Alternative E-Commerce Solutions
Over the past several years, the Internet has emerged as a breakthrough technology that has and will continue to transform the way we live and communicate, and especially the way we do business.
No matter if you are selling a product or a service, the Internet is a means of reaching markets that had otherwise been unreachable in the past. And, it also provides ease of purchasing and selling almost anything online?also known as E-Commerce.
But, for many businesses, especially start up and small to mid size businesses, having a website that includes the usual E-commerce capabilities is just not in their budgets. Setting up merchant accounts and secure servers can get quite costly.
So, if you are really wanting or needing to have e-commerce capabilities on your website to sell your products, but your budget just won't allow it, there are a variety of alternatives to the expensive online route that you can consider.
Your first choice allows you to accept credit card payments but without a secure server. Some financial institutions, which offer credit cards, also offer Traditional Merchant Accounts. This allows you to manually verify credit card information from those that want to purchase from you. But, you should be aware, if you ask for credit card information from your website without the guarantee of a secure server, you may run into hesitation from potential customers.
Another alternative to the expensive merchant account is to accept cheque payments online. For this you will need to acquire software or a program that will allow you to print MicroPrint (the small numbers and characters at the bottom of a cheque? ie. routing #, account #, etc.). There are several cheque writing programs available, including those found at Checker.net and Checkman.com.
The procedures involved to use this payment method are to first set up a form on your website. You then send an invoice to your customer with direction to the cheque-form page, which they must fill out and submit, via your cgi program. You then verify the funds and information and then the software prints the cheque on special cheque paper, which you can purchase at most business supply stores.
You can also have the above type service online, via such sites as Paybycheck.com.
Another alternative, which is rapidly becoming the choice of many online product and service providers, is Online Payment Systems. There are several of these systems available but I have only found one that has features available to Canadians. Called PayPal.com, this service allows you to set up an account with them and they verify the credit information of those buying from you. Now, many features that this system has to offer are still limited for Canadian retailers but you are still able to set up an account, bill your clients, and receive payments into your Canadian bank account or credit card account with only minor service charges being applied.
Taking advantage of the expansive market of the World Wide Web does not mean that you have to go bankrupt. You can still get on the E-Commerce bandwagon and accept payments with the above listed services and other alternative payment systems that may be available. Actually, most of these services are all that the average small business, especially those in the service industry, really need. And they don't cost a fortune.
About The Author
Janice Byer is a certified Master Virtual Assistant and owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net). See this and other articles on her website.
Getting Started in ECommerce ? Part Two
In Part One we talked a little bit about what Ecommerce is, getting a domain name and setting up a merchant account. Ecommerce is more than that, much more. To have a really good online presence that gets people to stop and shop you need a strategy for success. Your strategy must include your USP or Unique Selling Position in the marketplace. What makes you stand out from all the other online entrepreneurs looking for the same type of customers as you? Can you stand out from the competition based on quality, price or benefits? Once you know your USP, you can begin the monumental task of telling the world about your site. A really unique selling position will give you an advantage over all the competition ? well that and a lot of planning and investing of your time and money.
10 Compelling Benefits of Having A 3rd Party Merchant Account
If you have been wrestling with the idea of applying for your own 3rd party merchant account then take a look at the following compelling benefits of using a 3rd party provider to mange all of your credit card processing needs.
What Does It Take to Make Money Online?
What a loaded question! Let's narrow that down a bit and take it from the perspective of someone who wants to work from home and make money online in a home business. That will make it an easier question to answer. Let's assume you've never had a website, don't know how to get a merchant account, don't know html, and are pretty much stuck with being an expert on sending and receiving email.
How To Start An Internet Business ? Content, Content, Content
When it comes to e-commerce, the time-tested cliché is, "Content is king." In this case, the cliché is correct.
Tell Them Whats in The Can!
What does 'the can' mean? Well, its literal meaning relates to canned goods on supermarket shelves. If your can is up there among thousands of others, the label had better state pretty clearly exactly what's in the can.
Why Our Site Was Removed From The ODP
Our website, Best Of The Home, has been listed in the Open Directory Project for over a year. Recently, I conducted a search of the ODP for my site, to update it, and found that it was no longer listed in any category.
Intranet - The Benefits Realisation Plan
The Millennium Experience
How to Gain Your Visitors Trust
If you are serious about selling on the world wide web and being successful, your number one priority must be gaining your visitor's trust. Without trust you won't sale much and that's really being optimistic. How do visitors know that they can trust a web site enough to buy? In this article I'll show how to gain the trust of your visitors.
