to let your customers know that you’re using a high quality payment mechanism and their funds will be safe when transacting with you.
Begin developing recurring payment streams
One of the really handy tools PayPal offers merchants is the ability to setup recurring payments.
There are a variety of reasons why you may want to setup recurring payments on your site using PayPal. This includes:
- You’re selling virtual subscriptions
- You’re running a bricks and mortar business and your customers have signed up online (i.e. A gym membership)
- You’re looking to minimise paperwork
- You’re looking to build repeat passive income streams, or
- The transaction types you offer can be easily grouped and offered as a repeatable service
Whatever the reason, recurring payments are the cornerstone of many successful businesses. Not only are they efficient and cost-effective, but are also highly lucrative.
If your business model supports recurring payments or you think there's an opportunity to offer a service that supports this type of business, PayPal has a number of great options out-of-the-box which you can configure and add to your site to boost your bottom-line.
Consider offering instalment payments
If you’re selling items on your website which lend themselves to multiple payments, you may want to consider offering instalment payments as an option for your customers.
With the rise of services such as Afterpay going mainstream, it’s no surprise that PayPal has followed suit offering instalment payment capability as part of their service.
As you would expect from a payment services provider the size of PayPal, instalment payments using PayPal are easy to implement across your site, however at present appear only available as a button-based solution.
Never-the-less this feature is a great option for those who are either selling only a handful of items or are willing to setup instalment plan buttons for each of their products (or get a qualified web development team to automate the process).
Use promotional coupons with your PayPal buttons
It may be surprising to learn that out-of-the-box, PayPal does not provide the capability to generate and accept coupon codes for products...however that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
With a little bit of programming expertise, you can send out promo codes to your best customers offering a discount on each of your items or site-wide.
Just have your web developers add some custom code to your site that recognises the discount value of your coupon code, the relationship the coupon has with a particular item, and apply that discount to your PayPal item total and you should be good to go.
If you’re looking for tips on how to use coupon codes on your eCommerce site, we’ve recently written a comprehensive guide on the topic.
Boosting your sales volumes to save on fees
PayPal makes money by charging fees on each transaction is processed through your site and has been in business using the same model for years.
PayPal do not charge you to open an account or pay a monthly fee for having an account, but they do charge percentage based fees. For example, if you make a $100 in sales in a month, in Australia you’ll pay 2.6% + $0.30 for each transaction up to $2,500 meaning you’re going to pay PayPal $2.90 in fees. However if you can put through a higher volume of sales, PayPal can begin to save you a lot of money.
At the time of writing this article, PayPal’s Australian fee structure is based on five pricing tiers, each with decreasing fees depending upon the monthly sales volume you put through. Therefore, the more you sell the lower fees you'll be required to pay.
Extend your payment gateway with PayPal Payflow
For eCommerce retailers one of the major challenges faced each day is processing payments quickly, especially when you offer multiple payment methods.
To provide a resolution to this problem, PayPal offers a service called Payflow in two formats; Payflow Pro for payment gateways hosted by you, and Payflow Link for PayPal hosted solutions.
With Payflow, you can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal payments online, via mail or over the phone, and elect to set up recurring billing services.
What makes this service so effective is that Payflow connects with your existing merchant gateway (i.e. ANZ, Westpac, NAB, Commonwealth Bank) allowing you to extend an already functioning payment gateway service without having to re-invent the wheel.
For merchants who currently do not offer PayPal and are looking to offer this as a service, Payflow Pro is a great way to begin earning more from your eCommerce site by providing your customers with a well-integrated payment solution with multiple payment options.
PayPal is a widely used service by online retailers of all shapes and sizes offering extensive documentation, support and a vast array of features you can use to process payments on your site.
If you’re looking to really use PayPal to your advantage, one of the great assets of the PayPal ecosystem is its flexibility.
PayPal can be integrated into all major payment gateways, eCommerce CMS’, and can be built to work seamlessly with your existing workflow or as an off-site solution making PayPal a tool for all merchants.
What we really like about PayPal is that you can start simple with PayPal buttons and work your way up. By configuring a simple 'Buy Now' button and placing a few lines of pre-generated source code on your site you can be up and running selling products on your store in minutes.
At OSE we’ve implemented PayPal for a number of our clients as both a primary and secondary payment option and without fail PayPal has been an effective tool to work with and manage payments for clients.
If you’re looking to begin offering PayPal on your eCommerce store, feel free to contact the OSE digital team for a confidential discussion.