Today, the greatest difference between businesses in the same field is whether they use the Internet as a sales tool. For years, online sales were the icing on the cake of the in store sales a merchant made. Today, however, an online sales account is one of the most lucrative services a business can retain.

Statistics for Internet use and Online Shopping

According to 2011 estimates by Internet World Stats, 78.3% of U.S. residents use the Internet, and 66% of these users have bought at least one product online. Worldwide, 30.2% of people use the Internet, and if one-fourth of them shop online, that’s over 500 million people who could buy what you’re selling.

Internet statistics are a strong motivator for Internet merchant services. But a merchant must see selling online as a concrete way to increase its bottom line. How can selling online increase the profit margins of a merchant?

Selling online versus in store

Upon opening an online merchant account, businesses that sell in store seldom close their locations to sell strictly online. Instead, they become what are known as “bricks and clicks,” businesses that sell in store and online. Often, these businesses find that selling online offers unexpected avenues for cost cutting and sales improvement. For example, selling online can make it easier to:

Sell niche products

Almost every niche product has thousands of buyers. The problem is not all of them can visit a merchant’s store shelves. By selling niche products online, merchants present them to customers worldwide. What was once a product that barely sold can become a hot seller on the Internet.

Reduce location expansion

In a shaky economy, the last thing businesses want is to build more locations and incur the expense of running them. Because selling online reaches additional customers in the same way additional locations do, it can serve as an alternative for location expansion.

Reduce present locations

Closing a location needn’t be a sign of failure. In fact, some businesses close locations willingly due to the selling power and reduced overhead of selling online. Internet merchant services involve a few nominal fees, while locations involve utility bills, building insurance, maintenance expense, etc

Increase sales locally

We hear about the value of the Internet for reaching remote customers. But it can also stimulate sales within a merchant’s locale. According to a study by Leisure Trends Group, 1 in 3 active Americans prefer shopping online to shopping in store, even when they live close to shopping destinations. From distant shores to a merchant’s backyard, an Internet merchant account increases its sales revenue.

AVPS has the Internet account options you need

At AVPS, we provide Internet merchant accounts that permit debit, credit, and check payment online. With 25 years experience in Small Business Merchant Accounts and over 25 years experience servicing merchants, we have the expertise you need, and the experience you can trust as you expand payment options. To learn more about debit card, check, or credit card merchant services, call us today.