3 Unexpected Costs of Setting Up Your Own Online Store

Apr 28, 2021 9:57:00 PM

These days, if you find yourself out of a job or without a source of income, one of the options that almost instantly comes to mind is to put up an online business. And why not? A lot of Filipinos have turned to e-commerce for a living, especially during these trying times when the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy. With physical restrictions remaining in place in many locations and the disease not yet letting up in the foreseeable future, online selling has become a truly viable alternative for many Filipinos to earn money while conducting business in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

However, while you may think that starting an online business seems easy enough because of less overhead costs, think again. It’s true that online selling generally requires much less capital compared to the traditional way of putting up a physical store. On the other hand, you would still need to be prepared to shell out some cash to get your online store running and to make it profitable. Here are just some of the unexpected costs associated with setting up your own online business that you need to be aware of and that you should be able to address:

Acquiring and Maintaining Online Assets

Just as you would need to secure a physical storefront for a traditional business, you would need virtual space where you can build your e-commerce business in. This means buying a domain and paying for the hosting of your e-commerce website where you can showcase your products or services. While web addresses are generally reasonably priced, it may cost you more if you are after specialized URLs for the brand that you want to create. These online assets also need to be renewed, so be prepared for this recurring expense in the long run, or else, you risk losing your unique online space to competitors.

Writing Out and Sending Invoices

If you don’t have enough seed money yet to build a dedicated e-commerce website, you can start simple by selling on popular social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Twitter, and Instagram. The catch is, manually accepting payments from buyers through the usual means like bank transfer, deposits or cash on delivery methods can be a hassle—not to mention unsafe and unreliable. You would also need to document your transactions manually, which may require you to hire a graphic designer to develop or an assistant to keep up with. 

For start-up online entrepreneurs, there are a number of helpful PayMaya Enterprise solutions for e-commerce. For instance, you can charge your clients then quickly and conveniently send these buyers digital invoices through email, SMS, or even chat messaging. This invoice contains a payment link that your online customers can click, and then they can use their card or e-wallet to pay for their purchases. Alternatively, you can also send a digital PayMaya QR code through chat, SMS, or email that your customers can easily scan with their PayMaya app in order to pay. All these options help digitize and streamline your online business while reducing costs associated with paperwork and documentation.

Setting Up Online Payment Methods

If you do end up developing a dedicated e-commerce website for your online business, one thing you need to contend with is providing a variety of online payment options for your buyers. Different customers have different preferences for paying online, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on a sale just because you don’t cater to a particular payment method. The problem is that there are a myriad of popular platforms involving credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, and other emerging payment technologies—and it costs a lot to subscribe and maintain each and every one of them on your website. 

The good news is that you can accept payments from multiple sources in a cost-efficient and integrated manner, thanks to universal payment gateways like PayMaya Checkout. This solution is able to process payments not only from PayMaya but also from various other payment networks like Visa, Mastercard, JCB, WeChat Pay, and GCash.You can even make sure that your customers’ shopping experience are seamless by choosing a specific checkout plug-in that matches your e-commerce site template, whether it be Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce or Cafe24.

Alternatively, you can also display a PayMaya QR code on your website, placing it prominently alongside the products you are offering to facilitate easier and more immediate sales. This would be a great idea for sales blitzes to entice surfers to make a quick impulse purchase on your e-commerce site, instead of going through a number of steps just to buy an item and to check out.

With the prevalence of technologies such as computers, smartphones, and high-speed Internet connectivity, e-commerce has indeed become the way to go if you are planning to try your hand at business. However, online selling may not always be a bed of roses. You still need to be wary of unforeseen expenses. The good news is that innovative e-commerce solutions can help you solve these challenges and can definitely make your online business venture all the more profitable and rewarding.