By Mark Thomasson.
As you surf the Internet and read various posts about e-commerce, you can often come across the term future. Many authors refer to e-commerce as a business field of the future.
However, the current trends are such that we can freely say that the e-commerce future has arrived. Only in the EU, 65% of Internet users shopped online in 2015. This advent of Internet shoppers sets new requirements in front of e-commerce entrepreneurs. They have to advance their financial management and add new software features to it. One of the most practical options for them is undoubtedly online invoicing. There are many advantages of such tools, but we’ll try to narrow it down to 7 key benefits.
While it’s also possible to create estimates in simple programs, such as Microsoft Excel, the modern business market won’t tolerate a process that contains so many steps. The saying “time is money” has never been more relevant than it is today.
Furthermore, it seems that the speed at which we plan and execute business projects will only increase. Because of that, you can’t let your accountant of secretary drag on the creation of your business estimate in low-brow software.
What you need are invoicing tools. Just include all the financial elements of the project into your invoice software and you’ll get a clear picture of the time needed for you to finish it. Therefore, when you send out those quotations to your clients, they’ll get an immediate insight into your timeframe. Plus, they will be given a proactive way to approve your quotes with one click, which usually results in higher conversions.
Business owners should introduce automation wherever they can. It will lead to major savings on manpower and on various services they have to pay for. For instance, if you add an online invoicing solution to your e-commerce website, everything happens automatically. That way, when a client makes a purchase on your website, it’s registered by the invoicing tool. After that, it generates an invoice and automatically sends it to that same client – no waiting in lines, no bank commission fees, just the smooth pleasure of fast invoicing. Not only that you’ll be able to send invoices instantly, but you’ll also have a database of all the invoices sent to your clients. Keeping your business documentation is extremely important for your tax returns and financial reports.
In addition to that, your clients will be more than satisfied with your e-commerce, since they will be able to do everything they need in the shortest time possible.
No delays in invoicing
When you close a deal with a business partner, it’s crucial that they receive all the project documentation as soon as possible. So, in addition to the aforementioned benefit of automated invoice services, using electronic invoices will keep your invoice management from being affected by other tasks. When there are frequent invoicing delays, clients can become impatient. This can further lead to growing dissatisfaction with the way you conduct your business tasks. Let’s say a client has ordered a large shipping from your e-commerce website. They’re waiting for the invoice, so that they can pay you for the purchased goods. If you’re late with invoicing, the shipping won’t be done on time. Consequently, they’ll be late with production, which will result in lower revenues.
Hence, online invoicing will eliminate payment delays, which will keep the trust between you and your clients intact.
Dealing with debtors
The character of online commercial business is such that you have to collaborate with businesses and individuals from the whole world. Individual shoppers don’t have mechanisms to trick you, since they pay for their goods at once. Fellow businesses, however, can do various things in order to dodge their payments. With the use of e-invoices, their room for maneuver is pretty limited. When they’re sent a detailed invoice for every purchase they make online, there’s always a trace of that financial document. They can’t simply throw it in the bin and pretend nothing happened. What’s more, invoice software tools often come with a delivery report feature. That way, you can prove not only that you’ve sent the invoice, but that the other side has received and opened it, as well. Thanks to all those features, you debtors won’t be able to avoid paying their debts anymore.
The opportunity to run an e-commerce will connect you with various businesses. The more international clients you have, the more universal your business forms and documents should be. Moreover, although English is the lingua franca of the modern business world, some of those clients might want to have their invoices translated to their native language. The easiest way to meet such demands is first to come up with an invoice template in English, with the help of a simple invoice generator. After that, you can translate this ready-made form to any language in the world. Still, don’t do it superficially, but hire a professional translator for the given language. Online outsourcing platforms, such as PeoplePerHour and Elance can help you find the right expert for this matter.
Integration with payment gateways
Credit cards are still eligible and widely used means for buying products online. Nevertheless, the importance of online payment services is also on the rise. According to the Global Payments Report, alternative payment methods will take 55% of the e-commerce payment market by 2019. This is largely so due to the tremendous growth in the number of purchases made via gadgets. As a result of those current and future trends, we can expect that invoices will also play a more important role in e-commerce in years to follow. The best thing is that today you can already connect your invoice tool(s)with various payment gateways. This integration of online e-commerce services adds to the improved usability and increased productivity of online commercial enterprises. With the further development of e-commerce innovations behind the corner, it’s high time online vendors embraced invoicing for their transactions.
Inclusion of additional documents
Invoices are only one of the financial elements that have to be included in every e-transaction. Depending on the type of the project and the nature of the business collaboration in question, your client might be interested in other data about your finances. For instance, they might ask you to add some other financial reports. Apart from that, sometimes you’ll have to share your tax documentation, as well. Moreover, your investors might require to take a look at your balance sheet and see how you spend their investments. For all these reasons, electronic invoicing is a perfect way of attaching additional business data to your invoices.
Working on the go
When an e-commerce businessperson uses e-invoices, they aren’t strictly limited to their office workspace. On the contrary, you can perform various financial transactions and invoicing on the go. For instance, if you’re in the middle of an important business meeting, you can check if there are any notifications in your software. That way, you can sort out any emergencies during the coffee break. The flexibility provided by online invoicing solutions enable online entrepreneurs to perform more tasks and increase their workload by working less.
Online invoicing is a perfect option for the future of e-commerce. Since we’re already living in that future, this mechanism of electronic invoice generation and distribution should be implemented by every modern e-commerce business. It will lead to faster work flow, enhanced business management and higher efficiency for every enterprise that starts using this handy financial solution.
By Mark Thomasson.
AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.