Small businesses must address a series of challenges to succeed in today’s highly competitive industry. In addition to having a solid product assortment, they also must offer the same excellent browsing and buying experiences across all channels.
While there are a variety of new, affordable technologies on the market to help small businesses keep pace with their larger counterparts, these investments can sometimes backfire. Take for example Kings Games, a gaming retailer with one store in Brooklyn, NY, and a growing e-Commerce business. Owner Alex Shvartsman implemented Square to accept mobile payments in store as well as process payments for online orders.
“I’ve always been an early adopter of technology; I was an early PayPal user and started an eBay account in 1997, so when I saw what Square was doing I thought it was very exciting,” Shvartsman said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The main reason it was attractive to me is that Square offered a solution that didn’t require technological know-how to establish an e-Commerce business. Unfortunately I didn’t know any of the potential problems that may arise.”
Three months later, a customer used stolen credit card numbers to purchase approximately $1,800 worth of merchandise. Shortly thereafter, Shvartsman received chargeback notices for the purchases, with the funds being removed directly from the business’ bank account.
“What’s worse, these items are sold on incredibly low margins,” Shvartsman explained in a blog recounting the incident. “After the wholesale cost, shipping, and processing fees, I make approximately $5 in net profit for each $90 box of trading cards sold, not counting fixed costs. So an $1,800 loss wipes out profits from literally tens of thousands of dollars in sales.”
Overall, Shvartsman’s run-in with fraudsters was a “huge learning experience for me,” he said. “I didn’t come into this with a background in online retailing or order processing. A lot of it was new to me but it was a very important lesson. There are many businesses out there that are going through the same things I went through. They just aren’t aware of what’s out there and what undercurrents they have to navigate to sell online.”
After learning of Shvartsman’s experience, PayPal offered to have developers install its shopping cart technology on the site free of charge. PayPal also provided Kings Games with a physical PayPal Here terminal to conduct in-store transactions.
PayPal Here allows Shvartsman and his store employees to swipe credit cards on mobile devices. In addition, consumers can download the PayPal Here app to check in to local businesses and pay for their items using their personal PayPal accounts.
“We’re pushing the ability for consumers to use their smartphones to pay hard,” Shvartsman said. “You no longer have to carry your wall; it’s just a matter of swiping in, using your PayPal account, and checking out. Because we sell games, our customers are young and tech-savvy, so we’re definitely seeing more sales because of this feature. It’s futuristic and cool, and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our customers because of it.”
Working with partners Wix and Ecwid, PayPal helped Kings Games re-launch its web site. With a sleeker, more organized layout, and a more seamless shopping cart experience, the merchant is creating an online shopping journey that stacks up sufficiently against competitors.
The Ecwid shopping cart tool integrates with the Wix powered site, and offers Shvartsman the ability to customize the experience with zero programming experience.
Using Ecwid, Shvartsman can create categories and add products, and even link to the storefront on the Kings Games Facebook page. Coupons also can be created within the platform using either a “percent off sale” model, or set dollar value. These deals also can be customized for singe or multiple use, and can be applied for specific items or categories.
The new online platform is “extremely user friendly,” Shvartsman noted. “I never had to Google search or reach out to anyone when I needed to figure something out. I was able to meddle with the platform and easily figure out how to add new features.”