The Facts About Internet Merchant Accounts

By , February 26, 2019 5:50 pm

824

If you own and operate an online business, then you realize that without giving your customers the ability to pay for your merchandise with their credit cards you are not likely to make much money. Online shopping practically depends on credit card transactions. Online shopping has never been more prevalent than it is right now, and the vast majority of online customers prefer to pay for their goods with their credit cards. That is why you need to consider opening an Internet…

merchant, merchant provider, merchant services, internet merchant account

If you own and operate an online business, then you realize that without giving your customers the ability to pay for your merchandise with their credit cards you are not likely to make much money. Online shopping practically depends on credit card transactions. Online shopping has never been more prevalent than it is right now, and the vast majority of online customers prefer to pay for their goods with their credit cards. That is why you need to consider opening an Internet merchant account. By doing so, you will be able to provide a quick and convenient payment method for your customers, as well as provide your business the opportunity to expand tremendously.

An Internet merchant account is set up an online merchant account provider for an online business in order to accept credit cards as payment from customers. The account provider works to authorize credit card purchases and makes sure that the funds are deposited into your business bank account. Traditionally, merchant accounts were not offered by banks to online business owners. But, with the increase in online shopping in recent years, there are a number of Internet merchant account providers turning up that offer services specifically to those business owners that market their products online. Banks still typically do not offer online merchant accounts, out of fear of credit card fraud. When you decide to search for an Internet merchant account, since there are so many providers out there, it is important that you research all of the factors involved with Internet merchant accounts, particularly the fees and services, so that your profits stay with you and your business continues to grow.

There are many potential costs associated with opening and keeping a merchant account. Not all Internet merchant account providers will charge these fees. These fees include the application fee, which is incurred by the provider to cover application processing costs, no matter if you open a merchant account or not. Some Internet merchant account providers will waive the fee if you do open an account with them. And some merchant account providers don’t even charge this fee. Often, an annual fee is charged on an Internet merchant account as well. Providers charge this fee for no other reason than for having an open account with them. There is the statement fee, a monthly charge that can be as much as $25 per month, which is imposed to cover the account provider’s own costs. Another type of fee, the discount rate, is deducted from each and every one of your sales, usually between 2 and 4 percent. The fixed transaction fee, like the discount fee, is based on each sale, but is a static amount regardless of the cost of the merchandise bought, usually .20-.30. There are also various miscellaneous fees that are levied on your account, including a termination fee, which is charged if you cancel your account before the contract is up. Further, there are even charges that are withdrawn if a customer requests a refund, with the purchase amount credited back to their credit card.

Obviously, there are many potential hefty costs associated with an Internet merchant account, and it can take your profits away from you. It is important that you assess different the Internet merchant account providers and the fees that they will charge so that you don’t lose money unnecessarily. One way to do this is by using your current sales data to estimate the costs of your Internet merchant account.

With an Internet merchant account, payment processing usually comes in the form of real-time processing. Real-time processing is ideal for online merchants because the credit card is directly processed at the time an order is placed. The customer quickly receives an email notification that the order is accepted and the fund transfer is approved, once verification and approval of the credit card is received. There is usually a slight delay of a few days before the funds will be deposited into your bank account.

Ideally, you will want to have a sustaining business relationship with your Internet merchant account provider. There should be no doubt in the trust or confidence you have in your provider. In addition to speedy processing of your credit card sales, your Internet merchant account provider should offer other services that will allow all of your business transactions to run smoothly. They should accommodate several brands of credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, etc.), as well as providing additional payment alternatives, like PayPal. They should have a clean record of good service and consistency. And they should be superlative in providing you customer service. All issues or problems should be handled tactfully and quickly. Because of the apparent necessity of having an Internet merchant account, the provider you choose can make or break your business with fees and service. It is critical to know the facts about Internet merchant accounts and their providers so that your business continues to thrive.

OS Commerce

By , February 22, 2019 4:35 pm

626

eCommerce platforms are being commoditized. Enterprise level solutions are coming down in price and new open source solutions are being made available to anyone with an internet connection for free.

