E-Commerce Web Site
Selling your products securely through the
We've tried to give a general overview of trading online, but if
you can't be bothered to read through it, just skip further down the
page to the options for the small business owner - click
If your web site's purpose is to sell your
products or services online, then you need to become involved in what
is known as e-commerce. This stands for Ethernet commerce, with
Ethernet being the original name for what is now commonly called the
Obviously for anyone to buy your products through the internet, they
need to know that the payment method is completely secure. From your
point of view you need to be as satisfied as you can be that the
customer is totally genuine and you're not going to end up out of
pocket. Whilst it is possible to just ask the customer to send a
check, in reality you'll find that this method is not acceptable for
the vast majority of sites, simply because the customer is looking for
an instant transaction. Web sites which offer both methods of payment
discover that they very rarely receive orders through the post.
Fortunately there are several solutions to this problem - at varying
costs to the merchant.
Large companies tend to make use of Third Party Payment Processors.
These are companies who specialize in providing the secure facilities
required for credit card transactions. It works by the customer being
transferred to their site once they have completed the ordering
process on your site. Payment is then collected and you are notified
directly of the order. The money is then transferred to your account
either immediately or on a monthly basis. Companies who offer this
service are those such as PayPal.
This is obviously the most convenient way to transact through the
internet, but unfortunately comes at quite a hefty price for the small
business owner. Typical set-up costs can be around £500 plus there is
normally a minimum monthly charge of around £20 to pay if you don't
make a sizeable amount of sales. You then have the actual individual
charges per transaction which are typically around 4%.
So, you can see that this is quite prohibitive for the small business
owner who is just venturing on to the internet highway, unsure of
Fortunately there are several other possibilities at a much lower cost
whilst being equally effective in providing customer confidence.
For the most cost-effective option on your web site, we provide a
shopping cart link which also contains a secure page for safe credit
card detail entries. Of course to then process the card payment you
would need to have a merchant account and electronic
terminal - please talk to your bank.
Alternatively, or additionally, you can use one of the other third
party payment options for small businesses such as
The most convenient and recognizable one to use is PayPal.
You need to set up an account with them by providing details of either
a credit or debit card and they will then process any payments for you
which can be downloaded into your credit or debit card account at the
time of your choosing.
The advantage to this is that there are no set up costs and they do
all the verification of the customers details before passing the order
to you. There is a percentage charge per transaction - so bear this in
mind when calculating your prices.
We will always discuss the various options with you before accepting
the work so that you completely understand how everything will work.
Any other questions - please