Best payment gateways for your ecommerce website Sri Lanka

Best Payment Gateways for your E-commerce Website

The world today is led by the internet and mobile computing technologies. The rise in the use of the internet has, in turn, driven the eCommerce industry across the globe to greater heights, establishing new benchmarks in terms of customer engagement and revenue. A successful eCommerce website relies on a number of factors but the most important aspect is, perhaps, an efficient payment gateway for smooth transactions. A payment gateway is a crucial necessity to enable secure payment authorization for your eCommerce site.

To boost your conversion rates and increase sales on your eCommerce website, you need to have proper integration of a payment gateway with your eCommerce store. Without a payment gateway integration, it’s inevitable your sales will decrease because customers will only have one option of paying for goods, which is usually cash on delivery. There are many customers who don’t prefer this method and instead, prefer to pay online with their debit cards, credit cards, online wallets, or net banking.

There are various options for a payment gateway in Sri Lanka for you to choose from. Finding the best one will depend on numerous factors- from location and budget to customization options and website integration. To ease the process for you, here are some of the best payment gateways in Sri Lanka for your eCommerce website:

Sampath Bank is the primary Internet Payment Gateway provider to offer a payment gateway to accept the Sri Lankan Rupee on the Internet. Currently, the Sampath Bank’s Payment Gateway is used by the majority of SMEs and the larger businesses to process their online transactions safely. With solid experience, Sampath Bank also gives the assurance that all communications routed through the gateway are fully protected with the uppermost international standards of security with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) 128-bit encryption certification gained from prominent Verisign Inc., USA.

The Seylan Bank Internet Payment Gateway collaborates with VISA and MasterCard for card payments. The bank then gathers funds from traders and obtains card authorization from the issuing bank. As and when VISA/MasterCard reconciles the money to the bank, it will be credited to the merchant’s account.

With drastic improvements by Commercial Bank to its Internet Payment Gateway, the bank now offers new functionality for SMEs, with integrated and safe eCommerce and mCommerce solutions to their customers. Commercial Bank is the only bank in Sri Lanka that has an Internet Payment Gateway function presented by MiGS (MasterCard Internet Gateway System). The ComBank Payment Gateway is now equipped with various features that help SME-type transactions, minus the hassle of high costs of current eCommerce structures. 

With HNB Internet Payment Gateway, you will have the chance to fully realize the possibilities of your eCommerce business. Boasting state-of-the-art technology, HNB’s payment gateway helps you boost your sales by reaching your target market with unified channels in real-time, eliminating extra expenses. HNB’s payment gateway accepts any local or international debit, credit, Visa and MasterCard payments via safer transaction channels. Repayments are provided straight away, with 24/7 customer service.

Considered as Sri Lanka’s first Central Bank Approved Payment Gateway, PayHere allows SMEs to accept payments both locally and globally. The payment gateway supports multiple currencies but you need to have a Sampath Bank Current Account to get your PayHere account set up. 

Within the first three months, WEBXPAY started serving 100 customers. Now, with three years under their belt, they currently serve 1000+ business owners in Sri Lanka. Considered as the biggest payment gateway SaaS-based company in Sri Lanka for SMEs, WebXPay also offers the most available payment options available in Sri Lanka. 

A FinTech startup that was founded in 2017, DirectPay supports all types of banks in Sri Lanka and also offers a safe and convenient internet payment gateway.

This payment gateway is an all-in-one monetization platform that allows eCommerce websites to quickly grow internationally as well as enhance recurring revenue streams across channels, by simplifying the back-end difficulties that present day digital business creates.

Sri Lanka’s first PCI-DSS specialized payment app, Genie is a digital wallet that allows you to save your Credit/Debit cards, Current/Savings accounts and your eZ Cash wallet in one single app on your smart devices. eCommerce websites can connect to Genie as one of the payment gateway options on their online portal.

We’re all very much aware of the rise of eCommerce businesses in Sri Lanka, so now is a good time to start your eCommerce journey. Choose from the above mentioned payment gateways in Sri Lanka to run a successful eCommerce business.

How to use social media to build your online presence

How to Use Social Media to Build your Online Presence

In this article we hope to discuss about how can, Social Media build your online presence.

