Choosing the right CRM and/or shopping cart for your online business can influence the success of your sales and your merchant accounts.
Selecting or switching to the right CRM and shopping cart for an online business is an important decision. If you work with subscriptions or offer multiple payment options at the checkout, these tools will influence sales more than you think. In part two of this blog we will highlight the importance of having key features to improve conversions. We will also examine why PCI compliance is vital to your online business. (Part one can be read here.)
The essential features in a robust checkout process
Before you can adopt a CRM system and a high-converting shopping cart for your business, you first need to understand your business transaction process. Further, no matter the system you chose, it should facilitate responding to issues through your CRM and shopping cart.
With a multitude of choices, it is important to make a list of key features available in several CRMs and shopping carts. This will help weigh pros and cons as well as compare costs for each. Keep in mind, most CRMs bill you based on how many modules and features are needed.
Note that your chosen payment processor and the type of payment methods you want to offer must also inform your choice of CRM and shopping cart. Moving data from one CRM to another is messy and can lead to lost information. Consequently, many key factors should be carefully considered and not only be limited to cost. Determine if your payment processor and gateway are integrated within the CRM and shopping cart.
Additionally, some shopping carts don’t permit ACH as a payment solution. So, in addition to compatibility of CRMs and shopping carts, investigate the features that will complement services or options offered to your customers.
Now, as you start reviewing the tools available and their compatibility issues, there is another essential criterion your shopping cart and CRM should meet – PCI compliance.
The importance of checkout page security (PCI Compliance)
Your shopping cart must be PCI compliant if you accept payments via credit card and store customer data within the software. For example, shopping cart providers such as Shopify are PCI compliant and extend this compliance to all the stores it powers. However, Shopify may not facilitate all the functionalities and flexibility you need to run your online business, especially if you’re classified as a high-risk merchant. Therefore, you may need to find alternatives to power your e-commerce store or design a solution to suit your needs.
You may feel that it’s in your best interest to do it all yourself. If so, you will have complete responsibility for PCI compliance. For example, simple things like the hosting company or package you choose can affect PCI compliance. If you decide to go this route, then it’s important that you work with qualified security PCI assessor to ensure all your customers’ data is secure. You need a team that can help you determine the best payment gateways and other necessary tools to ensure full PCI compliance to protect your business and customers.
PCI compliance can be a challenge. Small and medium-sized businesses often underestimate this. To meet the need for compliance, it’s usually best to use a versatile gateway and integrate with a trusted off-the-shelf CRM and shopping cart solution that has taken care of becoming PCI compliant. This allows you to ensure that you are offering customers the most secure options available.
Is customer data really secure?
Whatever direction you choose, ensuring the security of your customers’ data is of utmost importance. Ask your shopping cart platform provider if they are PCI certified and at what level. Ask questions about the security of their data centres so you can protect your customers’ data. Moreover, this information should be updated in your website’s privacy and terms of service policies.
Remember that even as you “outsource” payment processing, it is still your duty as the merchant to ensure that the shopping cart software you use is PCI compliant and secure. Outsourcing this function does not mean that you have removed all responsibility from your business. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to continually check that the software provider continues to maintain its PCI compliant status.
What happens to your business (and merchant account) if there’s a technical glitch?
In addition to thinking about all the business issues you need your CRM to address and its security, you need contingencies in place. It is inevitable that some CRMs will discontinue service or have technical difficulties. So, how are you to protect your data if this happens to your preferred solution?
Look at the measures they have in place to protect you. Check how much access the CRM offers to your business data stored on their system. Can you export the data? How badly will the fallout be with your merchant account if there’s a failure in your CRM? As you can see, this is why it helps to work with an expert who understands online business needs vis-à-vis CRMs, shopping carts and merchant accounts.
What can you do about your CRM and shopping cart?
Your choice of CRM and shopping cart solutions can have a significant impact on your business. Your payment processing could affect compatibility with other tools and an acquiring bank’s system. Any breakdown in business operations will affect sales. And it may impact your merchant account and relationships with payment solutions providers.
We want to stress how important it is to have a secure checkout process to protect your customers and merchant account. It’s imperative to work with a company within the industry that understands the intricacies of CRMs and shopping cart functionalities.
If you’re a high-risk merchant, then contact DirectPayNet. We specialize in merchant services for high-risk businesses. Our experts can help your team determine the ideal needs for your business. Additionally, we use our expertise in e-commerce to help you select an optimal CRM and shopping cart that fuels growth, not stifle you with technical difficulties. If you are interested in working with us, send our sales team an email here.