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Business and e-commerce: User protection

In online business, different customer comes with different taste and preference which makes the business complicated. It becomes even more complicated than you can think when your customers have no experience at all with online business. They include people who have never experienced two-day delivery system as well as secure product return. It is one among many reasons you should have a clear, flexible, and simple checkout process. 
 

In learning online business and its customers’ behavior, Jupiter Research discovered that at least 50% of total people who ever used online shopping choose to stop purchasing items online because they are not comfortable with the company delivery, service, handling, or shipping policy. They even claim that the service can even become worse with the wrong attitude from the company staff who handles their order. At the same time, other research agencies also published similar results on the same subject. They speak about high percentage of online shoppers who decided to abandon their online order on some websites which they believe have no dedication to serving their customers with the best treatment. 
If you do not want your business to meet the same fate as these unlucky businesses, try to consider the following points:

• You are facing a significant problem if your website forces your customers to pass complicated process before they can get their item. Eliminate any lengthy process immediately to re-gain your customers’ trust.
•  Before proceeding to item checkout, provide a link to your customers which will lead them to your service policy article, including shipping charge, product warranty, delivery warranty, return policy, Terms and Conditions, and other important information they should know.
• Assist your customers by providing useful ‘Help’ tips, FAQ section, and other useful contact methods they can use when they need immediate guidance. It will help them to avoid making the wrong decision.
• Your customers should have valid proof that your business has a firm commitment in protecting their personal information, especially their credit card information. Advanced encryption technology such as SSL certificate is very useful for this purpose.
• Sometimes, you also need to provide certain access that will allow your customer in getting specific information about their item. They need to know that you are processing the item, but this access should also be able to keep them in the same page without leaving it.
• To increase their satisfaction, your customers are worth for easy website navigation system. The system should allow them to quickly, easily remove and add any item they like as well as quantity change, different model selection, and other similar activities they want to do on your website before they should proceed to the checkout page.
• Progress bar will become a helpful add-on on your website. It gives information about current development of your customer since they choose an item until they arrive at the checkout page.
• Precisely before your customers make the payment for items they choose, make sure that you have provided them with the delivery cost of the item. In some cases, delivery cost will determine people’s decision whether they want to purchase the items online or not.
• Provide your customers a prominent link that will lead them to the next checkout step.
• Payment method is important and since it is unlikely possible that all people only have one-payment method they prefer, providing multiple payment methods is the recommended step you should take. Make sure that at least you have credit card or PayPal payment. Both of them have become standard payment method today.


Online payment method
When it comes to business, especially its early stages, no one doubts the importance of cash flow. With its ability in breaking or building a company, the future of your business lies at its hands. This fact leads businesses in providing credit card payment for e-commerce website they have, even though it is still helpful to provide other payment method alternatives, such as direct transfer or check payment. There are at least two benefits when you provide multiple payment methods on your website. First, your customers can choose any payment method they like which, of course, will increase their satisfaction and comfort. Second, your customers will gain valid proof that your website is not a scam because most scam websites only provide direct transfer method, without any credit card payment and other alternatives.

The best benefit of online payment method allows you to increase both your business cash flow and revenue because all money will go directly into your business account. It becomes more profitable than ever because the world at present has at least 1.2 credit card users from all around the world. Unlike debit card and other conventional payment methods, credit card allows its holder to get their money back if there is an insufficient amount to make the payment besides of its chip technology that protects users from any possible security issue. 

Take your time to consider the following options if you want to make your e-commerce system much perfect than ever with the application of online payment methods on your website:

1. Payment through merchant account
    Before you can integrate online payment method with your e-commerce, first you should file an application to open your own bank merchant account. Once you have it, ask guidance from the bank to set online transaction for your business. Make sure you have prepared all requirements the bank requested before you go to the bank in order to speed up the process. It will take no long until the bank grant you the access, give you all necessary tools and applications, and finally activate the online payment system. In e-commerce system, your customers only need to fill their credit card information, including their credit card number and CSV code to proceed to the checkout page. Once they clicked the ‘Submit’ button, all information they filled will go directly to the merchant account you have applied previously. Then, your bank will verify the data and proceed with making the decision whether to accept or deny the request. 