Social media is a big part of today’s digital world. Businesses can no longer ignore it’s lure and just survive with a website and a corporate profile. To be in the game, you need to have a strong presence on social media that can tell who you are and the values you can bring. You need to be on social media platforms that your target audience is spending time on and it’s essential that they can find you so you can build customer loyalty and retention.

With so many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and countless online marketing tactics, it can be challenging to build an online presence that sets you aparat. Here are some ways to get you started:

Have a strong social media marketing strategy

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a business when it comes to digital engagement is to use social media without a strategy in place. Make sure you get your social media, audience engagement plans, and content plans aligned with your marketing goals. Be clear to yourself about why you want your business to engage online and if you can’t connect it to important business metrics like generating leads, then it’s futile to have a social media presence at all.

If you require any additional assistance in this regard. One Day Digital has provided detailed article outlining step-by-step process for developing an effective social media strategy.

Choose the right platforms for you

Choosing the right platform is an equally important decision. You have to make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to be successful on every social media platform there is. If you’re in the business industry, then Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter may be best for you. If you have an eCommerce business or you are an artist, then a more visual platform like Instagram and TikTok may be more suited.

According to an article published by Avanti Group, knowing where your target audience spends the majority of their time is a good place to start when developing appropriate social media platforms for your business.

If you are unsure where to start, focus on Facebook and Instagram first as they are the most used platforms in the world.

Get active with trends, challenges, and hashtags

We’ve all seen trending hashtags and challenges on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter and how businesses use them to endorse their products. It’s a great opportunity to join a global conversation, a good way to introduce yourself to new customers, and a chance to showcase your business’s personality.

Consider using specific, popular hashtags and challenges to introduce yourself to a particular target audience, and be cautious when making up hashtags or using the wrong ones.

Interact with your audience

Having a social media presence is more than just being present. Don’t be a faceless profile interacting with an anonymous crowd of people. The whole reason why social media was created was to connect and create relationships with people, and the same goes for businesses too. Responding positively to comments, answering messages, and encouraging conversation are all ways to let your audience know who you are.

If you have really connected with your audience, your social media engagement will start to rise and your audience will feel you are more than just a business and, in the end, will be more likely to engage with you.

Connect – don’t sell

When using social media for your business, remember that people do not like being sold to. People don’t use social media to constantly see constant selling and endorsing; they use these channels to learn, get entertained, and to be inspired. If the only thing you do is marketing and selling to your audience, they will soon lose interest in you.

An excellent way to kickstart the growth of your social media presence and brand community is to focus on helping and connecting over selling. A winning social media strategy is based on respectful and supportive two-way relationships with a genuine value exchange.

Don’t be afraid of paying

Social media is not the totally free channel it once was. While there’s still a lot that can be done without paying, new algorithms and business features call out clearly for businesses to consider ads. Facebook ads, TikTok ads and Instagram ads are all channels for you to consider growing your audience and gaining more exposure.

It’s not only ads that need your attention. Looking at the recent success of influencer marketing and the popularity of Instagram and TikTok influencers, paid relationships among social movers are becoming more and more common. Influencer marketing on platforms like Instagram and TikTok can get word of your business out to a much wider audience and influencers are making big strides in making a business popular so make sure you give that avenue a try as well.

Using social media is a great way to increase your online presence. Make sure you don’t only use social media as a branding tool but to effectively stand out from your competitors and keep your customers engaged and interested.

How Tiktok Marketing can grow your business

How TikTok Marketing Can Grow Your Business?

TikTok has taken the internet by storm with the social media platform boasting of one of the biggest active users worldwide. With over 800 million active users, TikTok is the perfect platform to run a business campaign. With the exponential growth of TikTok users, numerous businesses have utilized TikTok marketing and the influencer marketing that comes with it to acquire more customers. 

As one of the newest social media platforms, TikTok’s user base is growing at a rapid pace and it’s becoming evident that it’s a great opportunity for businesses to reach a wider worldwide audience.

Why use TikTok marketing?

Social media has allowed businesses to reach out to a wider audience with ease as well as analyze the right market. TikTok is a brand new social network with the fastest growing base of users. It’s mostly popular among teens for its unique option where users can upload short 60 second videos.

