How to accept payments online without a website

Payments
Payments

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ดูข้อมูลเพิ่มเติม 
  1. บทแนะนำ
  2. Payment links
    1. What are payment links?
    2. Stripe Payment Links
    3. How to use payment links
    4. Tips for using payment links
  3. Payment links and social media
  4. Using payment links on Instagram
  5. Digital marketplaces
  6. Benefits of not having a website as a business

The trend is clear: Shoppers are increasingly moving online. In 2021, consumers spent $870.78 billion with US businesses online, marking a 14.2% increase from 2020. But what if your business doesn’t have a website? For example, you might just be starting out and don’t have the funds to build a website yet, or your business may be brick and mortar. Fortunately, there are several innovative methods, such as payment links, that make it fast, easy, and secure to accept online payments without a website.

We’ll cover what payment links are, how to use them most effectively, and the benefits of not having a website.

What’s in this article?

  • Payment links
    • What are payment links?
    • Stripe Payment Links
    • How to use payment links
    • Tips for using payment links
  • Payment links and social media
  • Using payment links on Instagram
  • Digital marketplaces
  • Benefits of not having a website as a business

Payment links are the most versatile way for businesses to accept online payments without a website. You also don’t need to work with a third-party platform or marketplace to use payment links.

Payment links allow businesses to create a payment page and share the link directly with customers, who can then click the link and complete a purchase without visiting a website. Payment pages display the product or service with a description and list the various payment methods available to customers.

Stripe Payment Links require no coding and can be shared an unlimited number of times on any channel, including email, social media, and text messaging. They’re an agile, all-purpose tool on their own, or they can be used as part of a larger, integrated payment processing strategy.

Stripe Payment Links are only available to businesses with a Stripe account, so if you’re not already signed up, you’ll want to do that first. Stripe users can create payment links directly from the Dashboard.

After creating a payment link in just a few clicks, you will see the Details page appear automatically. Now you’re ready to start sharing the link anywhere and everywhere.

Payment links have many uses and can even replace an ecommerce website for many basic functions relating to sales and payments. They’re also especially effective for marketing and driving sales:

  • Targeting distinct audience segments
    Payment links give you the ability to create multiple custom pages for the same product, perfect for emphasizing distinct value props for different segments of your customer audience.

  • Testing out different messaging directions
    Wonder which marketing copy, product names, and descriptions will best resonate with your customers and increase conversions? Payment links are a streamlined way to test out different messaging strategies to see which ones hit the mark.

  • SMS marketing
    Drop a link directly into a text message to your customers, allowing them to take action without navigating a long checkout flow or clicking through to a website. Fewer steps means fewer opportunities for customer drop-off.

  • Generating urgency around product drops
    Nothing says “run, don’t walk” like a direct link that bypasses the website and facilitates immediate ordering. This is a particularly good option for limited-edition releases, in-demand items that typically sell out quickly, and time-constrained offers.

  • Making the most of sales and seasonal discounts
    Custom payment links are a great way to add a little extra power to campaigns and sales. Because payment links are so low-lift to create and mobilize, it’s easy to include them throughout the year.

  • Fundraising and collecting donations
    It’s always beneficial to give people a way to take action and complete a transaction with a minimal number of steps. Payment links offer a fundamentally streamlined customer experience, which proves especially valuable in situations like fundraising and donation collection—where any amount of friction might undermine conversion.

In 2021, retail ecommerce sales racked up roughly $4.9 trillion worldwide, so it’s no surprise that every company with a platform wants to get in on the action. For businesses, this means more ways to sell to customers—even without relying on a corporate website.

Among social media, Instagram is the pack leader when it comes to ecommerce. According to a 2020 Instagram trends research study, 44% of users surveyed said they use Instagram to shop on a weekly basis. Instagram allows businesses to develop their audience, operate scalable marketing campaigns, retarget customers, and process transactions right in the app. Since Instagram is one of the most popular channels brands use to reach and convert customers, it only makes sense that the company offers in-app sales.

Instagram’s Shop feature is not the only way businesses can use it and other social media platforms to conduct sales—they’re also perfect for socializing payment links. Dropping links in profile bios, Instagram Stories, and direct messages allows businesses to drive sales without setting up shop to conduct them directly on the social media platform itself (or their own website).

Digital marketplaces

Typically, marketplaces include built-in payment capabilities for the businesses that use them. If you are primarily processing sales on a third-party marketplace, and you aren’t interested in creating your own ecommerce channel, you might do just fine without a website of your own.

For example, Etsy is one prominent marketplace where individual businesses can create a storefront, share their products, and sell to customers directly, all without having to build their own website.

However, as appealing as marketplaces might be, there are a few downsides to relying on a marketplace for your entire ecommerce operation:

  • Lack of control
    One of the biggest upsides to selling through a marketplace is also one of the biggest downsides: Much of the customer experience is outside your control. This can mean an ecommerce environment that’s been designed with far greater resources than you might be able to afford on your own, but it may also mean aspects that you can’t control and might not love.

  • Sharing space with competing businesses
    Selling through an ecommerce marketplace means that your business is not the only option available to customers. There’s no getting around the built-in competition that comes with the territory.

  • Fees
    Of course, ecommerce marketplaces don’t host products for free. The costs and fees vary among different marketplaces, but it’s important to understand the economic tradeoffs of doing business this way. Compare marketplace fees for Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. Here’s another article explaining marketplace fees for other popular sites, including Etsy.

Benefits of not having a website as a business

On the surface, it might seem like not having your own website to accept customer payments means you’re automatically sacrificing something—but that’s not necessarily true. There are a number of benefits to accepting online payments either through payment links or a third-party marketplace:

  • Better checkout experience with less work on your part
    When you process customer payments through your own website, the burden is on you and your team to make sure the website functions flawlessly. But when you accept payments online directly through payment links or a third-party marketplace, you’re no longer responsible for creating the perfect checkout experience, freeing up time and resources for other aspects of your business. It’s like having Stripe’s development and design teams running your checkout experience—without having to hire them yourself.

  • Increased conversion and fewer abandoned carts
    Ecommerce websites lose more than 75% of sales to abandoned carts. Less friction for customers during the checkout process means fewer abandoned carts and more sales.

  • Boosted customer retention
    A Google survey found that 63% of consumers say they are less likely to purchase from a business again after a single negative experience. Having an easy, expertly designed checkout process keeps customers coming back.

  • Ease of use
    For ecommerce businesses, there’s always pressure to create an online experience for customers that feels easy, fast, and optimized for conversion. Though building your own perfect website requires a lot of time and resources. When you use payment links instead, you skip right to the desired end result: a polished, conversion-friendly experience for your customers.

  • Flexibility
    When selling through your own website, you have to make important choices about every aspect of how you market your goods: from product descriptions and placement to branding and visuals. The challenge is that these choices usually can’t be optimized for every one of your audience segments simultaneously. With payment links, you can create a hyper-tailored payment page for each target audience. You can test out different images and messaging, which not only gives each audience a customized experience, but you’ll also learn which strategies most effectively boost sales.

Learn more about how to create and use payment links with Stripe to drive online sales.

The content in this article is for general information and education purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Stripe does not warrant or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information in the article. You should seek the advice of a competent attorney or accountant licensed to practice in your jurisdiction for advice on your particular situation.

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