The Where’s Waldo of eCommerce: Where’s the Biggest Global ROI?

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As a business owner, there is always one question on your mind: how am I going to grow my business? Sometimes it’s not always the easiest question to answer. There are many ways to grow a business, however, as the world is becoming flatter and flatter, there is an increasingly large opportunity for businesses who expand globally (in fact, it is a 4 trillion dollar growth opportunity!). Making your business internationally friendly is a step in the right direction for those who are looking to grow their businesses.

Now you might be thinking, okay, but where do I start? Luckily for you, we’ve created a list of ten countries with the largest eCommerce market size. These are the countries where you should expand into in order to get the biggest global ROI. We have also included other key items to consider to ensure you get the greatest return – such as local language, currency, and popular alternative payment methods – now you can get the ball rolling on making your page as local as possible while expanding globally!

Download our report here.

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Not convinced? Here are some success stories of BlueSnap customers who have expanded globally and gotten huge returns:

• We had a merchant who was seeing payment conversion rates of 82% when shoppers from Canada were paying in USD. However, when they switched the currency to CAN the conversion rate increased to 98%. A 16% increase on conversions can make a huge difference in profits!

• Our merchant Disruptor Beam turned on international currencies and was able to expand into over 100 countries in a snap.

• Another one of our customers who went global and acted local saw:
- 53.1% of 2013 sales generated by non-English speaking customers
- 39% of 2013 sales generated in non-USD currencies
- Up to 17% of sales per month were paid through alternative payments

 

Partnering with the right payment gateway can be the first step in conquering your connection to the world. We at BlueSnap are happy to be your Christopher Columbus and help you navigate these foreign waters. To see how you can get started today, click here:

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We look forward to talking with you!

 

The Express Train To Subscription Optimization

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Interested in how you can make your subscription services even better? All aboard our subscription optimization engine!

For those of you who have subscriptions implemented in your business model, you understand that creating subscription services is a marathon, not a sprint.

Setting up subscriptions that will be successful for both you and your customers is often a lengthy, multi-step process that needs to be carefully experimented with and analyzed. To help you get to your final destination in this process, BlueSnap has created a high-speed train for you to get on to reach full subscription optimization.

To get a leg up on your competition, follow these four suggestions to make your subscription business better than Thomas the Tank Engine could have ever imagined!

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To download the PDF of our subscription engine, click here: The Express Train to Subscription Optimization

 

 

Welcome BlueSnap to the Windy City!

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We have recently announced our plans to open an office in Chicago. The windy city will officially have a new global payment gateway right in its famous Wicker Park neighborhood. We are also sensing the irony here considering our office will be located above the Wormhole Café, which houses its very own Delorean (the car from Back to the Future). Maybe we are more like Marty McFly and Doc Brown than we thought! Payment predictions anyone?

We’d like you to meet the first four fearless employees of this office, who have a combined experience of over 20 years of selling in the payment space. They’re excited to help BlueSnap expand our global sales, and we trust they will do an amazing job.

Here are some fun tidbits about the guys:
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Rob – Rob loves trying new restaurants, but when he goes home hungry, he turns to his favorite snack – Doritos.

 

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Loren – Loren is a technology fiend, but never lets his lips get dry while he is on his computer as he is an avid user of original flavored Chapstick.

 

brett

 

Brett – This one time, Brett ate so much watermelon he had to go to the hospital.

 

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Eric – Eric loves music, so much so that he took the part of Sandy in his all-boys-school rendition of Grease.

 

 

Please join us in welcoming our new guys and new office to BlueSnap!

How Your Business Can Learn from Punxsutawney Phil

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From the desk of our very own Peter Caparso:

As winter settles in and the days grow colder and darker, a faction of the US population look to a small town roughly 90 miles northeast from Pittsburgh to see if the warmer weather will be returning soon.

As the story goes, if Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his warm burrow and sees his shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks. If it is cloudy, then the US will enjoy an early spring.

Our furred friend has seen his shadow 99 times out of the last 114 years which usually results in him going back underground and sleeping until the spring shows up in March.

