You’ve decided on your eCommerce platform. You’ve built your website. Now you need to select a payment gateway.
PayPal and Stripe are the most popular payment gateways for eCommerce merchants, but which one is right for you?
Let’s take a detailed look at the PayPal vs Stripe debate and uncover which one is best for your business.
What to consider: PayPal vs Stripe
When choosing a payment gateway, you need a trusted solution that’s been proven to process payments quickly and securely. Both Paypal and Stripe satisfy that requirement. Beyond reliability, your choice comes down to several key factors, namely cost, compatibility, and ease of use.
Which one has a better fee structure for your eCommerce business model? Does it integrate with your website and point of sale (POS) systems? Does it accept the types of payment and currencies your customers use?
Keep these questions in mind as you review the following sections.
PayPal vs Stripe: fee comparison
Here’s the good news: Both PayPal and Stripe let you set up a merchant account, create invoices, and transfer money into your bank (using standard delivery times) all for free.
Here’s the bad news: For every transaction on your site, you will need to pay a fee, regardless of which payment processor you choose. At a minimum, both PayPal and Stripe charge 2.9% plus $0.30 on every transaction.
That’s where their similarities end. For everything else, PayPal and Stripe charge different fees. Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison:
|Transaction fee||2.9% +$0.30||2.9% + $0.30|
|Nonprofit discount||2.2% + $0.30||2.2% + $0.30|
|International transactions||+1% for international cards, plus 1% for currency conversion||4.4% per transaction, fixed fee based on currency|
|Recurring billing||0.5%||Not available|
|Micropayment fees (for purchases <10%)||2.9% + $0.30||5.0% to 6.5% + fixed currency fee|
|ACH direct debit, credit, or wire transfers for large transactions||0.8% up to $5||Requires braintree integration|
|ACH direct debit, credit, or wire transfers for large transactions||0.8% up to $5||Requires braintree integration|
|Instant payouts||1% with $0.50 minimum||1% up to $10.00|
|Chargeback fees||Fixed fee per currency ($15 for U.S.)||Fixed fee per currency ($20 for U.S.)|
|Chargeback protection||0.4% per transaction||Not available|
|Fraud protection||Free, or up to $0.07 depending on transaction||Not available|
|POS card processing||2.7% + $0.05 per swipe + 1% for international cards + 1% for currency conversion||2.7% per swipe in U.S., 4.2% per swipe outside U.S., 3.5% + $0.15 for manual transactions, 1.5% for cross-border transfers|
|Pre-certified card readers||$59 to $299||Free to $79.99|
Winner: It depends. The best option for you will depend on the types of transactions you typically have, and where you sell. PayPal’s POS card processing is slightly better for U.S.-based PayPal merchants, while Stripe’s is more competitive for international merchants. If you sell a large volume of products priced below $10, PayPal’s lower micropayment fees may be particularly attractive. But if you’re worried about chargebacks, Stripe has lower fees than PayPal. Plus, they offer Chargeback Protection at 0.4% per transaction.
It’s also worth noting that both PayPal and Stripe offer enterprise volume discounts. Stripe’s discounts begin at $80,000 monthly sales while PayPal’s start at $3,000.
Ease of use
From a customer standpoint, PayPal and Stripe are equally easy to use. They both offer clean, intuitive interfaces and accept all the standard payment types, along with a variety of less common options.
From a merchant standpoint, Stripe is slightly more difficult to set up. But, that’s also because you get much more customization with Stripe. You can create a custom checkout experience using Stripe Terminal SDK, for instance.
With PayPal, things are much more plug-and-play. You can even add PayPal buttons to your site with a simple copy-and-paste.
If you ever run into issues with your account, both PayPal and Stripe have taken pains to offer customer service across various channels, including social media, email, live chat, and phone support. Both have extensive documentation online. PayPal also has a community forum where you can get your questions answered by peers.
Both promise speedy response times, within 24 hours or less. However, Stripe beats out PayPal for offering 24/7 phone support, compared with PayPal’s limited hours of 6AM to 6PM Pacific Time.
To make up for its smaller footprint, Stripe offers its Atlas service. For a one-time fee of $500, you can incorporate a U.S. business online to receive payments through Stripe, no matter where you actually operate.
