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Online Retail – Acceleration To A Crowded Space?

Shopping cart icon on finger over blurred colourful night light city with cars, Shop online concept

A lot has been written about how the pandemic has accelerated change in the retail sector from physical to online; it’s one of several sectors where that transition was already underway, but national lockdowns and restrictions largely removed physical footfall and forced the hand, and the pace, of change.

So here you are now, with a far larger proportion of your business being conducted online, and now you have to also accelerate all of the associated business processes, systems and services that you need to make your business model work, including:

  • Website and E-Commerce capabilities
  • Marketing
  • Buying stock from suppliers / manufacturers
  • Customer distribution

The thing about what has happened to the sector during the pandemic is that it happened to most retailers – and you weren’t the only one who had to move online for the first time, or move more or all of your activities online. 

Comforting? Maybe, you certainly will be able to read a lot of blogs dedicated to helping you make the transition.

But beyond that there are suddenly a lot more e-sellers and e-retailers vying for the attention of customers with marketing and social media strategies – it must suddenly feel like a crowded space that may take some investment yourself to stand out and make the same noise that your window display used to.

Online retail is here to stay and you can make your business work in this space – but you likely have an increase in costs and overheads as you make the change and manage your cash flow, from day to day as well as in the medium and long term.

We work with clients and alternative finance providers to put in place suitable solutions – and Merchant Cash Advances (MCA) work perfectly with online retail (among other business types) as it is finance that you repay with the flow of business, and not via fixed weekly or monthly repayments. So, when you do more business, repay a little more, and pay less when business dips a little.

When you are doing more business you repay more, and when it is quieter your payments are automatically reduced.

Your business can quickly access funds by putting your terminal provider together with the lender so they understand your business income – and repayments are taken at source when you complete card transactions, so there are no repayments to manage from your bank account.

What does this mean in short for your business? You could potentially borrow between 50% and 100% of your monthly card terminal takings (depending on your situation and the numbers involved) as a business loan to support your cash flow for costs and overheads – and such items as stock purchases, suppliers, advertising / marketing and ad hoc or unexpected costs. 

Repayments are then taken as a pre-agreed percentage of your card transactions through your business – so that when you are doing more business you repay more, and when it is quieter your payments are automatically reduced.

Merchant Cash Advances (MCA) can work for businesses in many different sectors, including:

  • Physical retail
  • Online retailers
  • Marketplace sellers
  • Leisure
  • Health and beauty
  • Hospitality
  • Car servicing / MOT / repairs / parts
  • Travel

Since Covid began the list of businesses that accept card payments is a long one – if you take card payments from customers then you could be eligible to access an MCA. 

“We work with clients and alternative finance providers to put in place suitable solutions – and Merchant Cash Advances (MCA) work perfectly with online retail.”

A Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) does not have to be used as a one-off business loan – you can use the facility like a revolving credit facility, which once you have repaid from the natural flow of your business could be used again to ensure smooth cash flow in the business. You then continually have access to the working capital that you need to cover costs and overheads and can take advantage of business opportunities and have the potential to grow.

Getting funded for a Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) is a relatively straightforward and quick process if you are eligible – why not get in touch and discuss your business and card transactions to find out about accessing the cash flow to operate and grow your business – in a way that fits the business that you are actually doing.

Mark.

mark@essexcommercialfinance.co.uk / 07726 195 106

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