Unfortunately for us New Englanders, Phil did see his shadow this morning (despite overcast skies), which means six more weeks of winter. I am seeing the irony here as there is a foot of snow predicted to cover our existing two feet of snow in Boston today. Will the piles of snow reach the top of the Prudential building? Stay tuned…

This exercise in amateur meteorology got me thinking of what is happening with merchants today in regards to PCI Compliance.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) is a security standard administered by the card brands that covers merchants who handle card payments (whether it be online or offline). It was designed to be a single comprehensive framework that would encompass security, data and privacy issues.

With the continued explosive growth in online and mobile sales (coupled with merchants seeking to sell beyond North America) the need for PCI compliance and vigilance is only increased on a daily basis.

This year, the PCI standards are changing with version 3.0. These 3.0 regulations will require merchants to fill out certain self-assessment questionnaires (SAQ) depending on the type of checkout they use on their site. Merchants who take a passive attitude towards implementing these regulations could be exposing themselves to significant fines and/or termination from their payment providers (and hence being put out of business).

As the temperature dips, it is extremely tempting to just go back down into a warm burrow and wait for sunnier days to deal with these new standards. However, with the ever-changing online marketplace expanding globally, now is not the time to play possum.

Besides – there are only 65 days to spring!

Interested in learning more about PCI 3.0 regulations? Click here to access SecurityMetrics eCommerce Guide To PCI DSS 3.0.

Check Out Our Latest Product Updates!

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In our continuing effort to make sure every payment is successful and help you sell more with our smarter payment gateway, we have released a new product update (V3.10). We are excited to announce the following:

• New BuyNow Builder for BuyNow2
• New payment conversion reporting
• Updated sales reports
• New and updated APIs
• Expanded global reach with 40+ new payment types

BuyNow Builder
This new release will allow you to customize your own store settings and manage, edit, and create new checkout page skins. With greater control over the look and feel of your checkout page, the possibilities are endless! Using our new BuyNow Builder, you will be able to configure payment methods, soft descriptors, callback URLs (the URL the shopper is redirected to post purchase), customer product links (for use in emails, social media, etc.) and other settings.

These aforementioned checkout page skins are an integral tool in the new BuyNow Builder. With the ability to create, edit and manage these skins, you can easily make a personal and professional feel for your page without much design and development time. With these skins, you will be able to upload your own logo and select custom fonts, fields and menu options to brand your site exactly how you want it.

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Reports
Two NEW reports have been added to help you track your sales success and declines (BuyNow2 merchants only):
• New Shopper Conversion Success Rates for BuyNow2 (unique shoppers only)
• Payment Decline Report for BuyNow2 (includes all attempts by shoppers)

We have also updated the following reports to help you monitor your BuyNow traffic and sales:
• Sales Report
• Transaction Flow Report

APIs
Our API library just keeps on expanding! Check out the newest APIs to our collection:
Coupon API – use this API to validate the coupon code entered in your shopping cart, return the discount in an amount or percentage and apply the coupon discount to the shopping cart total.
Refund API – updated to allow you to issue partial refunds to your shoppers to help you keep up with customer service!
Card Error Codes – improved to return a common set of codes across acquirers that will be returned in the APIs. This will help you identify the errors so that you can assist shoppers to complete their purchases.

New Payment Types
Local Bank Transfer API – this API will allow you to let shoppers use a direct transfer of funds from their bank account to pay for their purchase. Bank Transfers are supported for payments in over 40 countries globally. This is an ideal payment option for users with credit card limits, or shoppers from countries such as India and Germany, where credit cards are less commonly used for online purchases.

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Top 3 Reasons You Need to Create a Subscription Model… Now!

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As we have already hinted at, we are huge fans of the subscription services model. Not only can it help you drum up extra customers, but it can also create revenue for you that is guaranteed (and who wouldn’t want that?)! Here are our top 3 reasons for creating subscriptions for your business, and how BlueSnap can help you get there.

