WAAVE has opened eCommerce opportunities for hundreds of previously marginalized merchants. And we are seeing more and more well-established Hemp companies wanting to crossover to the digital side, but do not know how to get started. This is our brief manual on how to get your seeds business off the ground with WAAVE
The right foundation: Pick your ecommerce platform
While we work with a large number of eCommerce platforms we certainly have a favorite. If you want to start your online business with an advantage build your store on WordPress and use WooCommerce as your eCommerce platform.
98% of our merchants run on Woo so this plugin gets all our love
WooCommerce has many useful plugins to enhance your sales and operations
They will allow you to sell High-Compliance products. In general, they don't interfere with your business.
Once the setup of your site is completed you will not need a developer to maintain it, it is very easy to manage the store yourself.
If you are looking for a developer, we might be able to connect you with a professional with seeds/clones experience.
Success is based on Compliance: Follow our rules for a swift bank approval
Fact: There is no eCommerce without payments, and not all payment solutions are created equally. You can certainly process payments with underground payment providers, dodgy brokers, and offshore accounts, but that does not mean you should. The number one risk for merchants who attempt these workarounds is the possibility of being placed on the MATCH list. Merchants who are put on this list are unable to obtain legitimate payment processing with a US-based acquiring bank.
The best way to stay on the good side of the banking system is to work with reputable payment companies that put compliance first.
WAAVE has created exclusive compliance programs for seeds and clones with banks in the US. What does this mean? Banks are comfortable providing processing payments through WAAVE because our technology protects them from inadvertently breaking the law. So when you apply our rules to your site, you are pre-approved for your own MID to accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and AMEX
Here are the highlights of what this means for you:
When you are building your store we tell you exactly what information needs to be on your website and on which page it should be displayed. For example, the Customer Support number must be on the footer and on the Contact Us page.
Our plugins take care of your disclaimers, shipping rules, and age gate.
The banks do not allow growing information on your store website. We will programmatically review your entire site to ensure it is clean and ready to be submitted to underwriting.
If you are starting from scratch, applying the rules is easy because we give you a full checklist to follow. If you already have a website that needs modifications, our Compliance team will work with you to help you bring your existing store to our compliance standards.
Improving your SEO while staying Compliant is totally doable
When we say you can't have growing information you might worry about your Search Engine Optimization, we get it, balancing compliance and marketing can be challenging.
The best solution for this is to create an educational site that points back to your store. for example:
On this page, you create as much SEO-friendly content as your heart desires and you can link back to the products available in your store. Our merchants have found this very useful and have experienced an increase in traffic.
Understanding your fees and what you are paying for
We all see the commercials from "vanilla" payment processors that can get you up and running instantly and with fees as low as 2.9% +0.30 cents per transaction... wouldn't it be great if you could get that rate too? Unfortunately, it will not happen anytime soon and we feel that understanding why is important. Banks call merchants who process payments for products in grey areas or have too many chargebacks High-Risk Merchants, we prefer to call you High-Compliance
Banks and processors incur a number of additional expenses when servicing High-Compliance merchants and this is reflected in the fees they charge.
Merchants selling "alternative products" can expect to pay more than merchants who sell apparel, for example.
Keep in mind when exploring credit card processing options:
You are offered a super low fee... how can the processor afford that? Usually, by taking shortcuts that can end up costing you your business. If the fee is abnormally low most likely the bank does not know what you sell and the operator is giving you a deceiving MCC Code to "hide" your account. This is another reason why sellers end up on MATCH, no fault of their own
You are offered an IC + fee structure. This means a broker offered you the Interchange pass-through that the bank and card associations charge plus their profit margin. This is not always bad but you need to know that the IC rate can vary and that there could be many other transactional costs that are passed to you, leaving you with no transparency or no way to predict your cost. Additionally, if the IC they project does not include a High-Risk %, the bank probably does not know you are selling cannabis seeds or clones.
You are not given your own MID and the descriptor the buyer sees on their statement changes from payment to payment. This means the service provider is defrauding the bank and possibly even the payment processor. We strongly recommend you do not accept this setup. To date, there are no real PayFac companies approved to provide services for you.
You googled and landed on a broker's website. Brokers can be knowledgeable and helpful but trust us, they don't work for free. A broker will always recommend you the payment solution that gives them the largest profit margin. Whether that is the best solution for you or not, is not their main concern. You will always get a better deal if you reach out directly to the payment company.
At WAAVE we give you a blended rate, which includes all the transactional costs you will have for card processing. You always know what you will pay and you never get unpleasant surprises. If you feel another payment provider is offering a better fee, ask our team for more information so you can always make an informed decision.
Working with us means you get your own MID, with the company descriptor and when you sign our agreement you will see the name of the bank that sponsors WAAVE merchants as well as details on what you sell. This is 100% transparent.
If this post got you intrigued or you have specific questions for us, we are always available for a chat please email us at Sales@getwaave.com
Ready to onboard? Click on the button below