Winner: PayPal. PayPal’s been around much longer than Stripe. As a result, it’s used in many more places and familiar to a wider range of customers and merchants alike. In fact, PayPal is the fifth most popular payment method among consumers, and it boasts having 22 million merchants using the platform, compared with Stripe’s much smaller 1 million.
Both PayPal and Stripe meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and secure both yours and your customers data by the web’s highest standards.
However, Stripe offers additional security features for their merchants, such as Stripe Radar. This feature uses machine learning to analyze data across millions of transactions around the globe to suss out legitimate purchases from fraudulent ones. Even better, this fraud protection is included for free with all standard Stripe accounts (and available for $0.05 per transaction for those on custom pricing plans)
Stripe also has lower chargeback fees than PayPal, and you can opt into Stripe Chargeback Protection for just 0.4% per transaction. This program waives all dispute fees and Stripe covers the disputed amount.
Payment types accepted
Both PayPal and Stripe accept payment from:
- American Express
- Diner’s Club
- Google Pay
Additionally, Stripe accepts payments from China UnionPay, Maestro, and Apple Pay. You can also set up your Stripe API to accept payments from a wider range of global payment options, including Sofort, Giropay, and WeChat Pay.
Notably, while PayPal supports Google Play, it doesn’t currently work with Apple Pay. Moreover, PayPal charges a separate 3.5% per transaction fee for payments made with American Express. These could be deal breakers for some eCommerce merchants, but before you make your decision, consider that PayPal alone accepts PayPal and PayPal Credit payments.
Winner: It depends. Stripe’s support for Apple Pay is competitive, especially when compared with PayPal’s separate fees for American Express. However, over 305 million people actively use PayPal. If you don’t offer PayPal as an option at checkout, you could be losing customers.
You can integrate PayPal into your website by embedding a button, integrating it with your existing shopping cart via a plugin, or developing your own custom API or HTML integration.
PayPal also integrates with most POS systems, and they offer multiple card readers for you to use (the most basic one of which is available completely for free).
Stripe, on the other hand, does not currently offer a POS integration out of the box. With Stripe Terminal, you can make a checkout and POS experience all your own, but it requires development know-how and time. Stripe’s card readers start at $59, and they don’t have a free option like PayPal.
When it comes to extra features, there’s a clear winner, and it’s Stripe.
In addition to payment processing, Stripe offers several solutions for eCommerce merchants. Stripe’s Sigma business data platform delivers SQL-based revenue reporting at $0.02 per charge. With Stripe Atlas, you can register your business as a LLC and open a U.S. bank account for a one-time fee of $500. Stripe Issuing lets you create your own virtual and physical business cards (fees vary). Finally, you can access premium support starting at $1,800.
Final verdict: PayPal vs Stripe
By now, hopefully you have an idea of which payment gateway is best for you, PayPal or Stripe. For smaller sellers, PayPal can be the preferred option since volume discounts start as low as $3,000 in monthly sales, and they offer competitive fees for micropayments.
Larger merchants with their own development teams may prefer the customization options available with Stripe. Stripe’s fees also become more attractive as your business grows.
Additionally, there may be other things that are particularly important to you — such as PayPal’s easy POS integration or Stripe’s enhanced fraud protection. If you’re not sure, you can always test both for a short time before deciding.
Did you know that over 60% of US online retail purchases were made through Amazon last year? Amazon’s hold over eCommerce is well established, with 9.1 million active Amazon sellers worldwide and an average of 66 thousand orders per day. Newer sellers may be wondering how they can get more sales on Amazon in such a competitive environment.
The truth is, they absolutely can because with Amazon’s booming market share come many opportunities. We’ve assembled this digestible list of 14 quick wins and strategic moves, to help you up your game and sell more on Amazon.
1. Do keyword research
Having the right keywords can be one of the most important tactics in reaching your target audiences. Using the keywords that are common to searches for your products is the objective, but search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly evolving game. That means that keywords used successfully in the past may not be as effective with updated search engine algorithms today.
