Online shopping is at an all-time high. According to, Statista Portal over 1.66 Billion consumers have shopped online. This is up 40% in the last two years. The most purchased items are books, clothes, accessories, video games, airline tickets and electronic equipment. Purchasing goods and services online has become a common practice among many people around the world. Some choose to make online purchases for convenience, others because of the competitive price offered by some e-commerce platforms.
Digital buyers can also be influenced by a range of digital resources when shopping, such as brand emails and product reviews. Reasons to purchase aside, the number of digital buyers is on the rise. PayPal is the preferred payment method amongst online shoppers worldwide, as more than 40 percent of online shoppers affirmed using this method. The traditional credit card ranks second with a 31 percent usage rate, followed by debit cards. The range of devices with internet connections available to online shoppers allows products to be purchased almost anywhere from any device. During the last quarter of 2016, online orders which were placed from a tablet had an average value of 106.98 U.S. dollars, while orders from PC devices averaged 143.35 U.S. dollars. In the U.S., online shopping is expected to remain popular in the future, as the country is one of the leading online retail markets ranked by online shopper reach with growth projections for the next years. About 80 percent of internet users in the U.S. are expected to make at least one purchase online during the calendar year in 2019, a significant increase from 2013, when this share stood at 73 percent.
Once your business is online and your shopping cart has been built, you have to select a payment gateway. Many merchants select their payment gateway based on what their merchant services provider tells them. There are hundreds of payment gateway options out there, and not all of them measure up.
A gateway facilitates your online payments by connecting your secure order from your merchant account to a processing bank. Something as important as the transfer of money should take some research. When selecting a gateway, consider available features, reliability, and support.
Some well-known gateway options may not be your best bet. Authorize.net is a gateway that offers nothing more than a name. When it comes to support, this popular option falls short on all levels. Forty-five-minute hold times, getting the run around from the help desk, and being a one trick pony are all this gateway has to offer.
An important item to look for in a gateway is ease of integration. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on programming, or you are new to programming, you should select a gateway that allows you to follow some easy copy and paste steps to get your site up and running with all the payment options needed. A payment gateway should have a platform for identifying and preventing chargebacks without you having to take time out of running your business.
Some additional features to look for are a robust CRM and a strong customer database so you can run promotions and take care of your customers. A good payment gateway allows you to take payments in multiple fashions, such as recurring billing, bill me later, and ACH. There are gateways out there that even do your marketing for you. One such product is the Check-Out Box.
When selecting which gateway is going to support your business, cost should be the last deciding factor. Many online gateways may have low startup costs, but have hidden costs for additional features. For example, Authorize.net considers E-check and recurring billing to be additional features with additional charges.
I hope this sheds some light on those of you looking for a gateway solution. I invite those looking for a strong gateway to ask questions and give their opinions on gateway experiences you have had.
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