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E-commerce Basics

With the amazing growth of the Internet, it seems that everyone has a website these days. From the smallest businesses to industry giants, the Internet allows everyone to compete. And yet, setting up a professional business website is complicated. How you establish your Internet presence determines if your e-business succeeds or fails.

We believe you should treat your e-business like a traditional brick-and-mortar business. Have a solid business plan and budget. Develop a marketing plan to attract and retain customers. Keep track of your orders, ship items and perform customer service. Recognize that setting up and running a business web site costs money. Understand that you will need the services below to succeed. Metro Graphics has all the tools in one place and we have taken out the mystery to start your own online business!

This is what you will need to get started.

A Connection to the Internet
This is your Internet Service Provider or ISP. If you don't already have one, try NetZero; it's a good, inexpensive provider.

Your Own Domain Name
Consider establishing your own domain name now (like if you are serious about e-commerce and you have not registered a domain. Do a domain name search now.

Bottom line - before taking Internet orders, you need a website. It can be large or small but you cannot take orders online without it! View sample websites.

Secure Server Connection
There is a lot of concern about security on the Internet. To make sure your customer's transactions are safe, follow established conventions in Internet security, which means using a secure server for online transactions. A secure server runs software that establishes a secure connection with your customer's Internet browser using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology to encrypt transmitted information. You know you are on a secure server when your browser shows https:// on the browser address bar and a lock icon on the status bar. You can get your own secure certificate or use our server wide secure server to host your web site.

Learn more about secure certificates.

Payment Gateway
E-commerce is EXPLODING! And so is the demand for commerce-enabled Web sites. Metro Graphics has partnered with Merchant Partners, an industry leader in electronic commerce solutions.

We deliver a powerful, yet amazingly simple to use transaction processing solution for the Internet. We enable you to process both paperless electronic check (ACH) transactions and live, real-time credit card transactions on the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


  • Secure transactions on our web server with SSL and triple DES encryption security
  • Scrub each transaction through our negative database that scores each transaction by velocity checks in order to deter fraud.
  • Frisk (TM) Management allows a merchant to configure several fraud control features to limit fraud exposure while tailoring the service to the individual tolerance levels of each merchant.
  • Online authorization for credit card transactions while customer waits.
  • Automatically provide credit card Name and Address Verification (AVS); now with CVV2 capabilities for enhanced safety.
  • Credits and refunds issued from our secured server with a simple point-and-click interface.
  • Track current sales from a transaction database on our secured server.
  • Receive comprehensive reporting on our secured server 24/7.
  • Virtual Terminal capabilities to process transactions where a customer has no Internet access or security concerns.

Our simplified approach makes it effortless for consumers to purchase goods and services from your web site. Let them decide how they want to pay, with a check or credit card. Either way, it's easy for your business to capture its share of the fast growing Internet market.


  • One time setup fee: $99.00
  • Monthly gateway fee: $19.00
  • CC per transaction fee: $.25
  • ACH per transaction fee: $1.20 min or 1.75%
Sign up for Merchant Partners Payment Gateway now!

Merchant Account:

A merchant account is required before you can begin to process credit cards on the Internet. If you already have an Internet merchant account, we will interface directly with it. Or if you need a credit card merchant account, Metro Graphics can help. We have partnered with Humboldt Bank to provide merchant accounts to our customers. Qualified pricing is as follows:

  • Application Fee - $99.00
  • Discount Rate - 2.40%
  • Per Transaction Fee - $0.20
  • AVS Verfication - $0.10
  • Monthly Statement Fee - $10.00
  • Monthly Minimum - $25.00
Call 301-519-1339 now!

Shopping Cart
You will want to present your products, prices, size and color options, calculate sales tax and shipping costs and collect credit card or electronic check information. You need a product catalog and purchase order form so your customers can place orders on your website. It sounds simple but is a complicated piece of software. Our Platinum Hosting plan with Miva Merchant 4.0 Store Front shopping cart does all this. Call to try Miva Merchant for a full 30 days for free.

Search Engine Promotion
Build traffic to your site with this search engine optimization and submission services. We offer these services or, if you have the time and prefer to do it yourself, we can provide a powerful suite of search engine optimization tools in cooperation with First Place Software. Free WebPosition 4 Trial.

This bundle of tools include a keyword popularity tool, a META tag generator, a tool that tells you how to improve your page for search engine ranking, a submission tool, and a tool to track your progress in the search engines.