As more WAHMS open businesses online, it becomes crucial to understand the benefits of credit card processing software. Back in the old days, a small business owner had to set up a bricks-and-mortar location, bring the customers to that location, and process their credit card payments in person. Fortunately, the Internet has streamlined this process, making it possible for WAHMs to find customers globally and process their payments safely, in the blink of an eye.
The Online Store
Opening a store online is much cheaper and faster than setting up a physical location. In fact, most brick and mortar stores now have their own websites and offer shopping online. Why? It's simple:
- Online stores are essentially open 24/7.
- They are available to customers worldwide with just a simple click of the mouse, and they require minimal staffing.
- Online shopping is an incredibly affordable and convenient experience, to both the customer and the retailer.
The Shopping Cart
The WAHM who decides to offer items or services for sale online will need a credit card processing software package with two components: processing orders and payments. First, unless the retailer is offering just one thing for sale with no other options, she will need a shopping cart. Shopping cart technology offers the following benefits:
- Customers are able to save items, change items, remove items or add to their purchase easily.
- Customers can specify color, size, or give special instructions.
- Customers can order in bulk quantities easily.
- Shopping carts can automatically check incoming orders against the retailer's stock.
- Retailers can track everything a customer has ordered, ensuring better customer service.
- Shopping carts also allow the retailer to track buying trends.
Credit Card Processing
Once the retailer has established a shopping cart, she will need a way to accept and process credit card payments online. Most shopping carts offer credit card processing gateways, the next step in the online shopping procedure. Allowing customers to pay for purchases online offers the following benefits:
- Most customers do not want to be bothered with the inconvenience of mailing a check. Online credit card processing allows them to instantly pay for their orders.
- By accepting payments online, the retailer can take advantage of the customer's impulse to buy right away.
- Credit card gateways encrypt sensitive personal information from customers, protecting both the customer and the retailer from theft.
- Once the payment has cleared the customer's bank (an almost instantaneous process), the retailer can download funds directly into her business bank account.
Credit card processing software offers superior convenience and security to customers at little effort or cost to the retailer. As such, it is an ideal solution for the small business owner. It also allows the retailer to streamline her business practices and even track buying trends. Credit card processing software is a key component in any WAHM's online business, one that presents a simple and professional solution to processing customer payments and gives her a leg up on the competition.
_____________________________Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.