Last updated on August 9th, 2021. Posted in Web Design For Online Business.
If you're looking to get started with your online business, then at least at first, the whole thing can seem kinda confusing and complex. After all, there are a lot of moving parts, right?
Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!
And there are so many different terms that are thrown around with this stuff -- payment gateways, shopping carts, merchant accounts, and all this crazy stuff. How does it all fit together? Well a great place to get started is to get an overview...a bird's-eye view of the entire process.
So the first component of your online business is your website. So obviously, you need a home base online where you can sell your products and services, provide additional helpful content to your audience, and a place to provide extra info about you, your online business, and what you do.
So your website is your first big component for your online business. The next component is optional...and that is, a shopping cart. And you already know what this is from your own experience, right?
When you're shopping online and you add more than one product to your cart or to your basket...and then when you're ready you click Check Out, right? And I say that this part is optional because not every online business will be selling multiple products or services at once.
What if you're allowing your customers to book consulting sessions with you? Or what if you're selling one-off products of some kind? In these sorts of business models, shopping cart software isn't needed. So, think about your own business and the sort of customer experience you'd like to provide.
A third component you'll need is some kind of payment gateway or payment processor. This is the service that actually processes payments from your customers. And I know this part can seem complex and technical...but the good news is, this is actually very easy to set up.
Services like Authorize.Net, Stripe, PayPal, and others make accepting payments on your website a breeze. But once a customer buys from you and your payment gateway processes the payment...where should the funds be sent to?
Well, if you'd like to stay in business, then you'll need those funds deposited in your bank account, right? Hahahaha! So this brings us to component 3b...and that is, a merchant account. Don't get hung up on this or think this is overly hard to set up.
You know what a business bank account is, right? Or you know what a PayPal account is? Great, then you know what a merchant account is! This is simply the account you want funds deposited into after a customer makes a purchase...that's it!
Now there's one extra component here that I want to mention: And that is an SSL certificate for your business website. Have you heard of SSL before? What an SSL certificate does is protect and encrypt any information that's sent between your visitor's web browser and your website...
...information like your customer's credit card info and personal info. See the padlock up in your web browser's address bar? That tells you if the website you're on right now is secure or not.
And the good news is, many web hosts (including the hosts I use and recommend to my students) provide free SSL certificates for you...and it only takes a few mouse-clicks to set up.