Ecommerce Web Site Development Guide
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Ecommerce is the buying and selling of goods online. When you buy or sell a product online, you participate in ecommerce. This article guides you through the whole process of ecommerce web site development.
PRODUCT. Choose an item or items to sell. Make sure it is profitable and popular.
TARGET AUDIENCE. Determine who your target audience (potential buyers) will be. The whole purpose of ecommerce web site development is to attract, persuade (to buy) and to satisfy the target audience.
WEB HOSTING. Buy a domain name, preferably with .com as an extension. Then choose a host with ecommerce web site development tools. You'll want to check for SSL capability, uptime, data transfer limit per month and upgrade rates. Active customer support if a must. your Also look for auto-responder for e-mail, multiple e-mail accounts and free programming scripts and tools. Don't forget to compare the costs with your budget.
WEB DESIGN. Create your web site?pages, graphics, forms and all. You can do all this on your own, buy templates or hire a web designer to do all (or most) of it. Or a mix of all three as some aspects of ecommerce web site development may be harder for you than others, depending on your experience. Also, at this stage, learn about SEO.
PAYMENT METHODS. Decide how you're going to accept payment online. A common ecommerce web site development tool for this is a merchant account, a special account through which you can receive credit card payment. The buyer's payment info is sent from your web site via a form to your merchant account. Alternatively, you can use a "money service" like PayPal, or handle credit card payment directly.
If you don't like credit cards, you also receive payment via check, cash-on-delivery, money order or wire transfer. It all depends on what you're selling, delivery location and the delivery time. But in ecommerce web site development, credit card is the most profitable and widely accepted. Other methods are slower albeit perhaps more secure. The one instance where you might have to resort to these methods is if a customer lives in a foreign country and cannot pay via credit card.
SECURITY. Providing security is one of the main goals of ecommerce web site development. Be clear about your privacy, return and warranty policies, etc. Make sure your web hosting has security capabilities. Also, invest in a digital security certificate issued by a reputable organization. These folks review your business practices and give you a certificate if you meet their standards. Granted, most people don't understand it, but rest assured, they will be impressed if they see you got one.
SHOPPING CART SOFTWARE. This is the most obvious part of ecommerce web site development. An online shopping cart displays your items for sale to your visitors. They can select the items they like, specify how many, how they would like to pay and where they would like to have the item(s) shipped. After transaction is completed, they receive an invoice summarizing their purchase.
For the merchant, shopping cart software must offer store management tools, like database and inventory capabilities, price calculation based on order specs, e-mail notices, and many others.
INFORMATION. Add a knowledge base, FAQ and feedback form. Don't leave your customers in the dark.
A lot to do, isn't it? Ecommerce web site development can get complicated. Start small and stay focused. We have outlined the barest essentials for you in this article. Be sure to do more research and see our other articles. Good luck with business!
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