Same Old E-Commerce? Not Even Close.

When did payment processing become all about rates?
  • Was it a few years back when a recession hit the U.S. economy?
  • Was it always about rates?
Are times changing?
  • Are merchants finding increased value in third-party payment processing providers?
  • What impacts are the new and different ways consumers are buying having on how merchants are incorporating payments into their business either empowering or limiting the growth of the industry?
Where is the billing/processing industry headed?



The Past
During the heydays of the late 90s and early 2000s, payment processing was starting to get its legs underneath it and taking off with the rest of the online world. There was little doubt that the need was there as consumers were becoming accustomed to making purchases for online content. And while those early days were not all shiny and pretty as we tend to remember, the relationship between the webmaster and the e-commerce provider was a partnership which provided a significant value to the online business. Generally speaking businesses were achieving positive results and growing.

And then 2008 rolled around and a recession started to hit the U.S. economy, which escalated into a global economic slump. As a natural reaction to tightening sales, businesses started taking a look at any way to keep their incomes stable, with an obvious path being that of reducing the costs of doing business.  During this time period, as consumer wallets were getting tighter, the advertised rates for payment processing became an easy part of their business to look at.

But price is not necessarily cost.

During this time of tightening, we also saw a change in the overall online commerce business. Consumers got smarter with using online commerce. Financial institutions cracked down on deceptive practices and age-old scams in the adult arena, as well as tightening card restrictions on certain types of business models. Global markets and payment options opened up in new corners of the world. Markets for online content expanded exponentially as more consumers in more markets accessed content from any device, anywhere.

Did the move to cheaper options with fewer features fuel the move of consumers to a faster, easier and often free experience?

The Future
Any way you look at it, e-commerce has had a meaningful shift in the direction of the consumer experience. And done so quickly. Just in the past few years we have seen the rise of mobile. People are increasingly on the go. They want access to content from where ever they are, on whatever device they happen to have on them at that moment.

But that consumer is different now. And the webmaster is an established business owner now. In order for the adult site to survive today, it requires an all-inclusive checkout, tailored to millions of people in hundreds of countries. A business needs to adapt to short attention spans and multiple devices with a variety of formats. The business needs to adapt quickly to changing regulatory issues, global fraud trends and data security issues. 

Services cost. With so many options for accessing content, one corresponding question businesses and merchants should ask themselves is, how am I going to provide payment options that will work for all of them?  How am I going to manage all of this myself?

But What Does This Mean?
The view is often murky at best when trying to determine just what the next big thing is going to be in online payments. So whether you choose a low-cost merchant offering or feature-rich inclusive processing solutions – the consumer has to be the priority in order to continue to reach a saturated market. The good news is, no one has to go at it alone. There are plenty of e-commerce partners ready and willing to help out. And while developing a business plan is something nearly any merchant undertakes, one thing that can sometimes be a bit overlooked, or maybe even taken for granted, is the payment processing system/solution. 


Particularly if the only question being asked is ‘what are the rates’? You have to look at the consumer experience management and ask the bigger question: ‘what are the costs?’ and “what are the cost to the business if we don’t offer the best consumer experience.”


Two-way streets.
Transactions, by their nature, are two-way streets. There is a buyer and a seller. That same logic can be applied to e-commerce. There is a merchant/business and a partner/provider. To really succeed into the next decade and beyond, it’s time to invest in the consumer. Partner with your e-commerce provider – whoever it is – to not only learn what’s new, but also to develop strategies. As we go into the future of adult online entertainment, we can learn and evolve to embrace the new, the picky, and the erratic consumer to drive new sales and expand the business even more.

It is definitely not the same old e-commerce. It’s a new game.  



So what do you think?



FlexForms System Driving Results, Generating Positive Reviews Among Merchants

Open beta participants using the payment system to gain efficiencies and produce revenue


We are so pleased that our FlexForms payment system is not only gaining popularity with our merchants, but that it is helping businesses manage their operations efficiently and driving more sales opportunities in the process.

A number of open beta participants have been successfully using FlexForms to create payment flows and drive sales, as indicated by some of their feedback and comments.

“FlexForms is easy to work with and it gives new options,” said Richard Blank of AMR. “It has an easy to follow interface and the form itself works well. I would recommend it to anyone.”

Curt Johnson, owner of PWP adds “I have been coding HTML since 1996 and PHP since 2005, but not everyone is savvy enough to handle complex coding for forms. FlexForms, with its intuitive nature, can be a big help when it comes to creating payment forms.”

An intuitive interface is one thing, using it to drive more sales is another. Thanks to FlexForms, J L Slater of CQ Productions, LLC is seeing positive results to the business’ bottom line. “CCBill’s FlexForms program has allowed us to expand our reach and create even more sales.”

While the ability to create one payment flow that can include all payment types, all currencies, all languages, and even multiple processors is a key component of FlexForms; all of its features are poised to help merchants achieve success.

Built-in A|B testing options enable side-by-side comparisons of different variables to see which colors, layout, price points, payment types, or banners work best. There are even options to test a FlexForms form against a legacy CCBill form or a form from a different processor. And the information gleaned from all of this testing can be used to help drive business growth, as whatever is working best can be optimized and presented to consumers.

