When selling online, one of the major considerations is whether to go with a hosted or self-hosted checkout solution. There are a lot of options for either and the right choice for your business will depend on your needs.
A self-hosted solution requires you to manage all aspects of your checkout yourself. While it gives you more control, it involves designing and building your checkout flow and, importantly, maintaining the various moving parts going forward.
The other option open to online businesses is a hosted solution. This involves an all-in-one solution where you can easily configure your checkout but the cart hosting, security and other back end payment requirements are handled by a constantly updated platform that you can integrate into your other business systems.
While there are pros and cons to each approach, most small and medium sized ecommerce companies are well served with a hosted solution. In exchange for a transaction fee, their chosen payments platform takes care of the technical aspects of accepting online payments, leaving more time and resources to run their business.
Here are a few reasons why a hosted solution makes sense.
Hosted payment platforms lower the technical barriers that slow down your entry to market because everything is already built for you.
Deploying even the most basic self-hosted online checkout requires the coordination of multiple moving parts, including but not limited to:
Each of these elements need to be integrated so that everything works seamlessly. Unless you have a team with expertise, this means picking up or hiring for multiple new skill sets. Not only can this be a long process, it also distracts you from running and growing your business.
In contrast, most hosted solutions make it quick and easy to set up your checkout. All the required functionality is provided “out of the box,” and self-service customization is supported. For more complex customizations and integrations, companies like Origins Ecommerce have a dedicated Client Services Team to help, allowing you to start selling in as little as a few days.
Unless you are able to devote significant in-house resources to developing and integrating the elements needed for a good checkout, a hosted solution will give you access to all the tools and flexibility you need for a high conversion rate.
You need an attractive, mobile-friendly design for customers and functionality that will ensure that customers can complete the payment quickly. This means removing barriers and causes for hesitation like displaying the right language, local currency and accepting a variety of payment methods.
Not only can this functionality be cumbersome to add, but many businesses who are not experts in the payment space are unsure as to what features they should be prioritizing in the first place. This is even more the case or businesses new to ecommerce or entering a new overseas market.
Origins Ecommerce has a range of cart templates that are built for conversions and can be customized to fit the style of your site. All of these features are available and simply need to be switched on. They don’t cost anything extra and an expert team member can guide you through the process and advise on best practice.
Much as you are an expert in your industry, a hosted payments solution lets you leverage experts in ecommerce, giving you more time to focus on growing your business while decreasing the risk of missing out on revenue.
Even if your self-hosted cart never goes down completely, you may still encounter more moderate issues, like your cart not displaying properly or your payment solution rejecting legitimate credit cards. These issues can quickly impact your bottom line and the onus is on you and your team to divert all necessary resources to identify and fix the problem.
In addition, there are also a range of constantly evolving security threats and fraud techniques that online companies have to contend with to stay up and running. If you choose a self-hosted solution, you will be responsible for staying abreast of what's happening to make sure your customer payment information is kept secure and that any fraud is managed. Both of these can also cost ecommerce companies substantially.
Apart from our 99.99% uptime, hosted payment platforms like Origins Ecommerce also handle checkout security and fraud mitigation on your behalf.
If you want to add a component or functionality to your self-hosted checkout, there is no guarantee that everything will work harmoniously once implemented. Further, depending on your solution, you may need your development team to make the simplest changes like adjusting a price or adding an upsell or cross-sell option to your checkout path.
Hosted solutions give you the ability to change your checkout experience fast through a self-serve platform. Whether it's changing a price, adding a free trial or implementing recurring billing, a hosted platform can easily and quickly support whatever your strategy is.
Hosted solutions are able to keep up as you expand and scale, making them the ideal choice for growing ecommerce companies. Not only do solutions like Origins Ecommerce support the currencies, languages and payment methods to make your international expansion a success, the platform can easily accommodate the increased transaction volume.
Furthermore, if you want to grow with a network of sales agents or resellers, Origins Ecommerce can handle all commission and tax calculations in addition to actually paying out what is owed. [link]
Running an online business is hard. You have to figure out how to attract and retain customers, give excellent service and provide quality products. With all these demanding responsibilities, the last thing you want to do is worry about technical management, manual calculations and compliance.
With a hosted solution, these are all taken care of for you so you can focus on the strategy to drive your business forward. Do what you do best, and let your hosted checkout solution support you.