A few weeks back, we blogged companies that had bad image problems and how they responded to those results appearing in the search engines. Some such as Hewlett Packard were able to shake off the bad press, but for others such as Registerfly.com and PayPal.com negative news was only a click away. Search for PayPal in Google, or Yahoo and you’ll find the following sites in the top-10 search results:
If you haven’t seen these sites before, go and have a look around. I want you to realise that I’m saying the following with my eyes wide open:
PayPal is the best choice for small business Joomla e-commerce.
It might sound counter-intuitive but I recommend it for the following reasons:
- SSLs and Joomla do not play happily together. Utilizing a payment gateway such as PayPal that doesn’t require an SSL will save you a lot of time and money. Small businesses are better off spending their money on promoting their product than going for a more complicated payment gateway.
- PayPal used to be restricted to only a few countries – no longer. 103 countries now.
- There’s no set-up fee, unlike Authorize.net and other and no resellers to bother with (what a frustrating system that is).
- People don’t mind leaving your site as much as you think. I hear the following complaint a lot: "I want everything to look seamless. I don’t want people to leave my site". Well, thats all well and good if you’re making a lot of money and you can afford another payment processor, the SSL and the maintenance. However, if you’re a small business and you’ve done your job correctly on the rest of the site, building trust with the visitor, they won’t mind leaving your site to visit a payment processor.
- Its the most popular. Internet Explorer might not be perfect, but we design websites for it. Pirates of the Caribbean might not be the best movie ever made, but it sure made a lot of money. The same goes for PayPal – people are familiar with it and that breeds confidence in most people.
- Most big Joomla sites use PayPal, including Joomlashack.com, Phil-Taylor.com and ELearningforce.biz.
In future strong rivals may emerge, but for now its PayPal. However, you still need to take precautions:
- Withdraw money as soon as you can (Just to be on the safe side – you did read those anti-PayPal sites, right?).
- Be prepared for the occassional chargeback. This is not a problem unique to PayPal however.
- Use PayPal’s customization features. Add your logo to the top of the PayPal page, to build confidence.
All in all, I’d recommend that at a small business start with PayPal and spend the first few months concentrating on their marketing and brand-building. If the business becomes a success, you can then go back to the issue with your extra time and money and work on upgrading to Authorize.net or 2Checkout.com. At the beginning, however, keep it simple. I wouldn’t recommend trusting PayPal completely any more than I’d recommend trusting your bank or credit card company, but I would recommend it to build your small Joomla business.