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I don't want to get involved in a marital dispute but...sites are easy to build, traffic easy to get [relatively], sales are hard though. You must go with an easy to use shopping cart system, allow the customer to make the purchase there and then, don't give them the time to change their mind.
Bad Idea: Not having a shopping cart system. I will sometimes place an order over the phone with a merchant, but I have never and probably will never print out and mail an order form for anything I find online.
Rest assured, if a potential customer wants your product, but has to print out an order form to get it, they will find your competitor instead (you know... the guy who offers online ordering! ;) )
I've heard good things about using Mal's e-commerce as a shopping cart for sites with PayPal payments.
I have seen surveys that indicate a high percentage of the sales on the Inet come from impulse buying. If a good shopping cart is used (not all of them are equal) then the customer is more likely to purchase if the experience is quick, easy, safe, and reasonably priced. If any of these criteria are missing, your chances of making the sale drop significantly.
So decide "Do we want to make money or just play around". I don't say this sarcastically, some people would prefer a small, limited, uncomplicate biz, and not taking CCs is a good way to limit the size of your biz.
The order form is part of the shopping cart, so that when they click on 'print order form', their name and address details and contents of the cart are on the order form, so literally all they have to do is print it and post it with their cheque/MO.
But I would agree that having ONLY a print order form system is an order killer!
give the option to either pay by cc OR print out
That's an excellent idea. It underscores a theme that should be a part of all shopping carts: options/convenience. There are several ways to execute a payment transaction both of these are options as are PayPal, a phone call, and a fax.
Another site I work with refused a shopping cart for 2 years, offering only an order form or an 800 number. When they finally allowed us to add a cart, their sales increased over ten times.
The ease of a shopping cart makes a big difference, and users today are very comfortable with a well designed cart.