When you have an online company, it only makes sense to use all the online resources available. The minimum payment options you accept should be credit card and PayPal, if you choose. Recently, Google Checkout and Checkout by Amazon are gaining steam as well though. Are you going to accept international orders? If you are going to receive orders daily, which is the goal of course, you will want to use an online shopping cart that automatically accepts the credit card, approves it and delivers the autoresponder emails and in the end, the product itself. What exactly is an online shopping cart? It is a lot like a regular shopping cart, where you can add or remove items as you please. It calculates shipping and taxes and the total of the purchase and passes this information along to the merchant account by a secure site, which protects the customers’ information.
Choosing a shopping cart is crucial because if you choose the right one, it can double your sales or more. Imagine trying to purchase a product and while you are entering all your information to order and the pages take forever to load. Or worse, there are too many forms to fill out or you cannot find the pricing or product list easily. You would abandon that website pretty quickly. In addition, you will also need a reputable merchant account that can handle the amount of sales you are going to send their way. You do not want to find a merchant account that requests a very high escrow fund, because this can be difficult to come up with.
Before you launch your website, you will also need to make sure you have a way to provide customer service. You could hire a fulfillment house that takes care of customer service, orders, credit cards, and shipping all at once. But, if you intend to have a lot of business, this is not always very cost effective. It would be much easier to take care of the customer service with paid employees and have a special fulfillment house only duplicate, package, and ship products for you.