Trending December 2023 # Google: How To Increase Offline Sales For Local Businesses # Suggested January 2024 # Top 21 Popular

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Google published a guide on four ways to drive local search traffic to an offline local business and make more sales. It’s a good reminder that Google is more than just the ten blue links on a search page.

Understanding all the ways customers are trying to find businesses will help create more sales.

For local retail, Google shared that various kinds of searches are growing exponentially.

In particular, three kinds of searches are showing dramatic increases:

The first kind of search involves consumers searching for businesses that are local to them.

The second type of search involves consumers who are searching for businesses local to them that have something specific in stock.

The third kind of search involve restaurant related searches.

Google’s guide shared:

Local Retail

“Searches for “local” + “business(es)” have grown by more than 80% year over year, including searches like “local businesses near me” and “support local businesses.”

Searches for “who has” + “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over, including searches like “who has Nintendo switch in stock” and “who has gym equipment in stock.””

Local Restaurant Searches

Google shared:

“Two out of three dining consumers said they used search to find food and beverage information during the pandemic.

Think With Google article: What’s New at Mealtime?

YouTube and Local Shopping

YouTube isn’t normally considered as a way to drive sales to a local business. But it should be considered. Google shows YouTube videos in response to search queries and in specific contexts that provide more information for searchers who need to know about a service or product.

According to Google:

“Forty-five percent of viewers say they watch YouTube to see a product demo before buying.

Viewers say they are 2x more likely to go in-store or online to buy something they saw on YouTube versus the competitive average.”

Google Maps

Google Maps isn’t normally considered as a search engine. But like YouTube, it’s where people are turning to find local businesses that provide specific services.

This trend highlights the importance of claiming a free Google My Business account and working with that to enhance your Google Maps listings.

The important takeaway here is that Google Maps should be considered as a search engine that provides a highly targeted context for your local business presence.

Google shared:

“Searches on Google Maps for “curbside pickup” have increased 9000% year over year in the U.S.

Searches on Google Maps for “discounts” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year.

Searches on Google Maps for “gift shop” have grown globally by more than 60% year over year.”

Google Maps is more than just a way to learn how to get from here to there. Consumers are using it to find businesses.

(Source: Google Data, U.S., February 2023)



restaurants near me



food near me

grocery store

gas station



Guide to Offline Sales

The second tip showed how to get up to 42% more referrals from Google.

Google shared:

“The key to driving store traffic from the web into your physical location is letting customers know you’re close by and that you have what they’re looking for.

That 42% and 35% increases in engagement because of photos is not surprising. In an article about images (5 Benefits to Using Visual Content in PDF Marketing Materials) I highlighted ways that images engage consumers and drive sales.

Highlights are:

1. Images Are Emotionally Engaging

Scientific research discovered that images can influence a viewer’s emotions in a positive manner that enhances the marketing message.

2. Images Reduce Reading Fatigue

People absorb information through images as well as text. Images as a way to communicate how delicious a menu item is or the professional level of your employees should not be underestimated.

3. Images Are Easier to Remember

Images make a strong impact on consumers because they are easy to recall. According to research, consumers have the ability to remember over 2,000 images for days with a 90% accuracy.

4. Graphs Communicate Visually

Graphs can be a fantastic way to communicate the superiority of your business or communicate ideas. According to MIT neuroscientists, a human brain can identify images within 13 milliseconds. Communicating ideas visually is a powerful way of successfully getting across a marketing message.

5. Images Build Trust & Increase Profitability

Researchers have discovered, through analysis of millions of eBay auctions, that the liberal use of images increases sales.

Google is More than Ten Links on a Search Result

There are many takeaways in Google’s helpful guide. The most important is to expand beyond trying to rank in Google search and consider ways to increase visibility in Google Maps and YouTube. Additionally it may be helpful to add as many well staged and photographed images as possible in order to communicate the professionalism and high quality of the products and services on offer.


Guide to Offline Sales With Online Ads

5 Benefits to Using Visual Content in PDF Marketing Materials

You're reading Google: How To Increase Offline Sales For Local Businesses

Increase Ecommerce Revenues With Instagram Sales Funnels

If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur or marketer and want to get more sales from Instagram, you’re in the right place

In this post, we’re going to learn how to turn your Instagram traffic into sales on your ecommerce store.