Three years ago I was doing some work for a local university helping to redesign an internal website they wanted updated and made more user friendly. When the job was done the person I was doing the job for wanted to use his school issued credit card to pay for my services.
Internet Merchant Accounts For Innocents Abroad
If you want to sell on the internet, your need to accept credit cards. To accept credit cards, you need a merchant account, or access to one. There're two ways of getting this: Get your own merchant account, or 'pimp' off someone else's.
Electronic Commerce and WTO
The Internet may not be useful for all businesses, nor do all have to develop an Internet information strategy. Some businesses are concerned with the start-up costs of connecting such as purchasing hardware and software, subscribing to an Internet connection or service provider, and training staff. Others are concerned with the necessary search and navigation skills one has to develop to be able to use it as a cost effective business tool. Some businesses are concerned that, as a result of technical congestion during certain times, the Internet will not effectively improve their ability to disseminate and retrieve information. Most businesses are concerned about Internet security relating to issues of unwanted intrusions into sensitive databases, electronic payments, contracting with authorized parties and protection from electronic viruses.
Selecting The Right Shopping Cart For Your Website
Shopping Cart Installation And Setup
Short Story: The Benefits of Shopping Online
Maria's new lifestyle: Short story about the benefits shopping on the Net has given to a dedicated artist.
Intranet Portals ? Search and Taxonomies
Knowledge Management for beginners
Electronic Commerce Tax Jurisdiction and Principles of Permanent Establishment
The principle of "permanent establishment" is very important for avoidance the conflict of law of matter connected imposition of taxation. In the absence of a permanent establishment, a country where goods or services are sold has no jurisdiction to tax the resulting profits. A permanent establishment means a "fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on. " The notion "fixed" means attachment of physical property to a geographic location where the territorial jurisdiction of a state can be exercised. The concept of e-business permanent establishment means attachment of various components of computer or other devices having attached to earth. The concept of permanent provide the foundation for imposition of taxation and limits the ability of a state jurisdictions to tax profits derived from sales or service performed by electronic commerce means through a Web site or their electronic devices. But the establishment of servers and other computer technologies do not meet the physical requirement, but only to the extent that they are established in the jurisdiction in question. The application of this principle of permanent establishment has been clarified by the OECD in its Commentary on Article 5 of the OECD Model Convention, which provides that a web site in itself does not constitute a permanent establishment and a server where the web site has been uploaded can only regarded as permanent establishment.
Prompt Delivery Rules ? Internet Product Sales
The Internet is the fastest growing source of mail order sales. The explosive growth in the goods and services sold online has in the past taken many online sellers by surprise: demand has outpaced supply, depleting inventories and disappointing customers. This can lead to serious problems with the FTC.
Drop-Shipping ? A Great Way of Making Money Online
Using the Internet to sell products and services to ever increasing number of net users is a good way to start your own business. If you are not taking advantage of this great opportunity you are just missing the boat! Consider this: e-commerce, contrary to popular believe, is thriving and increasing at a double digit growth rate. According to Jupiter Research, Online sales during this holiday season in United States are expected to reach $21.6 billion, a 19 percent increase over the same period last year. Jupiter also predicts in the report that 86 million U.S. residents will make holiday purchases online this year compared to 73 million last year, which is an 18 percent increase.
Writing Web Pages: Get To The Meat Faster
Much of my consulting work comprises writing 'Outside Opinion' reports on the sites of large companies and organizations. Sometimes I review just a few pages, sometimes fifty or more.
Cost Effective Ecommerce Solutions
Ecommerce use to be about spending thousands of dollars on setting up your shop and hundreds of dollars on getting a merchant. My, how things have changed over the years. Now anyone with a few hundred of dollars in their pocket(or less if you have the time to learn it yourself) can have a great working ecommerce system up and running in the matter of days. This also includes the full ability to accept payments from Credit Cards, manage customers, create invoices and more.
Bringing the World to Your Door
According to Internet.com, by the year 2008 nearly 30% of offline purchases will be influenced by online research. If your site is a well-implemented ecommerce site, the web can significantly lower both order-taking costs and customer support costs after the sale has been made. You could also experience larger purchases per transaction. Through automation, you can sell the 'back-end" on the front end by suggesting additional items at the time the purchase is made. You can offer your customer more information, such as order tracking. A customer can shop from the comfort of her or his home, in her bunny slippers or his boxer shorts. You can give the customer a larger variety of offerings. No need to send a great big catalog through the mail anymore. When you run out of an item, you simply remove it from the website. Makes shopping so much easier.
|home | site map|