client knowledge base

Options for selling online

April 28th 2009
Author -

We provide a range of options for your business to sell online. It needs not be risky and can be approached at the level you are comfortable with. Having the internet as one of your selling options opens you up to a wide range of potential sales. People can browse your products at a time that suits them and make a purchase at their convenience.

There are three main approaches that Waterfall Way Designs can help you with:

  • Contact Form and Email - We present your products as part of a complete website. Alongside each product is a 'Buy Now' or 'Add to Cart' button. When someone clicks 'Buy Now' they then enter their contact details and submit it. You get an email to advise you someone wishes to buy. You reply to them with details of your bank account for direct deposit, cheque or other payment options. This mail can also include information on shipping time, to include their name in the bank transfer, etc. When they do pay you, you then can send out your product with a receipt to the address they provided.
  • Third Party Processing, PayPal - This is an online service that allows people to buy from you with credit card, direct deposit etc. PayPal is an internationally recognised and trusted company. Someone clicks 'Buy Now' and are taken to the PayPal site to enter their credit card details. PayPal processes this for you and moves the money into your PayPal account. PayPal emails you the person's name and address, you can then ship the product to them. This puts the security of the transaction into the hands of a reputable Payment Gateway such as PayPal. The expense in this approach is only applied when sales are made. PayPal with take a flat percentage off the purchase, commonly 2-3%.
  • Direct Processing - This is where you handle the whole process.
    You need a number of things to achieve this. A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate, an Internet Merchant Account and a Payment/Transaction Gateway.
    So firstly we need to provide your customers with a secure place to enter their credit card details. This security is provided by an SSL certificate. On your banking website and websites you have purchased from, you may have noticed a little gold lock appear in your browser, this indicates the presence of an SSL certificate. The certificate confirms that the page is being encrypted when data is sent to the server.
    Secondly you need an Internet Merchant Account. This is something you set up with your bank to allow you to accept money from the internet. This is a different to your regular Merchant Account. The Internet version of this Merchant Account covers you for the extra risk of selling on the internet.
    Thirdly is a Payment or Transaction Gateway. This is where the actual payment is made and the money is transferred into your account.
    Each of these components comes at a cost, however Waterfall Way Designs do not mark up these service prices, we can connect and set you up with a reputable provider.
    We can provide you with an SSL certificate. You can discuss your Internet Merchant Account with your bank. Your bank or a third party can provide you a Payment Gateway.

We normally advise starting with option 1 or 2 to see how things go. We are happy to discuss online selling and any other ideas you have for your business.