Whether you are an established business or just starting, setting up an online storefront is a great way to reach more customers and boost sales. For businesses in Africa looking to accept online and mobile payments, Flutterwave store provides one of the best alternatives.
As Africa’s leading digital payments platform, Flutterwave makes it easy for merchants of all sizes to accept payments worldwide. Over one million stores and individuals already utilize Flutterwave’s payment technology across various industries. This article will explore how to set up a Flutterwave store, including guidelines, features, and considerations for your business.
Flutterwave offers amazing features like recurring billing, subscriptions, and multi-currency support to help businesses meet customer needs flexibly. With Flutterwave’s broad reach across Africa and beyond, a Flutterwave store has the potential for global sales. This guide will outline the setup process, key capabilities, and factors to consider when deciding if a Flutterwave store is right for your business goals.
What is Flutterwave Store?
Flutterwave Store is an e-commerce platform that seamlessly integrates with Flutterwave’s payment processing solutions. This allows businesses to easily set up an online store without technical skills.
Flutterwave is a leading fintech company based in Nigeria that was founded in 2016. It has rapidly grown to become a powerhouse in digital financial transactions across Africa and beyond. While headquartered in San Francisco, Flutterwave’s operations are primarily centred in Nigeria and other major African markets like Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and South Africa.
In addition to payment processing, Flutterwave offers merchants tools to sell products, manage orders, handle shipping and inventory, and access analytics. Businesses can accept payments through the platform in various currencies from customers worldwide.
To boost its brand recognition on the continent and among the African diaspora, Flutterwave appointed Grammy-winning artist Wizkid as its global ambassador in 2021. This strategic partnership resonated strongly with Flutterwave’s target audiences.
Flutterwave also supports cultural events and organizations. In early 2022, it partnered with AfroSport Network to broadcast the Africa Cup of Nations tournament free-to-air across the continent. This collaboration not only facilitated access to the prominent sporting event but also highlighted Flutterwave’s commitment to engaging African communities.
How to Set Up Your Flutterwave Store
Flutterwave Store provides merchants with an all-in-one e-commerce platform that integrates seamlessly with Flutterwave’s payment processing capabilities. This allows businesses of all sizes to easily create an online storefront and accept payments from customers worldwide – without the need for technical expertise. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your Flutterwave Store:
- Create a Flutterwave account if you don’t already have one. To open a Flutterwave account, follow the steps below:
- Go to flutterwave.com or download the App from Google Playstore or Appstore and click “Sign Up.”
- Choose your account type. There are options for individual/personal accounts or business/corporate accounts.
- Enter your business information like name, address, phone number, etc. You’ll need documents to verify your identity, like a passport or ID card.
- Provide bank details. You’ll need to link a bank account, so Flutterwave can deposit funds to verify your account.
- Verify your identity. Flutterwave will make small deposits to your bank, which you must confirm on the site to verify account ownership.
- Set up your profile. Add more details about your business, services offered, and payment settings.
- Activate your account. Once verified, your Flutterwave account will be ready to accept and send payments.
- Start accepting payments. Add payment buttons or links to your website or invoices. Customers can pay directly through Flutterwave.
- Receive funds. Money paid through Flutterwave will be deposited directly into your linked bank account.
- Go to the “Stores” section in your dashboard and click “Setup my store.”
- Enter your store name, description and customize the URL
- Complete the setup, and your store link will be generated
How to Add Products To Your Store
After opening your Flutterwave store, the first step is stocking your virtual shelves with your products for customers to browse and purchase. Here’s a step-by-step guide to adding products to your Flutterwave Store:
1. Use Your Flutterwave Login details to enter your Store
Access the control panel where you manage all aspects of your online business.
2. Click “Products” on the Left Menu
This will take you to the products page, where you can view existing items and add new ones.
3. Click the “Add Product” Button
This will open the product entry form to fill out the essential details.
4. Enter the Product Name, Description & Price
Choose a descriptive name and write a few lines about the product. Set the price and currency.
5. Upload High-Quality Images
Customers can’t see or buy what they can’t visualize. Include at least 2-3 images from different angles.
6. Select Categories & Product Type
It helps customers find the item more easily during searches.
