Ah, the Internet. A beautiful beast that lets you connect with people, that have Internet, all over our blue planet. The meadow of opportunity. It has answers to all your questions, enables you easier and fastest communication, shopping and payment in just a few clicks.
Wise old people used to say: if you’re not online, it’s like you don’t exist! And they’re right, like the old folk mostly are. Because, if you’re not online, if your customer can’t find you, if you don’t have beautifully designed webpage with SEO optimized content and active social media – you can just hang the “close“ sign on your business doors.
So, let’s start from the beginning. Here are the benefits of having an online store, or why your travel agency needs to enable an online payment.
Setting up an online store on your travel agency’s webpage is a very useful and profitable step. It provides your customers with flexibility because they can buy your products or services at any time of the day, from anywhere they are. Online sales can also expand your customer base, which can be local and global.
- Lower costs
The cost of e-commerce is considerably lower than the cost of having a physical store. For example, physical sales require employees to handle, manage, and maintain, while e-commerce is largely automated. Also, the cost of renting space, utility costs and so on are almost negligible in the online version. All of that can be reduced to just a few GB of internet space, which will cost you much less.
- Simple administration
For most software solutions, the management interface can be accessed by virtually any device that has Internet access. If you want to change the price, add or remove a product or service, modify a description or something else, you can do it quickly and independently, even if you do not have any previous experience with all that techy tech stuff.
The online store is open 24/7 and there is no need to actively supervise the work, since the customer can find out all that they’re interested in through the webshop, make a purchase or at least submit a question. At any time, your store is open and customers have the ability to browse and order your products or services – or go to your competition’s webpage, if you didn’t start a web store yet.
- Larger sales reach
The physical store is most often tied to customers from your immediate surroundings, and the webshop allows people from other cities, counties and states to review your offer and become your customers. If you have a product or service that would be of interest to foreign customers, making a webshop is a great and economical way to present your tourist agency’s offer.
- Measurable results
Every activity on your online store is measurable. At any time, you can see all the visits, most searched products or services, the most purchased ones, you can find your customers’ demographic analysis, traffic sources and so much more. You can use this information to improve online marketing communications and make smart business decisions.
- Reservation guarantee
The last in this list, but one of the most important thing is: an online store and online payment options will keep your guest coming back. And they will like clicking through your page because they have a simple purchase procedure for a specific product or service they’re looking for. Also, you have a kind of guarantee for all the bookings. Win-win!
If this sounds simple and logical – you understand the point and you are ready for the next step. So, let’s start by opening an online store and activating online payments for your travel agency.
The legal regulation of online store
Once you’ve opened your own travel agency and decided to launch a webshop, you’ll meet a boring part of the whole procedure. The laws. Every country has it, and you should really concentrate while diving into it.
We strongly suggest you find help with these steps. There are all kinds of regulations you need to know, like your VAT number, taxes, some general trade laws and regulations, GDPR if you’re dealing with EU customers, consumer protection laws… and it all depends on the country you live in.
Open the online store
If you’re still breathing after all this legal stuff, you’re ready for next step and some easier topics. But before you start opening your online store, you need to have a web page designed to connect certain software elements. You can buy web hosting packages that will enable your online transaction options, but you will also need to set up online payment methods for your customers.
One typical web shop consists of:
- Catalog of products or services, or in your case, real estates, apartments, beds or additional services provided by your travel agency
- Tool for selected products or services (shopping cart, basket, bag or whatever you’re going to call it)
- Payment Gateway service, for currency transactions
With all the technical part of your online store, it’s important to provide your customers with clear information about ordering, booking, pricing in different currencies, and payment methods. Also, your customers must know how to return the product or cancel the service.
Your customers can potentially be concerned about the safety of online shopping, and you will need to provide them with clear information about your privacy and security policies. Remember the legal regulation we talked in the first step, well we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to know all that sales laws before you open your online store.
These steps are not simple and they require a lot of specific knowledge and experience before moving on to development itself. We suggest co-operation with the experienced developer, which will help you in these steps.
But wait – there is some light in all this grey law and order woods!
All this can be simpler if you decide to join forces with some of the websites that can provide you with a suite of services that includes all of the above. So with us at BookIT.com you will have your webpage with integrated online payment and all for one, fixed price. If it sounds great, it’s because it is great! Check us out and let us know what you think.
Integration with the Payment Gateway service
Once you successfully set up and run your online store, you only miss one element – payment gateway. This term refers to a system of secure authorization and card payment over the Internet, to provide you with a fast, secure and easy purchase process for your customers.
