Shopping Cart/eCommerce Options for New Website Owners

Do you have a vision of putting up a website, selling some eBooks or something, then make money while you sleep and hopefully generate enough income to live a dream of working from home in your PJs?

That dream IS possible, but most of the time you’ll hear how EASY it is. I believe it’s not quite as easy as most preach, but it IS learnable and once you learn the process, it can become much easier to build your product empire moving forward. To give you confidence, I haven’t met a person who couldn’t buckle down and get ‘er done.

Yes, selling products and making money online does start with building a website (done-for-you websites). Then you’ll need to create a product to sell. Start small otherwise you’ll never get this done. The next step is to find a way to collect the dollars.

Your questions:

  • What are the options for payment gateways?
  • I’ve heard about PayPal, is that really the way to go?
  • How do I get that cute little “Buy Now” button on my product page?
  • Will my checkout be secure so my visitor’s don’t have to fear about hackers?
  • How will I be notified of an order and how does the money get to my bank account?

Things to do or consider when looking into shopping cart or ecommerce solutions:

  1. You’ll need a “secure” checkout. A secure checkout means you need a dedicated IP and a SSL certificate installed on your server for your domain. (Yes, a lot of techy talk there, sorry.)
  2. You’ll need an “online merchant account” to accept payments.
  3. Then there’s the “payment gateway” such as Authorize.net that works with the merchant to process the orders and charge the credit cards your customers pay with.
  4. Then, hopefully, you’ve set yourself up with companies that allow you to customize your cart and checkout process so you can get the exact look/feel/results you’re looking for.

In my opinion, if you’re just getting started, you have 2 options. One, PayPal (my recommendation). Two, start off with a bang and get the merchant, gateway, and SSL right off the bat.

Shopping Cart/eCommerce Options for New Website OwnersOption 1. Getting Started with PayPal:

Pro’s:

  • No approvals needed, No monthly fees, Easy setup, Start selling today
  • You have the control to edit your product payment details easily and set custom thank you pages after someone finishes the checkout (assuming you get a “Business account” which you definitely want)
  • You don’t need to get a SSL certificate – you are using PayPal’s secure gateway – so they take care of it for you.
  • Make transfers to your bank account with a click of a button
  • Setup invoices for clients in a click of a button

Con’s:

  • High fees – PayPal takes a higher cut every time you make a sale than the option below
  • Limited customization on look and feel
  • Not everyone uses it – some don’t trust payments through PayPal
  • Does not integrate with some email management providers (ie iContact and others require a 3rd party add-on that you buy in order to push customer details into your email management account)
  • As you become more of an advanced marketer, you’ll want a lot more options for your product buttons (such as upsell options, more complex recurring payment options, etc) and PayPal can only get you so far. It’s for beginners basically.

Option 2. Get Started with Your Own Cart:

Pro’s:

  • Lower fees per sale issued by the merchant
  • You have control over the entire buy process a-z
  • Much better route for high-ticket products/services
  • Everyone will use it
  • Most carts can integrate with email management systems, membership softwares, affiliate systems, and more.

Con’s:

  • Approval can take up to a week – many hoops to jump through – nothing too scary though
  • You are usually locked into a 1-3 year contract with an early termination fee but it depends on the providers you work with.
  • Monthly fees may be as much as $30-50 to work with your shopping cart, authorize.net and your merchant account
  • It’s a more complex integration and you’d be wise to get someone’s help in connecting all of the dots and showing you how all systems work together.

What Approach I Use?

PremiumWebCart the shopping cart and affiliate system I personally use for my businesses and wouldn’t recommend anything else to my clients and colleagues. The system integrates seamlessly with with 3rd party email management systems, membership softwares, and more. It’s a very easy-to-use system, has the most important features (plus many cool extras) you’d need in a cart and affiliate program, and will serve you very well as you grow and scale your company! Get their 30-day free trial and discover the awesomeness.” – Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer

Conclusion

PayPal is my #1 recommendation for newbies starting out. You can start selling today, no monthly fees, no early termination fees, no verification/approval process, easy to setup and learn. The biggest downside is the high fees per sale and some people may not use PayPal.

I tell new entrepreneurs to test the market before they commit to getting a merchant account and going through all those steps.

Questions? Let’s start a cart solution discussion for anyone that’s confused or wants to seek additional info. Make a comment below and let’s get started!

Note: I am an affiliate of preium web cart. If you click the link above and order I will receive an affiliate commission. I appreciate the tip!

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