Overview of ECommerce Web Site Options

There are a seemingly infinite number of choices and solutions to enabling a Web site for ecommerce (i.e. taking credit card and other online payments). Choices range from totally “do it yourself” ecommerce options to turnkey packages.

Ecommerce Web sites can be designed to accept payments in one of two ways:

Solution 1: Take online payments via your own Internet merchant account.
Solution 2: Accept credit cards online through a third party payment processor.


There are a myriad of potential costs and fees associated with designing an ecommerce Web site.

Potentially, you could be charged different credit card merchant account fees by each provider involved in helping you establish your ecommerce Web site – application fees, set-up fees, yearly memberships, monthly statement charges, monthly minimums, gateway access fees, statement fees, fixed transaction fees, variable transaction discount rates (processing fee for each transaction), and cancellation penalties are all common.

Often, it is easy to misinterpret the ecommerce fees you will owe. Rarely are all ecommerce related costs and fees revealed in one place (In some cases, for example, credit card merchant accounts may have undisclosed fees).

A merchant account’s quoted costs may not include gateway access, hosting, and/or a shopping cart. Because you may be comparing “apples to oranges” when looking at different ecommerce Web site options, a solution that at first appears low-cost may turn out to be pricey. Similarly, an expensive-sounding ecommerce solution may actually be reasonably priced.

Deciding Which ECommerce Web Site Solution is Best for You

The “take payments online” section of websitemarketingplan.com helps you through the decision of how to accept online payments and contains resources that lead to additional ecommerce / online payment information.

Whether you develop your own ecommerce Web site through an Internet merchant account, through a third party payment processor, or both, read all agreements carefully before committing. Also, do not hesitate to ask the ecommerce providers questions if information is unclear or incomplete.

Put together the “puzzle pieces” to your own ecommerce Web site solution and your Web sales will flourish!