Written by Thomas Harpointner

If you plan on cashing in onrepparttar e-commerce revolution,repparttar 109092 question is no longer whether or not you should accept credit cards and checks on your web site. The question now is how to set up a successful e-commerce solution that fits both your business model and your budget.

Here are some statistics you should be aware of: According to Nua Internet Surveys, as of January 2000, there are approximately 248.6 million people online worldwide.

CREDIT CARD USE DOUBLES IN YEAR Dec 3, 1999: Twice as many US adults used credit cards to buy products and services online in 1999 than did in 1998, according to new research from Cyber Dialogue.

INTERNET ECONOMY WORTH $1 TRILLION IN 2001 Nov 4, 1999: The Internet economy will be worth $1 trillion byrepparttar 109093 end of 2001 and $2.8 trillion byrepparttar 109094 end of 2003.

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS E-COMMERCE TO SOAR Business-to-business e-commerce will show blistering growth inrepparttar 109095 coming years, withrepparttar 109096 worldwide market expected to expand to $7.29 trillion by 2004, more than 50 times larger than in 1999, states a market research company. (TechWeb)

When you take these facts and figures into consideration, it's no surprise that more and more entrepreneurs and businesses are feverishly rushing to establish e-commerce web sites.

Onrepparttar 109097 surface,repparttar 109098 concept is very simple: You set up a web hosting account with a web hosting company; you create an appealing site that sells your products or services; and you get a credit card merchant account so you can accept credit cards.

But there is more to enabling an e-commerce web site. There is a lot of uncommon knowledge regardingrepparttar 109099 establishment and operation of a successful e-commerce web site, which makesrepparttar 109100 difference between your site becoming a success or thousands of dollars wasted and hundreds of hours of pain-staking trial and error.

SIX DEADLY E-COMMERCE SINS I have outlined belowrepparttar 109101 six deadly sins that can derail an otherwise simple process of enabling an e-commerce web site.

1.Merchant account does not support e-commerce or AVS If your merchant account is not compatible with Internet processing systems, you will need to manually enter transactions and even risk losing your account due to bank regulations. AVS (Address Verification System) is required by VISA and it is a system that matches address criteria onrepparttar 109102 cardholder's statement to reduce chargebacks. If AVS is not used, you can be charged up to 3.75% or more per transaction and leave yourself open to chargebacks. If you incur a chargeback rate higher than 3%,repparttar 109103 bank may terminate your merchant privileges. Once you are listed as a terminated merchant, getting another credit card merchant account is virtually impossible. Be sure your processing solution uses AVS and that your merchant account is set up for Internet processing.

2.Processing solution does not support real-time processing Processing solutions that do not work in real-time can wreak havoc on your growth and marketing efforts. Spending time entering every order manually can literally cost you more thanrepparttar 109104 order is worth. Also, when Internet orders are not processed in real-time, you won't know if a credit card is valid until you manually process it, at which point you will need to personally contactrepparttar 109105 card holder. This can turn into a time consuming and costly process, especially ifrepparttar 109106 customer lives overseas.

Of allrepparttar 109107 credit card orders processed by our office, about 7% are invalid or declinedrepparttar 109108 first time. Fortunately, since we utilize a real-time processing system,repparttar 109109 customer is able to re-enter his/her credit card number or use a different card.

Additionally, AVS is not typically used or available with manual systems, thus boosting your transaction discount rate to a whopping 3.75% on every dollar!

3.ISP or hosting company does not support particular processing solution or shopping cart Often, a web host does not support a certain shopping cart. In addition, not all shopping carts work with all credit card processing solutions. Furthermore, if you're working with a different vendor for each service, you're vulnerable to customer service nightmares. Few things are worse for an online business than not being able to get fast answers to common questions or problems. You can save yourself a bundle of frustration by working with a company that can provide one-stop service for your web hosting, shopping cart, and e-commerce needs.

Credit Card Snafus! Tons of Dog Food! What's Going On Online?

Written by B.L.Ochman

Imagine this scenario. You are ordering vitamins at You register forrepparttar site, put in your shipping and payment information and press "Express Checkout." Up comes an order not for your vitamins, but forrepparttar 109091 products ordered by Ester Levitts in Kentucky. Her Discover card information is given, along with her name, address and ordered items.

Think it's unlikely? Think again. It happened to restaurant broker Ray Tekosky of New York City on Friday, Jan 28. He hadrepparttar 109092 presence of mind to downloadrepparttar 109093 errant order page and fax it to me. I, in turn, faxed it to a reporter at The Wall St. Journal. Was it news? You bet! On Monday, Jan 31repparttar 109094 Journal reported that had to close downrepparttar 109095 site for an afternoon while it tended to its database problems.

What happened here? Something that will happen again, maybe in a much bigger way, maybe on your site. "We're still inrepparttar 109096 early stages of ecommerce," says Tekosky. "There will be much bigger mistakes on a much larger scale. Who's to say it wouldn't happen with a banking situation? That could createrepparttar 109097 ecommerce equivalent ofrepparttar 109098 Mad Cow scare."

"Donaterepparttar 109099 excess to charity" Tekosky is not some ecommerce-basher. He buys online allrepparttar 109100 time. He bought his Palm Pilot, his printer, many books, vitamins and other goods onrepparttar 109101 Internet. And he's notrepparttar 109102 only one who's having trouble with online buying.

Considerrepparttar 109103 plight of web developer Ira Wexler and his wife, Barry, who is an attorney. They thought they found a great deal for dog food at All they had to do was pay in advance to lock in a great price for six 40 pound bags of dry dog food for their yellow Lab puppy. One 40 pound bag would be sent every 8 weeks. They would pay forrepparttar 109104 first three bags and getrepparttar 109105 next three free.

Great idea, untilrepparttar 109106 second 40 lb bag arrived one week afterrepparttar 109107 first andrepparttar 109108 third 40 lb bag arrived a few days later. The Wexlers now have 120 lbs of dry dog food crammed into a closet in their small New York apartment. Duncan, their puppy, sits hopefully in front ofrepparttar 109109 closet door for hours on end, dreaming ofrepparttar 109110 contents. thoughtfully told them that they could donate their excess to charity.

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