 

Reason 1: Turn One-Time Customers into Repeat Buyers
With subscription services you can lock customers in upon sale, creating loyalty and interest in your business for a lifetime. And at BlueSnap, we offer Automated Subscription Reminders with our Smart Subscriptions platform, so that your customers will never forget about you! Additionally, our subscription management APIs let you seamlessly integrate subscriptions into your company’s website with your customers in mind. Customers will have access to billing, cancellation, and payment plans – making it easy for customers to purchase your item with a single click. Check out how our customer, Autodesk, is presenting their subscriptions page:

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Reason 2: Streamline Your Offerings
Often customers can get overwhelmed with the amount of choices they have for purchasing things online. Make it easy for them by presenting your business’ items in subscription format. This will give your customers something they are interested in on a repeat basis, leaving other commerce outlets out of the question because the product will never run out! The only problem customers might have is trying to choose which payment type they want to use for their subscription! With BlueSnap, you’ll reach shoppers around the world since you can offer them up to 110 different payment methods; our Smart Subscriptions platform can be used with nearly every payment method (not just credit cards!), including local payment types.

 

Reason 3: Forecast Your Revenue in a Snap!
With subscriptions, you can easily see what type of revenue you will generate on a month to month basis as each subscription renews. At BlueSnap, we also let you create custom models for however you want your subscriptions to work (and what kind of revenue you want to produce)! From classic subscription plans, to free trials, SaaS based, on-demand and pay-per-use charges, single-click purchases, coupons, and more, BlueSnap lets you build subscriptions with ease. Real-time analytics let you track conversion rates, gauge long-term subscriber income, analyze failed transactions, and track your sales funnel. Receive real-time notifications for any event such as initial charges, renewals, plan upgrades, declines, cancellations, and more. BlueSnap will make it easy for you to forecast and generate recurring revenue!

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Interested in how BlueSnap can help you get started? Click here:

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Please Welcome Peter Caparso to BlueSnap!

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We are pleased to announce that we have a new BlueSnapper on our team! Peter Caparso, the former President of North America at Adyen, has joined us as Chief Commercial Officer. Peter is extremely experienced in the payments industry – from Bibit to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to Adyen, Peter has over 25 years of knowledge to bring to our team. Prior to joining BlueSnap, Peter served as the Head of North America at Adyen for six years; in fact, he was the first US employee for Adyen. During his tenure, Peter oversaw the creation of multiple U.S. offices and deals with numerous mid-size, large and Fortune 500 merchants. Here’s a link to the press release.

Though Peter has a lot of experience in payments, before this industry he had never worked in the same industry twice. In fact, Peter used to be a morning man on a radio station because of his affinity for music. With this love of music, Peter is a regular concert goer – by personal choice, he saw 3 Justin Timberlake concerts last year (and we are so jealous). Of course, Peter also has a Bluetooth Jambox speaker in his office, and it is constantly calling out for Peter when he is not there, somewhat like a needy girlfriend. Peter’s favorite restaurant in Boston is Mistral, where he would choose to pay for his meal with Apple Pay (over Google Wallet) or his American Express card. His favorite animal is his golden retriever, Bella. When asked if he would rather be stuck in an elevator with Bill (our CFO) or Ralph (our CEO), he chose Ralph because “being in an elevator with Ralph is like being in an elevator with myself”.

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We are happy to have Peter and his bossy Jambox on our team!

Will Payments Go Back To The Future In 2015?

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, 2015 is finally upon us. We hope that you all had a fabulous time during the holidays and can begin to slowly readjust to your work schedules. We here at BlueSnap have begun the new year by projecting a couple ideas for what we think we may see in the payments world this year. Fun fact: Back To The Future Part II was set in 2015, and we see an uncanny relation to payments and the innovative spirit that has taken over our industry. While we are not Doc Brown or Marty McFly, and we cannot actually time travel, we came up with some pretty good ideas for what you can expect in 2015.

 

As we saw in 2014, new checkout methods (especially mobile payment technology) are becoming increasingly popular. Even though it may not be as cool as a flying car, as payment nerds we rushed to try out Apple Pay the minute it was http://appledailyreport.com/apple-announces-apple-pay-mobile-payment-system/released, and we don’t doubt that we will continue to try out other new methods that follow suit. New and upcoming technologies include PayPal in-store, Google Wallet, Coin, and CurrentC. With the success of Apple Pay, we are eager to see how these other payment types fare or revamp themselves. According to a study by ITG Investment Research, Apple Pay customers used the service roughly 1.4 times per week and used Apple Pay at the same merchant for future transactions roughly 66% of the time. These advancements are clearly gaining customer loyalty and making headway in the payment space, and we can’t wait to see what will transpire 2015.

