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Electronic Signatures: What Are They, and What Are Their Advantages - ChannelOnline
  • Electronic Signatures: What Are They, and What Are Their Advantages

  • Thursday, September 07, 2017

An electronic signature is simply a way for people to sign documents and confirm they agree to the terms and conditions. They may take a variety of forms, but as long as they conform to specific rules (NIST-DSS in the United States), they are considered just as valid as a printed signature. Whether they're called electronic signature, e-signing, or electronic document approval, they're extremely useful for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Why use an electronic signature?

From a cost-saving perspective, electronic signatures are great for saving money and time. Rather than having to scan a contract and upload it — or even run it through OCR software so that it's searchable — you can simply have clients sign online and agree to the terms and conditions. Then, when you need to refer to it again, you can use the search function and copy relevant bits of the contract. Don't forget the saving on ink, pens, paper and, of course, whichever form you have to duplicate and triplicate. Storage also becomes easier — it's just a server copy. You don't have to print off 60 pages for particular complicated contracts every time, bind them, and file them in whatever room is set aside. If 500 sheets measures 2 inches, 50,000 sheets is nearly 17 feet of shelf space!

In addition, electronic signatures are ideal when it comes to automating sales. For instance, if using the storesite in ChannelOnline for an ecommerce transaction where people simply select the package that they want and go, you can use an electronic signature as evidence that they agree to the terms and conditions of the contract without anyone needing to get involved. Ordering becomes easier, and it streamlines the entire process.

Even better, electronic signature reduces the risk of buyer's remorse setting in just after the product or service has been ordered and quoted but before the contract has time to arrive. In addition, if you need multiple parties to sign for the item or service, you can get those done immediately.

All of this means that offering the ability for electronic signature is an essential part of any sales and marketing program, and ChannelOnline provides electronic signature as a standard feature. Reduce paperwork, capture more business, and ensure you have a streamlined sales process that delivers the results you need.