There are plenty of horror stories on TV about how a resident of Chicago bought a security pass online with a credit card stolen and a few days later had thousands charged to their card in Vancouver. We can swap out the cities and product and there are hundreds of versions of this story all over the place. The bottom line is customers are very wary of using their credit card online and your business must be trusted in order for them to pay you.
Because of this you need to offer customers a method to pay which is both user friendly and very secure. Not having a way to accept payments online isn’t an option because the online business will leave tons of money on the table and repel customers to look for competitors who will quickly process their orders online.
Today, most internet companies will process orders with either an integrated shopping cart or PayPal.
There are both pluses and minuses to both methods and here’s a quick rundown.
Shopping carts usually charge business owners on a monthly basis which can be very unattractive, especially to new startup businesses without a lot of revenue. When a business matures and revenue starts to come in, a shopping cart is a very attractive method because of its security. The shopping cart service handles all the little software bugs so everything will continue to run perfectly. One benefit is most of the time the shopping cart service will install their script on the business site free of charge.
The other option is PayPal which is widely known by people around the world. There are no monthly charges. PayPal charges on a per transaction basis where a small amount of money is automatically taken out of your balance when a business receives payment. Many professionals recommend starting off using PayPal to process orders, but when the transactions get to be over $1000 per month to start thinking about using a shopping cart. However, the best strategy is to integrate both your shopping cart and PayPal on your web pages.
Here is a quick video on how to set up a PayPal account…
Whatever option you choose, it must make it easy for your customers to make a payment and they must be reassured that they are safe buying on your site. Failing to take this into consideration will quickly end your dreams of running a successful online business.