Running a natural products store online can be highly profitable due to the growing consumer interest in organic food and beverage items, as well as supplements. The U.S. Natural and Organic Product Industry sales surged 6.5% to $207 billion in 2017, while the natural supplement market grew 6.1% to $44 billion in the U.S. over the same span, according to New Hope Network’s Nutrition Business Journal.
The number of individuals and investors opening up natural products stores is on the rise due to the high revenue opportunities that the natural and organic product space offers. Working with a reputable credit card processor can help these merchants optimize payments—and growth.
How to Get a Natural Products Store Merchant Account
Merchants in this space are well-advised to open a merchant account through a specialized payment processor that understands the industry. This requires completing a few simple steps and providing the necessary information.
Most applications for a natural products store merchant account will request that your business share a valid, government-issued ID, a bank letter or pre-printed voided check, three months of the most recent bank statements, three months of the most recent processing statements and a Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Working with a payments services provider that specializes in this niche can speed up the application process. In some cases, merchants can get approved within a matter of days. Specialized payment processors often offer one-stop solutions to help augment your payments operations, including fraud prevention, risk mitigation, and PCI compliance. This is to the merchant’s benefit as they have one resource to help manage and lower chargebacks, protect customers’ sensitive data and receive advice on streamlining payments.
Managing Chargebacks Natural Products Stores
Like most online businesses, natural products stores are not immune to the chargeback problem. In some cases, customers have buyer’s remorse, blaming the merchant for how supplements or other natural products that seemingly didn’t work. These disputes snowball into chargebacks, costing the merchant dearly in fines, fees, and penalties.
Many online shops offer free trials to customers as a way to let people try their natural products, risk-free. This is a handy marketing tool; however, it can also cause an increase in chargebacks. Without excellent communication about the terms of a free trial, customers can become confused about payment conditions—or simply forget about their purchase—and dispute the charges later on. It is imperative for natural product store merchants running free trials to provide email confirmations, email reminders, and other information on the website so that customers have the right information.
Optimize Your Site — and Your Brand Story
In an industry as competitive as the natural products business, you’ll need to develop a brand, website and line of products that are unique. Don’t try to carry every natural supplement or vitamin available simply to follow industry fads; quality always trumps quantity.
Be straightforward in your advertising. Maintain high standards and carry products that you know will help customers. Use a marketing approach with long-term goals in mind. Build your business as a farmer rather than a hunter, with a focus on harvesting a long-term relationships with customers rather than shooting for quick sales with customers who won’t return.
Avoid misinformation and clearly articulate the benefits of the products you offer. Where possible, reference industry experts that can back claims and provide additional guidance. Educating your customer base can add to your appeal and it also helps customers feel secure in what they are purchasing from your brand.
Another way to bolster trust is to ensure that your brand experience remains consistent from the home page through product pages and all the way to the end of the payments process. Checkout pages or portals that veer from the regular branding can cause confusion and distrust among consumers.
Follow up online sales with a branded confirmation email that includes a receipt for each customer’s purchase. This goes a long way in improving the customer experience, and also provides a way for customers to get in touch if they have a question or an issues. The more you communicate with your customers, the less likely it is that disputes will arise and snowball into costly chargebacks.
PayArc offers comprehensive payment processing services, which include a PCI compliant payment gateway, mobile payment processing solutions easy integration of your online systems with our full API and SDK.