Well, I hate to say it, but PayPal is probably your quickest and easiest way to accept credit cards. You clients can pay thorugh PayPal with their credit/debit card, even if they don't have a PayPal account. And, there is no monthly fees for you.
If you decide to go with the full shopping cart & merchant account method, you'll need to select the shopping cart system, then install it into your Joomla setup. You can see a list of Joomla compatible shopping carts by clicking here.
Next, you'll need to be approved for a merchant account. You'll need decent personal or business credit for this. Your first call might be to the small business solutions division of your bank. That would be the easiest way to integrate the merchant account with your bank account.
The final part is sometimes the trickiest. You'll need to integrate your shopping cart with your merchant account. Most shopping carts and merchant systems have fairly decent documentation, so you may be able to configure this on your own. If not, you can hire a professional for a couple hours of work to integrate it for you.
Thank you so much for taking the time Barky_Dog. PayPal seems to be my best bet as not only I'm a new small business, but I'm new to Joomla! as well.
But rather than that, am I on the right path with my selections and would I need anything else rather than Joomla! + Immonnggo + BigCartel with PayPal integration? I felt that I didn't need x-cart or big commerce due to the size of my business, number of products and the volume. Do you have any experience with either of these products?
Yes. I would say you are on the right track. I would go with the simplest execution for shopping/checkout/payment processing that will get you up and running. You can always upgrade things later on, when you have the revenue flowing in to support it.
Prospects will pay much more attention to the quality of your photography than they will to the shopping cart you are using. Most won't even notice it.
If you are going to spend money, spend it on showcasing your work in a professional way, and driving traffic to your website. That last point is really important. Too often people build a great website with all the bells and whistles, and then are surprised when they get very little traffic. "If you build it - they will come" does not apply to the internet. You have to drive a lot of people to your website for your online business to be successful.
Best of luck!
Thank you so much for time help and time.
One thing I forgot to mention is an auto-responder software, does the invoice go to the provided email address automatically through PayPal? Do I need a 3rd party software for auto-responding when people subscribe to newsletter etc?
I found this forum as I was searching for the tools that are going to get my business off the ground. It is a very useful website and hopefully you can help me too.
First of all let me tell you about my business. It's an service based online business (we offer photography services with packages) with 3 products (packages), can go up to 5 or 10 in the next 3 years but nothing like 100. So it's small. It's also local which puts great importance on word of mouth, customer satisfaction, and ease of use for the customer. All being said, I've been doing my research for the past few weeks when I had time and this is what I feel like I need. The website is going to be small maybe 15 pages total, with a possible Live Chat option later on within the website. Please feel free to share your thoughts about my choices and what else I need.
My CMS of choice : Joomla!
I've also chosen a paid Flash template (for the slideshow of the photographs taken, they will be uploaded online)
POS software : Immonggo
Cart Software : Big Cartel - I just want to accept all major credit cards, PayPal is not that important for me as it stands right now.
I don't know what I need for the live chat.
Also do I need anything else? Is POS software and Cart software the same thing? So is it Client pays through-> Big Cartel -> Immonggo -> Merchant account. What would be the least costliest way for a small online business for me to accept credit cards? (volume will be under 5000$ a month)
I hope I didn't forget to mention everything, if you need more details, please feel free to ask.
Thank you very much.