The most robust of these open source solutions is OS Commerce (OSC) ?a community driven eCommerce solution that is flexible, scalable, and user friendly.

ecommerce e-commerce

Executive Summary

eCommerce platforms are being commoditized. Enterprise level solutions are coming down in price and new open source solutions are being made available to anyone with an internet connection for free.

The most robust of these open source solutions is OS Commerce (OSC) ?a community driven eCommerce solution that is flexible, scalable, and user friendly. As eCommerce becomes even more a part of mainstream retail, OSC will provide businesses of all shapes and sizes with the functionality and capabilities of the big boys. This brief examines some of the advantages of OS Commerce and provides insights into how it can help your business.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Maybe so, but you CAN get an eCommerce platform for nothing. Offered for free at www.oscommerce.com, this eCommerce solution provides tons of bells and whistles and provides a user friendly interface to manage the administrative portions of the store. The code is based in the PHP scripting language and runs on the Apache web server ?a user also needs access to a SQL database to initially upload the files that manage the categories and products within the admin section.

Now that sounds complicated, but really anyone can do it with some concentrated effort. Much of the documentation online regarding OS is very thorough and provides step by step plans on how to get your store up and running. Any newbie to this type of work will likely come across some roadblocks, but the OS Commerce community forums are only a click away to start trouble shooting.

The solution is community driven, meaning that like minded OSCers are ready to help out their peers with answers to posted questions. Yes, at times this can be extremely frustrating waiting for an answer, but it is very rewarding to overcome a technology bug on your own.

Contribute to the Cause

The best part of OSC is the number of contributions that can be added to your site at any time. Again, there is no cost for these enhancements and upgrades ?just the need to be patient in your installations. In most cases, contributions are located on the OS commerce community section and are downloadable via zip files. After opening the file, read the “read me?file which will walk you through the file additions, subtractions, and code changes needed to make your enhancement work properly. If you explore the OS platform be sure to upgrade with the following contributions.

Ultimate SEO URL’s by Chemo

This cool contribution allows the site owner to create static URL’s out of a database driven site. This will dramatically help in search saturation as more pages are able to be indexed. Its no secret that search spiders like traditional urls better than ones that are dynamic and this contribution helps achieve that.

Easy Populate

No need to input product data manually, this contribution allows you to import data from a basic excel file into your store. A true timesaver!

Featured Products

If you have an ecommerce store ?certain products are more attractive to sell than others. This contribution allows you to tailor the featured products that you want to showcase within both your home and category pages.

Final Thoughts on OSC

Myself, I am a marketer. But after learning OS I really feel like I have some programmer blood in me! This platform is easy to use and perfect for a small to medium size business in getting online. Yes, there will be headaches along the way but stay with it and you will overcome them and soon have an ecommerce store to bring you in a new revenue stream.

Craig Smith is the founder of Trinity Insight LLC – a management consulting firm for the E-Commerce sector.

Keyword Research and Product Lines

By , February 18, 2019 4:15 pm

413

As you have probably heard over and over, keyword research is a pivotal step for success. Taken a step further, it can develop your product lines for you.

product, products, keyword, keywords, research, prospets, customers, e-commerce

As you have probably heard over and over, keyword research is a pivotal step for success. Taken a step further, it can develop your product lines for you.

Keyword Research and Product Lines

Finding success in e-commerce can really be boiled down to one theme. Identify the needs of your prospects and provide a solution for them. It is that simple. You should write out that statement, print it out and hang it over your monitor. If you stray from this theme, you will have problems making money.

Keyword research is the key to identifying the needs of your prospects. When doing the research, you should identify the phrases they are using to search for solutions to their needs. Most people understand this concept, but fail to take the process to the next step.

More than a few people have said they do not want to pursue rankings under a set of keywords because they do not carry such products or provide such services. If you have ever said the same thing, you are blowing it.

