|Merchant Account Information|
Choosing an Ecommerce Shopping Cart
Choosing an online shopping cart is a big decision. Unlike a traditional brick and mortar business, your website is your only chance to impress potential customers. It needs to project a professional image to capture the trust of your visitors. The shopping cart is a particularly important part of your website because it deals with peopleís personal information and credit card numbers. People are nervous about online purchases and need to be assured that they are giving their credit card numbers to a reputable company.
There are several types of ecommerce shopping carts available. They range from merchant services, which require no programming skills, to fully integrated shopping carts that require custom programming. The three main categories of shopping carts are:
Most shopping carts require you to have your own merchant account and gateway. A merchant account is a bank account that allows a business to conduct credit card transactions and the gateway allows the transaction to be conducted over a secure connection. Itís okay if you donít have a merchant account or gateway. Merchant service shopping carts allow you to use their merchant account, gateway and shopping cart for a higher cost.
Merchant services are beneficial for very small businesses or those that are just starting and donít have a lot of orders. Merchant services provide the merchant account, gateway, hosted shopping cart and will maintain your customerís personal information. They usually require a set-up fee between 50 and 200 dollars, transaction fee between 30 and 75 cents, and 5% to 10% of each transaction. Because you are using their merchant account, your customerís credit card statement will show the merchant services business name not yours. In some cases, customers will not recognize the charge and may dispute it.
Merchant service shopping carts have an administrative interface, which allows you to login to your account to add products, prices and shipping options. The shopping cart generates the html for the purchase buttons and you simply copy and paste the html into your web pages. When your customer clicks on the purchase button, he is taken to another website to enter the credit card information. This indicates to the customer that you are a small business. Some potential customers will abandon the shopping cart rather than enter their credit card information on a website they know nothing about.
Once your business grows to the point where you are processing over $1000 a month, itís more cost effective to apply for your own merchant account and switch to either a hosted shopping cart little or no programming or a fully integrated shopping cart programming required.
Hosted Shopping Cart
The hosted shopping cart is a great solution for a small business that is processing over $1000 a month but does not have the resources to create or customize a fully integrated shopping cart. Hosted shopping carts are similar to the merchant services because they provide an administrative interface for you to enter products, pricing and shipping options. They will generate the html for the purchase buttons, which can be copied and pasted into your html pages.
Hosted shopping carts face some of same problems as merchant service carts because your customers will be transferred to a different website to enter the credit card information. Some hosted shopping carts allow you to customize the shopping cart so that it has the same look and feel as your websites. Customizing your shopping cart may require some programming skills, but it could also prevent customers from abandoning their shopping carts.
The main difference between the merchant services shopping cart and the hosted shopping cart is the name that appears on the customerís credit card and pricing. Hosted shopping carts allow you to use your own merchant account and gateway, which means the customerís credit card statement will show your business name next to the charge. This can decrease your charge backs.
If you are using your own merchant account and conducting over $1000 of transitions each month, the hosted shopping carts can be less expensive than merchant services. Your merchant account will probably charge a monthly fee between 20 and 60 dollars, transaction fee between 10 and 50 cents, and a percentage of the transaction, usually ranging between 2% to 3.5%. In addition to the merchant fees, your shopping cart service will also charge a monthly fee between 10 and 30 dollars and could charge a transaction fee. These fees sound more expensive than the merchant service option, but if you are processing over $1000 a month and growing, itís better to pay flat monthly fees than continue to be charged 5 to 10 percent of the each transaction.
Fully Integrated Shopping Carts
The fully integrated shopping cart is a great option for any business that can afford it. The shopping cart will be dynamic and will have the same look and feel as your website. The ZIP Baby Potty Training Store is a great example of a fully integrated shopping cart. Fully integrated shopping carts like this contain features that are not found in merchant service or hosted shopping carts. For example, you can discount items, display customer reviews, assign products to multiple categories, display out of stock notifications, sort products and prices, and display shipping estimates without requiring the customer to create an account.
Integrated shopping carts require advanced programming skills and can often be used with your own merchant account or with a service that allows you to use their merchant account for a higher fee. There are many integrated shopping carts available. Free carts require the most programming skills, but if you donít have the programming skills necessary to customize a free shopping cart, there are many companies that specialize in customizing fully integrated shopping carts.
Your choice of a shopping cart can have a dramatic impact on your business. Your website is the first and only impression you get to make so youíll want to make it as professional as possible. While shopping for a shopping cart system, put yourself in your target customerís shoes and browse the Internet. Review your competitorís websites as well as those outside your industry. Make a list of shopping carts that you find appealing and research them thoroughly before choosing one.
Copyright 2004 Danna Henderson. All Rights Reserved.
Remove These Objections and Watch Your eBay Auctions Fly
"Objection" is a term taken directly from sales and marketing training, and it is important you understand the significance of objections to your sales process.