You’ll learn the different types of Instagram sales funnels you can consider and when to use them.

And I will show you, practically, how to set them up using different tools.

It’s important to consider what happens to a new follower on Instagram once they find your brand because otherwise, you can’t measure the ROI or success of your marketing efforts.

The best way to do this is to create sales funnels, measurable and optimizable steps followers are instructed to take once they follow your Instagram account.

Download our Premium Resource –Smarter Instagram marketing guide

A practical guide to using Instagram to drive engagement and sales.

Access the Smarter Instagram marketing guide

Once you understand your conversion rates through this sales funnel you can then optimize it and also increase the top of the funnel to predictably increase your revenue.

The first step is to understand the main different types of sales funnels and their variations.

The first type of sales funnels is a Transaction Sales Funnel.

These sales funnels have one focus, direct sales.

Let’s look at a few variations of this funnel and how you can set them up.

1. Transaction Sales Funnel – Product page

The first and probably most simple version of this is as follows:

This funnel simply sends all profile link traffic directly to your chosen ecommerce product page.

This could be a product you just released, a product you are discounting or one that is available for a limited time only.

2. Transaction Sales Funnel – Collection/Category page

The second version of this is as follows:

This funnel sends traffic from your profile link to a collection or category page, where they can then browse the website, hopefully diving deeper into a single product page and then the cart and checkout.

3. Transaction Sales Funnel – Shoppable Instagram page

The third and probably most innovative version of this Instagram sales funnel is as follows:

This funnel sends traffic to a specially designed ‘shoppable’ version of your Instagram timeline.

Let’s take a look at what this funnel looks like in detail!

Step 1: Link to the Shoppable Instagram page from your Instagram profile, you can also use a Google trackable campaign URL.

Step 2: The visitor lands on a page that resembles your Instagram timeline, however using great tools like Snappt, Foursixty and others, you can create a shoppable version of your timeline.

Step 3: When the user hovers it says ‘Shop the Look’

Step 5: When you hover over the product a tooltip appears that is a direct link to the product on the store.

Step 6: You can add the product to cart and checkout as normal.

Recommended Shoppable Instagram gallery tools for Shopify

The best but also the most expensive tools is Foursixty.

This tool was the first to offer these features and is the most used by our clients and larger brands.

The reason this tool is the best is that you can embed the galleries literally anywhere and now they feature the ability to add items directly to cart from the gallery!

This app is a free version of Foursixty, great for people starting out, not recommended for established brands that want a reliable service.

This app is somewhere between the two in terms of price points and features

Learn how to integrate Foursixty into your Shopify store. 

Recommended Shoppable Instagram gallery tools for NON-Shopify stores

Foursixty now supports Magento, Woocommerce, Big Commerce, Squarespace, Big Cartel, Demandware, Lightspeed. We recommend this plugin.

Lead Sales Funnels

The second types of funnels is a lead sales funnel.

This is where the traffic from your Instagram profile link is sent to a website where you try to capture the visitor’s email address.

These pages are normally referred to as landing pages. Sometimes people refer to the form that collect the visitor’s email address as lead magnets.

Let’s look at some typical examples of this and how to set them up.

1. Lead Sales Funnel – Give Aways / Competitions

Giveaways and competitions are a fantastic way to grow your email list and email marketing revenues.

This is roughly what the sales funnel looks like:

The keys to a successful giveaway campaign are as follows:


Giveaway tool (built in viral sharing)

Understanding what your audience wants

Time limiting the offer

To learn how to create giveaways we recommend using one of the 4 following tools.

Our #1 recommendations is Gleam.

The reason is that it allows you to run image and video campaigns which lend themselves very well to the ecommerce industry.

Watch this video to learn how to use Gleam to run your contest:

You can also check out these tools:




2. Lead Sales Funnel – Blog post with a content upgrade

The second example of a lead sales funnel is a blog post content upgrade combo.

This is what the lead sales funnel looks like:

The difference with this type of campaign is that you offer content in return for the person’s email address.

For example, if you sell tennis rackets you could create a blog post which was a tennis serve tutorial and then offer a video tutorial as a bonus in exchange for the visitor’s email address.

