The three main terms you will come across when talking about Ecommerce are;
The shopping cart is the database that enables your customers to pick different products as they browse and store them ready for purchase. This also means shoppers can pay for many items with a single transaction by storing them in the cart until they are ready.
The payment gateway is the component that provides secure credit card processing, it checks the credit card information and completes the order. Security is important as there is no way to “swipe” the card, as is the case for an ATM or retail merchant account.
The merchant account is your own special bank account that has been set up to receive payments from the payment gateway. Some standard banks are offering this service, but many do not, so an intermediary is required, (the merchant service, to handle your online payments).
Similarly, you can roughly break down the main types of Ecommerce And Integration solutions in three ways.
The first, or simplest are the ready made, plug in and go solutions from PayPal and 2checkout.com. Basically you add some code on your pages for “pay now” buttons that connect to a remote site for processing of sales. The simplest systems do not use a shopping cart or a merchant account. The credit card is processed by a payment gateway service that uses their own merchant account and sends the money on to your normal bank account, often processing on a weekly basis. The customer buys each item separately by clicking on a “Buy Now” button. You can use a simple buy now button, or integrate a shopping cart to enhance your customers buying experience, but still not require your own merchant account. If you need a straight forward solution you can be set up very quickly. Great for small businesses with a small inventory.
Next are the dedicated software solutions that are prebuilt, and offer a complete solution out of the box. To choose a solution that suits you, browse through the features and make sure there is enough flexibility to suit the products you have in mind. Some systems will add to your existing site, while others will be the basis of your whole web site. In many cases, you will have to obtain your own merchant account to accept the payments from the Payment Gateway. These options include both the “software” solutions that are available and the easy to build “build it online” versions.
And thirdly, you can have a complete database system built from the ground up, with all the customising you want. Expect to sell your house to pay for this one.
These are completely integrated Ecommerce and Integration solutions. They offer the three main components in one package. Shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant account. They also offer the most important service any online business needs, and a service most hosting companies and ecommerce solution providers conveniently bypass, your online marketing requirements. Building your client base is of the utmost importance. No customer traffic, no sales — period. You will find links to a variety of solutions here at http://www.ecommerce-site-builder.com/ecommerce-and-integration.html.
Created by Mal Huddleston — Copyright 2006 Ecommerce Site Builder
Source by Mal Huddleston