5 Steps to Launching an Ecommerce Website

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February 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm #324

Key Master

If you want to start selling online, your San Diego business needs an ecommerce-capable website. But what does it take to make your ecommerce website succeed? Here are five basic steps:

Choose a Domain Name: The domain name is the http://www.yourbusiness.com URL that customers type in to visit your website, and choosing a good domain name can make a big difference in the success or failure of your ecommerce website. If you have an existing brick-and-mortar business, you might already have a domain name for it. If not, you’ll need to see if you can buy your business name as a URL. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to create some variation of your business name. Try to make it simple, short and easy to remember and spell.

Pick a Web Hosting Service: An Internet service provider or Web hosting company will host your ecommerce website. As you debate the different hosting options, ask about not only the cost (it’s generally quite low) but also other, more important issues such as the percentage of uptime (time the site is running as opposed to “down”), which should be 99.9 percent or higher, and whether your business will have a dedicated server (that is, a server just for your site) or share a server with other businesses (which can get problematic if your site gets very busy, say, during the holiday shopping season).

Add a Shopping Cart: Shopping cart software allows you to display product photos, descriptions, videos and more; enables visitors to select different options such as size, color or number of items; and enables you to process orders. Good shopping cart software will automate everything including calculating shipping costs, taxes and amount totals, and accept a wide range of payments.

Set Up Payment Processing: To attract the widest range of customers, use a shopping cart that takes a wide range of payments, including credit and debit cards, online payment systems such as PayPal, or a “bill me later” option. You’ll also have to create a merchant account with the payment company or credit card provider.

Meet Security Standards: It’s crucial that your ecommerce site meets all security and privacy standards such as being SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certified and complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. When your site is secure, customers trust you and are willing to shop with you.

With these basics in place, you can move on to the fun part of creating an ecommerce website for your San Diego business—adding the products, marketing the site and starting to make money.



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