This is known as a content upgrade as you are upgrading the content from text and image tutorial to a video tutorial.

In this post, you learned the importance of pushing new Instagram followers into sales funnels.

You learned there are two main types of funnels. Transaction sales funnels and Lead sales funnels.

We also looked at typical examples of these sales funnel and how to use them.

Local Seo: New Google Local & Google Maps Features That Boost Marketing

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The key to local business success: Be the first to use Google’s newest marketing features in your area.

Get more traffic in the door, get your business noticed faster, and outrank your competition.

Amanda Jordan, Director of Digital Strategy for RicketyRoo Inc., joined me to discuss the easiest ways to incorporate the new Google Local and Google Maps features into your local SEO strategy.

The pandemic, changing search habits, and more people shopping locally have driven the need for local businesses to have a strong presence in the search results.

Google Business Profile and other local features are vital to adapting to these changes.

In this podcast, you’ll learn how to grow your local business with a few tweaks on Google Local, Google Maps, and Google Business Profile.

Every time I’ve seen someone go from no Google Business Profile to a cool business profile, or even just adding anything like that, there’s a huge amount of growth because essentially you’ve just made yourself visible to lots of people that didn’t even know you existed before. –Amanda Jordan, 58:54

The more thorough and valuable your reviews are, the more of an impact it does have on your ability to rank. –Amanda Jordan, 19:55

It’s good just to have something up there that’s recent and current just because It’ll help you stand out. –Amanda Jordan, 11:35

A lot of times, we see social media and SEO as two completely separate things, but they can inform each other. They both give you data about who your customers are, how they found you, why they like you, and what they’re interested in. –Amanda Jordan, 22:01

A lot of times, especially with local SEO and the focus on reviews and things like that, we can forget about the technical elements or not be as confident in our ability to handle them. I think it’s perfectly normal but I think that’s a place where a lot of technical and local SEOs can grow. –Amanda Jordan, 40:40

Connect with Amanda Jordan:

Amanda has extensive experience designing campaigns, including web development and SEO, and is very talented and creative.

She began her SEO career in 2011 and has enjoyed tackling complex problems for clients. Her specialty is local SEO for legal and enterprise companies. In her free time, Amanda enjoys playing with her dogs and beating her son at Mario Kart.

Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

Gusto Alternatives For Small Businesses

With so many payroll software and service options out there, it’s challenging to choose a solution that fits your business’s current needs as well as its potential requirements as it grows. 

Gusto is a popular automated payroll management system that draws customers with features like benefits management, HR functions, customized reporting and employee self-onboarding. But Gusto lacks integration with popular applications, and you can’t use it to pay international workers. Plus, even though it was founded in 2011, it lacks a competitive mobile app for employers and employees.

Fortunately, there are several Gusto alternatives with features and pricing that may suit your business. We’ve compiled our top six Gusto alternatives for their practical features, affordable pricing, and ability to automate your payroll services no matter your business’s size.


Read our full Gusto Payroll review to learn exactly what the service offers so you can compare pricing and functionality.

HR best practices

Benefits assistance

Library of crucial government forms

ZipRecruiter integration

Annual background checks (up to five)

One-on-one help from ADP’s HR team

Time tracking: Employees can use ADP’s mobile app to clock in and out, request paid time off (PTO), and log overtime. Managers can use the app to create schedules and verify hours.


If you’re looking for even more Gusto Payroll alternatives, check out our reviews of the best online payroll services.

ADP pricing

ADP does not offer transparent pricing. Just like Gusto, the payroll software offers a tiered service plan structure: Essential, Enhanced, Complete and HR Pro. 

Editor’s note: Looking for the right payroll software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

For all tiers, pricing is based on your business, the features you need, and the number of employees you have. You have to contact ADP directly to receive a price quote.

2. Patriot Payroll

Patriot says its average client can run payroll in less than three minutes. In addition, the full-service plan features federal, state, and local tax filing and deposits, a solid feature if your business has less than 100 employees.

However, if you need benefits administration (HR) and custom reports, look elsewhere. This stripped-down payroll software doesn’t offer any extras.

Here’s a look at Patriot Payroll’s key features and pricing options.

Patriot Payroll key features

Unlimited pay runs: Patriot offers unlimited payroll scheduling, so you have maximum flexibility when paying employees and contractors. 