The terms used by customers to find products change daily and are affected by seasonal, cultural, and economic factors. Hence, it’s important to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and make sure you cast a wide net when implementing keywords for each product listing.
Each product should be optimized with as many relevant keywords as possible – into the hundreds! This gives you the best possible chance of getting your products found by customers, helping you sell more on Amazon.
Amazon keyword research tools like Helium 10, SellerApp, Jungle Scout, and AMZ One can help by generating a list of related keywords with search volume, competition level, and other useful metrics, making it easier for you to choose the best keywords for your product listing
2. Use a repricing tool to get more sales on Amazon
When it comes to sealing the deal and making a sale, price is a main deciding factor for many customers. As an Amazon seller, you always want to make sure you’re pricing your products competitively, but equally, you don’t want to lose your margin!
This is something that using repricing software can help with. Repricing software automates the pricing process in real-time, ensuring your prices stay in line with those of competitors, and with market fluctuations, while you get more sales on Amazon.
Repricing software also has many customisable features that allow you to set prices at optimal levels to help drive sales, without compromising profit. It’s worth taking a trial to see how it can help lift your sales.
3. Get more Amazon reviews
Online reviews are important to spread confidence through word of month and for building credibility for your brand. It’s also a fact that 72% of shoppers won’t buy until they’ve read reviews of a product from people like themselves – people they trust.
Even a strong product with great marketing behind it still has to overcome the fear of the unknown if there’s no social proof. Plus, positive reviews are a significant factor in deciding which products win the Amazon Buy Box.
4. Provide great customer service
Customer service is absolutely essential in eCommerce. Offering top-quality customer service not only adds value, but helps retain customers. A big part of making a sale is assuring the customer that they can trust you to deliver, and that trust is hard earned but easily lost. Providing good eCommerce customer service is critical, and committing to providing great customer service is all the more so!
As an Amazon seller, you need to be on top of your customer service. Responsiveness, a friendly manner and quick and easy resolution processes are all ingredients that make for a winning approach to great customer service.
But it can be confusing trying to streamline it all. Thankfully, there are all sorts of tools available to make this job easier, like helpdesk software to keep all your customer interactions in one place. This helps you to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries when they come in, so that your customers always know you’ve got their back.
5. Leverage Amazon seller tools
The best part about being an Amazon seller is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous tools available to help you maximize your business and get the most out of selling on Amazon, whether third-party or FBA.
From repricing tools, to help desk software, to review software and even shipping assistance, many tools exist on the market today that specifically help Amazon sellers optimize their listings, prices, feedback, shipping, customer service and even their taxes.
There are many different seller tools available, so it’s worth reading about options and making an informed decision about the right ones to choose for your business. With the right tools, you can grow your business more than you ever thought possible.
6. Get more sales on Amazon with ads
Running ads is almost guaranteed to help you get more sales on Amazon, but it’s easy to just throw money at them and hope for the best. You can do better! Pay attention to your advertising cost of sales (ACOS) metric, the figure for how much ad spend you need in order to make a sale.
By advertising more efficiently, you lower your ACOS and ensure you get more bang for your buck. Over time, you’ll learn what works and you can employ a strategy with regards to how you run your ads. Taking an insight-driven approach to Amazon ads results in a more profitable Amazon business!
7. Optimise your product pages
The old saying goes that 80% of readers never make it past the headline of any piece of content. That means once you’ve written your product title, you’ve effectively spent 80 cents of your dollar.
When writing product titles, stick to the formula of:
- Brand name
- Product name
- Features (size, colour, gender etc).
This lets you include the right keywords in the right order to immediately tell shoppers that this is the product for them.
Moreover, making sure to visually design your product pages so that they’re clean, simple and easy to read will also help win over shoppers. No one wants to read through a cluttered page. The more straightforward (yet informative) and the cleaner you make your design, the more likely you’ll be to win over those elusive eyeballs!
8. Win the Amazon Buy Box
The quickest way to get more sales on Amazon is by ensuring that your products show up consistently in the Amazon Buy Box (the area in the top right of a product page, where shoppers can ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’). This is because over 82% of sales happen through this highly sought after space.
