3 Reasons to Get an Online Merchant Account

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If you’re a business owner, you have probably heard of online merchant accounts before. If you won’t know about them yet, an online merchant website account is an account that a company designs specifically to hold credit card online processing proceeds.

If you have a business website, you should strongly consider getting a merchant account. Let’s go over some of the reasons why it makes sense for companies to get one.

You Have a Brick-and-Mortar Location, But Now You’re Ready for eCommerce

One reason to get an online merchant account is if you’re a business with a brick-and-mortar location, or more than one, but now you’re ready to sell people your goods and services online. Several companies have followed this business model. Think about companies like:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Best Buy

These are entities that started before most people were using the internet. At that point, shoppers would come to their physical stores and buy things, and that is how these companies made money.

These sorts of stores still have physical locations, but they’ve realized they can make more money as online, eCommerce-based entities.

Now, you can either go to a Walmart or order something through their website, and you can either go to their nearest store location to pick it, or they will deliver it to you. At one point, they didn’t deliver, but many of them have started doing that for the first time during the pandemic.

If you’re doing something similar, you need to get an online merchant account to accept credit card payments. If you don’t have that website functionality, people can’t buy your products or services on your site, and you can’t have a store pickup or delivery option.

You Want People to Convert

In marketing and eCommerce parlance, someone “converts” when they do something online that you want them to do. That might mean:

  • They buy your service or product
  • They sign up for your mailing list
  • They start following your business entity on social media

With eCommerce, the conversion you want most is probably for someone to buy something from you. They might learn about your company by doing a Google search, or maybe they came to your site through one of your social media channels. Perhaps they listened to a podcast on which you appeared, or they read a guest blog post you wrote on another site.

These are ways you get someone into your sales funnel. However, once they come to your website, your sales funnel does not function fully unless they can buy something from you.

This is another reason why you need an online merchant account. It’s pointless if you want to have an eCommerce model, and you entice someone to come to your site, but then you don’t have a secure, trustworthy payment method. Without that website merchant account, you’ll lose the sale.

You’re Switching Over from Physical Locations to Strictly Online Sales

One more reason you might want to get an online website account is if you once had brick-and-mortar locations, but now you want to move into eCommerce exclusively. The idea is not as farfetched as you might think.

Some businesses might start with physical store locations. However, ownership may realize they’re not seeing the walk-in traffic or sales they once did.

The pandemic is definitely part of the reason for this. Some people are afraid to shop in-person right now. If they have an immunocompromised condition, it’s easy to understand why.

However, even before the pandemic, some stores were closing their physical locations for goods. They were seeing too many online sales and not enough in-store product movement.

Some of these stores have had to go out of business, like Circuit City. However, others have converted to a strictly eCommerce-based business model, and they are thriving that way. They don’t have to pay as many employees, so they’ve been able to continue operating through exclusively website sales.

If you hope to do that, you’ll need an online website account. Again, if you don’t have one, you offer your potential customers no way to pay for your products if something on your site catches their eye.

Some online merchant accounts have different features, while others have greater or lesser transaction fees. Some charge monthly fees instead.

As you’re looking at some different options, make sure you sign up with one that has some strong online feedback and a positive reputation. That’s the best way to succeed in the burgeoning eCommerce world.


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