The audience on the network is diverse. Furthermore, the presence of artists on TikTok brings about new movements and challenges that get viral quickly. This trend is important when it comes to promoting a business. 

How TikTok can help business grow

The trends on TikTok can quickly become an overnight craze. The engagement rate on the platform is massive enough for businesses to literally sell out from a single post- that’s how powerful TikTok is. With the right kind of content like useful video uploads, businesses can raise brand awareness and increase exposure.

Another excellent method is video challenges. These challenges allow a business to gain popularity fast. TikTok users generally use these video challenges to keep up with the current trends and marketers can use it to capture audience attention. 

The benefits of TikTok that can help businesses grow

- TikTok has a huge, growing audience base to target

In a short span of time, TikTok has gained immense popularity and has become one of the most downloaded apps. With over two billion downloads, TikTok has over one billion monthly active users, while some reports state 500 million monthly users.

TikTok’s main demographic of users are teens and young adults, but the number of users and the rate at which its popularity is growing means that TikTok can  provide access to an even bigger and more diverse audience. Additionally, TikTok is easier than other channels to create video content that goes viral and reaches a massive audience. 

- Local creators

TikTok has numerous popular creators who are from small towns and cities. With over 10,000 followers, these creators act as micro influencers on the platform. Local creators are very popular within their localities and well known by their followers. So, for small businesses and Sri Lankan businesses who want to target specific locations, these local creators are the best choice to collaborate with through influencer marketing.

- Excellent user engagement

Thanks to TikTok’s unique delivery algorithms, it’s easy to get good engagement on your videos without much effort. Your TikTok video can go viral even if your account is new and you have zero followers. The majority of users check the app multiple times a day and that means even better user engagement. 

- Your very own branded marketing channel

As with YouTube, businesses can create their own branded marketing channel on TikTok. You can get your channel verified by TikTok and then use it to create insightful and quality branded videos. Using your channel you can publish your short marketing video and promote your brand using TikTok brand partnerships. 

- Easily connect with your audience

With TikTok, it’s fairly straightforward to promote your business to reach an audience. A hashtag challenge is one of the best ways to get attention on TikTok. You can choose an idea or a theme and then encourage users to create or recreate ideas using the hashtag you have come up with or you can take part in the many hashtag challenges. Doing so is an excellent way of increasing interactions with your business and encouraging engagement with users. 

- Advantage of TikTok ads

TikTok recently launched its own advertising platform – TikTok Ads- where businesses can now advertise on their app similar to other social media apps. TikTok Ads are new so only a small number of businesses and brands are currently using it. This means less competition and it gives you the opportunity to get more reach and engagement on your ads. Right now, TikTok Ads is the best platform for any new product launch. 

In the end, your marketing efforts should be centered around where your customers are. TikTok is a fast-growing platform that has a promising future for businesses who want to attract their audience, increase their brand’s visibility, and increase revenue.


Best hosting providers for ecommerce 2021

Best Hosting Providers for Ecommerce 2021

If you’re hoping to start a business online, you would be considering developing a website. Well, if you have the money you wouldn’t have to worry about it. It’s easier to hire a developer and the rest will be taken care of by him. But this article may not be for you. If you’re a solopreneur trying to figure out how to develop a website for your e-commerce business, you probably would have come across the dilemma of choosing a web hosting provider to host your website. 

Choosing a web host is as crucial as an engine to a vehicle. It can make or break your business. You would have done your research on finding the best web hosting for your business, but not sure which might be the best option? 

Don’t worry we’ve all been there once. This article will cover all the missing pieces to your puzzle and help you make a better decision when choosing one.

First, What is a Hosting Provider?

A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet.

Below are the shortlisted web hosting providers that you can use to host your e-commerce website.

Hostinger is best known for its affordable prices and a wide variety of features, but it does have some drawbacks worth considering. If you’re considering money as your prime factor, I think Hostinger might be a good place to start with.


Because it’s affordable pricing, WordPress installation and easy to use setup makes the work much easier for beginners. It also provides exceptional support and a free domain for a year which makes it more attractive for small business owners.




Affordable Pricing

Limited Support

Free Domain (1st Year)

Refund Exemptions

WordPress Plans & Support


Siteground has been in business for almost 17 years now. It is one of the trusted and recommended hosting providers for e-commerce. Siteground’s eCommerce functionalities is what makes it even more special. Its multiple server locations mean the faster-loading speed of a website which is important for e-commerce. 

