If you’re an online business or want to sell your products online you’ll need a payment processor. At Kicks Digital we use two different payment processing solutions depending on the business objective. For clients that want to sell products online we use Shopify and for subscription base models we use Stripe.
Shopify – Online Store
Shopify is all you’ll need to create an online shop. From payment processing to product inventory, Shopify can do it all. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to selling your merchandise. Why pay a web development company to create a custom online store when there’s an inexpensive alternative that takes care of everything for you? It’s easy to say that I want to sell things online, but there’s probably a lot you’re not thinking about. Shopify takes care of inventory, sales tax, shipping costs, product details and even has the ability to do in person sales from a tablet or phone.
There are over 100 themes to choose from to get your products online. If you need some customization to the theme you have direct access to all the files to make any changes or additions you’ll need. You also don’t need to migrate your entire site over to Shopify just to have a store. There are multiple store embed solutions that can integrate into to your website fairly seamlessly.
For our long time client, a la cART Projects, we implemented a full store embed solution where users can purchase project kits directly from the main website while all of the store inventory is controlled offsite with Shopify. Whenever projects are added or removed they’re automatically adjusted on the website with the embed.
Shopify and WordPress
As you may have noticed from many of our previous posts; we like WordPress. Generally, with a few exceptions, we encourage our clients that are selling products online to stay on WordPress and utilize the store embed. While you are able to have a blog and other non-store pages on a Shopify site, it’s tough to ignore how powerful WordPress can be when put in the right hands. The blogging and marketing flexibility that WordPress brings to the table far outweighs any “simplicity” there might be by having your entire website on Shopify. Of course, there are exceptions, but we’ve encountered very few over the years dealing with dozens of different business objectives.
Stripe – Subscriptions
A less common model for our clients is a subscription based model. It’s just not something we see very often out of small businesses. We use Stripe for our payment processing through our Client Portal and we’ve helped our client, ToWhoFromYou, create a subscription based card writing and delivery service. As a web development company, we’ve worked with a ton of different payment processors over the years. Once we started using Stripe, we’ve never looked back.
Stripe’s primary focus is subscription processing. Of course, you can do one-time payments, but if your business model relies on recurring revenue then Stripe is for you. Creating plans and subscriptions is easily done through the API or straight from your account. You’re able to take care of all your normal subscription tasks like pro-rating and free trials. Stripe automatically sends out receipts after each successful payment and can inform the administrator if an account has gone delinquent.
Reporting is another thing Stripe does very well. We actually use Stripe to maintain an up-to-date list of all the services that we’re offering over all of our clients. The reporting and exports of payments and payouts make it very easy to reconcile your books at the end of the month as well. It even exports transactions and customers into a ‘.iif’ file that can be imported directly into Quickbooks.
While Shopify and Stripe can’t tackle 100% of business needs, one or both should be able to accomplish most small business needs. If you don’t think either can, then you’ve probably over complicated your payment process. The last thing you want to do is make it complicated for your potential customers to actually buy your product or service. Spend your time and money where it matters and not on administering some over-engineered payment solution.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we use Shopify and Stripe to solve our client’s problems, just ask.