Tools and Tricks of the eCommerce Trade

This is a guest post written by PayFast.

Setting up your own business is no small feat.  It takes dedication, passion and oceans of perseverance. There are many elements involved in designing and running a business.  It can be daunting to just start, but that’s the key, isn’t it?  Just start?  Learn as you grow?  Once you get started you will realise the possibilities are endless, especially in terms of setting up an online business.  uAfrica, Shopify, PayFast and Xero all provide little pieces of the business puzzle and together they make a mighty fine picture.  From humble beginnings, these platforms have enabled many SMEs in South Africa to grow and keep growing.

uAfrica partnered with Shopify back in 2012.  This partnership allowed South African SMEs to be billed for their Shopify accounts in South African Rands instead of US Dollars.  It also gave them access to the best tools and integrations offered by uAfrica to increase and drive sales.  PayFast integrated with Shopify around the same time and this integration allowed sellers to accept payments in Rands from their buyers through various payment methods like credit cards and Instant EFTs.  The stage was set for SMEs to grow, and grow they did.

Cape Coffee Beans, founded by Phaedon Gourtsoyannis, was one of the early adopters of this integration. You don’t know about Cape Coffee Beans?  Shock, horror!  Best get to their website fast and order the freshest coffee beans and equipment South African baristas have to offer!  Their business has grown in leaps and bounds, all because they were and still are, able to offer their customers an easy shopping experience as well as easy and simple payment methods with a variety of options.

Through uAfrica they were able to integrate and sell on other platforms like bidorbuy.  You might be thinking, wow, how on earth did they keep track of everything?  Well, that’s the easy part.  With uAfrica’s Multichannel service, CCB was able to sync products, keep track of stock, organise shipping and control what products got sold where.

But how did they keep track of their accounts?  Their accountant must tear his hair out trying to put everything together.  Enter Xero.  A seamless cloud-based accounting system.  PayFast integrated with Xero to provide easy ‘pay now’ links to all invoices so Cape Coffee Beans’ suppliers and customers could pay easily and instantly.  Once the client paid, the payment reflected in both Xero and Cape Coffee Beans’ PayFast account.  So they could manage everything from one place.

Here is what Phaedon says about these tools:

I’ve been using Shopify, uAfrica’s suite of software, Xero & Payfast pretty much since launching Cape Coffee Beans. These tools have been a great asset in managing and even marketing my business. Even when I was operating entirely on my own, taking, capturing and reconciling payments was easy to manage, providing me with up to the day visibility on financials. These systems are now helping my business scale and making it easy to delegate tasks like order dispatch, purchase order generation and supplier invoice capture, while still maintaining day by day visibility on performance. All together, these systems really streamline the administration of my business, so I can focus on growth.” Phaedon Gourtsoyannis, founder Cape Coffee Beans.

Cape Coffee Beans is probably one of the most successful online stores making use of these various tools. These services make the day to day running of their business as smooth as possible so that they can concentrate on the future.  The possibilities are endless, all you have to do is jump on the bandwagon and see for yourself.