My Rich Mums Ebook Secrets
As usual, I walked into the Starbucks for my morning coffee.
Increase Sales with Payment Solutions
Take a second and imagine your shopping on a website, find the product youve been looking for, and as you go to the order form to purchase it, you find out that the company doesnt accept payment online. Instead, you must mail a check. If you were like me, you would probably click off the site and search for another company that offers the same products and *does* accept payment online, whether it is by credit card or online check. It doesnt take a super, intelligent person to realize that it is inconvenient, time consuming, and adds on lag time till you get your purchase when you must sit down, write out a check, and mail it.
Choosing An Internet Merchant Account
Surf to Google and perform a search on "Internet Merchant Account". The results are staggering 472,000 results! If you have created a web based business and need to accept credit card payments, your choices are limitless. Before you partner with a provider, take time to understand the different components of internet credit card processing, and know what to look for in a merchant provider.
21 Success Strategies of eBay Powersellers
The online auction giant - eBay - has exploded on the Internet scene. Currently boasting over 29 Million members, eBay is one of the most visible and far-reaching Internet companies in existence, with a large segment of the population either using the service, or at the very least, aware of it. Among the eBay sellers, there is a designation given to approximately 4% of the people. These are eBays "Powersellers", a group of sellers that is distinguished by the amount of volume they produce. The entry-level Powerseller, the Bronze level, does at least $2,000 a month in eBay sales, maintains a 99% positive feedback level and maintains their eBay account current. Higher award levels are granted at the $10,000 level, Silver level and at the $25,000 level. Gold level
How To Save BIG In Your Online Business
When youre first starting an online business, it can be a struggle finding the money to invest in the things that will grow your business most. Only later do you discover things all the gurus know that could have saved you a small fortune. Here are a few things that will help you save on Internet marketing business necessities.
5 Simple Steps to Protect your Digital Downloads
A couple of days ago, I was searching for a popular eBook online.
Internet Marketing for Small Businesses - A Guide in Plain English
Have you ever been intimidated at the convoluted, jargon-ridden information about Internet marketing available on the Net What exactly is search engine optimization anyway, and can I do it myself
How To Start a Profitable Online Business in 5 Easy Steps and For Under $40
Youíve heard it a million times; ďIt takes money to make money!Ē Although this is very true -- I have targeted this article for every one who is looking to start a profitable online business with a $40 average budget.
Online Business, Where do I start
BUSINESS. A big word. A big commitment. A big step.
Take Advantage of the Internet Power
The Internet has become a huge market place, and the recent explosion in online retailing and e-commerce prove it. Merchants now have access to a world wide consumer base no longer limited by their geographical location. People have become comfortable buying on the Internet and are looking for products from all over the world 24 hours a day -- think of the different time zones. The total number of Internet users now stands at about 500 million and it is estimated that by the year 2005, this number will triple. Imagine this number of people in the world as your prospect customers or e-customers to be precise. This is a very powerful concept!
Accept Credit Cards Online without a Merchant Account
It is often assumed if you want to accept credit cards on your website that you must have a merchant account. This is not the case. You can accept credit cards with a Third Party credit card processor.
Dont Get Ripped Off Getting A Merchant Account
Far too many people get ripped off when setting up a merchant account for their online business. The biggest reason is that they dont understand their options and are intimidated by the whole process. Now, armed with the proper knowledge, you dont need to become a victim of this process.
Website Savvy: 10 Key Steps to Turn Your Customers ON!
ďHow to turn ďslightly interestedĒ customers into ďIíve got to have it!Ē customers!Ē
3 Simple Ways to Start Your Home Based Internet Business Right Now
So, youve finally decided to take that giant leap of faith and start your very own home based internet business. Youve decided that its finally time to step up to the plate and claim your share of all those internet riches you keep hearing about. Only problem is, now that youve finally made your decision, it seems like a pretty daunting task deciding what to do next. Using the term "information overload" to describe the problem seems like a huge understatement.
What is a Business Opportunity
People throw the term business opportunity around pretty loosely these days. Before the internet took off, a business opportunity was a franchise like McDonalds or Wendys. Or maybe a vending machine route or insurance sales position in your local area.
Merchant Accounts - How to save money
Your business is successful, but now your ready to take it to the next level and begin accepting credit card transactions, or you have already taken this step but your feeling that your merchant account provider has high fees and your not sure what to do, or what other providers are out there
Different Models For Making Money On The Internet
There are several strategies for making money on the net. Here are some possible options:
Start doing online business using B2B Portals in Six Steps
I registered with a B2B site but whatís next
ClickBank Refunds - Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst
When we launch a new product, we all hope its going to be a runaway bestseller. More than that, most of us aim to produce a product so remarkable that it generates rave reviews and achieves cult popularity. You may very well achieve all of these objectives with your product launches.
|home | site map|