More and more companies are going online to sell their services and products on the internet. It is a complete win – win situation because retailers are able to access markets that are outside their geographic location and consumers can choose from a wide range of products with varying prices. However, depending on which type of e – commerce site you want to develop, the cost of implementing it will range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. You can avail of cost efficient e – commerce solutions that may be less professional or a high end solution which will beat the other e – commerce web sites around you. This article explains some of the various options that are available to the owners together with the costs that are associated with them.

E – Commerce – not very expensive

Most people think that starting an online business is an expensive process since involves obtaining an expensive merchant account to accept credit card payments from your customers. Initially, this is how it worked, but today there are several options that have made e – commerce very affordable. These services can be availed through 3rd party processors.

A 3rd Party processor of credit cards in an intermediary between your website and the customer. This happens in this way: when the customer clicks the “buy now” button, he will be taken to the 3rd party’s web site where the customer will have to enter his credit card details in an environment that is secure. The payment for this transaction will be deposited in to your business account and the order details forwarded to you. The only expenditure for the ecommerce web site owner is a small percentage of the transaction amount or, in some cases, a small fixed fee.

This is the best option for a new business which is going to jump in to the e – commerce industry because the initial costs that have to be paid are very low. An example of a 3rd party credit card processor is 2CheckOut. They charge $49 as set up fee and then charge $0.45 and 5.5% of each transaction. Using PayPal will cost you much lesser than this route. The only drawback with PayPal is; the customer should also have an account with PayPal to make the payment. But, both these products come with in built shopping cart application which will save you some money.

Taking the plunge

Developing an online store that is fully functional and which accepts credit cards is a costly proposition. The list of components required for such a site is very long: merchant account, payment gateway, secure web server and a shopping cart application.

There are a few shopping cart applications which can be got for free. However, if you want a system that can calculate shipping charges and taxes, has advanced features, is able to seamlessly integrate with your site, easy to use and is fully featured, then you will have to pay several hundred dollars. Contact one of our helpful account representatives to assist you in the setup of a high risk merchant account or offshore merchant account for a high risk merchant.