- On January 26, 2012
Today The Official Merchant Services Blog shifts its focus to the E-Commerce industry — specifically some tips we’ve found online to help small businesses with their e-commerce solution.
An article written by Nova Scotian Vangie Beal details the ins and outs of ten open source online shopping carts that are available to merchants or really anyone who wants to sell things on the internet. Beal’s been covering small business, e-commerce and internet technology for more than a decade with her writing. You can find the original article here.
E-Commerce has become an integral part of the economy throughout the world. Shoppers have embraced online shopping as part of their normal shopping routine. So businesses have responded by jumping into e-commerce and providing those consumers with competitive options that focus on the convenience that can be had with the click of a few buttons — the classic clicks vs. bricks debate is showing that clicks beat bricks.
So what do Merchants need to know about E-Commerce to get started?
Step One: Get A Payment Processor
The first step is something Host Merchant Services can handle — payment processing. Merchants need to accept payment in the form of credit cards and debit cards to stay healthy and viable as a business. So merchants need to incorporate payment processing solutions both in their brick and mortar stores as well as on their website with their online shopping solution. Host Merchant Services provides merchants with these options — along with free equipment and a guaranteed low rate that will save them money.
So step one in setting up your e-commerce business is to get a merchant account, with the services Host Merchant Services provides.
Step Two: Your Online Shopping Cart
Now that you’ve got a merchant account set up and are reedy to process payments online, step two is to get an online shopping cart for your website. As Vangie Beal says in her article, “When shopping for your own e-commerce shopping cart software the most important aspect toconsider is how well the cart software meets your business objectives.”
The shopping cart has to be customizable so that you can alter it to fit your business needs. It also needs to be able to fit your branding so that the shopping cart melds seamlessly with the rest of your website. It needs to be flexible so that as your business grows, your online shopping card and ability to process payments online can also grow. It needs to be secure and it needs to support industry security standards such as PCI compliance.
You can read about PCI Compliance Standards in the Host Merchant Services Article Archive.
Open Source Shopping Cart
Vangie Beal’s article discusses the top 10 free or Open Source shopping carts. Beal says “Open source shopping carts are an attractive option. Storeowners might look to open source e-commerce software because it will typically deliver the features and tools to manage a product catalog on a website without the hefty licensing fees that come with proprietary or off-the-shelf packages.”
Continue Reading – Top Free Online Shopping Carts, Part 2