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E commerce solutions provide a variety of services designed to improve the online sales of businesses. This includes credit card processing, shopping cart integration and more, but no two e commerce solutions operate in exactly the same way. One merchant account can be entirely different from another, and before moving into online sales, businesses should carefully consider how different merchant accounts operate and the advantages and disadvantages of various e commerce solutions.

Most businesses look into e commerce solutions to take credit card orders online, and while there’s little difference in credit card processing from a customer’s point of view, businesses certainly encounter major differences between various services. Some credit card processing tools allow for easier sales tracking, which is crucial in inventory management. Sales tracking can be used to efficiently organize a growing business. Reports can be generated from daily, weekly and monthly credit card sales, showing which payment methods customers prefer and which products are generating the most interest. Some e commerce solutions even provide tracking for individual pages, which can be critical in developing a search engine optimization strategy.

Shopping carts are another e commerce service that varies greatly from one provider to the next. A well-implemented shopping cart allows customers to browse a website before making their purchases, adding and removing items to a digital cart. Add-ons and plug-ins can make a shopping cart an even better tool, as customer ratings and other information can be added to each product’s listing. This makes the ordering process easier for customers, and as shopping carts can be customized to deliver certain functions or to create a more professional look, they’re a vital tool in establishing a business’ brand and in driving more return traffic. Different providers might offer different features in their shopping carts, so it’s important to evaluate various options before making a decision for a company website. Without an easy-to-use shopping cart, a merchant account is a much less powerful tool for improving online sales.

Rates also vary between different e commerce companies. This is one of the first things that businesses look for when choosing an online credit card processing company, as rates are directly related to profits. In addition to standard per transaction fees, some credit card companies have additional charges that occur over the course of a merchant account agreement. Transparency is important, and unfortunately, some e commerce solutions don’t provide a transparent list of costs. By looking for a company with a host of services and features and by checking for transparent costs, a business can find an ideal e commerce solution for faster, efficient and more profitable online business.