E-commerce solutions for small business owners – part 2

You didn’t think I would leave it at simply telling you about a couple of web shop solutions, did you? There is of course a lot more to think about when it comes to e-commerce.

Now that you’ve decided on which web shop to go with, you need to have a look at payment solutions. You have several to choose from. I’ll take you through a few.

PayPal

This is the obvious one to start with. PayPal has been around for a long time now, and it has established itself as a stable and secure payment solution all around the World. Setting up a PayPal account is free. There is no monthly fee, so if you don’t use it you don’t pay. The fees are instead imposed on whatever you charge your customers. The standard rate for receiving payments for goods and services is 3.4% + $0.30 USD. The percentage may get lower depending on how much you sell for. So, knowing this it’s easy to include the cost for PayPal in your price.

It’s an unfortunate fact that online fraud can erode your business. This is another good reason as to why you should use PayPal. They have developed advanced techniques to keep your business secure and fraud free. I have personally used PayPal for many years and I highly recommend it!

Authorize.Net

Authorize.Net is another payment gateway service provider who, much like PayPal, lets your customers pay online using their credit cards. In fact, the difference is not that big, apart from the fact that, unlike PayPal, you have to pay a hefty sum for setting up an account($99 USD) … and pay a monthly fee ($20 USD). On top of that there is also a transaction fee (this may vary) to pay.

You might wonder why, with all these costs, do I bring this service up. Well, it is a well established payment service, and it offers pretty much everything you need for your online business. However, unless you’re selling tons of goods each month, this may prove quite expensive to the average small business owner.

2Checkout.com

Here’s another payment gateway service, perhaps slightly more diverse than Authorize.Net. With 2Checkout.com you can actually use PayPal to pay for your goods. This service is not as widely spread as PayPal or Authorize.Net but it seems to me to be a good enough alternative to both. Setting up an account with 2Checkout.com comes with a fee of $49 USD, but there is no monthly fee. 2Checkout.com does, however, collect a 5.5% commission on each transaction plus a $0.45 USD charge per sale.

Conclusion

So there you have it, a few of the most commonly used payment solutions. They all work with both OS Commerce and CubeCart, and probably with most other web shop solutions you may come across as well. From the point of view of the small business owner, my recommendation will have to be PayPal. It has all you could really wish for, and it’s both cheap and secure.