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Reasons to opt for Online Invoicing for your eCommerce Store

Invoice software for ecommerce Businesses Invoices form an inevitable part of a business and its accounting process. They are not only used for receiving the amount due from customers but also form the business records to be maintained in case of the requirement by the local tax authorities. Generating invoices manually for every order is a time-consuming activity especially for an eCommerce store or a Dropshipping store. You might be lucky if you are from the USA wherein you don’t necessarily have to maintain proper invoices for the B2C sales within the country, but for the people from other countries, there might be no escape.

Online invoicing comes as a solution by automating the process of invoice generation. Let’s get deeper into understanding the reasons an eCommerce store should opt for online invoicing:

What is an Invoice?

There are high chances that you already know this but in simple words, an invoice is a document prepared to keep the record of the sale of products or services, and the amount owed to you by the customers.

The details to be mentioned in an invoice generally (though these might vary according to the legislation in different countries) are as follows:

- Invoice date

- Invoice number

- Details of the customer [including tax identification numbers]

- Details of the supplier [including tax identification numbers]

- Details of the products being bought/services offered with name, description, unit process, no. of units bought

- Tax rates

- Break-up of tax amount being charged

- Total Amount [including taxes]

- Terms of payment

- Payment method

- Other terms like shipping, as applicable

What is Online Invoicing & Online Invoicing Software?

The process of generating an invoice, when done electronically and automatically by the software is termed as ‘Online Invoicing’. In general, the online invoicing software fetches the required information from the cloud (or with few inputs of the supplier) and generates the invoices automatically. The invoice is then delivered to the customer instantly through email.

Reasons to opt for Online Invoicing: Invoice software for ecommerce Businesses The reasons to opt for online invoicing are more than one. Automation of any process of a business is directly linked with its efficiency. Automating the processes that are routine, time-consuming, and can be executed by a machine (and preparing invoices is certainly one of them) is the call of the hour to improve business efficiency if you want to clock high growth for your eCommerce store. According to AQPC, automatic invoice processing can optimize business by 25%. If that is not enough as a reason, let’s get deeper into some more:
1. Time-Saving:

Preparing an invoice for every order shipped is a time-consuming activity. More orders result in more invoices; and if you are preparing invoices in excel, needless to mention, the amount of time invested in this activity would be very high. It does become a lengthy and mundane process at the least. Even using available templates of the invoice might be less effective in this case.

Opting for online invoicing, hence, would result in saving all of that involvement of time of yours or of the resource person who has been allocated this activity. With online invoicing, the preparation of the invoice is automated. The software procures the details automatically from the cloud or through a few clicks of yours for the details like due date, prepares the invoice and it is sent to the customers. If you are shipping internationally, the time and efforts invested to get the tax regulations right to make it compliant to that particular country, are saved as well as the software generally takes care of the same.

2. Cost-Saving:

Online invoicing helps reduce the usage of office stationery like paper, ink and also saves on the postage expenses. It also helps you cut down on the staff requirement that otherwise would have been hired for this activity. Since the process is automated; you don’t have to pay anyone for these admin-level tasks. The research firm Sterling Commerce mentions the average cost of processing an individual invoice to be in the range of $12 to $30 while processing an online invoice might cost $3.50.

3. Helps as a branding tool:

Invoice software for ecommerce Businesses An invoice, though less-frequently used for this aspect, can be a strong branding tool. It is often the first impression of your brand for the customers making the purchase online. A quality invoice that looks professional and neat makes a strong brand representation. You can also add the logo, the brand colors, website, contact information, and make it a branding tool.

A stronger brand identity helps in customers feeling a connection with the brand and therefore it increases brand loyalty, customer retention, repeat-buying, and word-of-mouth. One of the factors of stronger word-of-mouth is by giving the customer a sense of pride with the brand. They should feel proud and happy sharing about your brand in their circles. A professional and neat looking invoice can certainly play a vital role in the same.

4. Eliminates risks of errors that occur in a manual process:

A manual process of any kind involves a risk of errors. Have you ever gotten into a place wherein a wrong invoice was sent to a customer? Or a mail supposed to be addressed to a person was mistakenly sent to another? Tell me about it! Or you just forgot to prepare an invoice for the order and realized it days later? Yes? These are just some of the examples of manual errors. Mention a ‘0’ less in your invoice amount (mentioning $140 instead of $1400) though in a hurry, and you stand a high chance of losing that amount unless the customer doesn’t get a twinkle in his eye with the possibility of saving $1260.

Online invoicing helps eliminate all of these human errors and makes the process efficient.

5. Helps improve customer service:

Invoice software for ecommerce Businesses Customer Service forms the most integral part of customer satisfaction. A report by Microsoft mentions: “Around the globe, 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand”. Businesses globally are working on ways of improving customer service. 24/7 accessibility of the online invoices gives an opportunity of customer delight in the event of an urgent requirement of a customer. You can access the invoice, send it to them and they would be delighted with your timely service.

The online invoice provides you an option to choose the language of the invoice and the currency of the amount; you could personalize it to the local language and currency of the customers and give them the touch of personalization they are looking for.

6. Facilitates faster payments and processing:

For a business, the amounts due to be received are a hassle. It not only affects the working capital requirement of the business; keeping a track of it becomes an additional responsibility. The issues related to payment methods and currencies, given the multiple payment gateways in each country, had been very high previously. Cloud-based invoicing has eased the process of payment collection (in different currency) and currency conversion.

The immediate-invoice to the customer and facility to make the payment through the same webpage also facilitates faster payments from their end. If the clients are satisfied, you could get them signed-up with you for the long-term by setting up a subscription-based model for the regular purchase of products from your store and add them to the recurring payments.

7. Timely Follow-ups and Payment reminders:

Invoice software for ecommerce Businesses Keeping a track of the outstanding amounts and timely follow-ups can potentially be energy-draining and unproductive work. It might also put the customer relationship at stake as customers might not like to get followed up.

The invoice automation system takes up that responsibility. It keeps a track of the due payments and sends timely reminders of the payment to customers. A follow-up mail by an automated system is less frustrating for customers compared to the involvement of a brand employee. It also eliminates your frustration of having to chase down the payments.

If you have your eCommerce store through Shopify or BigCommerce, then Sufio is the platform that you should check out for online invoicing. It is the first automatic invoicing app for Shopify and BigCommerce stores and they envision changing these invoices from being boring pieces of paper to becoming an effective branding tool.

Invoice software for ecommerce Businesses

Copyrights © 2024 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine

Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 25th September 2020.
Kunal Jain
Kunal Jain works as an Outreach Specialist at iU

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