Nothing turns an online shopper off more than a complicated website where he has to click through a number of pages before finally getting to what he wants. If he can't figure out how to pay the merchant, he'll leave the site and take his business elsewhere. Online businesses that make shopping easy will see the most traffic and ultimately make the most money. And many times a shopping cart and credit card option translate into an easier shopping experience. You are paying good money for a web host, so choose one that fits your needs.
Web hosts offer a variety of payment methods, so make sure that the method you want on your site works with your web host. The time that passes between the time that a customer makes a purchase and the web host contacts you is critical to your success as an online merchant. "Real time processing" makes a huge difference in this way. Find a web host with a shopping cart system that meets your needs as a merchant.
The host and the cart must be in tune with each other. Ask the web host what they can work with shopping cart wise. Also consider how you want your patrons to pay. If you prefer plastic to anything else, then you have no problems. Many servers support this payment method. But if you prefer to have orders automatically processed with the click of an icon, then you need real time processing as mentioned above.
Consider these methods, since many people are shying away from plastic more and more these days. You will have to fork over some cash for a shopping cart. Sure, some places advertise free carts, but it's only a gimmick, and while you might be able to download the cart for free, you'll find yourself oftentimes with a complicated system that ultimately makes you drop your cash on a techie that can program the cart accordingly. Instead, look for the sites that offer inexpensive fees for a cart. When looking at shopping carts, look specifically for supported gateways which ultimately support real time orders and secure credit card processing.
The best shopping carts will be able to process payments from Paypal and Verisign. These methods of payment are becoming more and more popular with those who are shying away from the high fees of credit cards; so make them available for your credit conscious customers. As a merchant, you have a responsibility to protect your customers. Guard your customers' information with 128-bit encryption and SSL. This keeps predators from stealing your customer's information and ultimately makes your business much more reliable.
You want people to visit your site, but moreover, you'd like to turn a buck while working as an online merchant. Remember that it takes money to make money, so prepare yourself for the expense and time needed to make a great online business.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as web hosting packages at http://www.webhostingpackagesonline.com