Additionally, FlexForms’ globally responsive forms help put consumers at ease, as the form is presented properly on whichever device they are using at that moment with the correct localized checkout information for their region. However, it’s not just consumers that like responsive forms. “I do really appreciate the new form design and responsive feature,” said Cristian Gold, president of Adult SiteRunner.

To see more about how FlexForms works, view this short introductory video.
FlexForms is currently available to any CCBill merchant. To begin using the forms, merchants can visit the FlexForms area within the CCBill Admin Portal. 

For more information, contact merchantsupport@ccbill.com or call 800-510-2859.  


The Phoenix Forum Educational Series

For 2015, The Phoenix Forum Educational Series focuses on the significant changes in the online world, as well as the future of our industry in our EVOLUTION/REVOLUTION series.

Seminar tracks are divided into two areas of focus:
  • EVOLUTION: a discussion on the way that the market, buyers, production and technology have changed in recent years.
  • REVOLUTION: a view into what we all believe the future of online adult will look like.

Additionally, we are pleased to offer our traditional panelist discussions, and our more intimate workshop style session with panelists and a moderator.

But NEW for this year, we are excited about two variations:
  • First, our introduction of our ‘CONVERSATION WITH FRIENDS’ format. No moderator, panelists who know each other, and a printed list of topics to cover – this format will allow open conversation and discussion between peers on relevant topics and perhaps a little eavesdropping into some business personalities. 
  • Secondly, at our traditional panel sessions, we are adding a mini-tradeshow at the end of select sessions. Panelists who participate on the panel will have tables after the session in which to show their wares and talk more in-depth about their services with interested attendees.

We hope you will attend the tried-and-true panels, but also sample the new formats for a wide-range of discussion on the EVOLUTION and REVOLUTION in the online adult entertainment industry. 

CCBill Teams with DocuSign

CCBill Teams with DocuSign to Streamline Account Update Process for Merchants


In an effort to enable more efficient and smoother account changes for our merchants, we have partnered with DocuSign, which helps merchant make account changes digitally. DocuSign helps organizations of every size, industry and geography eliminate the hassles, costs, and lack of security inherent in paper-based processes to transact business 100% digitally.

“DocuSign is The Global Standard for Digital Transaction Management and its e-signature functionality is a welcome addition to our merchant account management toolset,” said Gary Jackson, managing VP of sales and Internet markets for CCBill. “No longer are merchants required to email or fax in updates to their accounts. Instead they can digitally prepare, approve, and sign for any changes in a few simple and secure steps – from anywhere, anytime, on any device.”

With DocuSign, our merchants can quickly, easily and securely update contact information, payout method, ownership changes, account authorizations, and more. To learn how DocuSign can be used on CCBill accounts, contact our Merchant Support at merchantsupport@ccbill.com.

Let's Connect

We are always eager to meet our merchants and see friends in the industry at tradeshows around the globe. In a couple of days, we will be travelling to Barcelona, Spain for the European Summit from March 7-10. Plus, we are honored to be nominated for Best Payment Processing at the LiveCam Awards, set for 8 March 2015 at Finca Mas Solers.

If you plan to be at the event, it is a great chance to meet with you face-to-face and share how our ability to help automate your business processes, manage your business operations and help you achieve growth in a global marketplace. Our latest billing features and tools are exciting ones, and we are confident that they can help your business' evolution.

A complete billing solution for any market, CCBill can help you save time and open up more sales opportunities globally and at home using our Integration Partners portal for software solutions, FlexForms system for the latest way to set up payment flows and forms, as well as our MerchantConnect network for up-sells and cross-sells. We are committed to delivering market savvy functionality and best-in-breed billing knowledge, in order to support your evolving business needs.

Drop by our booth in the sponsor area at the show, say hello, and learn more about how we can help.


Regards,
Your Friends at CCBill


Support CCBill

We are happy to report CCBill has been nominated as Best Payment Processor in the 2015 Live Cam Awards. These awards will be presented on March 8 during the European Summit in Barcelona, which is occurring March 7-10.

We would appreciate your vote, which can be made until Thursday, March 5. Just visit www.livecamawards.com to cast your vote. When visiting that website, simply scroll down to view the “Cast Your Vote for LCA 2015” area of the page.

Thank you for your continued support.


CCBill Agrees to Acquire WTS

An agreement has been reached for CCBill to acquire ACH processing solution provider WTS. ACH, or online check, transactions have remained a popular choice among consumers and merchants within e-commerce, and we remain committed to providing the payment option to our merchants. 

“As market behaviors and banking practices continue to evolve, ACH transactions have remained a viable and popular choice within e-commerce,” said Jake Powers, COO of CCBill. “We remain committed to providing this option for our merchants, and are excited to move forward with plans to help the many merchants being served by WTS.” 

While no other details about the agreement are being shared at this time, they will be provided as they become available. In the meantime, any WTS merchants can continue to work with WTS as usual, until otherwise notified.