Melbourne-based  natural skincare company was expanding their business on-line and turned to IT Creative Labs for consultation on choosing the right solution and options for their e-commerce endeavor. Satisfied with the quality of our consulting services, ApoteKah continued their business relationship with ITCL as their technology partner to help with PCI DSS compliance and integration work.

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PROCESS

First order of business was to decide on the type of e-commerce solution that was optimal for our client, should it be a payment processor like 2CO,  a third party provider like PayPal or a bank.

Naturally, we started with analysis of monthly sales volumes and extrapolated this data to estimate on-line monthly sales. Once we knew the bottom line for total amount of yearly transactions it became apparent that obtaining a merchant account with a bank would be the best course of action for our client, especially from the financial standpoint.

Suffice it to say, applying for a merchant account is a bit more intricate in comparison to something like registering an account with PayPal, and requires more time and some extra effort to make the on-line platform PCI DSS compliant. Nonetheless, after a certain revenue threshold the long term benefits far outweigh minor complexities.

The next milestone was identifying target market demographics and location, as well as the means of electronic payments that were popular among the potential consumers. The latter seemed like a mere formality, due to the fact that the company was already applying for a merchant account and that most customers used their credit cards to shop online. However, it turned out that PayPal users did comprise a noticeable share and therefore PayPal was also included as a payment option.

Our SMM team also did a quick analysis of the company’s social media presence to see if there were any trends and/or signs that could add more value to the final equation. We found out that while most of ApoteKah’s customers at the time resided in Melbourne and the surrounding area, some of the company’s product lines were getting traction across social media channels among consumers in the neighboring regions. Thus when applying for a merchant account our client indicated that they expect sales coming in from all across the country. This subtle detail can make a huge difference and often helps avoid processing delays and card rejections, caused by falsely triggered security alarms.

One can’t argue that a smooth checkout process is an integral part of a satisfying customer experience.

Once all key decision criteria were identified we presented ApoteKah a comparison chart of Australia’s most reliable payment gateway service providers (and their plans), that worked well with our client’s bank. The final decision was made by the client – choosing eWay,  who seemed to have the best terms and conditions and a well designed API.

Integration

Integrating ApoteKah’s online store with eWay’s payment gateway was quick and straightforward. Within a day everything was up and running. As mentioned previously we also added an option for customers to pay with PayPal.

Increased Revenue

While inspecting ApoteKah’s website our SEO specialist noticed that a number of customers were leaving the site after spending some time on the product page without actually closing the sale. We proposed using a free on-line chat solution, from a third party vendor, to help with customer engagement, as there were clear signs that consumers were lacking some necessary information. After adding the online chat to their website ApoteKah saw a 20% sales spike within a week. They decided to keep it on the site permanently.

Having a merchant account at the bank saves ApoteKah five figures just on the processing fees alone, not mentioning the comforting benefit of having liquid cash on the same day of the transaction which can be reinvested in raw materials and cover other product development costs right away.

Technology Stack

Google Analytics, Simply Measured, PHP