There are a number of ways you can sell products online, otherwise referred to as Ecommerce. The approach you take will depend on the type of product, how many products you would like to sell, and your budget.
Third-Party Transaction Services
Using a third-party transaction service such as Paypal or Google Checkout to receive payments is the method that is simplest, fastest and has the lowest initial cost. With these services, your Website need only serve as the product catalog. Once the customer is ready to checkout and pay, they are transferred over to the third party Website for the financial transaction. This way, you do not need to worry about the security of your customers’ financial information, because your Website is never exposed to it. Your only cost for the use of the third-party transaction service is a transaction fee that generally runs from 3-4% of the transaction total, unless you use a premium service with a monthly charge.
Full E-commerce Store
Using a third-party transaction service, such as Paypal of Google Checkout does have a down-side. Because of their low cost of use, Paypal or Google Checkout can be associated with low end, low quality stores. Also, many people associate Paypal with Ebay, which customers may have had a bad experience with. In addition using a third-party service puts a portion of your operation out of your control and in the hands of another company.
To avoid these negatives, many online merchants choose to accept credit card transactions on their own Websites. This means that the responsibility for safeguarding their customers’ financial information is their’s. The basic requirements of an Ecommerce store, are as follows:
In addition to the costs associated with the software and services, it is very important that the Website be diligently maintained to prevent hackers from gaining your customer’s financial data. This cost should be budgeted into the business plan.