Choosing an Ecommerce Shopping Cart - The main difference...
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The main difference between the merchant services shopping cart and the hosted shopping cart is the name that appears on the customer's credit card and pricing. Hosted shopping carts allow you to use your own merchant account and gateway, which means the customer's credit card statement will show your business name next to the charge. This can decrease your charge backs.
If you are using your own merchant account and conducting over $1000 of transitions each month, the hosted shopping carts can be less expensive than merchant services. Your merchant account will probably charge a monthly fee between 20 and 60 dollars, transaction fee between 10 and 50 cents, and a percentage of the transaction, usually ranging between 2% to 3.5%. In addition to the merchant fees, your shopping cart service will also charge a monthly fee between 10 and 30 dollars and could charge a transaction fee. These fees sound more expensive than the merchant service option, but if you are processing over $1000 a month and growing, it's better to pay flat monthly fees than continue to be charged 5 to 10 percent of the each transaction.
Fully Integrated Shopping Carts
The fully integrated shopping cart is a great option for any business that can afford it. The shopping cart will be dynamic and will have the same look and feel as your website. The ZIP Baby Potty Training Store is a great example of a fully integrated shopping cart. Fully integrated shopping carts like this contain features that are not found in merchant service or hosted shopping carts. For example, you can discount items, display customer reviews, assign products to multiple categories, display out of stock notifications, sort products and prices, and display shipping estimates without requiring the customer to create an account.
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