 

However, these new mobile and card technologies are not the only ones projected to form in 2015; social media payment systems are beginning to establish themselves as well. In 2014, we saw Snapcash (the peer to peer payment system on the notorious picture sharing app, Snapchat) open the doors to this social payment world. Following close behind are Twitter and Facebook, which are in the process of launching payment services as http://www.webtitan.com/social-media-cost-calculatorwell. A study done by Accenture shows that 92% of millennials are active users of social media, and 72% would be likely to bank with non-financial services companies; as such, we are seeing a big opportunity for these social media payment systems, especially with younger generations. As for right now, these services are likely going to be serving the peer-to-peer networks, however, we are hoping that these platforms will slowly open up to begin serving merchants. Customers could use these social media platforms to make payments to merchants through company pages, posts, tweets, etc. which would allow these social media sites to take a cut of each transaction, giving them a stronghold on the ecommerce market. Hey, Nike, maybe you could try this platform to sell those cool auto-lacing sneakers that Marty McFly adorned in the movie (they really are coming, by the way)!

 

Additionally, in 2014 we saw subscription services explode. From Birchbox to BarkBox, you can pretty much get anything you can think of in a subscription format. In fact, nearly 50% of U.S. businesses have either adopted or are planning to adopt this recurring revenue model. Understanding the Customer Lifetime Value is becoming increasingly important in the subscription boom of 2014, and we project that this will continue to grow in 2015, with many more companies adopting subscription services.

 

We still have until October 21st to see if Doc Brown and Marty McFly’s predictions will come true – in the meantime, were hoping the payment space can keep up with Back To The Future! What do you think we will see in 2015?

 

Caution: BlueSnap.com Is Under Construction!

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Attention loyal BlueSnappers – bluesnap.com is going to be under construction soon! As we don’t want any of you to be tripping over wooden planks or loose wires, we figured we would give you a heads up!

 

Our website will be down for 2 hours for server maintenance this Wednesday January 7th, 2015 from 8:00PM – 10:00PM EDT. This time could also be pushed back without much notice, so please check back if the site is not working.

 

We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but it’s better than filing for a workers compensation claim should you have entered the construction without your hard hat!

 

If you need to get in contact with someone for any reason, please email support [at] bluesnap [dot] com.

 

New Customer Reset Retreat Launches Global Checkout

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With the holiday season in full swing it can be a challenge to come up with a gift that will leave a lasting impression. I’m sure we’ve all received one too many pairs of fuzzy socks or fragrant lotion sets that we’ve tossed into the back of the closet. Enter Reset Retreat! As BlueSnap’s newest customer, Reset Retreat provides wellness and adventure retreats focused on personal growth that can provide a lasting impact on one’s life. While other retreats often focus on say food or exercise, Reset Retreat’s goal is to help people discover themselves while in a new and unfamiliar culture. They provide daily life coaching sessions and aim to help you create positive reinforcements that you can bring home with you as a souvenir.

Reset Retreat contacted BlueSnap to be their global payment gateway. We were able to get them up and running with our dynamic hosted checkout pages in under a week. Since we are able to reach shoppers in 180 countries with 110 payment types, 60 currencies and 29 languages, Reset Retreat can now provide a localized checkout experience for shoppers around the world.

As Reset Retreat grows and expands its offerings and payment options, they need a gateway who can grow with them and has the flexibility to offer multiple payment options. With BlueSnap, they were able to customize and incorporate their own templates into their shopping cart using our BuyNow hosted pages.

Reset Retreat Payment Options

One of these flexible payment options for a retreat is the “Happiness Fund”: a way to ask those who love and care about you (and sometimes give you bad gifts) to fund an experience of a lifetime. This option is simple: put 50% of the trip down and get your own personalized link from Reset Retreat to share with friends and family to fund the remainder of the trip. Their other options include 100% prepaid, 50% deposit, and a 4x payment plan.

We are very excited to have Reset Retreat as part of the BlueSnap family. Please join us in congratulating Reset Retreat on their launch and check them out at www.theresetretreat.com.