7. Add Inventory Details
Specify stock levels, weight, dimensions, etc., for accurate shipping quotes.
8. Publish the Product
It will now appear on your online Store for customers to view product pages and purchase.
How to Drive Traffic To Your Store
As a business owner, the goal is to make sales. These are strategies to drive traffic to your Flutterwae store.
Promote Your Store On Social Media:
– Create eye-catching posts/ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. about new products
– Go live to showcase products and answer questions
– Run social media campaigns offering discounts to followers
Optimize Your Online Listings:
– Improve SEO by optimizing product/page titles, descriptions and images
– Create a Google My Business account
– Submit your store URL to shopping search engines
Run Performance-Based Ads:
– Set up Facebook/Instagram shop ads with a conversion objective
– Retarget website visitors who abandoned carts
– Analyze metrics to optimize high-performing ad creatives
Partner With Influencers:
– Provide review products to micro-influencers in your niche
– Offer affiliate commissions for influencers promoting your Store
– Leverage influencer marketing for seasonal campaigns
Provide Excellent Customer Service:
– Respond quickly to customer queries on social media
– Resolve issues promptly to build trust and loyalty
Leverage Testimonials from Your Customers:
- Collect testimonials on your site and major review platforms
- Post these testimonials
Features Available to Flutterwave Store Owners
Flutterwave provides a range of features and services through its platform to facilitate payment processing and financial transactions. These features may vary depending on the specific product or service you are using, but here are some standard features associated with Flutterwave:
- Payment Gateway
Flutterwave’s payment gateway allows businesses to easily integrate online payment processing into their sales channels. They provide APIs and plugins compatible with popular e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento. This allows merchants to accept payments directly on their websites or mobile apps with just a few lines of code.
Businesses can accept local and international payments via credit/debit cards, bank transfers, mobile money options like M-Pesa, and virtual cards. Over 30 currencies across Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America are supported. This gives merchants access to a large international customer base through a single integration.
Security is also a priority, as Flutterwave utilizes protocols like SSL/TLS to securely transmit sensitive payment details. They are PCI DSS compliant to protect cardholder data as well. Processing fees are competitive at 3-5%, depending on payment method and country. Rates for payments within Africa tend to be lower than international transactions.
Merchants have visibility into their payment activity through the Flutterwave dashboard. Reports, transactions, payouts, and more can be viewed easily. Funds from processed payments are settled to business bank accounts usually within 24-48 hours. Payouts are also made to multiple local and international accounts. While customer support has received some criticism, Flutterwave does offer 24/7 phone, email and live chat assistance for payment issues.
2. Virtual Cards
Flutterwave’s virtual card solution provides merchants and users with significant benefits over traditional physical cards. The ability to instantly generate single-use virtual cards increases security by eliminating the need to share sensitive payment details online. This reduces the risk of fraud, as card numbers cannot be reused once a transaction is completed.
Accepting payments is simplified for international merchants. As virtual cards can be generated in different currencies, they facilitate borderless commerce. Customers anywhere in the world can securely pay merchants using a virtual card without physical cards needing to be produced or delivered. Complete control over properties like spending limits and expiry dates further empowers merchants to tailor virtual cards for specific needs and increase oversight of transactions.
How to Get a Flutterwave Virtual Card
- Sign up for a Flutterwave account. Go to flutterwave.com and click “Sign Up”. Enter your business details to register.
- Verify your identity. Flutterwave will need documents like your ID/passport for verification.
- Link your bank account. This is required to fund the virtual card transactions. Flutterwave will deposit small amounts for account verification.
- Go to the “Cards” section. You’ll find this under the “Payments” menu after logging into your dashboard.
- Click “Request card” and select “Virtual card”. Choose the currency and card type.
- Your virtual card details will be instantly generated. These include the 16-digit card number, expiration date and CVV.
3. International Payments
Flutterwave’s remittance services play a crucial role in facilitating domestic and international trade for businesses in Africa and beyond. Whether it’s paying suppliers overseas, transferring funds to partners in other countries, or sending money locally, Flutterwave provides convenient solutions.
Businesses can initiate cross-border money transfers seamlessly through Flutterwave’s platform. Funds are sent internationally via fast bank transfers in the currency of choice for both sender and recipient. This allows seamless navigation of global payments. Domestic transfers within the same country can also be completed effortlessly for B2B or other transactions.
