">'); win.document.writeln(''); win.document.writeln(''); }

The Indefinite Article.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Nothing too eleborate

The purchasing stuff online adds a level of elaborate-ness known as e-commerce. There are a few different routes you can go in that:
  1. Use a third party broker like iSpot. This is the least hassle for you. They handle the e-commerce mechanisms, payment processing, send you a check periodically.
    • Pro: You focus on making art and a little bit of marketing, they handle things like getting a digital certificate, banking, accounting, shipping/fulfillment (maybe).
    • Con: You lose margin to their costs, you lose a bit of control, while you can point to your work on their site or maybe even have editorial content there, your customers may see something else they prefer.
  2. DIY e-commerce shopping cart, third party payment processing would give you control over your own shopping cart system and push purchasers to an intermediary secure webpage for payment. If you go with something like PayPal.com, then you don't have to have a merchant account with a bank, but you lose more to transaction costs. If you go with something like Verisign's PayFlow Link you have to have a merchant account, which seems like it is easier to get now-a-days.
    • Pro: Lower transaction costs, you control your product/website, you don't have to get a digital certificate for secure payment processing.
    • Con: better transaction costs that going third party, but not as good as your own stuff. Your purchasers will go through a third party for the payment part.
  3. Total DIY probably only makes sense if you are a business worried about branding, wanting to keep control over every step of the process, etc. In this scenario you have to purchase a digital certificate from Verisign or Thawte (a Verisign company). A digital certificate is a special key file that locks the encryption between a user's computer and the server so that anyone eavesdropping on the conversation between the user and the server just sees gobledy-gook. You can actually generate a digital certificate on your Mac, however, Verisign and Thawte provide "signing" services: Web Browsers look for a special bit to the certificate that means that it was okayed by Verisign or Thawte. There are other services, but none as accepted as those two.
    • Pro: You control each step of the process depending on nothing other than your website; you probably get the best rates depending on volume.
    • Con: You have to set up each step of the process. And spend a few hundred on the digital certificate, and worry about having a Dun's number to do business, and get a merchant account, etc.


Post a Comment

<< Home