Payment processing is often an overlooked, but important, aspect of eCommerce success. You can have a great product offering that is seen by a large number of people, and with their credit card in hand, they may be ready to buy, but without a good payment processing system, you may be losing sales. The following are three steps you can take to make sure you are not losing business because of payment processing issues.
Maximize the number of options available for payment
The more payment options you have on your website, the better chance you will get an order. Internet shoppers are creatures of habit. They get used to paying for the goods they buy online in a certain way. Some will use their credit cards, while others will want to use an aggregate payment service or perhaps an electronic check. Whatever the case may be, if the payment option that the shopper is used to using is not available, you may lose the order. There is no sense in fighting this. You need to adapt, and offer as many payment methods, withing reason, as possible. It is understandable to not want to go through the hassle of accepting checks or money orders and to keep everything electronic. However, there are many possibilities for your web store in the area of electronic payment methods.
Open a merchant account
You will need a merchant account if you decide to take major credit cards on your site. Although it is possible to allow customers to use their credit cards with an aggregate payment site, you need to have the option of simply allowing your customer to use their credit card without the intrusion that a third party website to take payment. Many customers will not want to do this, so you will lose sales. When you open a merchant account, you will be able to take all popular credit cards seamlessly at your web store, making payment simple for your customers.
Use a shopping cart with several gateway options
When you open a merchant account, you will be using a gateway program that will interface between your merchant account provider and your website. The key to making this simple is to use a popular gateway program, because the popular programs are likely to interface easily with your website. However, the better way to go about choosing a compatible gateway program is to first choose your shopping cart software. The better shopping cart programs will easily integrate with the most popular gateways on the market. You can find many good online shopping cart software programs on the Internet, and you might also consider looking for one at the same time you shop for a merchant account.
Once you have accomplished the three items listed above, you will have maximized the effectiveness of your payment processing. However, always keep an eye open for any of the latest advances in online payment technology. If customers begin to embrace a new way of paying for goods, you will need to embrace this new payment method also to protect yourself from losing future sales.