Ecommerce – the affordable solution

Recently I wrote a post on the business website trends of 2011 and one of the major trends I highlighted was online shopping. The popularity of online shopping may have been growing steadily over the past several years, but lately it has gone gangbusters.

If you’re a business owner and sell products (or perhaps services) you really need to start looking at selling online. The trick is to find a way that’s effective, while at the same time being affordable.

Thankfully, there is a way, and it’s not expensive to set up or maintain.

As their website suggests, PayPal is one of the world’s most popular ways of paying for goods or services online. It’s a faster, easier and safer way to make and accept payments online and via mobile phones. Companies such as Myer, Jetstar and Big W use PayPal, so you can trust that it will work for your business too.

What’s more, an ecommerce solution can be set up for small change. The only other cost is PayPal’s transaction fees, which are 2.4% plus 30cents for each transaction for most small businesses. Transaction fees can be even less for businesses that do significantly more business online.

Compare this with the cost of a merchant facility from a bank or credit union – which will likely amount to hundreds if not thousands in establishment fees and ongoing fees – and it’s easy to see why more businesses are choosing PayPal.

Integrating ecommerce with PayPal:

  • First, you need a PayPal account linked securely to your chosen bank account.
  • You create a button (such as a Buy Now button) for each product and set your price and postage and handling costs, in PayPal.
  • You create a page on your website where you provide details on each of the products you are selling.
  • Alongside each product you have the product’s unique PayPal button.

When a visitor clicks on a PayPal button they are taken to PayPal, where they enter address details and make the payment. They don’t need to be a PayPal member to purchase; non-members can use their credit card to make payments.

You can see a working demonstration of a website’s online store that’s been integrated with PayPal at Citywide Investigations’ website. The entire Citywide Investigations website was recently developed by En Pointe.

Get started

It really is relatively simple and straightforward to set up ecommerce on your website. Any web developer can help you through the process and it should only cost $100 or so for a few products.

So what are you waiting for? Start with a product or two and see how it goes. You’ll then be part of the online shopping phenomenon!

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