The Popularity of the Weight Loss Industry
The weight loss industry is a big business. In fact, businesses that focus primarily on weight loss services, like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem, took in $6.3 billion in revenue last year, excluding revenue from dietary supplements and surgeries.
When supplement manufacturers, diet book authors, obesity doctors, and other speciality diet companies are considered, the weight loss industry has an annual revenue of about $20 billion.
As more and more people turn to the Internet for solutions to their health issues, the popularity of weight loss websites will only continue to grow. Weight loss websites offer a great opportunity to create communities of like-minded individuals with common goals, help people lose weight, and create a flourishing business.
Weight Loss Sites Offer Tremendous Business Potential
Weight loss sites provide a service that clients are genuinely interested in: changing dietary habits, losing weight, and taking control of their overall health. As such, their popularity will only continue to grow. When you consider that the recent statistics from the CDC state that 70% of Americans are overweight and more than 1 in 3 are obese, it’s no exaggeration to call corpulence and obesity in America an epidemic.
In this light, it’s not surprising that Americans are actively searching for treatment for their weight issues. Almost 110 million Americans are on a diet, with many attempting 4 to 5 diets every year. What’s more interesting is that over 200,000 bariatric surgeries are performed each year. These statistics demonstrate how desperate people are to change their dietary habits and lose weight.
All of the diets and surgeries are not just about body image either, they’re about health. A recent study reports that obesity causes annual medical costs of over $150 billion. Medical costs for obese people average $1500 higher than costs for people of standard weight. Many people who struggle with weight and obesity, crave a healthy lifestyle, and weight loss websites are a great option for them to reach their goals.
If you want to take advantage of potential weight loss website revenue, you need to offer a unique service that meets people’s needs and monetize your service by accepting digital payments on your website.
Monetize Your Site
Payments accepted through online credit card processing gateways are an important aspect of the strategy and development of your business plan. After all, the primary function of your business is to empower people to change their lives and shed unnecessary pounds—but you need to make money in order to provide that service. Therefore, a key component of your weight loss business model is understanding how you’ll monetize your website.
A free or discounted trial period is a great way to encourage people to register for an account on your website. Once the trial period has ended, your clients can be transitioned into a full paying account. Depending on the service you provide and the payment structure you have set up on your website, you need a payment provider that is flexible enough to handle your billing model, no matter how complex.
That means you need an online credit card processing gateway provider that can accept and process credit card payments in a number of ways. You want options for one time payments, tiered payments, membership payments, and trial pricing.
High Risk and Rejection
Online credit card processing gateways facilitate the transfer of funds between your clients and your website. As straightforward as this seems, credit card processing for weight loss websites is far from simple. Due to the nature of the weight loss industry you may be considered high risk by credit card processors and merchant account providers, meaning you may find it difficult to find a processor that can facilitate your credit card transactions.
While some online payment processors charge outrageous fees and rates to process your payments, others may require long-term rolling reserves or reject your application for processing outright.
If you have already attempted to sign up for credit card processing for your weight loss site and were quoted either extremely high rates or rejected, it’s most likely due to the high risk associated with the industry. Weight loss sites are considered high risk by most payment processors for a number of reasons.
There is a high risk of fraud and chargebacks, and the industry comes under heavy scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for deceptive claims and practices. For these reasons, you may find it expensive or difficult to utilize online credit card processing gateways.
Weight Loss Site Security Risks
Weight loss sites are much more than just web pages people visit to find information about diets and exercise—they are sites that clients trust for accurate health advice with their sensitive information. Due to this, websites carry considerable security risks for both the provider and the clients.
Clients trust your website with intimate details about their lives, including their eating habits, workout routines, and lifestyle choices. They also trust you with their email, home address, personal information, and credit card information.
The success of your weight loss website depends on the trustworthiness of your site. Your clients trust you with intimate details about their lives in exchange for the tools to spur positive change. Ensuring their information is safe and secure with proper online credit card processing gateways helps your business create a strong reputation as it grows.
Common Risks and Scams on Weight Loss Sites
One of the biggest risks facing weight loss websites are misleading claims, deceptive practices, and diet scams. Over the past 10 years, the FTC has brought law enforcement actions against more than 80 companies for deceptive or false weight loss claims.
Weight loss sites that make outrageous claims may rake in revenue, but if those claims are unsubstantiated or deceptive, lawsuits and legal ramifications will be brought against the parties.
One of the biggest reasons weight loss websites are considered high risk accounts by online credit card processing gateways is the overwhelming prevalence of weight loss scams. If you run a website that offers products and services from third-party weight loss companies, you need to be aware of common scams and the risks they pose to your site.
