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Ecommerce - How To

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My definition of ecommerce is a buyer acquiring goods or services from a seller and the transaction is typically done through a web site. For the purposes of this guide, we are assuming that there are buyers for your product or service. This then leaves us with understanding the mechanics of what is needed to web enable the process. One more thing, is that today's online buyers are becoming quite savvy and that is the driving force behind the following components that I feel are necessary to build a successful ecommerce web site.

Getting Started with Ecommerce

Updated February, 2006

1. A web site with it's own domain name

Online buyers need to be able to find your product and have confidence in you the merchant to deliver the promised goods. In order to do that, you need to present a compelling professional web site. Anything less than your own domain will brand the site as amateurish and not serious. Additionally, the technical details of the other components such as a database and your own SSL security certificate are vastly simplified with domain hosting.

2. A Secure Web Host

It is vital to your success that the web hosting company you choose understands the application that is being used to facilitate ecommerce and furthermore fully understands the technical details of providing a secure web server.

3. An Ecommerce Application

Ecommerce applications run the gamut from a simple forms to software like BV Commerce or Storefront 6 applications that provides shopping cart functionality but also addresses customer relations management, marketing tools, Inventory management, etc.

4. A great Ecommerce website design

Online buyers are discriminating in where they will shop. Your site design should inspire confidence, and ease of use. Return shoppers are also key to your success. Is your design "sticky", meaning that customers will want to use the site over and over again. A good Ecommerce website design will include good content about the product, preferably showing the site to be the authority for the product.

5. A Security Certificate and a unique IP Address.

A security certificate also know as SSL, identifies to the web browser that you are who you say you are. SSL certificates are issued by companies such as Geotrust, Versign, etc. Once an SSL certificate is installed on your web site, then the lock symbol can be enabled to provide secure encrypted communications between your buyer and your ecommerce application. For technical reasons, a unique IP address is required to enable SSL.

6. A Payment Method

The vast majority of Internet transactions are being done with a credit card or echeck. In order to handle any decent volume of credit cards, you will need the assistance of a payment processor. These companies act as a clearing house for the credit card transaction. Usually they have their own high speed very secure links directly to people like Visa and Mastercard. Examples of payment processors are companies such as PSIgate, Authorizenet etc. Since the credit transaction takes place at a third party ( the payment processor) this adds an extra layer of security.


Chinook Webs has the expertise to bring these components together for you

Chinook Webs offers ecommerce website design in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto on a local basis.
Other major centres can be accommodated remotely.

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