Speed, reliability and competitive pricing make Flutterwave an attractive option compared to traditional banks. International transfers typically arrive within 24-48 hours, while affordable rates and bulk discounts for large enterprises also reduce costs. Convenience is another advantage, as transfers can be set up from the online dashboard without visiting physical bank branches.
With support for over 30 currencies and coverage spanning Africa, Flutterwave’s remittance services empower businesses to engage in trade across borders efficiently. This plays a significant role in facilitating growth and fostering economic activity regionally and globally.
4. Subscription Billing
Flutterwave’s recurring payment functionality provides businesses with a robust solution to set up subscription billing models.
Merchants can create different subscription plans catered to diverse customer needs. Plans allow customization of pricing, billing frequencies whether monthly, yearly or other intervals, trial periods and additional terms. This allows businesses to tailor offerings and pricing tiers to their target audiences.
The subscription process is seamless for customers. Upon signing up, their payment details are securely stored. Subsequent bills are charged automatically on the scheduled due date without customers manually re-entering the information each time. This creates a frictionless user experience that enhances retention.
Merchants are also empowered through subscription management tools. Active subscriptions, payment histories, as well as the ability to pause, resume or cancel memberships provide complete visibility and control. Real-time payment notifications further optimize operations.
Customers maintain autonomy through cancellation options available anytime. Such flexible policies help foster mutually beneficial, long-term relationships between businesses and patrons.
5. Bulk Payments
Flutterwave’s bulk payment feature allows businesses to make multiple payments in a single API call, which can help streamline processes like payroll, vendor payments, refunds and other bulk financial transactions.
How to Make Bulk Transfers on Flutterwave
Here are the key things to know about making a bulk transfer with Flutterwave:
- Create an array of payment objects: Each object should contain the transfer details for an individual recipient, like name, account number, amount, etc. This array is passed in the API request.
- Specify transfer details: Along with the payment array, the request requires a title to identify the bulk transfer, currency and other metadata.
- Queue payments for processing: Once submitted, the bulk payments will be queued for processing simultaneously in the background. This is faster than making individual requests.
- Check statuses: Businesses can check the status of each payment in the bulk transfer via a status query or enable webhooks for real-time updates.
- Handle errors centrally: If error_reporting is enabled, any failed payments and related errors will be returned together for easy resolution.
By automating repetitive bulk payments, Flutterwave allows businesses to streamline financial operations and ensure timely vendor/payroll processing. This boosts operational efficiency.
Pros of Using a Flutterwave Store
Flutterwave is a leading payment processing platform in Africa that allows businesses and individuals to accept online payments across multiple currencies and countries. Some key strengths of Flutterwave include:
- Businesses can accept payments via cards, mobile money, and bank transfers in over 30 currencies, spanning Africa and globally. This broad acceptance makes it easy for customers anywhere to pay.
- Processing fees for international payments through Flutterwave are competitive at around 3-4%, lower than some alternatives. Rates for local African payments are even better.
- No website development or technical skills are required. Flutterwave handles the complexities of building and maintaining the storefront.
- Payment processing is seamlessly integrated. Merchants can start accepting online and mobile payments right away.
- Wide reach across Africa and global markets through Flutterwave’s network.
- Flutterwave’s virtual cards allow businesses to make and accept payments online without a physical card. This is very useful for merchants in countries with card access limitations.
Cons of Using a Flutterwave Store
Flutterwave has some weaknesses, particularly around customer service. Based on reviews online, it seems customer support is very difficult to reach via phone, email, or their support portal. Issues reported include:
- Some reviewers mentioned sending multiple emails/messages with no response.
- Long resolution times on the part of the customer
- Flutterwave takes a commission on sales, usually 3-5%, which is higher than self-hosting an e-commerce site.
- Merchants have less design customization compared to building their sites.
- Lack of transparency. In some dispute cases, Flutterwave did not clearly explain holds or decisions, confusing customers.
Flutterwave Store is a good option for merchants looking to expand their reach across Africa and provide their customers with convenient payment options. The ease of use and wide payment method support make it a compelling choice for businesses of all sizes.