We do not recommend any given ecommerce platform or payment gateway. However, we do suggest having an SSL certificate on your site. Appropriate website security, and appropriate measures in place to store your user information internally.
What is a Payment Gateway? This is essentially technology that securely processes a user’s payment. The gateway encrypts sensitive payment details such as a credit card data, during the transaction process between a merchant and bank.
Why does a business need a Payment Gateway? Essentially as the customer is entering details via an online system, the Payment Gateway acts as a measure to reduce the risk of fraud when accepting payments. This is not only from a payment receiving point of view as a business but also from sensitive data storage. Having a Payment Gateway in place protects the customers data by securely processing the payment and protects the business because the business is not storing sensitive information thus reducing the risk of fraud, or hacking.
Another benefit of a Payment Gateway is that there is protection against insufficient funds, expired credit cards and credit limits. In terms of payment gateways, there are a number on the market such as PayPal, and Stripe. These payment gateways are being used my millions of businesses and are popular options.
Okay so, you are interested in selling goods on your website? Firstly, you will need a site that has a shopping capability, whereby the customer can add products into a trolly and then check out what they have added at the end of their visit. This is an ecommerce site.
What are the benefits of having an ecommerce site, and how do I get one? Thankfully, you do not need to spend an arm and leg on acquiring an ecommerce website. This can easily be done via the integration of an ecommerce platform. The ecommerce platform (such as WooCommerce, Shopify etc) has been developed especially for checking out products – and has a layout which enables the business to categorize products, offering organising capability, they usually have promotional or discount functionality which means you can offer products at 10% off, or summer sales etc.
This functionality is important as not only does it help your business manage what you are selling, but it also helps the user search your products to find what they are looking for – as most ecommerce platforms come with search capability.
Not only this, but you can also get some great analytics and insights on the back end, as well as see what your month to month is looking like from a transaction point of view.
There are also many ecommerce platforms available in the market such as Magento, WooCommerce, Squarespace, and Shopify. A good digital marketing agency will work with you to determine the platform that works for you.
why would I not use the ecommerce platform directly instead of integrating it into my website? The platforms usually have a preestablished framework, and in terms of changing the look and feel this will be limited. The platforms will also tend to have an ongoing monthly fee if you are hosting your services through them, or potentially take a percentage of each transaction.
A lot of companies decide on integrating a platform, and then utilising a Payment Gateway like PayPal into their own website, so that they can create a business relevant look and feel, and market positing aligned to their branding.