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4.) Deciding on how to accept payments
No matter what speculation, credit cards are still best way to accept payments. So make sure that your online business has facilities to accept credit cards. There was a time when you had to have a merchant account from a bank or financial institution to process credit card payments. But today there are enough options available that allow you to accept credit card payments even without a merchant account.
Paypal (paypal.com) is perhaps best payment gateway and has no initial joining fees. Their service fees, per-transaction is very low and they allow you to accept payments from all over world. In addition to Paypal some other good payment gateways are ?2checkout? (2checkout.com), ?clickbank? (clickbank.com) and ?paysystems? (paysystems.com).
Payment options other than credit cards
It is by no means necessary that all your customers will have credit cards. As a matter of fact many of your customers don?t have credit cards, many don?t like to use credit cards, many have credit card phobias and remaining may not wish to share their credit card information online. Under such a situation it would be best for you to provide alternate payment options.
Internet checks are as popular as credit cards when it comes to paying online. Internet checks are comparatively safer and are best if your customers are from international destinations. This technique would involve your customer?s to make payments by an online blank check provided by an internet check service provider. This information is sent to service provider for authorization. The merchant can also print check on his printer immediately afterwards. Some good service providers who can offer you internet check services are paybycheck (paybycheck.com) and cross-check (cross-check.com).
In addition to internet checks there are some other options of accepting online payments like money orders and electronic checks. But these methods are suitable only if your customers are from nearby locations.
The best way to decide your payment options is analyzing your customer behaviors. You can also have online check boxes or feedback forms on your website to collect information about your customer?s payment preferences and act accordingly.
5.) Promoting your online store
No promotion equals to no sales. You can promote your store using online marketing strategies like search engine optimization, email marketing, banner advertisements and affiliate marketing among others. While promoting your business you got to make sure to stay clear of any kind of illegal methods like spamming, cloaking etc. Your promotion activities should create a positive awareness about your online store that leads to trust building.
6.) Assuring your Customers
The customer is king and just as in any other type of business here again you need to give your customer what he wants. To do this you got to be sure of your customer?s preferences. Basically you need to address following doubts that your customers are likely to have in their mind while buying online
a.) Is my credit information safe? b.) How will products be delivered to me and how long will it take? c.) Are their any additional costs associated with item? d.) What kind of guarantees come with product? e.) Are there any discounts if I purchase multiple goods? f.) What kind of customer service does online shop have? g.) What happens in case goods are damaged or of low quality?
These questions in particular and many more questions in general can arise in minds of your customers depending on type of your products and your online store reputation. You can address these issues by providing valuable information in your FAQ section. Providing an online live chat on your website would be a great way to deal with your customer queries. There are many services that offer free online chat software programs; for instance ?boldchat? (boldchat.com).
Even after all this is over there is no word like ?remaining stagnant? in online marketing. You got to keep on moving and adapting yourself to newer technologies and better marketing techniques to stay ahead and abreast of all those pesky competitors.
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