When you start up your own website, there are a lot of things to consider; however, most of them have to do with your own personal ideas and preferences. The name of your site, the features you wish for it to have, how much time, energy and money you want to put into it… these are all personal considerations. But when your website is designed as part of a business, or specifically as an online store for whatever product or service you may be offering, you also have to consider your customers – not just what they might want or enjoy, but how to make them feel safe about buying from your website. Two important things to consider with regard to helping your customers to feel secure are setting up a merchant account and obtaining an SSL certificate.
A merchant account is basically something that can turn your online store from an amateur idea into a professionally operating system. Essentially, it allows your customers to buy products from your website directly with their credit cards. This may seem like a relatively simple concept, but in fact a number of buying online is done through the unreliable and slow process of sending checks or even cash in exchange for whatever is being purchased. When customers can use their credit cards to make purchases on your website, they are more likely to spend money, as the system is quicker and more secure.
The next feature you will want to look into, if you feel the need to set up a merchant account, is an SSL certificate, which is something that exists solely to assure you and your customers the highest level of protection. Basically, an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer certificate) constructs a secure link between your website and your customers. This secure link can prevent hackers and cyber thieves from managing to obtain any private information that may pass between you and your customers during transactions (such as names, addresses, phone numbers, or even the numbers on your customers’ credit cards).
Needless to say, adding features such as merchant accounts and SSL certificates is almost a necessity for any legitimate online business. For one thing, these elements will simply make your website appear more professional, and by transition give your entire business a more official and polished image. But more importantly, these features will keep your customers feeling safe and secure about using your online store, which will encourage them to buy your products, as well as potentially recommend you to others. Merchant accounts and SSL certificates can clearly help your business in a big way.
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