Over the past few years, but especially since the onset of COVID-19, merchants started depending more on their online marketing efforts to generate profits. However, not all merchants are using optimal strategies to improve their online sales results. Is your organization taking advantage of the most profitable e-commerce payment processing solutions? If you don’t know, now is the time to learn more about the available options.

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Who Needs Ecommerce Payment Processing?


That’s actually a pretty simple question to answer. Everyone marketing products and services online must have some type of e-commerce payment option in place. If there is no method for customers to make online payments, no online business will survive.


In addition, the available payment options must be easy for the customer to use, as complex procedures will quickly drive consumers to competitors’ websites. If you’re unsure how to structure your website’s payment options, explore using expert e-commerce consulting services to ensure you’re using the best payment options available.


Site Owners Guide to E-commerce Payment Processing Ecommerce Business Advisory

Understanding the Various Online Payment Options


Before a merchant makes any decisions, it’s vitally important to review the payment options the majority of clients prefer to use for their online purchases. There are four main ways consumers pay for purchases. They are:


  • Credit cards. At this point, more online purchases are made using credit cards than any other form of payment. Different sources report slightly different figures, but most suggest well over 40 percent of all online purchases are made with a major credit card.
  • Direct debit. The next-most-common payment option is a direct debit from the customer’s bank account. This payment option is pretty much the same as paying cash or using a personal check. As a rule, the payment will be deducted from the payee’s account immediately.
  • Other payment options. Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay and similar wallet models are becoming increasingly popular with online shoppers. Companies like Affirm, Sezzle, and Afterpay are also commonly used, as they provide payment options that might be better for consumers than major credit cards.
  • Bitcoin and other digital currencies. At this point, very few consumers are using digital currency options to make online purchases, but that’s likely to change as those currencies become more broadly accepted.


The point here is that creating an online sales experience that meets the needs of all buyers can become complicated. Not all payment processors have the ability to accept all those types of payments, which means most site owners need to work with professionals to make sure they’re not losing sales because of payment issues.


In addition, international sales are an important source of revenue for many of today’s online marketers. That means the processor selected must be able to process sales from other nations. Not all processors are adept at dealing with currency exchange and language issues, suggesting this is another point to consider when online merchants are exploring their available options.


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What’s Involved in Online Payment Processing?


The next thing online merchants need to understand is how the online payment process actually works. There are three basic components involved in an online sale, and each must be able to work effectively with the other two. In some cases, each of the elements will function independently, but it’s also possible to work with a service provider that’s adept at handling all the components. Here are the three essential elements:


  • Payment gateways. Gateways provide communication between the customer and your ecommerce website and transmit the data shared between customers and merchants.
  • Payment processors. The processor receives the data from the client, validates the information received, and transfers funds from the online shopper’s account to the merchant’s account.
  • Your account. Once the transaction is approved and processed, the shopper’s funds are deposited directly into your bank account.


Obviously, this is a simplified explanation, and each merchant’s requirements or payment options may require additional steps, but a properly designed system will ensure the sale is completed quickly and efficiently. Again, working with e-commerce consultants to design and implement specific payment options is always recommended. Remember, the objective is always to provide online shoppers with the best payment options available.

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Factors to Consider When Selecting an E-commerce Payment Processor


Since the object of having an e-commerce payment processor is to increase profits, it’s crucial to understand potential problems related to payment processing and how to avoid them. Here are just a few of the issues to evaluate prior to selecting a payment processor:


  • All Industry standards must be met. In other words, the processor must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Those standards are designed to protect both you and your customers, and they must be complied with.
  • Security steps must protect everyone involved in a transaction. Your information is important, but your business could suffer significant professional and financial damage if a client’s information isn’t properly safeguarded. Hackers are always finding new ways to obtain confidential data from company and payment processor records, so steps must be in place to prevent anyone from accessing any confidential information.
  • Processing fees must be reasonable. Processors typically assess a fee per transaction plus a percentage of the total sale. Since not all payment processors charge the same fees, it always pays to compare the various charges levied by processors. That includes any extra fees that may be assessed for international sales or chargebacks.
  • All common payment methods should be accepted. As noted earlier, charge cards are the most common payment choice, but that certainly doesn’t mean a processor should limit the other options. This is a rapidly evolving area, so don’t be afraid to ask a processor which payment options are accepted and if they are taking steps to adopt new payment options in the future.
  • Ask if the payment processor and gateways are mobile-friendly. Every year, more and more customers shop online using mobile devices. That means the processor you select must, without a doubt, use mobile-friendly platforms. You cannot afford to lose any sales, and mobile devices will become even more heavily used in the future.
  • Make sure the provider treats merchants fairly. Disputes and chargebacks are always part of the game with online sales, and that means there is always the potential for processors or gateways to automatically assume a merchant is at fault if a dispute of any type develops. Ask about all fees and penalties associated with dispute settlements.


If you’re working with e-commerce consultants, those experts understand current and evolving standards all processors should meet, but never be afraid to ask questions and expect solid, meaningful answers to those queries.

Ecommerce Consulting Merchant Services Gateway and Rates

Do You Really Need E-commerce Consulting Services?


Business owners are always concerned with controlling expenses, and that’s certainly a valid concern. However, working with an e-commerce consulting service may actually save money. Far too often, online business owners fail to see the results they expect from their online customers. Here are just a few reasons to consider contacting an e-commerce consulting service for help:


  • Conversion rates are poor. Data is readily available to let online business owners know whether their conversion rates are within their industry norms. If your site’s conversion rates are lower than average, it’s time to work with a consultant to determine how to improve those rates.


  • Shoppers abandon their carts without completing the sale. While some abandonment is normal and should be expected, there are problems with the payment process if too many customers abandon their carts prior to completing a purchase. Consultants are experts at identifying why shoppers abandon carts.


  • Sales have dropped off. If online sales are dropping off, it’s always important to find out why that’s happening. Remember, the markets are always evolving, and that includes how clients shop and pay for merchandise or services. If your company’s online sales are falling, now is the time to find out why and take steps to turn that statistic around.


Of course, there are always other reasons to work with consultants. If you’re simply unsure how to set up a new payment system, that alone is a solid reason to contact an expert for help. If you’ve had customers complain about payment options, that’s another reason to seek help from professionals. No company can afford to ignore customer complaints, including issues with paying for merchandise.


With online shopping expanding every year, it pays to stay ahead of the curve rather than playing catch-up later. Ecommerce experts work with a wide variety of clients from around the world to evaluate their sites’ needs and recommend workable and affordable solutions.


Every company’s needs will tend to be unique, and the e-commerce professionals tailor their recommendations to meet those needs. Since the needs of a company are constantly evolving, it’s always a good idea to review any current sites for issues and explore ways to overcome those issues. Rather than ignoring a problem, it’s always a good idea to contact an e-commerce expert for help now.


Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your site’s current payment options or are setting up an entirely new site, take the time now to review your payment processing and gateway options with an expert today.


Travis Romine