Payment and shipping options
This page contains general information for anyone new to the world of ecommerce. There are many ways to accept payment for ecommerce sales and here we list the main contenders and offer advice on getting the best deals with your acquiring bank. We will also talk about the different ways to calculate your delivery charges.
From its humble origins as Ebay’s in-house payment service, Paypal is probably the most ubiquitous of all payment gateways. It has the advantage of being quick to set up, with no monthly charges and can be upgraded to accept card payments too. On the downside, they will charge up to 4% per transaction so if you have a steady turnover, there are cheaper options.
Sagepay, Worldpay etc
A conventional payment gateway such as Sagepay will allow you to accept card payments securely (using their secure servers) and have the transaction authenticated against fraud. The cost per transaction can be quite low especially for debit cards but there is always a minimum monthly fee. Plus, you will also require a merchant bank account (being the sort that allows you to accept card payments). It’s always worth shopping around to get the best price as it’s a very competitive market. And NEVER accept the first price they offer you.
One of the new generation of payment gateways that have grown off the back of app development. No monthly cost, no set up fee, no merchant account, just a flat 1.4% per transaction. A great way to dip your toe into ecommerce payments.
This might seem like an odd option but in countries like Germany, 90% of online sales are paid for via BACS. And with no transaction charges you can safely offer customers a 1-2% discount for choosing BACS and still be quids in.
The easiest method to set up but unattractive as your price will have to be high to cover most delivery costs.
By order value
Still easy to set up as the higher the order value, generally the heavier the delivery (and the post office and courier companies all charge by weight). But it won’t cover the cost for very heavy items.
The most accurate way to calculate the correct delivery price regardless of destination. Downsides are you have to weigh your products and don’t forget the weight of the packaging. May not work if you ship pre-inflated weather balloons!
Using a combination of by weight and order value will give you the best of all worlds. Do not, however be tempted to lump the delivery into the product price and offer free delivery. 9 times out of 10, the shopper will only look at the headline cost and ignore the shipping.
Once you’ve worked out your method you will need to work out the delivery costs to the various geographic regions or countries. We refer to them as Geozones. So if your carrier charges the same cost to deliver to western Europe then we can create a Geozone that features those countries. And remember that prices for carriage can vary within the UK. Some counties that are at the extremities are often dearer such as the Isle of Wight or northern Scotland. Generally referred to as Highlands and Islands.