Its a great place to start if you’re trying to build your e-commerce website with WordPress and Woocommerce.




Fast Loading Speed

Higher Price for Renewals

Managed WordPress Host


Quick Server Response


Bluehost has a dedicated Woocommerce hosting plan just like Siteground and it is the #1 hosting recommended by WordPress itself. It lets you start your e-commerce store immediately within minutes.

BlueHost for an e-commerce site can be a smart move if you’re on a tight budget and planning to host your online store on WordPress and Woocommerce. It is hard to beat BlueHost’s Woocommerce powered WordPress site in pricing.




Cloud Flare Integration

Costly site migrations

Free Domain (1st year)

No month to month shared hosting

Superior Usability and Customer Support


Once Hostgator was one of the top-rated web hosts. Its been in business since 2003. However, due to lack of support and poor service it had lost confidence in the many customers. But lately, they seem to be back on track as many happy customers appreciated their service.

Hostgator is ideal for bloggers, entrepreneurs who need an option to go from month to month hosting plan. Also, Hostgator offers 5 different types of hosting: shared, Managed WordPress, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated. It even provides free marketing software provided through (Constant contact) to support businesses to create newsletters and automated email campaigns. 




Free Domain (1st year)

Restore from backup needs an additional fee

45-day money-back guarantee

Site performance is not always the best

Uptime Guarantee


A2 Hosting is one of the best in terms of performance and reliability compared to others. They also have a managed wordpress package and shared hosting package which is ideal for e-commerce. For entrepreneurs concerned about security and privacy, an SSL certificate is provided with every plan for shoppers to feel safe and secure. 

A2 Hosting offers powerful storage options, constant support and has access to fast loading speed up to 20 times than regular servers. The limitation is that it is not ideal for large businesses with a huge amount of traffic.




Fast Loading Speed

Concurrent HTTP connections limitation

Excellent Uptime


Reliable Support



This article has shortlisted the best hosting providers for e-commerce and listed down the pros and cons you can consider when choosing one. Remember to choose based on some important factors: speed, reliability, customer support and uptime. Yes, price is also a factor but it shouldn’t be your prime. If you want your customers to shop with ease, you must look for a hosting provider which is great in all four. No hosting is great at all four, all have their pros and cons.

Hack: Search engines love websites with a faster loading speed

It all comes down to your business needs as an entrepreneur. Give your store a solid foundation and say hi to speed and soaring sales!

how to create a website

How to Start an eCommerce Business in Sri Lanka 2021

If you’ve been thinking that starting a business requires a ton of money, you’ve been fed the wrong facts. It doesn’t have to be that way; you only need a laptop or a desktop and a good internet connection.

No matter what profession you’re in right now, anyone can start an online business. It doesn’t matter if you want to sell T-shirts, jewellery or groceries, as long as you want your business efforts going completely digital, this post has got you covered

But first: 

What is an E-commerce business?

In simple terms, any product or service that you sell online without a physical store is called an e-commerce business. E.g Amazon, Alibaba, Daraz

The five steps I’m about to reveal are not new to the world. But due to lack of experience and negligence, each step is undermined. You should follow these steps if you want to build a profitable ecommerce business. You can use these steps to sell both physical products and services.

Step 1 -Decide What to Sell

This is where your side hustle or business venture begins. It starts with deciding what you’re going to sell.

Most of us ignore the first step and try to sell anything and everything that we think can bring us a good profit. And I don’t think that’s a bad idea. But if you are really concerned about building a profitable eCommerce business that approach might not work in the long run.

As the greatest investor Warren Buffet said:
“Do not invest in anything that you don’t understand”

This quote applies in the eCommerce space too. When you don’t know the product space of what you’re selling, you might be in trouble when meeting the expectations of your customer.

Invest your money in something that you know and understand. Even if it brings a small margin, it can bring you the motivation and consistency to keep going during tough times.

And make sure your niche is competitive – the absence of rivalry usually indicates that there’s no demand for what you’ve chosen to sell.

