Running an e-commerce business is the way forward if you’re looking for a way to supplement an existing venture that has traditionally relied on face-to-face contact with clients and customers. Equally, you might simply have had to move to an e-commerce model for your business due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Either way, and whether it’s happened by intention or by accident, there’s plenty of tech out there that can help you boost your e-commerce business venture. Going online means one of the main considerations is how you’re going to process payments in order to boost turnover and hopefully profits. The good news is that there are plenty of options on that front.
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Aside from putting together an e-commerce website, which can be done in a wide variety of ways including making use of dedicated platforms such as Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce and WooCommerce. You can also build an e-commerce business witout using an off-the-shelf solution, but these are often the easier routes to getting up and running.
Being able to accept payments by card, including debit and credit variants will be the next job on the list. This will firstly require you to have a means of processing the transactions and that involves getting yourself set up with a merchant account, as well as creating a payment gateway.The merchant account is effectively an online bank account that is used to hold the customer’s money until it is approved by their bank. You’ll find that there are numerous variations on the merchant account, which are generally available from the major banks. However, it’s possible to get a merchant account through an independent source, known as an Independent Service Organization.
Having the convenience of processing payments in this way does of course cost money, with transaction fees, monthly minimum charges and authorization costs all being items of outlay for your business.
With the merchant ac
count piece of the jigsaw in place you’ll next want to think about a payment gateway. This is the bit of the puzzle that allows your website to get transactions over the line by connecting to a payment processing network. If you’re a small business owner then the additional good news on this front is that you can combine a merchant account with a payment gateway.
This is all down to the growing tide of payment gateway providers that include the likes of Adyen, Stripe, Braintree, Worldpay, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Sage Pay, Klarna and Authorize.net. Shop around and you’ll be able to find a variety of different payment gateway options, inva
riably being offered by merchant account providers.
In fact, this is often one of the easiest ways to go for making your e-commerce business able to process a variety of payments. You’ll often get additional tools as part of the package, such as a virtual terminal that facilitates phone-based payments.