- Displaying a list of products on your site is one thing. Displaying products and letting people transfer money electronically is a totally different thing and requires extra set up. To get paid online you typically need four things. A Website, a Payment gateway, a Merchant account, and a Bank account for your business. The website is fairly obvious. This is where the customer will add products to their cart, they'll check out, and they'll enter credit card information. The website then needs to send that information to the payment gateway.
The Payment Gateway checks to make sure that funds are available. If funds aren't available the Payment Gateway will return that information to the website. The website can then display an error to the customer. If funds are available then the Payment Gateway will return that information to the website to complete the transaction. The next step depends on what type of Payment Gateway you have. There are two broad categories. I call them Traditional payment gateways and Modern payment gateways. With a Traditional Gateway you need a merchant account. Once a payment has been authorized by the gateway it's the merchant account that draws the funds, holds onto them for a few days and then deposits them into your business bank account.
In Modern Gateway combines the payment gateway functionality with the merchant account so you don't need to have a separate merchant account. The Gateway itself verifies the funds and draws them. It holds onto the funds for a few days and then deposits them into your business bank account just like a traditional Gateway. If you don't know which payment gateway to use I advise that you start with a modern payment gateway so you don't have to figure out how to get that merchant account. The only exception is if you have a brick and mortar store because you'll already need a merchant account for your in-store credit card processing.
There are price differences between the different gateways but they're not worth worrying about until you start pulling in serious revenue. Anything involving credit cards requires extra security. We'll talk about that in depth later in this course. There is one step that I skipped in the payment process. I skipped any mention of capturing a charge. Many gateways give you the option to authorize or to authorize and capture. Authorizing mean you verify that you can make the charge if you want. If someone enters an incorrect credit card number it will be caught at this step.
Capturing is when you actually transfer the funds. You can't capture without authorizing at the same time or having a previous authorization. You're only supposed to capture a charge when you ship the item. If you ship an order the same day it comes in it's usually best to authorize and capture a payment. If it takes you a few days to assemble or prepare the order then it's best to authorize the charge during checkout and capture the payment when you ship the product. Capturing a charge can be done from within the payment gateway. Some e-commerce platforms have the ability to capture a charge from within the order dashboard.
If you need to capture the charge a few days after the order is placed it's worth making sure the e-commerce platform supports that feature. Authorizations usually only last for a few days depending on the gateway. If it takes you longer than that to ship the product you'll need to come up with a different system.
To start, you need to understand the market for your product or service so you can build your website around it. So Patrick Rauland kicks off with some key questions that will help you define your audience and organize your products. He'll then help you set up a payment gateway with PayPal or Stripe, ship orders, collect taxes, and secure sensitive data. And if you weren't convinced already, Patrick reviews the benefits of WordPress ecommerce tools as well as a selection of third-party tools that integrate beautifully with WordPress. Plus, get bonus tips on marketing your new website: attracting and retaining customers and increasing the value of the average order.
- Defining your audience
- Organizing your products
- Marketing your WordPress site
- Increasing average order value
- Getting paid
- Checking out with PayPal or Stripe
- Managing and shipping orders
- Collecting tax
- Protecting sensitive data
- Using WordPress or third-party platforms for ecommerce