If you’re thinking about setting up an ecommerce shop or simply selling downloadable E-books on your blog, you have several decisions to make. One of the first is the type of payments that you will accept, and how to add a shopping cart to your website. It’s most convenient for customers if you enable your website to accept credit cards. This allows a customer to make a purchase from anywhere in the world, with instant approval. By contrast, if you only accepted cheque or money orders, you may lose sales from impulse or international buyers. To get started, you’ll want to look at all of the options.
Opening up a Merchant Account
One of the traditional ways to accept credit card payments through your website is by setting up a merchant account with a bank. Requirements for this will vary depending on the country you do business in and the type of business you are operating. You’ll need to shop around to find out what different type of business account would be available for you at your local banks. The initial cost of setting up a merchant account of your own can be higher than using a third party, but you may save in transaction fees in the long run.
Using a Third Party Merchant
Another option is to sign up with a company that accepts credit card payments on your behalf. In return, they will charge transaction fees or a certain percentage of each transaction. Paypal is one of the best known companies that provide this service. You’ll usually see third party merchants referred to as “payment gateways,” and many ecommerce sites work with several of them to make it as easy as possible for customers to make a payment. One of the benefits of using a third party merchant is that there may not be a setup fee, in comparison to opening up your own merchant account. However, you will make up for it when you pay transaction fees.
Integrating a Checkout System
For those just starting out with a new product or service, it’s usually easiest to sign up with a third party merchant. They take care of everything for you and offer additional protection from fraud and identity theft, which makes customers more willing to make a purchase. When you design a website using shopping cart software, you can often choose the type of payment gateway you prefer. Whether you opt to open your own merchant account or use a third party, you’ll want to discuss how to best set up a shopping cart system with your web design team.
It’s a good idea to use a local designer for this purpose, because they can go through all of your options with you in depth. If you have a San Diego-based business, you’ll want to use a web development San Diego team who can walk you through the third party merchant options in your area and how these could be integrated into your web design. The final look of a website that features San Diego web design may use a slightly different payment strategy than one in New York, as a result.
Terms and conditions can vary widely for different merchant accounts, so always shop around to find the best deal. After you’ve chosen a payment method and a local designer to help you set it up on your website, you’ll be ready to start accepting payments from customers around the world.