Multiple states: Have employees in multiple states? Patriot Payroll takes care of taxes and deductions.

Support for up to 100 employees: Unlike competitors in the same feature and price range, Patriot Payroll can support up to 100 employees, letting you scale your workforce affordably.

Patriot Payroll pricing

Basic Payroll: The base price is $10 plus $4 per employee per month.

Full-Service Payroll: The base price is $30 plus $4 per employee per month.

3. Paylocity

Paylocity provides a wide range of services, including payroll, HR, tax filing, benefits management, time tracking and talent administration. Paylocity also has a self-service portal that allows employees to update and edit personal information and withholding details and to sign up for direct deposit.

When using Paylocity, each payroll is verified before it’s run to reduce human errors. Plus, you can run reports to monitor employee turnover and labor costs either through the desktop or mobile app.

Here’s a look at Paylocity’s key features and pricing options.

Paylocity key features

Employee portal: Workers can sign up for direct deposit, view pay stubs, edit personal information, and access company updates.

Taxes: Federal Forms 940, 941, W-2 and 1099, as well as state unemployment tax and withholding forms, are e-filed on your behalf. Paylocity offers a 100% guarantee for any IRS fines due to its error.

Geofence time tracking: Employees can clock in and out using the app. In addition, the app has built-in geographical points to prevent worker abuse.

Recruiting and performance-based reviews: You can recruit applicants and track their status. Create custom performance reviews, improve employee engagement with feedback surveys, and monitor raises to align with the overall budget.

Did You Know?

When a small business uses direct deposit to pay its employees, it saves money and time while supporting employees’ financial health and security.

Best Paypal Alternatives For Businesses

If you’re a small business owner who wants to accept credit cards in person and online, you’ve probably considered using PayPal. PayPal is a payment facilitator – a company that simplifies the credit card acceptance process. PayPal places its business customers under its master merchant account, so businesses don’t have to apply for and deal with separate merchant accounts. 

Many businesses accept card payments with PayPal, but it’s not for everyone. Here’s a look at the best PayPal alternatives that might work well for your business, along with an overview of precisely what PayPal offers. 


If you’re considering a credit card processor for your business, check out our reviews of the best credit card processors, compare their features, and decide which is right for you.

What to consider when choosing a PayPal alternative

When looking for the best PayPal alternative, consider how your business operates and what it needs (and doesn’t need). You want to avoid paying for features you won’t use and find a payment gateway that offers the functionality you need. 

Consider the following factors when evaluating PayPal alternatives: 

Low fees

Quick access to your money

High security level

Integration with other websites and software tools you use

POS hardware types and cost

Great customer service

Support for international transactions

Easy integration with your website


There’s some confusion about the difference between a payment gateway and a payment processor. A payment processor facilitates transactions between your merchant account and a customer’s bank account, while a payment gateway authorizes your customers’ payments.

1. Best PayPal alternative for in-person transactions: Square

While PayPal got its start enabling cashless payments online, Square was a mobile payment pioneer, introducing the first widely used card reader that plugged into a mobile phone. Square’s strongest presence is in the in-person retail transaction space; more recently, it has branched out into e-commerce payments with its Square Payments service. (You may want to check out our comparison of PayPal and Square.)

Here’s a rundown of what Square has to offer.

Square’s e-commerce functions

To distinguish itself, Square offers merchants a free online store that incorporates its payment system. Businesses can choose from a variety of site setups with industry-specific features. Like PayPal, Square websites can accept donations and membership fees. 

A Square online store is a good option for both startups without a website and brick-and-mortar businesses adding an e-commerce option.

If you don’t need a website, you can still use Square for your e-commerce payment processing with Square Online Checkout. Square Online Checkout is comparable to PayPal Checkout’s button generator. (We’ll explain more about PayPal’s features later.) 

With Square Online Checkout, you input information about each product, including its name, image and price. The service accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB and UnionPay cards, as well as prepaid, debit and reward cards with those logos. Square Online Checkout also takes Apple Pay and Google Pay, but not Venmo, PayPal or PayPal Credit.

You can also use Square for your e-commerce shopping cart by connecting with one of its partners, including GoDaddy, Wix, WooCommerce, Magneto, Weebly and 3dcart. However, If you have a custom-built website, you’ll need a developer to help you connect Square payments.