Remember, we are identifying the needs of prospects. If we do not have products or services oriented to an easily identified need we identify through keyword research, what should we do? We should get products or figure out a way to supply the service!

Assume we have a site selling hiking and backpacking gear. We have backpacks, guide books, tents and so on. When doing our keyword research, we find out our prospects are also looking for writing journals in which they can record their hikes. Since we don’t carry hiking journals, we want to avoid those keywords, correct? NO! We want to find a line of writing journals for hiking and add them to our catalogue of products. We value our prospects and that means providing them with solutions to all of their needs. By doing so, they will return to out site again and again when they need new hiking gear.

One of the more difficult things for online businesses to pick up is the fact that you should never design your site based on your view of your business. Your prospects should design it. By this, I mean that you should look to keyword research to identify all the product lines and/or services you are going to offer.

Find out what your prospects are search for and ignore everything else. Follow this guideline and your site will evolve into a revenue producer.

Shopping Cart Software: 6 Sure-fire Reasons Why You Need One

By , February 14, 2019 2:55 pm

521

A shopping cart is essential to every business for a lot of reasons. Knowing the benefits will help you appreciate its role in providing company success.

Shopping cart, online shop, online store

A shopping cart is essential to every business for a lot of reasons. Knowing the benefits will help you appreciate its role in providing company success.

Why do you need a shopping cart? A lot of people would try to break in to the world of e-commerce, hoping to expand their market, increase their profit, and develop a worldwide brand. However, they lack the necessary tools, especially a shopping cart.

Though it can cost you something, the returns that you will reap are more than what you’ve invested. To give you an idea of how it contributes greatly to business success, here are the 6 huge benefits from a shopping cart:

1. There are hundreds of templates that you can choose from. It does not really matter if you do not have any background on HTML. A lot of shopping cart software already has hundreds of templates included in the package, and all you need to do is to choose. Nevertheless, for a little bit of customisation, you can always opt to modify the codes using an HTML editor, which is still found in the shopping cart program.

2. It offers excellent security of data. It is highly essential that financial transactions, particularly payment of customers, are well-protected. Otherwise, hackers can simply steal their confidential information like credit card numbers. Shopping cart software makes use of security technologies that makes it reliable to process payments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

3. You can conveniently process credit cards. Credit cards provide a win-win situation for both customers and businesspersons. For the former, they can purchase items anytime they want to. For the latter, meanwhile, payments are instantly credited into their account. A shopping cart application can speed up the process. All you need to do is to identify the different kinds of credit cards you want to carry on your online shop and allow it to make the payment process.

4. You are guaranteed of a 24/7 customer support. With shopping cart software, you’re backed by hundreds of customer service representatives who are more than willing to answer your questions and entertain your complaints. You can just give them a call-no matter where you are in the world.

5. You can easily keep track of your shipped goods. One of the reasons why customers complain is because the goods have not yet arrived at the expected date. With the help of the shopping cart software, though, you can monitor every shipment. You can also calculate the estimated shopping charges, which could be shouldered by the buyer or you.

6. Generating reports is as easy as 1-2-3. You can conveniently monitor your sales and costs depending on your chosen interval-whether daily, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. You can also determine how many visitors you get on your online shop so you can evaluate if your online marketing strategies are working.

With your shopping cart software, you can manage your business with more comfort and sense of expertise. So who says you need to count on the initial investment? What’s really important is what you’re going to get in the next years to come.

Who Is That Rich Jerk?

By , February 10, 2019 1:36 pm

511

People looking to promote their web sites online or to make careers, or at least second incomes, from Internet marketing are flocking to the Rich Jerk. There are many so-called information products available on the Internet and the Rich Jerk seems to have found an audience. What makes the Rich Jerk so different may lie in the things he leaves out. Where many other products are wordy and packed with filler the Rich Jerk keeps things simple and apparently provides the reader wi…

Internet Marketing,PPC,Internet Content,affiliate,Rich Jerk

People looking to promote their web sites online or to make careers, or at least second incomes, from Internet marketing are flocking to the Rich Jerk. There are many so-called information products available on the Internet and the Rich Jerk seems to have found an audience. What makes the Rich Jerk so different may lie in the things he leaves out. Where many other products are wordy and packed with filler the Rich Jerk keeps things simple and apparently provides the reader with the information they have been looking for.

