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Ready, set, sell online!
Selling your stuff online can be a game changer for you and your business, and a way to reward yourself for all the hard work you have been putting into your business. Whether you are a brick and mortar business looking to begin your online presence or you already have an online presence but want to optimize it, you need to make sure all your bases are covered.
It’s all about understanding how money moves in an online purchase, knowing the options you have about different payment gateways and merchant accounts and how to know which option is best for you and your business, and lastly being aware of your choices for credit card processors for the money transactions.
Where do you begin?
You start with how money moves in online purchases. There’s a few players that communicate with one another throughout the payment process, so let’s go through them:
- The User Interface (UI)
- : This is where the consumer interacts with your products.
- Payment/Merchant Gateways
: These are the secure links that actually collect the information necessary to complete the whole transaction.
- Credit Card Companies
: These guys just guarantee that you will be receiving a payment for the product(s) being purchased.
- Merchant Accounts/Acquiring Banks
: These accounts and banks are the ones who transfer the money from the transaction to you.
Now that you have an idea of who has a role in the payment process, I have some serious questions for you: what product(s) are you selling, how will your customers order it, and and where will you sell them?
Once you decide what you are selling and and how – whether or not it will be through a form or shopping cart – you need to decide upon an Ecommerce option best for you. There are five options for you to choose from. There are the online marketplaces, the hosted ecommerce sites, custom self hosted ecommerce sites, stitched together options, and the customer relationship management platform.
All of those options have their advantages and disadvantages, and once you really analyze them, you can make the educated decision and choose the option that is the best if for you and your business.
It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of ecommerce options and all the rest that comes with it, that is, order processing, what to do when a credit card is declined or if a refund is needed, shipping options and actually fulfilling the order.
Order processing is an easier way of saying how you handle the interaction with customers during the ordering process, not actually processing credit cards or forms of payment. When it comes to declined cards or customers desiring a refund, all you need to worry about is the experience the customer has in this case, and how your system handles it. Knowing your options for shipping is valuable, you have much more control in what you can offer to customers and decide if there is a standard shipping fee, or even none at all. Shipping ties it all together when fulfilling the order, regardless of whether it is a digital or physical product being sold.
Bring It All Together
To bring it all together and ensure you get paid, you need to decide on the type of merchant account you want to work with it. There are two kinds, dedicated and aggregate. Dedicated accounts work directly with you and the aggregates are through a third party. Understanding the pros and cons of each will help you pick the best option for selling online. All that is left is putting all the pieces together and get selling!
Download your free Selling Online guide to learn all the advantages, disadvantages and about all the different options for you and your business. Don’t worry, we will be with you step by step throughout the process and help you pick the best options for you.