HOW to sell online

How to Sell Online

Now, here is where most people get stuck or start to get anxious and thinking that selling online is too difficult. Well, let me put it this way; selling online is WAY EASY and we will show you how to make it easy for you too. Assuming you have read our previous articles on this series (WHAT to Sell Online and WHERE to Sell Online) Then your next step is to learn HOW to sell online.

3 Major Components to Every Online Store:

  1. The Shopping Cart Software
  2. The Merchant Account
  3. The Payment Gateway

 

The Shopping Cart Software

Also known as the eCommerce Platform, Shopping Cart, or Shopping Basket. This is the software that you will use to upload products, manage inventory, set up prices and discount, etc. You can either purchase the software (Licensed shopping carts) or lease the software (Hosted shopping carts). Licensed shopping cart software is usually more expensive, it gives you a limited time of support and you must install it on your own server. Hosted shopping cart software is leased on a monthly basis, it usually gives you the web space, customer support, and life-time upgrades and backups. All you need to do with Hosted shopping carts is point your domain to their server (ask them for the specifics on this step as each platform has it’s own proceedure). You can purchase a domain name for about $12/year.

Your Merchant Account

The Merchant Account is your bank account designated for your online business. You just need to head down to your bank and ask about “Merchant Accounts for Online Business“. They will guide you on how to obtain one. Usually merchant accounts have transaction fees. A normal transaction fee should be around 3.5% of each purchase same as your Payment Gateway.

Your Payment Gateway

The Payment Gateway is the third-party system that you will use to complete credit card transactions. You have many options here. Each payment gateway has it’s own transaction fees. A normal transaction fee should be around 3.5% of each purchase. Your payment gateway must be compatible with your Shopping Cart Software.

IMPORTANT!

Save money. Ask your bank about “Preferred Payment Gateways” when you inquire about Merchant Accounts. We know, for a fact, that certain banks have special deals with specific payment gateways and can slash your 7% transaction fees down by 50% when you signup to use their preferred partners.

Other Miscellaneous

You will also need an SSL Certificate (Secure Socket Layer Certificate) and they run somewhere around $100/year. These certificates assure your visitors that your website is who it says it is. That you run your online business on a secure way and that every transaction is encrypted so it cannot be intercepted and used to harm your customers.

Your bank may requiere you to have a Privacy Policy page on your online store before approving your Merchant Account. You can find general language if  you visit your favorite online store and go to their Privacy Policy page.

Choosing a Shopping Cart

First you need to decide whether you want to spend about $1,500 upfront for the software (a Licensed Shopping Cart) or if you rather pay a monthly fee of about $25 USD (for a Hosted Shopping Cart). You may also choose an Open Source shopping cart which you can download for free and use it BUT you will need to know how to install it to your server and run and solve any glitches you may encounter as these free shopping carts do not provide customer support.

Choosing the right shopping cart from the beginning will save you a lot of time and will ensure you have the right tools to start and grow your online business. Remember; not all shopping carts offer the same functionalities so choose wisely.

Here are some links for you to start your research:

 

Next article; Why to Sell Online

 

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