Updated February, 2006
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
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.