A merchant can be defined as an individual or business that sells goods and services that they did not necessarily produce themselves for profit in a brick and mortar store. An eCommerce merchant is therefore an individual that sells goods and services on the web or through a website.
To sell products through a website a business needs a virtual payment terminal in the form of a shopping cart and this can be obtained by opening an eCommerce merchant account with a credit card payment processing service.
Since selling on the online involves a virtual store and does not have people physically coming up to the register to pay for their selection, the business needs to accept payments for goods and services by accepting credit cards from their customers online.
Some credit card processing companies have a guideline on which products that could be sold by a website through their virtual terminal or shopping cart. Example of products that are not endorsed by every company includes products like live animals, corrosive material, any type of drugs, gambling and even airfare. So always check with the credit card processing company to make sure that your service or product is eligible for their payment gateway.
Having an eCommerce merchant account does offer some advantages that will lead to more sales and exposure and they include:-
An online store never closes for the day. Once your credit card processing service sets you up with an account your store is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This way customers are not restricted by what time of the day it is to do their shopping.
An eCommerce terminal provides you a cheaper alternative to having a sales person in your store to ring up sales. On the internet you do not pay a hefty salary nor offer medical insurance or retirement package, so it is affordable to run a virtual store and have extra funds which can be ploughed back into the business for growth and development.
Increased customer base
Once your business starts accepting credit cards, it is perpetually open for business. As businesses are closing in one part of the world for the day, they are opening up for a new day in another part of the world and guess what; your business is open to serve both parts of the world thereby increasing your customer base.
As you search for an eCommerce merchant account provider always look at the fine prints and pay close attention to the pricing structure. Some credit card processing services offer free setup while others charge for it. Find out how much the merchant account credit card processing company charges to process each transaction. Some companies will serve a small setup fee and then have a huge processing fee, so that on each transaction you process they get a large chunk of your profit. Other costs that you would want to keep an eye on include statement fees, voice authorization fee, address verification fee, surcharge fee, ACH reject fee, payment industry compliance fee (PCI) and surcharge fee.