By Craig Allan
'In today's world of globalisation, even micro-businesses can profit from simple yet elegant eCommerce solutions - the challenge to business owners is the confusing options on offer!'
Visionary Group keeps you up-to-date on the most cost effective eCommerce solutions for businesses of all sizes - taking into account the issues of security, cost and development.
Typically, there are two distinct options:
- A streamlined 3rd party eCommerce system, such as PayPal and Google's new Checkout, or
- A fully integrated shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant facilities
Let have a look at these options deeper...
PayPal, Google Checkout etc: Essentially PayPal and it's competitors such as Google Checkout operate by sending the buyer of your product to a secure page within their site to carry out payments, a 'Buy Now' button is created and inserted into your product page and the buyer is transferred to PayPal (or Google Checkout), along with all the product details. Once the payment is made, both the buyer and seller recieve confirmation via email; the seller is then able to fulfill the order and the funds are kept in their eCommerce account to be transferred to a business bank account. There is also a shopping cart option within PayPal, however the buyer needs to go back to the sellers site to continue shopping.
- Pros: No monthly service fees (you only pay for what you use), valuable credit card information is stored by the eCommerce provider (which is often the target of hackers.
- Cons: Delays when transferring funds from eCommerce account to bank account, there can also be issues setting up accounts if you operate a trust or not-for-profit organisation
- When to use: A good system for total transactions of less that $5000 per month
Shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant facilities: While development of these systems have been simplified over the years and many banks offer 'plug-in' solutions, generally there is some development time required to make a robust system. A shopping cart holds clients product selections in memory and displays items, ready for checkout. At the time of checkout the items are totalled, confirmed for purchase and then the buyer is requested to enter payment details (usually credit card); the transaction data is securely sent to the bank via the payment gateway. At the bank the credit card is processed and confirmation is returned to the shopping cart to issue a receipt to the buyer.
- Pros: Good for volume transactions and the money goes directly into the seller's bank account
- Cons: Monthly service fees (even if you don't use it) and there can be issues regarding the storage of private data such as credit card numbers
- When to use: For a fully fledged eCommerce system with monthly sales over at least $5000
Want to know more? Contact the team at Visionary to discuss how we can assist you - Contact Visionary Here!