If you’re comparing Square to PayPal, note that Square accepts fewer payment types than PayPal and doesn’t have a responsive button display.

Like PayPal, Square enables customers to buy from merchants via link or QR code to drive sales from social media, landing pages and printed materials.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right credit card processor for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Did You Know?

Restaurant payment processing has some unique considerations. You should consider your average sales ticket size, monthly sales volume and processing needs before signing a contract with a credit card processor.

Square’s money-moving abilities

Square has its own bank, Square Financial Services, which can integrate seamlessly with the Square Payments online payment-processing solution, giving merchants instant access to their money with no fees, minimum balance requirement or credit checks. 

If you have a bank account, Square allows you to send up to $10,000 per transfer instantly, with unlimited instant transfers per day. Instant transfers cost 1.5% of the transfer amount. Standard transfers are usually sent within 36 hours (one to two business days) and are free.

Bottom Line

Square is an excellent choice for in-person retail and restaurant businesses because of its specialized software. Square is less likely than PayPal to freeze merchant funds, it’s easy to integrate, and its free website tool is a nice addition. Read our in-depth Square review for more information.

Did You Know?

Even if your e-commerce transactions are considered riskier, there are ways to protect your business when taking payments online, including using two-factor authentication, using a personal verification system, and ensuring your hosting provider has safeguards in place.

Stripe’s mobile and point-of-sale functionality

Stripe’s handheld reader, the BBPOS Chipper 2X BT, is comparable to Square’s contactless chip reader. It’s currently Stripe’s only available card reader, connecting via Bluetooth to a mobile device. It costs $59, and each transaction is charged 2.7% plus 5 cents. 

The company will soon be rolling out the BBPOS WisePOS E, a hybrid countertop and handheld card reader, for $249.

Stripe’s recurring billing and subscription features

Stripe can generate invoices, schedule subscriptions, schedule email reminders for missed or overdue payments, and handle billing proration. It can also trigger actions based on upgrades, payments and cancellations. Stripe integrates with other tools like Salesforce, DocuSign, NetSuite and Xero.

Stripe’s marketplace operations

If your business is a marketplace where you provide a platform for service providers to sell, Stripe may be a good solution for you. Its software helps marketplaces instantly onboard and manage service providers, split revenue from transactions among multiple recipients, and control expenses. It also allows you to retain your sellers with instant payouts and balance cards.

Stripe’s money-moving abilities

When you first get set up with Stripe, it takes seven to 14 days to transfer your money to your bank account. Once you’re established, payouts to your bank account arrive on a two-day rolling basis. If you’re in a high-risk industry, however, your money will take 14 days to arrive. Companies based in countries other than the U.S. and Australia will also have slower transfer times.

Bottom Line

Stripe is best suited for e-commerce and marketplace businesses, especially those planning to scale quickly. It has excellent security features, and its transaction-retry protocol can increase sales that otherwise would have been declined. Read our in-depth Stripe review for more information.

Bottom Line

Authorize.Net is best suited for e-commerce businesses, especially those with web developers on staff. It has excellent security features, but it’s not tailored to retail or restaurant businesses. Transaction costs will be high for businesses that process many smaller purchases.

Upcoming PayPal competitors

Keep an eye out for these up-and-coming players in the payment facilitation space:

Stax by Fattmerchant



Flagship Merchant Services (read our Flagship review for more information)

A primer on PayPal

In case you’re deciding between PayPal and a PayPal alternative, here’s a quick primer on PayPal’s pricing, setup, equipment, technology and customer service. PayPal lets merchants accept payments from e-commerce sites over the phone with a virtual terminal, by subscription and on demand with invoicing.

Here’s a look at PayPal’s payment processing services.

What is PayPal Checkout?

PayPal Checkout is PayPal’s e-commerce and app payment solution. It offers contextual checkout button options so you can display payment buttons relevant to the individual customer. For example, Venmo users will see a Venmo checkout option. Paying with major debit and credit cards is also an option. Offering these relevant payment options increases conversion because it makes paying easier.

