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Ecommerce is simply the ability to do business transactions on line with your website.
There are several steps required to do this and we will outline in a simple flow.

1. A shopping cart or order form on your web site.
2. SSL to accept payments at checkout securely.
3. A merchant account to accept payments with processing agent to transfer the funds into your bank account.

1. There are many types of shopping carts. For just a few products this may just be an order form that visitors select the product, enter there information, billing information and submit it. The next level would be a simple shopping cart where you have products on your site with buy buttons. More developed ecommerce carts can handle thousands of products and are database driven to handle easy maintenance of your products. There are many services that do this for you on their websites such as paypal and Yahoo. They can provide all of the steps above. For the beginner it may be tough to implement and you might need a programmer to assist.

2, SSL (secure Socket Layer). This is a must. It provides a secure encrypted means of the data you fill in the order form to prevent theft. Whenever you order from a web site be sure that the LOCK icon shows up on your browser before you submit any critical information such as SSN# or CC data.

3. Merchant Account / Processing Agent. This is a provider that accepts your order information, processes the payment from the visitor and transfers the funds from the purchaser into your bank account (typically business accounts)

There are hundreds of companies that provide these services, vary in technical installation, professionalism, fees charges to you, and the ability to maintain your products. Some of these services can be complicated to interface with a web site and still give the appearance that you are doing business with you.

We deal mostly with business ecommerce and not personal ecommerce web sites.

For personal web sites you can do it yourself by using Paypal or Yahoo's shopping carts on their websites.

For business needs we recommend that you have your shopping cart on your web site so it is self contained. Thus you are not locked into paying for someone else's service forever and if you leave your hosting provider you take your ecommerce solution with you.

You will need a business bank account with a merchant account.
We recommend authorize.net as your processing agent as they are the easiest to interface with for real-time transactions and also provide a web based entry where you can enter orders manually.

We deal only with ecommerce solutions built into your web sites with easy administration of your products thru SSL.

Merchant accounts are plentiful. Your first stop for information should be your local bank where you have your business account. Fees for merchant accounts are hard to understand as they have many fees for different aspects of transactions. They can include:
2-4% of transaction
Each item fee $.20-.40
Out of country fees for CC's such as Canada, Mexico, etc.
A base fee.

All of these fees vary by merchant provider and most are resellers of the big 6 merchant firms.

There are also other payment solutions now such as pay by check.

We discuss what your needs are and your future growth to insure that the solution we provide to you will accommodate your needs.

Call Us to discuss your needs at: 800-860-0044
or  fill out this quick form and we will contact you shortly.



Co-op Web Hosting
31735 Riverside Drive Suite C-226
Lake Elsinore, California, 92530

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