Online Shopping Cart Alternatives For Web Based Businesses

Without an online shopping cart, your business might find it very difficult to make any money.  Sure, you can provide a link to your product listing on sites like Amazon, but that also sends your customer right into the belly of your competition.  It makes much better business sense to give your customer the ability to checkout on your own company's website.  There are a number of available alternatives for web-based businesses.

Here is a partial list of some of the more popular choices:

  • PayPal  - This is the widely accepted from of online payment.  Its small business online store tool is called Payflow.  You pay a fee of about $180 for the most basic plan, and then a service charge of $20 per month.  For that, you get 500 transactions every month.  That is plenty for most small web-based businesses.  To place PayPal on your site you simple cut and paste the code to your sites shopping cart page.  To sign up for the most popular of all online shopping cart solutions, you need to already have a merchants account.  Watch for additional fees, like fraud-prevention that can cost $90 every month.  But for a startup business, PayPal is probably the easiest of all online shopping cart solutions.
  • Amazon Checkout  - by Amazon lets your customers feel the security of checking out with the worlds largest online retailer.  There are definite advantages to linking the reputation of your own on line store to Amazon. For starters, there arent any start-up fees.  You pay $.30 for each transaction and an additional 1.9% for accounts whose transactions total $100,000 or greater a month.  There is also a percentage taken from each transaction of about 5%.  These fees add up quickly, so watch them carefully.
  • Google Checkout - Googles online shopping cart tool isnt as easy to use as Amazon or PayPal.  Like Amazon, there is no start-up fee and transaction fees are almost identical.  Googles customer service can be questionable, and the interface isnt as good as Amazons.  Follow the transaction feed with this service as well. 
  • Authorize.Net  - Acquired by Visa in 2010, this is the most sophisticated of the online sales tools.  Authorize.Net can manage financial transactions from websites, retail locations, and mobile devices.  They have a wide range of tools from simple do it yourself tools to systems that need to be supported developers.  There is $99 set up fee plus a $20 monthly fee, $.10 transaction fee, and $.25 batch fee.  The company will try to upsell you with a number of additional products, so be wary.  This product is more complicated, but offers may more options that the others.

Your online shopping cart is one of the last impressions your business makes on your customers, so you need it to look professional.  Look at all of the alternatives to determine which is right for your business.  PayPal is the most popular.  Amazon associates your business with the worlds largest online retailer.  Google is a fantastic option for business already using Google Ad Words.  And, Authorize.Net is the most sophisticated online payment system with many more options.

Category: Marketing

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