600% increase of payment method “Postfinance card”

In September 2015 we introduced a 3 CHF discount in one of our online shops, if the customer is paying with their Postfinance card. The result so far: +600% increase for this payment option!

A simple test with a fantastic result.

Compared to credit card payments and invoice payments, this alternative is cheaper for us, so why not give this saving to the customer?

For the customer the Postfinance card is very simple to use. They put in the number on the front of the card, and the number at the back, and then they are done. And it works almost all the time. With credit cards and Paypal we have a much higher rate of not completed payments we need to manually follow up on.

The Postfinance Card is a simple way for customers to shop online, and relatively cheap for the online shops.

From an administrative point of view it is also a good solution. Parts of or the complete payments can easily be refunded to the customer if a package is returned.

A limitation of the Postfinance Card is that it only works in Switzerland.

Even if Postfinance is claiming that more than 3 million people in Switzerland have a card from them, the usage in online shops is not very much marketed. Instead the marketing focus goes to Twint, a new payment solution, which still has almost no users.

– Thomas Toernell

Get notifications if your website is down

It is critical to know when your online shop is not working. The tool we use is LiveWatch, and it works very well.

If we get a message that the website is down, we first pause our online marketing campaigns (email marketing, Google Adwords etc) and inform customer service.

Then we try to find out if we caused the problem – and if we can do anything to fix it. Does the problem occur only for our online shop, or is all of the hosting company affected? If it was us, we try to fix it asap. Otherwise it is only to wait.

Regularly check the uptime statistics of the online shop. If, over a longer period of time, the uptime is less than 99.8% (almost 1.5 hours per month), and you are not causing the downtime, change hosting. It is very annoying with a not working online shop, and it also causes problem with Google Shopping.

If your server is down, Google Shopping will temporarily remove some of your products from the listing. If it happens a lot, I think you will get a lower quality score at Google. So make sure that your website is up and running all the time.


When your online shop is working again, you get a new message from LiveWatch, and now you can turn on your marketing campaigns again.

99.94% uptime last 12 months is great.
99.94% uptime since the start is great.


– Thomas Toernell

Google Adwords Forwarding Numbers in Switzerland

For many business the Google ads are generating a lot of conversions. It would be good to be able to track these conversions, in order to know the return on ad spend.

The solution is Google Forwarding Numbers, which are currently pushed by Google. For each ad, that meet certain criteria in terms of clicks etc, Google provides a dynamic phone number (which is monitored, so you can get all the details) and the call is forwarded to your normal business phone number. For some cities, a local phone number is given by Google, i.e. starting with 044 for Zürich.

The problem with this solution is that you will confuse your customers. Some customers will save the number on their phone, and when calling back some time later, they might end up calling a different company. Or, if you might get calls from customers from other companies. Knowing how much work confused customers generate, I can only recommend not to use “Adwords Forwarding Number”. You can still opt-out if you contact Google.

You can still opt out from the Google forwarding number.

It is in the interest of Google showing a conversion value that is as high a possible, in order to convince to increase your spend on Google Adwords. Hence, the ability to remove conversions in Adwords, which in the end did not end up in a sale in reality, is not available.

If you sell mostly with invoice, you might have up to 10% of your customers not meeting your credit check criteria, and mostly these orders are cancelled in the end. Also orders, that were returned by customers (in many business well above 10%), would be great to be able to remove from the Adwords conversions.

So, if Google is really trying to provide a correct conversion tracking, “remove conversions that did not end up in a sale” would be great project to work on.

– Thomas Toernell