It is Time For an ECommerce Merchant Account

When it comes to business, you have to know just what is the current trend. You have to find out what other businesses in your niche are doing. You also have to see and understand how people in your market are spending. That way, you will be able to find a good strategy to get a good amount of sales. You definitely want that. After all, you did not put up your business so you would just keep on spending on something that does not mean any kind of revenue for you.

One of the most common trends at present is going for ecommerce. Ecommerce may be a new term for you but it simply is the shorter term for ‘electric commerce’. In other words, it means advertising yourself and your business and selling what you have to offer online. Transactions are done through the internet and so it is oftentimes not even needed for you to set up your own office.

Many people have gone to ecommerce not just because it is more convenient on their end. It is also because a lot of consumers are purchasing online with more and more getting easy (and even unlimited) access to the internet. With that, you definitely would want to get a portion of that market. Over setting up a store in your area, going ecommerce definitely allows you to reach a larger range of consumers.

When you are into ecommerce, it is also essential that you have an ecommerce merchant account. This is because having a business online means having your customers pay you through credit card transactions most of the time. It would be a hassle for them to find a wire transfer service just to pay you. With that, you should have an online shop that is not only easy to use but is also secure and has the ability to process credit card transactions. And that is where the ecommerce merchant account comes in.

With that, you should be able to understand the importance of finding the right kind of ecommerce merchant account to get. Though there are plenty of those available, what is important is that you are able to trust the company that you will be working with and they would be able to give you what you need. Consumers would most likely go to your online shop if they know that their transactions are secure and that they are getting the best products and service from you.

eCommerce – Definition & Tips on Building an Online Store

If you are looking for a definition of eCommerce, an explanation of how it works and what it can do for you, look no further. This article aims to give you an idea of what the subject entails and how it can be used to your company’s advantage.

E Commerce (Electronic Commerce) is the process of selling any goods or services over the internet. The advantages to using the internet as a platform to sell your products are numerous but the pitfalls are just as many. To avoid the traps and make the most of this selling medium, there are a few things to consider.

The E Commerce Website

The E Commerce website is the location where your products can be found. A good way to start taking advantage of the internet as a selling tool is to use an established website to advertise your products such as eBay or Amazon. While this method guarantees your products some exposure, due to the consistent traffic on these sites, whichever company you choose will levy a charge for listing with them and a commission once sold. This method is also limited in terms of forging your company’s online brand. Establishing your own e-commerce website gives you complete control over how your products are listed and how the site looks. You can also use your own website to publicise contact details and allow visitors to make enquiries.

Getting Visitors to Your E Commerce Website

The lure of established auction or sales websites is their consistent traffic. When creating an e commerce website for your own company you will need to ensure people get to see it. This is an ongoing process which is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which ensures that search engines take away the correct information from your site and rank it as highly as possible. In addition, SEO includes promotion of the site and should be an ongoing process.

E Commerce Software Solutions

This is the system which runs on your website and creates the content for visitors to see. There are numerous e commerce software solutions out there. They can be categorised as follows:

Open Source E Commerce Solution – These solutions are free to download and try but keep in mind that they were developed by a community and as such they cannot provide support for your implementation.

Commercial E Commerce Solution – These solutions are similar to open source packages except they are produced by a company and require a license to be purchased. The advantage to this solution is the company that produced the software can be relied upon to provide support.

Bespoke E Commerce Solution – These solutions are produced specifically for one website by a web design company. This should give you a unique looking online shop and you will be able to agree with the design company the exact features you are after. While this may require the highest initial outlay, it will go a long way towards making a complete online presence for your business.

E Commerce Hosting

This is the service used to host your online shop. There are many different e commerce hosting service providers who supply suitable packages but essentially you will need, web space, server side scripting (ASP or PHP for example), a database (to store your product information) and an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate allows your visitors to encrypt data they send to your site. This is essential to operate a shop securely wherever you require visitors to enter sensitive information such as their credit card details.

Hosting features extend way beyond those mentioned above but they are the essential requirements for setting up an E Commerce online shop.

How Customers Can Help Improve Your Ecommerce Site

Getting people to visit your ecommerce website is always good; but translating these clicks into sales is even better. When it comes to promoting your ecommerce site, creating traffic is always important. Even if you have a good ecommerce web hosting plan for your site, if you are not significantly turning these clicks to sales, then it could be a huge problem for your online business. In this case, you need to improve your ecommerce site. Other than a reliable ecommerce web hosting plan, you can improve your site’s usability by knowing exactly what your customers want. You may not know it, but other than the right ecommerce web hosting plan, your customers just may be the very people who can help make your ecommerce site achieve its goals.

For one, customers want you to be specific. For instance, if you offer free shipping for orders, then your customers expect that their purchases will be shipped to them for free wherever they may be located. Unless your free shipping features are limited to selected locations, you need to be specific about it otherwise your customers will feel that you are ripping them off. Point out whether you offer free shipping for selected location or free shipping to anywhere and be clear about it. Customers always want to get what they expect from your ecommerce site. If you fail to give them what they want, then they will definitely leave.

Also, keep in mind that a customer’s time is precious, so you don’t want to waste his/her time taking interest in your product that is not available. When a customer sees a product on your ecommerce site, then s/he expects that it is available. Nothing can be frustrating or disappointing than for a customer to be informed that the item is not available just when it has already been dropped into his/her shopping cart. Always inform your customer beforehand that the product is unavailable. You would not want to waste your customer’s time, much less, confidence in your service.

To give your customers a better shopping experience at your ecommerce site, you may want to allow them to back-order a product once it is available. Several ecommerce web hosting packages come with a back-order feature so you might want to take advantage of that. If, however, you are unable to provide this feature, then get your customer’s contact info, at the very least. This way, you can make for a potential sale in future time.

Customers also do not like too many distractions especially when shopping online. You may offer cross-selling to your customers in your ecommerce site, in which you give recommendations or suggestions on related products. However, cross-sell items that are only related to what your customers pick. Suggesting items off their choices is not only an improper selling technique but can be very annoying for your customers as well.

Cross-selling should also stop once your customer checks out products from the shopping cart. The next thing that your customer wants is to close the sale, so avoid directing them to unrelated links. These unwanted links are not only unhelpful but they may change your customer’s mind about purchasing the item/s in his/her shopping cart. You would not want this to happen if you aim to make your e-commerce site profitable. This should also apply to window-shoppers on your ecommerce website. Avoid unnecessary pop-ups or advertisements as much as possible. The right ecommerce web hosting plan can help you avoid this from happening.

A customer’s attention span tends to be shorter especially when shopping online. Even in just a split second, they decide whether or not your ecommerce site can give them what they are looking for.

Moreover, you want to convince your customers that shopping in your ecommerce site is just a click away. If they have to click through your site so many times just to get to what they are really looking for, then they are more likely to abandon your ecommerce site. Customers also get annoyed with broken links and pages that load too slow as well, so avoid them as much as possible. To avoid this, get an ecommerce web hosting plan that allows superior usability.

Your ecommerce site should also pay a premium on customer’s privacy and do all means to protect it. Ask information that is only needed to close the sale. Asking too many questions may only draw suspicion among your customers. Your ecommerce site should provide your customers a safe and secure environment for giving out sensitive information.

You might want to get live chat software for your ecommerce site to better promote your products and provide maximum customer support. Although this may apply to bigger ecommerce sites, it can significantly boost sales. Many ecommerce web hosting providers offer this feature in their packages.