Whether you’re looking to add an online sales component to your brick and mortar retail business, or launch an eCommerce store from the ground up, there has never been a better selection of useful tools available to the budding digital entrepreneur.
You may not have the resources or name recognition of the Amazons or eBays of the world, but it’s becoming increasingly realistic for small-to-medium enterprises to offer a similar purchasing and shipping experience. With the right team in place, a functional and secure international eCommerce site can be up and running — or an existing site revamped for international sales — in a matter of weeks.
International eCommerce still has its challenges, and chief among them are payment avenues. Paypal, credit cards, and bank transfers can all work internationally, but chargeback fees, long clearance times, and fraud can be associated with each. These risks are far exceeded by the benefits of engaging an international market, but they also justify being open to other payment methods.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a form of “crypto currency;” an electronic currency that can be used anonymously, and is not tied to any country or bank. This cuts out the middlemen and effectively all regulation, making Bitcoin an increasingly popular form of payment in international commerce.
Anyone in the world can buy Bitcoins on an exchange, and store them in a virtual “wallet,” either in the cloud or on a dedicated hard-drive. Some buy them as an investment, hoping the value will increase, but an increasing percentage of the population is using Bitcoins to purchase goods and services online.
Bitcoins can be transferred through your mobile phone or computer, as easily as using an app like Venmo or Google Wallet, but minus the fees or international purchase restrictions associated with those services.
Benefits of Using Bitcoin
Bitcoins have existed since 2009, but have recently seen a surge of popularity in mainstream business. They’ve escaped the Internet as well; a growing number of brick and mortar retailers have started to accept Bitcoins in the US and all over the world. You can order pizza, buy a website domain, or even hire a wedding photographer using Bitcoin!
But the transparency and simplicity of crypto currency mean international retailers have the most to gain by accepting Bitcoin transactions. Here are a few highlights:
Of course, there are a few disadvantages as well; mainly the fact that it’s still very much a niche currency, so expect Bitcoin transactions to make up a small percentage of your overall income, depending on your demographic. And since Bitcoin is a relatively young form of payment, fluctuations in exchange rate are much more common and diverse than more established currencies. However, this is expected to level out significantly as the Bitcoin market matures, and acceptance becomes more ubiquitous.
Whether you do business domestically or internationally, giving your customers the option to pay with Bitcoin can help your bottom line by opening up new revenue opportunities, as well as saving money on fees and fraud. Iffel’s eCommerce Powerhouse program can help you optimize your website and online store to cater to the growing international market, and audit your online store to ensure tax compliance with all forms of payment, including Bitcoin! Contact us for a free consultation today.
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