Compared to other similar books and products, the Rich Jerk wins in a couple of ways. First the writing style of the Rich Jerk is fun is easy to read. It has an energy and pace that keeps you interested in information that many see as technical and difficult to grasp. Second the Rich Jerk is relatively short compared to other ebooks. The information is distilled down to the bottom line and remains sufficiently informative to provide the necessary context for understanding.

What does the Rich Jerk talk about? The primary focus of this book is in the creation and promotion of information on the Internet. After all this is the information age. For those who do not feel that they’re up to creating their own information products the Rich Jerk also covers how to get involved with reputable affiliate programs that allow you to promote other products and earn what can be sizable commissions on individual sales.

The Rich Jerk covers how you can make money from displaying web pages. He covers making money with Google AdSense, how to make money with affiliate programs, and also covers hosting strategies, building web pages and search engine optimization techniques. For a beginner there are some topics in this book which will require further study, but as a template and a guide this book should fit the needs of most readers who are trying to develop income on the Internet.

The Rich Jerk also includes detailed pages on individual subjects like search engine cloaking, web addresses for the top affiliate management sites, Pay Per Click Search Engines, eBay stores and how to set up your own product on the popular service, ClickBank. Most readers will probably want to print their own copy after downloading it from the website. As a reference source, the Rich Jerk is recommended reading with a highlighter handy.

The real point is that the Rich Jerk cuts to the chase. You get the information you’re looking for. You actually get a plan. You get the details and you see how they fit together. That’s something that makes the Rich Jerk a very unique product in a sea of information products. While there may be other ebooks that cover individual topics in more depth, few provide the broad information of the Rich Jerk in a format that is easy to comprehend. Readers planning on creating their own information products, or those looking to be an affiliate marketer should consider the Rich Jerk as information that is timely and important.

Traditional Wholesale Wedding Gifts

By , February 6, 2019 1:13 pm

603

This article shares ideas about some great solutions that would make a perfect wedding gift.

wholesale, distributor, non-profit, liquidated merchandise, wholesale goods, merchandise, dollar store, household goods, clothing, consumer items

Summer inevitably brings the height of wedding season, and with it the need for wedding presents. There is big business in the gift registry industry, and there is no reason wholesale retailers can’t get in on the action! With the popular trend of wedding websites, even a small wholesale retailer could offer gift registry services with or without a brick-and-mortar location. If the subject of traditional wedding gifts is baffling to you, here is a quick overview of traditional wedding gifts easily obtained at wholesale prices.

Wholesale Bedding

Let’s face it, those extra long twin sheets for the dorm bed just won’t lead to matrimonial bliss. Most couples about to wed have invested in a grown up bed with room for two. Affording extra sets of sheets might be a strain on the budget. High thread count wholesale sheet sets make great wedding gifts. If the color isn’t the perfect shade for the bride and groom, the wholesale sheets can easily transfer to a guest room bedding. However, if the wholesale sheets are of the highest thread count, the luxury will override any mismatch in color!

Wholesale sheet sets are not the only bedding items that are pricey in retail, but welcome wedding presents. Wholesale pillows, overstock comforters, and liquidated blankets work well as stock for customers with a wedding invitation in hand. The best wholesale bedding products will be shelf-pulls or company overstock, and still encased in the original packaging.

Wholesale Home Decorations

One fun activity for a new couple is decorating the shared living space. Friends and family members can help by providing the building blocks for this design. Wholesale home decorations, such as wholesale lamps, overstock wall art, and surplus rugs can offer the deepest discounts. An easy way to develop a room style is to start with one piece as a guideline. By selecting a neutral, or specifically tailored selection, a bargain priced lamp, wall hanging, or rug could easily be the focal point to base the rest of the design.

