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Planning Guide to Ecommerce success

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Resources- Your step-by-step guide to Ecommerce

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Step #7 -- Take The Order And Collect Payment

Payment processing is one area where you really need to work with your web hosting service to decide on the best payment options to offer your customers - and to implement a secure, efficient payment processing system.

Payment Options

The types of payment options that are most suitable for your business depend on a number of facts such as:

  • The type of product or service you're selling;
  • How your product is delivered;
  • The security needs of your customers; and
  • The size of your business and your payment processing capabilities.

Here are descriptions of the most common types of payment options offered in Ecommerce today:

cart1.jpg (10480 bytes)Offline - The consumer views your product online, but orders by phone, fax or mail. This is a good option if:

  • You haven't yet set up your Internet merchant bank account to accept payment online. You can set up an online catalog, but then have consumers order by traditional means - either by faxing out a printable order form or by phone.


Online secure - The consumer orders online, and you process their credit card information using a secure server. This is a good option if:
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  • You are a small business processing a relatively small number of orders. You will need:
    • A secure server - which is easy to get through a web hosting service or Internet Service Provider (ISP) for a minimal additional fee.
    • A way to process credit card information through the banking networks for approval. Many companies use CardService International for this purpose. Once you receive approval, you can then ship the merchandise.
    • A way to protect consumer credit card numbers. You can either set up a secure database or delete the credit card information from your server once the product is shipped.

    Accept Checks from Phone, Fax, or Website


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Online secure with real-time processing - When the consumer orders online through your secure server, you can offer online confirmations and credit card approvals within 10 to 15 seconds. This is a good option if:

  • You are a medium to large size business in a field where customers expect instant ordering. Or if you offer an online product - such as software, video clips, music, etc. - that can be immediately downloaded. You will need:
    • A secure server with real-time processing capabilities. Obviously, this is a more expensive alternative, but can be well worth the extra investment in terms of customer satisfaction and ordering efficiency.
    • A way to protect consumer credit card numbers. You can either set up a secure database or delete the credit card information from your server once the product is shipped.
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Online secure with real-time processing and pass-through of credit card numbers - In this case, instead of giving their credit card information to you, the consumer uses wallet software - which communicates their confidential information directly through to the banking network - relieving you of the need to secure a database of credit card numbers. This is a good option if:

  • You are a middle or large size business in a field where customers expect instant ordering and want complete credit card information security. You will need:
    • A secure server with real-time processing capabilities.
    • An account with a online transaction processing service such as CyberCash, DigiCash, or Blue Money. or E-Gold
    • Great example of simplifying the purchaseing cycle is IMS's Impulse Ads -which feature Order Trust & Cybercash behind the transaction. Once a purchaser has made one purchase ... they can buy throughout thousands of sites with just a PIN #.

    SEE our Showcase of Impulse Buy Offers - realtime updates

Once you decide on the way you wish to accept payment, you will need to arrange credit card or other payment processing with a bank.

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E-commerce is a powerful tool

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