"How exactly does Ecommerce work"?

Written by Lisa Schmeckpeper


"How exactly does Ecommerce work"?

This has to berepparttar most-frequently asked question I receive from newbie clients. They know people are buying online and they know they have to accept credit cards if they want to stand a chance in allrepparttar 109056 net-based competition, but beyond that realization, most are clueless as to how it all works.

I can't blame them, really. It's a confusing online world out there and a lot of people who are trying to tell them how it works are really just trying to sell them their own solution. It's kinda hard to trustrepparttar 109057 validity of what they say when profit is a huge motivating force behind their persuasive suggestions.

And to be sure, there is profit in this Ecommerce game! Money is to be made at many steps alongrepparttar 109058 Ecommerce path. With that in mind, let's take a walk alongrepparttar 109059 path to Ecommerce, and take a look atrepparttar 109060 signs--or components--that are necessary to take part inrepparttar 109061 Ecommerce excitement and potential profits.

1. The Merchant Account:

This really is your first step towards Ecommerce, unless you have chosen to go through a payment facility and are willing to give up a rather large portion of your sales in fees. The up-front costs of a merchant account can be hefty for a small business, butrepparttar 109062 long-term savings can be substantial.

This is especially true if you are selling big ticket items. For instance, onrepparttar 109063 sale of a $300 product/service through a payment facility you could pay between $20-$45 dollars or more in fees. With your own merchant account it will probably cost you about $9. Withrepparttar 109064 typical fees and equipment for a merchant account startup costing about $1,500, you can recoup that cost rather quickly.

A merchant account comes with a merchant identification number. That is about all it gets you. In order to process transactions you need either a terminal (the little box that you swipe your credit card through at retail outlets) or software that runs on your PC and will dial uprepparttar 109065 merchant via your modem, and then processrepparttar 109066 transaction and depositrepparttar 109067 money into your bank account.

2. The Shopping Cart:

If you are selling just one or two items on your site you won't have much need for a shopping cart. A site with a variety of products should userepparttar 109068 shopping cart system because it'srepparttar 109069 easiest way for your customers to shop. The easier it is to shop,repparttar 109070 more they will spend, which is exactlyrepparttar 109071 psychology supermarkets use, and exactly how shoppers are similar whether in a supermarket or scanning through your website. Andrepparttar 109072 nice thing about electronic shopping carts is thatrepparttar 109073 wheels never go square, and you don't have to send a clerk out afterrepparttar 109074 store closes to round up allrepparttar 109075 carts that have been left scattered aroundrepparttar 109076 neighborhood. So shopping carts are good. But how will they work with your merchant account andrepparttar 109077 all-important ordering process?

Ifrepparttar 109078 orders placed on your site are to be processed withrepparttar 109079 customer's credit card as a sale through your PC or swipe erminal, then there doesn't have to be any compatibility between your cart and your merchant account. The two will work completely independently, each doing their part ofrepparttar 109080 job.

If, onrepparttar 109081 other hand, you would like all of your incoming orders to be automatically processed for you asrepparttar 109082 customer hitsrepparttar 109083 submit button, you will need what is called "real time processing."

3. Real-Time Processing - Almost every website company I talk to would like to have their orders processed for them (the vision ofrepparttar 109084 owner of a website company turning onrepparttar 109085 PC and then stretching out in a hammock, watchingrepparttar 109086 orders get processed onrepparttar 109087 screen, comes to mind). However, most web company people, upon learningrepparttar 109088 cost involved, take my advice to wait until they have a steady flow of orders coming in before they use real-time processing. If you're on a tight budgetrepparttar 109089 extra fees involved in real-time processing might be better used to aggressively advertise and drive customer traffic to your site. Processing a few orders per day doesn't take very long and until you find it to be more time-consuming to processrepparttar 109090 orders yourself than you like, you are probably better off processing such orders manually.

If you are starting with a healthy budget and an aggressive promotion plan you will probably be better off implementing real-time processing right fromrepparttar 109091 start. Changing order-processing methods can sometimes result in system hiccups and you don't want anything to slow down your momentum once you've started. You'll also save money, not having to set up your ordering system twice.

4. Web Hosting - The web host who is hosting your site can sometimes make a difference in how compatible your entire site and ordering system are with each other. I say "sometimes" because for those of us not using real-time processing, it doesn't matter who your host is or where your merchant account is located. They are independent of each other. Orders arrive and you process them. No interaction betweenrepparttar 109092 two is needed.

How to Accept Online Payments Without a Merchant Account

Written by Merle


If you operate a small business from your home and have been thinking of moving it online to take advantage of a "global audience," this article is for you.

A lot of people I talk to are hesitant to start selling online due torepparttar "red tape" of getting a merchant account, a secured server certificate, and if needed, shopping cart software. That is not to mentionrepparttar 109055 huge expense of paying someone to put it all together for you.

Well, listen up: Forget all of that. I'm here to tell you that you can testrepparttar 109056 waters of online selling without going to a lot of trouble and expense.

There are many third party credit card and online check providers who are willing to help you get your e-commerce business up and running in no time. Some of them may only work with sites selling tangible goods and others for intangibles, like services. Before choosing one make sure you thoroughly check them out and pickrepparttar 109057 one that suits your needs.

So what do they do? Well, they provide a secured website you can link to, where they process your customers' credit card orders. For all of this convenience they take a small piece ofrepparttar 109058 pie, usually ranging from 7 to 15%.

Let's take a look at a few of them and what they have to offer:

1) iBill: This isrepparttar 109059 one I use to sell my promotional services. If you sell services or other intangibles, this one will work for you. There are no set up fees, or software to download and your services can range in price from $2.95 to $100.00. You do need to make what iBill calls a "webgood page," so you need to know how to create a webpage and upload it to their server. iBill takes 15% ofrepparttar 109060 amount charged during any billing period and sends you a check twice a month. They make it easy to get started, and after signing up you can be up and selling online within 48 hours. http://www.ibill.com

2) Valid Check: I've used Valid Check for years to accept online check payments. Being able to accept checks and credit cards is important because it gives potential customers a choice when ordering from you. The more choices you can give them,repparttar 109061 more sales you will have. Basic charges are as follows; - $4.95 monthly minimum - $29.95 One-time setup. - Free Secure Order Page - FREE Remote Printing Software* - NO percentage fees - 99 Transaction Fee**

Once you sign up they supply you with easy- to-set-up links that you can paste into your site. You have two options when it comes to collecting your money: You can download their free software and print out your own checks, or opt for them to mail your checks twice a month (for an added fee of 36 per transaction). http://www.validcheck.com

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