Customers authorize payment in a PayPal pop-up window on the merchant site, and then PayPal automatically fills in the customer’s name and shipping address on the merchant checkout page. PayPal Checkout includes PCI compliance.

There are three levels to PayPal Checkout, depending on your business’s complexity and needs. (The fee for receiving domestic transactions via PayPal Checkout is 3.49% of the purchase price plus 49 cents per transaction.)

Button generator: This is PayPal Checkout’s most basic checkout option. The button generator eliminates the need to set up shopping cart functionality since you can just copy the code and paste it into each product page on your website.

Standard integration: This requires you to use a web developer. It enables customers to aggregate purchases in a shopping cart and pay for them all at one time using a variety of payment types. 

Advanced integration: This gives you all the standard integration features and adds the flexibility of customizing the look, feel and placement of the debit and credit card payment fields. More importantly, it has security features, including fraud protection tools.

What is PayPal’s Store Cash?

Store Cash is an optional feature for PayPal e-commerce merchants to help increase sales from abandoned shopping carts. PayPal can track about 40% of people who leave your site without purchasing. It can also identify customers who have purchased from you within the past 12 months, but not within the past three months. 

PayPal then sends these people an email notifying them that Store Cash is in their PayPal wallet to spend on your site within seven days. You pay a fee to PayPal of 8% of the purchase amount only when a customer returns to your site and makes a purchase using Store Cash.

How does PayPal handle subscriptions?

With PayPal, you can enable recurring and subscription payments. The option has customizable trial periods to encourage customers to subscribe, and it can handle fixed or quantity-based pricing. The fee for this type of transaction is 3.49% of the purchase price plus 49 cents.

What is PayPal Here?

PayPal Here is PayPal’s mobile in-person payment solution; it includes a mobile credit card reader and processing, monitoring and reporting through an app. 

PayPal offers two types of readers, both of which connect to the business owner’s mobile device via Bluetooth. The readers can’t accept PINs for debit card transactions, but they do accept both debit and credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, as well as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. Card readers can integrate with other POS hardware, such as receipt printers and cash drawers.

The app software is merchant-friendly and easy to use. It can calculate sales tax, apply discounts, send invoices, run sales reports and track inventory.

There are no monthly fees to use PayPal Here. The transaction fees are as follows:

Card present, PayPal account and Venmo: 7%

Keyed-in card numbers: 5% plus 15 cents

These are the PayPal Here card reader equipment fees:

Chip and Swipe card reader: Free for new PayPal Here customers; $24.99 for existing customers

Chip and Tap card reader: $59.99 or $79.99 with a charging stand

What is Zettle?

Zettle is PayPal’s fixed retail POS solution. Signing up for Zettle is a bit more involved than signing up for PayPal Here, PayPal Checkout or Virtual Terminal; merchants must meet eligibility requirements, apply and be approved.

Like PayPal Here, Zettle includes an app to help you take payments, track sales and manage your inventory. It can integrate with your online sales as well as popular accounting software programs such as QuickBooks. Download the Zettle app on a smartphone or tablet, or use it with a Zettle POS cash register. Zettle hardware includes a cash register, card reader, receipt printer and handheld scanner.

There are no monthly fees to use Zettle. The transaction fees are as follows:

Card present and QR code transactions: 29% plus 9 cents

Keyed-in card numbers: 49% plus 9 cents

The costs for Zettle equipment are as follows:

Cash register and card reader: $249

Cash register, card reader and receipt printer: $499

Cash register, card reader, receipt printer and handheld scanner: $699

Card reader and receipt printer: $339

Card reader: $29 for new users; $79 otherwise

Card reader dock and charger: $49

Stand for iPad: $159

Cash drawer: $119

Handheld barcode scanner: $229

What is the PayPal Virtual Terminal?

The PayPal Virtual Terminal is a secure payment gateway site that you can access via web browser on a phone, tablet or computer. It’s suitable for companies that do most of their transactions over the phone; it requires no hardware, coding or software. 

After the PayPal Virtual Terminal is set up, you’ll enter customer contact information, purchase amount, and credit or debit card information on the screen. Because the risk of fraud is higher for transactions in which the payment card is not physically present, the fee is higher for virtual terminal transactions: 3.09% of the purchase price plus 49 cents.

What is PayPal’s invoicing option?

