Starting an ecommerce website
Are you at the point where you need to start an ecommerce website to begin the process of offering your products and services online? If the answer is yes then I have a handy little guide to help get you started. The process of starting an ecommerce website begins with the website itself. It is always best to select a website that gives you the ability to update your content, products, prices, etc., on your own rather than relying on the developer. Some popular CMS (content management systems) include Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla. You will want to select the platform that work best with your shopping cart. We talk about that in just a bit.
The next consideration when starting an ecommerce website is selection of a shopping cart. The shopping cart software allows you to set up your products and services for sale on the Internet. There are many commercially available shopping carts available to choose from. You will want to select the cart that offers the functionality you are looking for. You will want to look for a cart that offers merchant tools, supports many payment options, offers configuration for shipping and taxes, offers real-time statistics and reporting, and has the appropriate security. You will also want to select a shopping cart that is compatible with your payment gateway. This will illuminate the cost associated with integrating your shopping cart and merchant account. Maxx Merchants is compatible with over 25 commercially available shopping carts.
Your next step when starting an ecommerce website is the hosting service. The hosting service provides a home for your website on the Internet and allows your customers to reach you. You will want to select a hosting service that offers the appropriate functionality for your site and shopping cart. Most services offer various packages for a monthly service fee. I like doteasy.com as the hosting is free and they let you upgrade as necessary for any functionality you might require.
So you have your website, your hosting service and your shopping cart all dialed in but the most important part of starting an ecommerce website is accepting payment.
There are 2 pieces that need to be considered when starting an ecommerce website; The Payment Gateway and the Merchant Account.
The payment gateway is the application that connects your website shopping cart to your merchant account. The job of the payment gateway is to collect the credit card information from the customer, encrypt it and sent it to the merchant account for processing. When selecting a payment gateway you want to select one that is compatible with your shopping cart, offers good pricing, has the ability to facility all payment functions (payments, voids, refunds, etc), offers robust fraud protection, is PCI compliant and has an interface for you to run reports on your sales. The Maxx Payment Gateway offers all these features giving you complete control over your transactions.
Next is selection of a merchant account. The merchant account’s job is to authorize the card that is being used for payment and then deposit those authorized transactions into your bank account. It’s important to choose a merchant account that offers good rates on processing, has 24 hour turn around on settled transactions, offers live customer support, has high approval rates and low merchant attrition. You want a processor that stands behind your account and consults you as to the very best way to set up your ecommerce website. Maxx Merchants can provide you the level of service you expect for your merchant account.
The last piece of the puzzle in starting an ecommerce website is your marketing. All of your efforts are wasted if no one knows your site exists. Make sure you design your site with all the current search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. You will also want to post your new site on all the most popular social networking sites.
Good luck and if you need any assistance I am here to help and you can contact me directly.
Alex Neir – (800)917-8026, email@example.com
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