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Ecommerce, Plain and Simple

 What is SSL and how does it help me sell online?

SSL simply encrypts sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) so that your online shopper can safely send their information.  You've seen this at popular online bookstores, retails stores, etc.  When you go to checkout and you are typing in your credit card information, you are doing so using SSL.  You can verify this by looking at the URL in your browser, while checking out, as it will begin with https instead of just http.

With SSL (https) your shopper will know they can safely transmit their information to you.  As a business, it is your responsibility by law to protect sensitive information and SSL is one of your greatest (and easiest) tools in doing so.

Any file, shopping cart, etc., on your ActiveWebHost.com hosted account can be accessed via https.

 How do I charge a credit card?

Once you have obtained the credit card information, you will need a merchant account of some sort in order to charge credit cards.

Merchant Accounts

  • Typically a low, per transaction cost and a low, percentage of transaction cost.  In other words, you get to keep more of your money per transaction.

  • Disadvantages typically include up front setup costs as well as sometimes more upfront paperwork.

  • Check with your local banks for a merchant account.

  • IMPORTANT:  Make sure any merchant account you setup includes the ability to accept online payments, especially if you utilize a local bank.

  • Click here for more information about Merchant Accounts.

No Monthly Fees

  • Places like 2checkout.com have no monthly fees, but charge a higher per transaction fee as well as a higher per transaction percentage.

  • Setup fees are usually minimal if any.

  • Usually much less paperwork if any.

  • Click here for even more options.

Special Merchant Account Situations

  • It's important to check with any merchant account provider to ensure you can sell your items online before signing up as merchant account don't support anything and everything you may wish to sell online.

  • Examples include, but not limited to:  adult products, firearms, fireworks, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, live animals, prescription drugs, combustibles, gambling, stock trading, MLMs, sites that promote hatred, racism, or religious persecution, etc.

  • These are items of special situations, and only a limited number of merchant account providers can be found to handle these special situations.  Any solution will probably include a high per transaction cost as well as a high per transaction percentage and possibly even a large upfront amount kept in reserve for charge-backs.

There are a lot of online merchant account providers.  Shop around for the one that is best for your website!

 You need a shopping cart!

In order to be competitive and to add customer convenience to your web site, you will need a shopping cart.  Some carts are designed for small stores with fewer than 100 items.  There are other carts that are designed for large stores with thousands of items.

Your ActiveWebHost.com account includes shopping carts.  Of course you are free to install any shopping cart that fits your needs.  We will be glad to help in any way we can regarding installation of a licensed shopping cart.

Click here to review the shopping cart details included with your ActiveWebHost.com account.

 Ecommerce Tips
  • Save Time - Have Your Shopping Cart and Merchant Account Talk To Each Other
    Make sure to decide on an ecommerce shopping cart that can interact with your merchant account company.  It will save you a lot of time and possibly some headaches as well. 

    When a shopper completes their shopping and checkout using your shopping cart, most shopping carts will login to your merchant account, verify the credit card is valid and that it has enough balance to accept the charge and then charges the credit card.  All automatically for you!

    The alternative is, after receiving the order and credit card information, to manually go to your merchant account and enter the information.  Naturally this takes considerable more time.

    Click here for an ActiveWebHost.com ecommerce merchant account solution that integrates with any of the ActiveWebHost.com shopping carts.

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