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Five Key Reasons To Accept Credit Cards on Your Web Site



Kevin Sinclair

Recently I was surfing the web checking out ezine advertising opportunities. I visited a site that seemed to have what I was looking for: reasonable size circulation and attractive advertising rates. I was about to place my order for an ad in their ezine when I realised that they did not accept credit cards as payment. Instead, I had to send payment by check or money order via ordinary postal methods.

I think my reaction to this situation is typical of many people looking to do business on the web. I did not order advertising in this ezine. Why? I started thinking about having to purchase an international money order, the fees I would be charged for this, the time for an airmail letter delivery from Australia to the USA, etc., and decided it was all too hard and that there were other options available to me that were just as attractive but with less hassle.

This experience reminded me that there are good sound business reasons to accept credit cards as payment for your goods and/or services from your web site. I will briefly discuss these key reasons now.

Increase in orders Ė stop losing sales.

As can be seen by my real life example above, the business in question lost a sale. How many sales are lost is unknown but some sources suggest that an increase of at least 30% in orders is achieved through accepting credit cards. When you weight up the cost of accepting credit cards against the increased revenue generated by the extra orders, there can be no argument against accepting credit cards at your site.

I think a common mistake can be to underestimate the size of your market. In the example above, the business may have thought its market was the USA. However, its service is attractive to many internationals as well. The lack of credit card facilities can discourage business with internationals due to increased costs of alternative payment options and time delays.

Enable impulse buying.

Credit card facilities enable impulse buying. For me, as soon as I stop to think about a proposed purchase, and start to weigh up its merits, the chances of proceeding are significantly reduced. Therefore, anything that causes me to re-evaluate my purchase decision is likely to reduce your chances of selling your product or service to me.

These comments relate more to lower priced items than the higher priced items. However, we should never forget that inferior quality items would suffer high return rates. Therefore, if you have a good quality product then impulse buying should not significantly impact on your return rates. Instead, your sales should increase along with your profits.

A legitimate business.

Accepting credit cards reassures your potential customers of your legitimacy. Credit card facilities create comfort and trust for your customers and credibility for your business. I know that I have thought, "this isnít a real business as it does not accept credit cards".

We all need to be aware of the image our shop front creates in the minds of our potential customers. Anything that detracts from the image of legitimacy needs to be addressed quickly or your business will suffer in the long term. Accepting credit cards is one item that can help increase your image of legitimacy.

E-commerce is here to stay.

E-commerce is definitely here to stay. According to Forrester Research, Online retail sales will hit $108 billion by 2003. Unless you accept credit cards on your site, you will not be maximising your ability to share in this growth.

Sell 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Accepting credit cards enables your site to sell 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesnít matter what day or time a customer visits your site, you are ready to do business with them. Again you have reduced the potential for a lost sale.

As you can see from the above, there are very sound business reasons to accept credit cards on your site. Donít be put off by the fee levels. Consider the full picture of increased sales and compare this with the cost involved. Usually, you will increase your profits through accepting credit cards.

About the Author

Article by Kevin Sinclair, CPA, of Be Successful! Business & Personal Success Resources (http://www.ksinclair.com). He is the author of 2 free ebooks: "Success Secrets" & "How To Choose A Home Based Business". Kevin is also the publisher of "Be Successful News" - a free ezine dedicated to your online business success - to subscribe, visit http://www.ksinclair.com/pbs_news.htm

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