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You may have heard me explain about the number of people who choose not to pay for anything via online payment systems. It’s still a large chunk of the population.

I’ve seen people’s replies to email campaigns aggressively complaining there are no offline buying options. And they are across all segments of the community – teachers, business owners, travellers, corporate employees and more, both young and old.


Even though your payment is secure, there are still many who refuse to use any online payment system. Yet curiously some will pay by fax without any clue as to who reads the fax at the recipient’s end. Very few fax machines provide security of the received fax so prying eyes cannot read the content, which may hold credit card details for example. But most people don’t consider that possibility.

Yet despite the demand of customers, most online retailers don’t clearly offer alternatives for customers to purchase offline. These are also usually the companies who refuse to give a street address or phone number in their ‘contact us’ section. The body language of so many sites displays complete contempt for customers who might want to talk with a human at the company.

Why should customers be restricted to email contact? What fool decided it was bad business to talk personally with the people who pay your salary, your customers? I’d suggest these decisions have been made by bureaucrats who’ve never sold anything in their life.

So it was with some admiration that I visited this site www.balsacentral.com sent to me by The Copy Mentor, John Hancock. In his spare time Hancock builds gliders and planes that fly by remote control.

This business understands customers.

Don't want to order online? Find out more...

Don’t want to order online? Find out more…

Here’s some of the copy: At Balsacentral we understand that not all of our customers like to order online. Balsacentral offers many ways to place your order including by fax, phone and email. Find out more (button)

When you arrive at the order page here’s how they help you: At Balsacentral.com we work hard to make our online purchasing experience quick, easy and convenient; and to ensure total security of your details all of your payment details are handled via PayPal – The world’s most trusted payment service.

We do recognise that some of our customers may wish to order offline and we provide a number of ways they can do that.

If you are choosing not to shop online due to security concerns or lack of credit card, you may be interested in the Australia Post issued  pre-paid load&go visa cards, which will enable you to shop online at Balsacentral.com (and any other website) without any security concerns. 

The site then offers instructions on how to order by phone, fax or mail. And the phone ordering is even working on public holidays – probably because that’s when a lot of their customers are using their products.

balsa samples

My guess is they get far more business by showing customers how to order offline, while online, than if they forced their customers to only order by online payment systems.

It takes a long time for new technology to completely replace old technology – and that’s because humans are creatures of habit. And if there is a risk involved in changing a habit – such as credit card theft – the harder it is to change the habit.

It’s why so many digital marketers make so many mistakes. They assume that because they live in a digital world, so does the rest of the population. I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather have more sales generated from offline and online order forms, than less sales just from online payments.

After all, the money is worth the same amount. And I suspect if online retailers could receive cash without a record of the sale – like bricks and mortar stores do – they’d jump at the chance. It’s one of the reasons online retail margins are so tight. The online retailers didn’t allow for the cash economy, which underpins many traditional retail businesses.


But maybe that’s old-fashioned thinking – digitally speaking…