Selling online used to be limited to product companies. More and more we are seeing other companies find ways to incorporate some type of online payment options. We get a ton of questions about how to do this.
If you are selling products online in a shopping cart fashion, then you will need a shopping cart system. There are quite a few brands to choose from. These systems allow you to easily add, manage, and track all products and sales. There are free programs that do this as well as very expensive programs. Which one fits best depends on your specific needs. Most clients take the free programs and then customize them graphically. Its generally a horrible idea to try and build your own shopping cart system. These system are very complex as they help you with inventory, shipping, payments, customer accounts, sales tax, and much more.
If you only want to sell a few items, a shopping cart system might not be necessary. You still might have to charge shipping, sales tax, create customer accounts, or whatever else. It depends on what you really need. In many cases, you can accomplish what you need with some plug-ins if you have a WordPress site. Or perhaps a certain amount of hand coding. In some cases, installing a shopping cart product may still make sense just for these features.
It is possible to tie your inventory system into your shopping cart with some amount of automation. If you have your store inventory in a database on your computer and you want to integrate accounting or inventory information, this can usually be accomplished. How difficult this is depends on the specific products you are using.
Online payments require some type of gateway tool that connects your merchant company to the website. Using services such as PayPal.com are increasing in popularity. You can also use a traditional merchant account from your bank. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Online shopping capabilities are not easy to setup and typically require professional help. Whether you sell one thing online or 100,000 things, you need to get it right the first time. The time it takes to put together all the details and technical bits can be considerable. Before you do anything, have a consultation with us. Call us today to explore what’s best for you.
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