Tales of our journey
through the digital
Negotiating the Perils of Online Payments
You’ve started your new business and built your website, but how are you going to sell your products? For many small retailers and businesses just starting out, a merchant account with a credit card company isn’t an option. So what are your choices?
If your product involves anything craft or art or artisan related, then it’s often most efficient to just integrate your Etsy store into your website using Etsy Mini. With Etsy Mini you can select from a variety of settings of how your mini shop will look and preview it. Once you like how it looks, Etsy Mini will provide the HTML code for you to paste into your blog or website. One advantage to using Etsy is you only have to update your inventory in one place, and you can keep the same checkout process you already have. This is the best option for artists but isn’t available to other retailers.
PayPal is an online payment system that allows visitors to make payments from their bank accounts or using their credit cards through a third-party without exposing their financial information. Essentially, your customers pay PayPal, and PayPal pays you (minus a small transaction fee). You can also use PayPal to send invoices and receive money. Over 8 million businesses now accept PayPal, and it’s an accepted standard that many site visitors expect to see.
If you want to transact business on Facebook, then you’ll need to work with Facebook Credits . Like with PayPal, the actual financial transaction remains between the site visitor and Facebook – you will only receive notice of the credits and payment from Facebook. Lately we’ve seen some retailers offering Facebook credits as a bonus with purchase. Facebook credits are still a little new and are most often used by games within Facebook.
BitCoin is the newest player and differs from the above in that it is a virtual currency rather than a payment system. While it remains to be seen if there will be widespread adoption of the virtual currency, we see applications if you have large numbers of unbanked customers, or international customers who live in regions with unstable currencies. It will be interesting to see if this new venture takes off. It’s best for those offering digital services (hosting, etc.) rather than physical goods.
Determine your payment method and integrate it into your site by following the instructions for that particular method. If you need help choosing a payment method or developing an online sales or marketing strategy for your business, contact Innate – we’re here to help.