Before you connect with any service that makes booking and online currency transactions easier, you need to integrate with some of the authorization systems. Some of the most popular are:
One of the most popular in the world is definitely PayPal. It has about 140 million active accounts, is available in more than 190 countries, supports 26 currencies and runs around 8 million on a daily basis. PayPal charges its transaction from only 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. Basic system setup is free, and more advanced features require monthly payments.
- Amazon Payments
Amazon also offers a secure and streamlined payment service for its clients, with a reputation similar to the one of PayPal Payments Pro. It even charges you the same like the PayPal.
You may be pro/against bitcoin payments, but you can’t disagree with the fact that they are the future of secure payments and transactions. BitPay owns a unique, leading position among gateways that enable such payments, being the founder and supporter of a whole new payment processing method. And, BitPay takes only fixed 1% for all users.
- Pay Way (T-com)
Pay Way is a T-Com payment option that provides benefits such as processing credit and debit cards, automatic billing or pre-authorization, and merging with multiple banks.
The initial connection price to the system is about $155, after which you pay a monthly fee of $31, and the fee per transaction is just 1%.
- WS Pay
WS Pay is a Croatian product that is easy to deploy thanks to the prepared modules for a variety of open source solutions, such as WordPress. It enables real-time credit and debit card payments, high level of protection, and pre-authorization with post-payment transactions. Connection to the system is free of charge, but the fee for use is about $368 + VAT per year. Also, the transaction fee is not charged, which makes this solution ideal for companies that have higher annual revenue and are more likely to pay fixed price than a certain percentage of each transaction.
There are many more, but it’s up to you to pick one and enable your customers easy, safe and simple payment method.
How to set the Payment Gateway system?
The whole procedure is actually not so complicated. Whatever service you contact, someone on their side will guide you through the necessary steps.
However, before you decide on a specific service, you should ask yourself certain questions. Answers can help you filter out the best way for a better experience for your guests:
- Are there, and what are, the prerequisites for using the Payment Gateway system?
- How much do you pay for connecting to the system?
- How much is a monthly fee for using the system?
- What is the commission on a cash transaction?
- What are all credit cards supported?
- Can the Payment Gateway layout be customized to look like your webshop design?
- What security payment systems do a Payment Gateway use?
- What is the transaction processing speed?
- Should customers go through the registration process when making payments?
- Do the Payment Gateway has the 24/7 customer support?
BookIT.com will provide you with an integrated system of secure, fast and easy online payment transactions through PayPal, Pay Way (T-com) and WS Pay services. All you have to do is agree to cooperate with some of them and online payment on the pages of your travel agency can start.
Enable cryptocurrency payments
Cryptocurrencies are no longer a far-reaching and unimaginable future, but a rather tangible reality. So, why not make a step forward and introduce another payment option to your customers. The crypto world is evolving and will soon fill out the “online payments“ space, and probably very soon. So why fight it?
Cryptocurrency is the virtual currency, digital money. Bitcoin, Etherium, Ripple, or any other virtual currency, can be compared to cash by its features. And given the growth of the crypto market, more and more people are looking for a place where they can use them as a means of payment. So, why don’t your tourist agency offer people a safe place where they can take advantage of the possibility of replacing cryptocurrency for some of your services/products?
- Protection from scams
Cryptocurrency is digital and cannot be arbitrarily forged or remodeled by senders as a debit/credit cards can
- Reduced identity theft
When you give your debit/credit card to the merchant, you give it access to the entire credit line, even if it is a small amount of money transaction. Credit cards work on a so-called “pull“ principle, where the store triggers a payment and withdraws a certain amount from the account. Cryptocurrency uses the “push“ mechanism that allows the bearer to send exactly what he or she wants to the merchant or recipient without any additional information. The cryptocurrencies do not require names, but only the digital ID of the e-wallet
- Immediately executing transaction
There are no third parties, delays, and fee payments.
- Lower fees per transaction
Although Bitcoin does not currently charge a transaction fee, it is expected that most users will include third-party services such as Coinbase instead of creating and maintaining their own e-wallet. But for now, there is no transaction fee.
- Accessing inaccessible markets
According to the latest research, there are 2.2 billion people in the world with Internet access or mobile phones that do not currently have access to traditional exchange systems. Those individuals are prepared for the crypt valued market and are waiting for their chance. The most concrete example is the African country of Kenya where even one of the three Kenyans has an e-wallet with Bitcoin
But you do not have to worry about embedding the entire system into your travel agency’s online store. In addition to BookIT.com, you will also have a cryptocurrency exchange office. And with our fixed monthly fee, you will also get the most up to date form of business that will open the doors of a new era. So, let us know what you think and bravely step forward with us.