The PayPal invoicing option is most often used by freelancers and independent contractors. It allows business owners to create, manage and send invoices, and there’s no charge for these functions. The only time you’ll be charged is when a customer pays an invoice online using a credit card, debit card, PayPal account or PayPal Credit. The fee for these online payments is 3.49% plus 49 cents per transaction.

What are the pros of using PayPal?

If you’re considering PayPal payment services, here are some upsides:

It’s easy to set up and use.

Customers are usually already familiar with it.

Since there are 325 million active PayPal accounts, giving users the option to pay with PayPal may increase your conversions.

It’s in 200 markets worldwide and more than 100 currencies, so it supports international sales.

It integrates with several popular shopping cart systems.

It’s secure and PCI compliant.

It offers PayPal Credit, which provides seamless financing of customer purchases, increasing conversion for higher-ticket items.

It supports invoices, subscriptions and recurring payments.

It has a high withdrawal limit for instant bank account transfers – $25,000 per transaction.

What are the cons of using PayPal?

PayPal also has some downsides to consider:

PayPal may freeze your account. Since all business clients are under the PayPal umbrella, PayPal is more sensitive to potentially fraudulent transactions. If PayPal suspects a problem, it can freeze your account, putting a serious crimp in your cash flow until you definitively prove your identity.

PayPal may hold your money. Due to its fear of fraudulent transactions, PayPal may decide to hold your money for up to 21 days. In the meantime, you won’t have access to that money for buying inventory or covering other business expenses.

Your bank may charge you to receive money transfers from PayPal. Some banks charge a fixed fee for incoming transfers, regardless of the transfer amount.

PayPal’s fee for chargebacks is high ($20 each).

Coronavirus Impact On Google Ads And Affiliate Sales

Why is Amazon Virtually Cancelling Google Ads?

It appears that Amazon may be responding to changing trends in consumer spending due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to an article in Buzzfeed News, Amazon has reported a surge in buying that has necessitated hiring an additional 100,000 workers to meet the demand.

As reported by Buzzfeed:

“As Americans retreat to their homes to weather the coronavirus pandemic, they are increasingly turning to Amazon to get basic necessities such as groceries, as well as medicines, cleaning supplies, and, of course, toilet paper.”

Amazon is turning its focus toward meeting the demand of citizens who are “sheltering in place.” To shelter in place means to stay in ones home and not leave except for basic necessities like food and other home supplies.

Yet fear of contracting COVID-19 has consumers wary of leaving their homes so they are turning to Amazon.

According to the report by tinuiti:

“Amazon seemed to abruptly change course towards the end of January 2023 across many product categories and was less prevalent through the first week of March.

Profound Change in Search Trends

What is happening is that online sales is undergoing an extreme change in buying trends. Demand for household items and medical supplies are spiking to an extraordinary degree. The change is so dramatic that Amazon is hiring 100,000 new workers in order to meet the demand.

The following Google Trends graph illustrates the dramatic change in search trends. Considered together with Amazon’s decision to ship only essential goods, these both may be signals of a profound change in consumer buying trends for the next few months.

Yoga mats and Apple Air Pods are listed by Amazon as among the most popular products for sale on Amazon within their respective categories.

But as you can see in this Google Trends graph, demand for toilet paper has dwarfed that of yoga mats and Air Pods.

Amazon Focuses on Medical Supplies and Household Staples

According to a report on Search Engine Journal, Fulfillment By Amazon shipments have stopped except for household and medical supplies that consumers need.

Amazon’s statement noted:

“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock.

With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers.

For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.”

According to Amazon, this change in focus will continue through at least April 5, 2023. That’s a little more than two weeks. The CDC has ordered a ban on crowds of 50 or more people for eight weeks. Some communities have banned gatherings of as few as ten people in one place.


Amazons dramatic pivot away from Google Ads may be a sign that online sales of non-essential consumer products may begin to trend downward as medical and household supplies rise in demand.

It’s also possible that these trends may affect affiliate marketing. It will be hard to make an affiliate sale through Amazon if Amazon is not shipping the high margin products popular with affiliate marketers.

Read report on Amazon disabling shipping on Fulfilled by Amazon products that are non-essential.

Read the report on Amazon virtually cancelling Google Ads by tinuiti

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