Passionate, restless and obsessed by the idea of a better future, the author of the text we publish today represents the spirit of the first bitcoiners. ioxoi (his nickname at Bitcoin forum) is the co-founder of SpicesCave, an online shop of selling spice, salts and aromatic herbs; in this article you’ll see the reasons why he chose to start accepting Bitcoin.
1. It attracts buyers who do not know where to spend their money: Bitcoin is the new craze for techies and Internet and liberty lovers. Many of us invested in Bitcoins saw some dramatic gains (1,000% in the first half of 2013) and since the best way to avoid bothering authorities with things they do not quite yet understand is making direct Bitcoin purchases without having to switch to dollars, euros etc. So including Bitcoin payment option will be a deciding factor for these buyers with bitcoin-filled purses who will happily choose to do business with you rather than your competition.
2. Whoever gets there first wins: If you opt for not including payment with Bitcoin on your e-commerce website, your competition will be sure to do that first. Bitcoin is growing at a breakneck-speed, attracting large investors, business angels, startups, payment gateways and none of them want to miss the window of opportunity. As a little example: in March, 2013 alone the payment processor bitpay added 1,300 new businesses.
3. Start investing like the big boys: Some of the great fortunes are now being invested in bitcoins via high-profit and risk funds; for whom Bitcoin is also acting as a system of value protection against more-than-probable devaluation of state currencies. It’s at your fingertips, store a small percentage of your sales in this safe haven. For you as a small business it means setting aside small amounts and investing them into an instrument with a high potential for appreciation. So take advantage of this unique opportunity since, unlike many other financial instruments, Bitcoin is accessible to all types of investors.
4. If you have no cash it cannot be stolen: Bitcoin is an electronic system that does not require a safe for storage or any transport means to be moved around. Not only will that reduce the risk of theft (no one can reverse a payment or access your funds without your consent) and save costs, but will also increase the payment speed (no needed for currency conversion) and will improve the quality of work of employees who will no longer be obliged to count bills and coins. All of this without having to forgo the innate qualities of cash, such as untraceability and inability to be monitored by third parties etc.
5. Increase the visitor traffic to your website: Bitcoin is fashionable, and including it as a means of payment will ensure a greater flow of traffic. A lot of us are constantly on the look out for news about Bitcoin so an interesting business that accepts Bitcoin can easily become the focus of major media outlets.
6. Get more orders for the returning visitors: In online commerce, introducing a new payment method on a website usually translates into increases in sales thereby improving the conversion factor. Including a new way of paying for your product/service may increase this valuable indicator, especially if you’re in a very competitive sector.
7. Eliminates the risk of online fraud: Since payments are not reversible this enables a product/service provider to accept Bitcoin payments without running the risk of being a victim of fraud.
8. Save on bank fees: You will reduce spending on transaction fees dramatically. Payment gateway commissions are around 2%, and usually include a minimum cost per transaction. These commissions tend to soar with systems like paypal, reaching 3.4% per transaction. With Bitcoin there are no commissions; moreover, the customer will not have to incure the costs of currency conversion.
9. Automatic Verification of Payments: The payment verification is done electronically and instantly. Forget human errors when checking bank transfers or Collect on delivery (COD) payments.
10. Be your own bank!: Avoid obstacles put in your way by bureaucratic banking institutions. Banks are usually slow, posses very little knowledge of online trade and have an extremely imperfect dispute resolution system. It’s not uncommon to become a victim of payment closures by banks which can last for months and months just because someone attempted what seemed like a fraudulent payment (that merchant has no way of identifying anyway).
Finally, note that Bitcoin currently still has low penetration in the global monetary landscape. If your store and the product you sell is oriented towards oriented to a “more mature” audience the number of bitcoin-paid sales is sure to remain symbolic in the first stage. Our experience is, however, that the number of visitors interested in paying with Bitcoin has a potential of increasing significantly. Although vast majority of our customers today still pay via “more conventional” means, we are already prepared for the new era of Bitcoin. Are you?