Maximize your online sales by learning how to process credit card payments
through your web site
The ability to take credit card payments through your web site is essential to the success of your business. Nearly all online purchases are made by credit card payment, and offering your customers a fast and simple means by which to buy your product will result in more sales and better word-of-mouth advertising. However, many people mistakenly believe that all they need to accept online credit card payments is a “shopping cart” option on their site. The truth is, a shopping cart is only one small piece of the puzzle.
“A shopping cart is important in that it creates an order form and keeps track of your sale, but it doesn’t actually put the money into your bank account,” explains Matt Bacak, publisher of the Powerful Promoter Newsletter and an online marketer who trains speakers and authors. “The first step to successfully accepting online payments is to understand the way money gets from the Internet to your account.”
You’ve probably purchased a number of items on the Web and are familiar with the way an online shopping cart appears to a customer. But do you know how your credit card payment, made via the shopping cart, eventually finds its way into the pocket of the product’s seller? Even if you’ve been selling products online for years and experienced a degree of success doing it, you may not be aware of how credit card payments are processed. You’re also probably unaware of the enormous benefit credit card payments can have to your bottom line.
“Surveys have shown that as 68% of shopping carts that are initiated on the Web are abandoned before completion. This happens because the customer becomes confused about the payment process or about what he or she is actually buying,” says Armin Morin, an online marketer who has made millions promoting and selling products on the Web. “Even if you’ve been successful accepting PayPal payments, the ability to process credit card payments will benefit you. PayPal requires a customer to take a few extra steps, increasing the odds that they’ll just decide it’s not worth the effort. If they can just type in their credit card number and be done with it, they’re yours.”
So how exactly do online payments work? Well for starters, you will need that shopping cart option on your site. A number of software programs including the popular Kickstart Cart are available to help you achieve that. Next you’ll need a bank account. And finally, you’ll need the two key “go betweens” in the journey between cart to bank – an Internet gateway and a merchant account.
Your Internet gateway takes the information collected by your shopping cart and keeps a running tally of what’s been ordered. It also collects the information related to payment method, and “runs” the credit card. That information is sent on to your merchant account, which receives the payment and in turn pays you. The money is direct deposited into your bank account.
“A merchant account is really the best way to process credit card payments through your web site,” says Morin. “I would still have a PayPal account and still offer that to your customers as a means of payment. Some people do prefer that. But don’t be surprised if only about 10% of your total sales come through PayPal.
By accepting credit card payments online, your sales will increase even if your web site traffic doesn’t. Customers will appreciate the ease with which they can purchase items from your site, and will recommend your product to family and friends. The key to sales success is and always will be customer service. By quickly and effortlessly accepting credit card payments, your web site will automatically be offering a level of customer service that has come to be expected.