Arniston Spa Hotel

The cost of having an internet presence

A growing business will inevitably need to establish a presence on the internet.

This allows you to reach more customers which are interested in your specific products. It also reduces the load of administration on your business by handling transactional communication with the customer, eliminating paper work and facilitating online payment. Should your business be ready for this challenge you can contact me and I will arrange a meeting with you to discuss your requirements so that I can build you a website that meets your business needs. The basic “plain vanilla” model that I created will show your business to the world and allow you to load your own products which customers can view and place in their shopping cart. Once the customer wants to buy the products you can decide whether you want to allow them to pay online using a credit card or to send them an invoice with your banking details for an EFT.

How will I collect payment from my customers?

Credit card payments are mediated by a payment gateway (PayGate www.paygate.co.za) and as such are completely secure. However, for this same reason there is a cost involved for each transaction on a sliding scale. The smaller your business the less you pay as a fixed cost but the larger transaction fee they will charge, and vice versa. This is the preferred means of collecting payments. Should you choose to forgo credit card payment to reduce costs initially (we can add it later should your business grow) then I will implement an invoice model for your business whereby the customer pays you using EFT. This has no direct transaction cost but it is also more labour intensive for you because you need to check proof of payment and record successful payment manually. In effect your business will have an online presence, but not a truly automated online shop.

Cost considerations

I will be charging you a small fixed fee per month for hosting and renting the software. I also follow the transaction model and will be charging you a small percentage for each successful transaction. Thus if your business does no online sales, the website will not cost you anything more than the fixed fee. If your business does a great deal of sales we have a sliding scale which reduces as your sales grow. I previously mentioned the “plain vanilla” model. This is the offering I provide with no changes to the code of the program. If your business exactly fits this model then I will not charge you any customization fee. A customization is a piece of work that I must do to enhance the “plain vanilla” model to meet your specific needs. I will not charge you during the take-on phase to change the colours, images and text of your prospective website. An important cost consideration for any online shop that sells physical products (especially food products) is the courier cost. You can choose your own courier, but we have connections with a courier that operates at very good tariffs in the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa. Either way, your website will be customized to send the appropriate courier an email with the precise instructions for the pick-up and delivery of your products to your customer either as soon as payment is received (credit card) or when you indicate that proof of payment (EFT) has been provided. I am available to discuss enabling your business with this technology. You may contact me on 082 8011 299 or email me at carelschoombee@gmail.com. Next month we will consider this offering in more detail.