Wholesale Dining Pieces

A clear indication of maturity is moving up from paper plates and pizza boxes. Married couples have a need for shelf-pull dish sets, and other table setting items. Large discounts can be found on wholesale table linens, such as table cloths and napkins, and liquidated flatware. Make sure you stock at least a full six or eight person seating. Wedding guests will look to purchase complete sets of dining pieces, even if the items are offered at wholesale prices.

Wholesale Kitchen Products

The kitchen is the heart of a home. Great wedding gifts come again from sets of wholesale items. Wholesale cookware kits, with pots and pans, wholesale knife sets, and overstock or customer returned small appliances are all the rage. Why give the couple a retail priced blender, when a wholesale version is available for half the cost? Offer your customers the best variety in this category, and it won’t matter if an item is not on the official registry, if the price is right.

Wholesale wedding gifts make perfect sense for the discerning wedding patron. Wholesale wedding presents allow a customer to stretch the dollar, and purchase perhaps a nicer gift than what is affordable at retail prices. By providing wedding gift registry services on your website, or in store, you offer a wholesale solution to a costly growing problem. Consumer goods keep rising in price, and married couples are asking for more and more. With wholesale wedding gifts, everyone is happy. The customer spent less, the bride and groom receive a quality gift, and your cash register drawer is a little heavier.

Tips for Using Online Bill Pay

By , February 2, 2019 11:24 am

571

You probably know someone like me. I’m the kind of person and constantly in need of reminders to do the simplest things. I’m talking about things like sending out the monthly payments for my credit cards, electricity, cable, water, rent, and car loan or I will more or less forget all about the darn things.

online bill pay

You probably know someone like me. I’m the kind of person and constantly in need of reminders to do the simplest things. I’m talking about things like sending out the monthly payments for my credit cards, electricity, cable, water, rent, and car loan or I will more or less forget all about the darn things.

I’ve experimented with numerous approaches to overcome this problem, including such things as posting reminders of my pending bills on my refrigerator so I’ll see them each and every day, using a PDA to monitor when the bills are due, and picking out in advance a particular, predetermined day each month to sit down and take care of all my financial matters. But you know what, none of my little methods worked, and it was a problem because I was constantly being bombarded with late fees and and nasty letters from creditors had threatened cancellations. Then a friend told me about an online bill pay service. Since I signed up for it, I haven’t been late with a single payment. Not even once. In this day and age many creditors including credit card companies, banks, and other service providers like utilities, support online bill pay options. That means you will more than likely have the option to join an online bill pay program without regard to which companies you have to submit your bills to. This is a wonderful innovation in my estimation, especially if you have as much trouble keeping track of the everyday, mundaney things as I do.

Utilizing a third-party online bill pay program is a simple two-step process. First off, you have to do enroll for online bill pay with the individual companies that will be receiving recurring payment from you. It’s impossible to do online bill pay without first completing this step, so it’s absolutely critical that you do so as soon as possible.

The next step you have to take is register with a website that specializes in online bill pay programs. This is a completely different and today than the companies you owe your payments to. They simply act as middlemen facilitating payments to your creditors. It’s not absolutely essential that you sign up with one of these companies, after all, you could still enter your own electronic payments each month, but how is that different from what your are currently doing and where is the convenience factor?

Put another way, you’d be right back to square one, no doubt missing payments again. Signing up with an online bill pay website, however, would relieve you of this burden. You simply set up regular payments of fixed amounts for things like your car loan and or mortgage or you can have reminders sent to three or e-mail service that will notify you when your payments are due. Once you get the e-mail, you can send your payment with just a couple of clicks of your mouse and be done with it.

The majority of online bill pay services do not make it mandatory that you link your user account with your bank account. That’s important because you can keep complete control over the payments (by credit card, checking or savings account) and your private, financial information. The real advantage of it is that online bill pay services give you a convenient, secure method to take care of all your monthly obligations on time. And that’s the whole point isn’t it?

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