Online shopping is growing inexorably, and the UK is the leading online shopping nation in Europe. UK online sales are now worth tens of billions of pounds according to IMRG. Revenues continue to grow and there is increasing opportunity for niche online shops.
If you are a traditional retailer it should be very easy to move your business online. It's like opening another store without the additional costs that would be incurred doing that in the real world. Plus your virtual staff work 24 hours a day with no holidays – not even a tea break! So, what do you need to set up an online shop?
A shopping cart system, or e-commerce software, is simply a web-based application that allows you (the merchant) to set up and maintain the inventory of your store. You can set up sales or special offers, highlight your bestselling items and show what others purchasers also bought.
On the other side, your customers can add products to their basket and proceed to checkout where they can pay for their purchases by credit card.
We use a range of e-commerce software, depending on what is most appropriate for your needs. Because it’s open source there is no licence fee. Our expertise means we can quickly and easily install and set up your e-commerce software – which keeps your development costs to a minimum.
And because the software is being developed by a team of programmers around the world, security vulnerabilities are patched more quickly and efficiently than some large corporations manage!
Online card payments are processed by an online Payment Service Provider through a secure gateway, protected by 128-bit encryption for the highest levels of security.
Funds are transferred to your internet merchant account. You can set up your payment processing with the same supplier as your merchant account. Or you can use different suppliers for each. (Your bank can help you with this, but we recommend that you shop around as your current bank might not offer the best terms.)
Our servers are regularly tested for PCI security compliance so you can rest assured that transactions remain fully secure every step of the way.
Internet Merchant Accounts
An internet merchant account will probably cost you a couple of hundred pounds to set up plus a small percentage of sales. This is typically around 2-4% but will vary according to your volume of sales, length of time trading and other factors.
Some accounts will charge you a small fee per transaction and others will have a flat monthly fee. They will often hang onto your money for a some time; anything from a day to a couple of weeks. Again, due to the varying costs and differing fee structures, we strongly recommend that you shop around.