Market Research – The important aspect in choosing what to sell is market research. If you want to be ahead of your competition and attract customers, market research is key. You should know your competitor’s strategies, branding techniques, marketing. We are in 2021 and all information is just a few taps and calls away.

Market research will help you to find strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your business. It is also vital for the growth and decision-making process of your business.

After the completion of market research, set out your strategies and tactics to capitalize on your competition.

Find Manufacturers and Suppliers – Finding a good supplier isn’t as easy as looking it up on Google.

You’ll need to dig much deeper. You can either find one local or overseas. It depends on what you intend to sell. If you go with importing your goods, keep in mind the taxes.

Do not forget to negotiate prices and make sure the quality is great, and that is what makes you stand out from the crowd

Step 2 - Building your Online Store

You can start with social media to build your store using Instagram and Facebook. But if you need a website, you no longer need to know how to code. There are many ways to create a website (WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, Wix).

You don’t necessarily need any technical knowledge to develop your own website. That’s the beauty of having an eCommerce business. You can manage all your orders and marketing in one place with WordPress system software.

Step 3 - Choosing your Delivery Partner

You can start with delivering your first few orders to get an experience of the service. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet your customers. But when you’re overwhelmed with the operation it’s time to hire a delivery company.

There are plenty of delivery companies in Sri Lanka. Not all provide a great service with attractive pricing. From months of research and customer testimonials, I found out some great delivery partners you can use for your own business too.

  • Grass Hoppers – Great for eCommerce business. But you need a business registration to get started.
  • Domex – They’ve been in business for a long-time. Their customer service is what needs to be considered.

Charges involved when using a delivery company

  • Delivery Charges – It depends on the location.
  • Commission – This differs from company to company. Often, charges are based on the type of product.

Either way, inquire about the hidden costs before you hire them.

(This step is excluded when you’re selling services)

Step 4 - Get Paid from Customers

There are three common ways of getting paid

  • COD (Cash on Delivery) – The most common and preferred way that Sri Lankans use.
  • Online Transactions (Credit/Debit Cards) – Integrate payment gateways to your website to accept online payments.
  • Bank Deposits – This is the least preferred way of getting paid. Nevertheless, businesses still use this method.

Step 5 - Marketing

The traditional marketing method used by businesses to attract new customers. 

Conventional Marketing 

This method is expensive compared to digital advertising. When done right, it can bring in huge sales for your business. But when starting out, this might not make sense (E.g., Television, Radio, Posters Banners, etc.)

Digital Marketing

There are 5 pillars under digital marketing

  1. Social Media Marketing

Have a presence on at least two platforms. Facebook and Instagram platforms work together and are easier to handle. Do not overwhelm yourself trying to be everywhere.

Here’s a tip: the majority of the social media users in Sri Lankan spend more time on Facebook 

  1. Email Marketing

This marketing comes into play in the long run. The list of emails that you build can generate thousands of rupees and it builds a reputation for your online store. Engaging with your customers can be done easily through email marketing.

This is where your website comes into the picture. Installation of plugins like MailChimp can send emails to all your customers at once.

  1. Content Marketing (Value-based Marketing)

Content marketing is providing value or knowledge about the product that can be useful to the end-user.

If they find your information useful, they will return to you and end up being a loyal customer.

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO means simply how people find your business on the internet. It’s almost impossible to ignore this! This is how majority of customers get to know your business online.

This isn’t rocket science and doesn’t get too technical. Here are some links that you might find useful information about SEO.  

  1. Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing, in simple terms, means relationship marketing. With people who are popular in a particular or related industry.

For example, You will have to reach out to an influencer and request for a post if you need to promote your T-shirt brand (with a good number of followers). The only catch is it’s going to cost you a little money as no one does it for free. But it all depends on how you reach out to them.


Business Registration

If you want your business to look legitimate and professional, you might need to consider registering your business.

You need a business registration when importing goods for your business. You also need it when signing up for payment gateway and delivery.

Most popular methods to register your business:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Private Limited


Starting an e-commerce business isn’t hard or impossible anymore. Following these five steps will make your progress much easier. It takes some time to produce a recurring revenue for you and your business. If you stay in the game, I’m sure you will make it. It takes a lot of patience, determination, and consistency to make it happen.

Nothing happens overnight and good things take time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this article, don’t forget to share and leave a comment below too.