Shocker — what 1 hour of worldwide web payments looks like
Research for this article began with the thought to answer this question: How much money is spent on the web every day? As it turns out, web payments across all kinds of commerce measure in the billions of dollars. Yes, that’s billions with a B. Undertaking math using those kinds of numbers is no small feat. How many zeros is that again? With the help of some old school pen and paper (just to get the number of zeros right), the numbers were calculated down to the hour. For the sake of being consistent, the numbers cited are from 2016. Let’s take a look.
Global ecommerce sales: $1.9 trillion = $216,894,977 per hour
U.S. ecommerce sales: $396 billion = $45,205,479 per hour
Netflix revenue: $8.8 billion = $1,004,566 per hour
Amazon revenue: $135 billion = $15,410,958 per hour
YouTube revenue: $9 billion = $1,027,397 per hour
Venmo users transferred: over $1 billion = $114,155 per hour
Facebook ads brought in: $26 million = $2,968 per hour
Uber has provided over 2 billion rides. That’s over 208,000 payment transactions per hour
The numbers are staggering. You may be envisioning that scene in DuckTales which opens with the uncle diving into the giant room of gold coins. Perhaps the key stakeholders in these businesses do feel like that from time to time. But what does this all mean and how do web payments affect every day business, specifically for you?
First, eCommerce continues to grow by double digits year over year (23 percent). Not surprising considering that 51 percent of Americans prefer to shop online. If more than half of Americans prefer to shop online, is your business meeting that desire, tapping that opportunity? If not, should you be. Well, recent research shows us the passion consumers have to support small businesses. That answers our question with a resounding, yes—especially if your business is in a category (think decorative arts, handcrafts, jewelry, even order-ahead functionality for restaurants, cafes etc.) that could benefit from even a modest online presence. What’s your next step? Consider the benefits of providing consumers the option to purchase online.
You probably spent months, or perhaps years, preparing to open your doors, every detail in place and the marketing plan ready for execution. Perhaps you knew how much time you would end up spending at your business (much more than 40 hours per week), but passion propelled your dream forward. Mark Cuban from Shark Tank frequently says, “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40”. If building your website was on the list to get to “later”, and hasn’t materialized yet, you are missing out on revenue. It’s time to correct that.
How can online, and web payments too, work for your business?
Social media is among the things that have made our world smaller. Consumers share their favorite photos and recommendations of businesses quite frequently—among friends, family, co-workers and across a slew of web experiences. Their network of contacts frequently expands well beyond their local area. What happens if they share a swoon worthy photo of your retail shop and a friend in a different state would like to make a purchase? They are going to look for your business online. It’s important that they can locate your website and that you have online payments set up that are easy to use. Social media and the human experience make it possible to sell to consumers in places that you’ve never even thought of, or have no intention of, marketing.
From consumers near or far, the beauty of online payments is that customers can make purchases when your brick and mortar doors are closed. That means extra revenue for your business. And who doesn’t like to make a little extra money while they are sleeping or spending time with family?
3 key components to evaluate on your website
Be prepared for the time investment it takes to build your website. Or have a plan for which online commerce players can help you build an online presence quickly—often with things like payments baked right in. Going online may feel like you’re building an entirely new business from the ground up, and in some ways you are. If you are just starting out, there are a few key highlights to make the web experience a good one. If you already have your site live, it never hurts to take another look and evaluate if there are improvements to be made.
- View the website as a buyer. Can you easily find what you looking for?
- Invest in SEO. You are investing the time and money to build a site so make sure others can find it by searching.
- Make web payments easy. Consumers like easy check out. Ensure that site indicates secure payments and allows for as few steps as necessary.
Consider the dollar and human resources you have available to build, manage and grow an online presence. Remember, today, there are a number of paths to building a path to online payments that can be rolled out affordably and sensibly, and with most of the support and value-adding services that you need, such as payments, built right in.
Are online payments actually easy?
The short answer is yes. There are a number of ways to implement online payments right into the web platform you are already using—and in many instances; popular commerce platforms let you choose from among already-integrated payments. If you happen to be more of a novice at technology, the payment provider who helped you implement in-store credit card acceptance is a great resource to getting your online payments set up. Consult with them in the web building process as well. They may be able to provide some specifications and key pointers in the build stage or even connect you with available partners to bring you online.
The dream of small business owners everywhere
While making billions may be a dream that is never realized, growing your business to a healthy, repeatable revenue stream is certainly a worthy goal. Incorporating web payments into an already existing sales experience will get you on the right track. Don’t be among the 50% of small business owners who don’t have a website. Learn more about how to get started.