However, there are some cases when merchant account turns into a drawback for businesses, especially small businesses. The most common reason this case has the close relationship to the limited budget they have for this development stage. Most banks have the standard system in charging set-up cost along with monthly fees as well as flat rate they charge for each transaction. In minor cases, there are some banks which apply additional cost if your business has previously set up an account for your physical store, but later you want to convert it into e-commerce with online payment methods. It may go worse when some banks have ‘special’ policy that allows them to refuse any merchant account application from small businesses which they believe contain higher risk to handle than large businesses.


2. Online payment service integration
If you have inadequate resources to open your own merchant account, there is still another payment alternative you can merge with your e-commerce website: PayPal. As probably the most popular online payment method, PayPal system offers safe and secure online transaction with credit card. In addition to its primary service, people and businesses can also send direct payment from their bank account without credit card. 
The activation itself is quite simple if we compare with conventional application of merchant account. You only need to register with your e-mail account, add active credit card you have, and activate the credit card by entering unique code PayPal will send to e-mail address you have previously registered.
If your business is searching for a more efficient online payment method than a merchant account, PayPal is your best shot. You get no charge for setting up your account, as well as both charges per month, gateway, and minimum transaction fees. Instead of charging you these fees, PayPal choose to apply per-transaction charge which varies from 1.9% to 2.9% with 30 cents as the additional cost. Furthermore, PayPal has also committed the business in protecting both merchant and customers by fighting any possible chargeback. PayPal’s Seller Protection Policy will take place when any chargeback takes place. Merchant will hold no liability for transaction chargeback if a transaction meets all requirement the policy states.


3. Transaction security warranty
When it comes to the network, people are always looking for the safest way, especially when it involves with their personal information and financial activities. This fact should make you put online security as the first thing you have in your priority list. The internet itself has provided many alternatives for this purpose, from the simplest to the most advanced technologies.
PayPal, for example, enables your business to create an e-commerce website that accepts credit card payment without physically storing the data. This system, as you can see, provide an explicit warranty for any user to think. Your customers should believe that even though they have entered their personal credit card information, they will still become the only one who knows the information because the network will never store it on the server. Some gateway services, such as CyberSource, Paymentech, Authorizenet.com, and other similar websites also offer this the same services. However, it will become a decision you will never regret if you carefully research any information you can get about the service before choosing it. Some helpful information you will need include a background, the security method, previous clients, clients’ feedback, and other relevant information.


4. Privacy Policy
Your protection system takes place when your customer has chosen which item they want to purchase. Well, it is a good strategy implementation you have, but it will become better than ever if you provide them with clear explanations even before they choose which item they want to buy. A precise and detailed Privacy Policy section will provide this information to your customers. 
A good Privacy Policy section should contain precise and detailed information about how your website collects and uses user’s data, including and especially personal contact information and any financial detail. In addition, people should also be able to choose information sale or distribution method they prefer as well as receive newsletter in e-mail form from your business.
The crucial point about Privacy Policy is everyone should stick to it, both your business and your users. Unless both sides agree to obey to this document, everything will remain as texts and useless. 


Conclusion
If whether you or your business resources have no experience at all in building an e-commerce website, you may face many difficulties on your way there. However, once you know all the strategies, tips, and tricks, the whole process has never become easier than all this precious information says to you. With today’s advanced technologies, companies are even moving towards a fully-automatized and standardized system. Businesses are optimizing all resources they have to create an environment where customers can trust all information to the business without worrying about any fraud or security issue that may happen in the future. Trust is the key. Once your business have it, nothing can block your way to success.