If youve made the decision that credit card processing is the smart way to go for your e-business, a few more well-thought-out choices will make the call more productive and cost-effective.
You already know that the addition of merchant account services will increase your consumer traffic, sales, profits and repeat business but you may not know that there are more differences to be figured out than just the cost of doing processing.
This brings us to the traffic you project to see on your site, both by browsers and by buyers.
Lets say that your site sells high-priced specialty items. Your business model is not solely dependant on bulk sales for your success indeed, a half-dozen sales per month may be the most you can expect. Thus, you wont need to worry about having a processing software package that can handle multiple, simultaneous purchases at one time.
However, lets say you do expect to see a lot of browsing and purchases. Than you need to make sure that whatever software package you have for checking people out can handle a large volume easily, safely and consistently.
Think of it in terms of the big box store you frequent. How successful would that store be if it had only one cash register? It would probably go out of business because it was too hard for customers to use. One the other hand, does a high-end antique dealer need six cash registers turned on and ready? Of course not! It would be a waste of resources.
The next factor to consider is making sure the shopping cart software is capable. Studies have proven that when people shop online with their credit card they are more prone to make impulse buys. As such, you want to make sure as they are cruising through your site that they can easily bundle their purchases into one place as they go, then have a smooth passage to the checkout page.
And speaking of the shopping cart, the software for this function should not cost you anything if youre dealing with a more established and reputable card processing company. Likewise they should not charge for application submission, any setup costs or technical support.
Finally is the issue of signing a contract. There are some who feel signing a contract, which usually includes a hefty early-termination fee, is a wedge merchant services companies use to lock a Web-business person into a relationship no matter what level of customer service they experience. Not surprisingly those same people advise against going with any company that requires a contract of this nature.
However, there is one other factor to consider. Just because a company says they charge a certain fee or has a certain policy doesnt mean theres not room to negotiate. It doesnt hurt to ask that there be no early-termination fee, or to request several specific parameters whereby that fee is waived for poor customer service.
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