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How To E-commerce & Bitcoin
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How To E-commerce & Bitcoin

by John M.June 10, 2018

3Bitcoin is not exactly what you would use to purchase your groceries. But there is a growing movement that actually wants to turn the cryptocurrency in just that. If you want to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in your retail outlet, this is quite possible. But apart from that, you can run an online store and still be very much on point when deciding to take customers bitcoin assets. It’s a viable way of trading goods and you can still cash out big on your bitcoin as its value changes constantly. Conversely, you may lose a bit, but it certainly mostly depends on what filed you are operating.

We joked that you may not shop around for goodies with bitcoin, but then again… why not really? If you are a retailer you may start taking bitcoin and even if the value of the asset collapses, you wouldn’t lose so much on food, clothes and other paraphernalia.

On top of that, you may limit the Bitcoin payments, while continuously turning your bitcoin into a fiat currency as soon as the price goes up. It’s not easy to set up your trade, but the potential rewards are quite substantial to pass up on.

So, Why Should You Accept Bitcoin in Your Shop (On or Offline)

Yes, cryptocurrencies are mostly viewed as a speculative investment, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have a real value and that people don’t opt for them as a way of settling their bills. Adding Bitcoin as a payment option is, in fact, healthy and useful. There’s a number of chains throughout America, for example, who have already decided to add the cryptocurrency (among other goodies) as a way of paying on your way out of a shop. We will now take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of actually doing so in your own shop.

The Upsides

The use of Bitcoin may reduce fraud. It has been done in less reputable sectors, such as Bitcoin casinos where you can avoid quite a few intermediary charges and having your money or bank account stolen. In retail, you will have Bitcoin do roughly the same thing by protecting you from financial fraud. And you can avoid quite a few fraudulent customers who have been making a few bucks off over-complacent retailers. No more! Let’s take a look at how things work in this case:

  • A customer normally inserts their debit/credit card information
  • The product is delivered to your customer
  • The customer then requests a chargeback because they ‘have never received the package,’ which may be true – but a recent study has shown that 30% of all chargebacks are in fact fraudulent.
  • In order to claim what is rightfully yours, you will have to go to court with the fraudulent party and waste resources and time to fight his claim – which is just bad for business.

So, is there a way out? Cryptocurrency payments are irreversible. Once a customer pays you, he or she won’t be able to take their money back. Of course, we are not advising you that you should use this as a way not to send your customer the requested goodies. Quite on the contrary. Only this time, you will not be 30% short on chargebacks.

More importantly, still, you will be able to afford yourself to return money to your customers if you indeed establish that the logistics have failed on your end or on your partner’s end – which is easy to track, as any retailer would know.

Once you have established that there has been a problem on your end, you can tap into successful marketing practices to appease your client and preserve your reputation. What could be pernicious is for you to let any charges against your company linger.

Lower Transaction Fees. Bitcoin is definitely one of the best ways to be trading around. Most payment services charge around 3% per transaction, but not Bitcoin. Bitcoin fees come at less than $1 per transaction and SegWit estimates that these charges will drop once the Lightning Network has been implemented.

Greater Customer Reach. It will be particularly easy for you to reach customers from all over the globe and make sure that they can pay you. Of course, you will need to have the logistics in order to deliver the requested product so we recommend you to study up your offer carefully when selecting what countries/states/regions to cover in the first place.

The Drawbacks

Speaking of drawbacks, the fact that price is so volatile should be your major concern as a retailer. We hold that this is not much the reason for a concern because you will never have to worry if you are selling groceries or clothes, for example. However, selling items of greater worth may take a toll on you in the even that Bitcoin goes under. However, even with the latest dips, it’s unlikely – but possible.

Setting up your business to accommodate Bitcoin payment will demand extra effort and you will have to indeed go out of your way to set up everything that comes hand in hand with that. You will not be able to dodge any of the myriad little challenges that come with that. You will need your servers, setting up secure wallets and possibly even hiring someone to market for you and build trust with your customers.

The confusion factor is a very palpable threat to a normal retail running of activities. For example, some customers may associate Bitcoin with something bad, so if you are in fact displaying Bitcoin all over the place, they may come to question your intentions. However, as long as you can communicate yourself clearly to your customers, it should all end well, and that’s our fair estimation of things.

Setting Up Bitcoin for Your Shop

 

The best way would be for you to avoid outsourcing the activity to a third party. We suggest that you set up your own activities.

How? You will need to choose a wallet. We recommend storing all your sensitive information in cold storage. There are different wallets for different coins, but you can also opt for the hardware options which cost about $100 a pop, such as the Ledger Nano S and Trezor.

Then you have to ask yourself if you would like to also be able to convert your cryptocurrencies into FIAT money. We would recommend doing so. Personally, we feel that Bitcoin should still be converted in real money and then the proceedings used to expand your digital arm, for example.

There are many different crypto exchanges where you can do that and we welcome you to try. Still, if you are not sure how to tinker with the code you can hire a freelance developer to walk you through or go to an accredited agency which will help solve matters for you.

Alternatively, you can go to Shopify or take a WordPress plugin to dumb matters down completely for everyone.

In any eventuality, you may only benefit from running your crypto activities and there is no reason why you shouldn’t set up your digital arm of your e-commerce store to also cater to Bitcoin customers. It is all very much worth it.

 

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John M.

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