Common scams include weight loss without exercise, incredibly rapid weight loss promises, miracle cures, foreign products, and other products that promise instantaneous results with little to no effort.
Scams pull sensitive information from websites and put client data at risk for fraud and theft. These products and services can ruin the reputation of your site and put your clients’ finances in danger.
Keep Your Clients Safe
Since weight loss sites can be a treacherous landscape for clients, ensure that your site utilizes state-of-the-art security measures to keep your clients’ personal information secure.
Online credit card processing gateways should always offer high tech security features, such as safety protocols that keep your clients’ payment methods, financial information, and sensitive personal information safe. In order to provide the security both you and your clients deserve, your payment processor should incorporate these security features:
These high tech security features let your clients know they can trust you with their financial information. When customers know that their sensitive data is safe, they’ll continue to use your services.
Financial Organization and Stability
In such a high risk industry, you need a stable and well organized financial structure to help you build a prosperous business. Since plenty of weight loss sites are known for fraudulent activity, many payment processors require a rolling reserve to use their online credit card processing gateways.
A rolling reserve is a percentage of gross sales that is withheld by your payment processor to cover unforeseen costs and chargebacks. Even if your payment processor doesn’t require you to utilize a rolling reserve account, setting up your own version is a great way to manage cash flow and prepare for the unknown.
Weight loss website revenue structure can be complex and complicated. With a large number of clients on different payment plans, you need to ensure that each client is charged the proper amount at the proper time.
Client customization is why deciding between the various online credit card processing gateways is important. Manage your billing structure and make sure it runs correctly by organizing, tracking, and processing many different payments in a variety of ways. Mistakes in billing can lead to problems like cancellations and chargebacks.
Chargebacks damage more than just your bottom line—they’re also liable for further financial penalties from your payment processor. Chargebacks can lead to even higher rates and fees, in addition to penalties. Making sure your billing structure is properly organized is a great way to avoid costly chargebacks.
You should also ensure your payment processor offers a customer database that allows you to process payments for each client in an individualized way. Organized and stable billing helps your website develop a trustworthy reputation. When paired with excellent service, great products, and a user-friendly website, your weight loss service is sure to thrive.
Choose Allied Wallet for Your Weight Loss Website
Choosing the right payment processor is more than just finding a company to run credit card payments—it’s about finding a partner. Allied Wallet understands the needs, concerns, and challenges that face the eCommerce community. Our dedication to providing user-friendly, state-of-the-art online credit card processing gateways and payment processing solutions is just one of the many reasons we’ve quickly become one of the most trusted names in the online payment processing industry.
Our payment processing services are easy to install, understand, manage, and use. We work with each client to ensure that they’re able to process payments in a way that works for their business and revenue model. We offer a level of personalized service unparalleled by other payment processing companies.
Flexible Payment Options
Processing payments on your weight loss website isn’t a one-size-fits-all model. After all, you offer different programs with different pricing models. Allied Wallet offers payment processing for a variety of pricing models and lets you organize and control the way your clients pay for each service.
Safety and Security
There is nothing more important to us than the safety and security of your clients’ personal and financial information. We understand how important it is to you, too. That’s why we offer high tech security features to keep your site and its sensitive data secure. Our proprietary security will monitor your online credit card processing gateways and features PCI-DSS Level 1 compliance, SHA-256 SSL encryption, customizable fraud scrub, as well as AML protection and First Data Certification.
We utilize cutting edge technology and software to ensure that your clients’ sensitive data is never compromised.
Our online credit card processing gateway interface allows you to keep track of customer payments, billing, and other valuable metrics. Our data management allows you to run your website more effectively. When you’re informed of every detail of the payment process, you’re less likely to run into issues and chargebacks.
Excellent Customer Service
Online credit card processing gateways need to work. The last thing you want is to have your payment processing crash in the middle of the night. You want clients to be able to sign up for your service 24/7. That’s one of the great benefits of running an online service.
Great customer support is vital from your payment processor. At Allied Wallet, we offer customer support around the clock. If there is an issue, we will take care of it promptly, day or night, so you can get back to doing what you do best: running your business.
Allied Wallet—The Right Plan
Running a weight loss site is an exciting prospect. It’s not only a great business opportunity, it also lets you motivate people to change their lives for the better. Empowering people to make healthy choices that improve their lives is work worth doing.
We can help you get there. Contact Allied Wallet today to discuss online credit card processing gateways for your weight loss website.