Although the exact formula to win the Buy Box is unknown, there are a few things that we know are essential. These are mainly metrics that prove the seller is providing a good customer experience. Customer reviews play a big role here. The more positive reviews a seller can amass, the likelihood of winning the Buy Box increases.
In addition to reviews, something else that’s obviously very important to Amazon shoppers is price! By using repricing software, you can automatically set your prices at the optimal level to win the Buy Box and maximize profit, even if you’ve got an enormous inventory.
9. Amazon account health rating
The Amazon account health rating (AHR) is a new feature that helps you monitor your account health based on its adherence to Amazon seller policies.
It considers both negative factors (such as the number of unresolved policy violations on your account) as well as positive factors (how your account positively impacts the customer experience through its selling activities).
Each account will be given a rating, which is regularly reviewed as Amazon monitors the performance of its sellers. If your account is off-target, you will be notified so that you can improve your performance. Conversely, a good AHR rating will work in your favor, helping assure customers that they’re doing business with a compliant seller.
10. Maintain your Amazon SLA
A big part of being a seller is cultivating trust with your customers. That means showing them that you operate in an above-board manner and that you’ll make good on your promise of fulfillment to them. One way of doing that is by making sure your Amazon store has a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is a promise to your customers that they’ll receive their orders on time. When it comes to fulfillment, the SLA is based on the capacity to fulfill open orders and on-time shipping and delivery.
SLAs help manage customer expectations by defining standards and outlining circumstances under which you as the seller won’t be liable for unfulfilled promises (e.g., natural disasters preventing shipping, etc).
eDesk’s customer service solution is designed to alert you when your SLA is expiring, so your business is never caught without one. Having a current SLA helps you maintain transparency with customers, thereby building trust which helps ensure customer loyalty.
11. Focus on products that already sell
Most ambitious business owners want to try new streams of revenue, but it’s important not to lose sight of the things that are making you money now.
By doubling down on the products that already provide your Amazon store with a reliable revenue stream, you not only deliver to market demand but ensure that you have the financial runway required to take risks on innovative new products, if need be.
Review your financial statements every quarter and look at the items that are performing best in your store. Think about how you can continue to market these with ads, SEO keywords and upgraded images to maximize their selling potential in your online store.
12. Sync your inventory
Inventory can be a delicate balancing act. Hold too much inventory for too long and you need to pay over the odds to store it. But hold too little inventory and you lose out on vital sales, or even customers, due to an inability to fulfill. Amazon can also penalize you if your inventory performance isn’t up to standard.
Stock control is something every seller needs to understand and have the capability to manage for optimal results. Smart inventory management is an under-appreciated way to increase your Amazon sales and profit margin. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. Investing in the right tools and software can help sellers take the stress out of balancing supply and demand.
13. Expand into new Amazon marketplaces
Amazon currently has 20 marketplaces around the world, which include the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and more.
You can scale your brand by moving into some of these marketplaces. This can involve doing market research to find out which products are popular in each market and then uplevelling your shipping operations in order to be able to ship globally.
But expanding into new markets also means you’ll need to take language into consideration and localize your listings so that they feature each marketplace’s local language and SEO keywords in the appropriate language. Multilingual customer service is also needed in order to be able to service customers across various marketplaces in their local language.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. eDesk’s help desk solution is designed to support customer service and workflow in multiple languages, so you can expand your business without investing in the overhead of hiring a global team.
14. Spy on your competitors
Ok, maybe “spy” is a bit of an exaggeration, but profitable sellers are always on the lookout for what their competitors are doing. You want to make sure you’re offering the right inventory for your market at the right prices. Repricing software will monitor this for you, taking the guesswork out of pricing at the right levels.
Using data gleaned from helpdesk reporting can also help you gather valuable insights and feedback from your customers, which will help you to better understand what customers want and need. Acting on analytics-driven insights from easy-to-read reports means you’re always one step ahead of the competition.
The quest to increase your store’s Amazon sales doesn’t need to be an uphill struggle. There are many resources available to Amazon sellers today to help them optimize their store and develop a healthy sales pipeline.
By staying in touch with how the Amazon platform grows and using the right tech tools to drive your business, you can continue to do what you do best: building a great brand, winning customers, retaining existing customers and improving your bottom line.