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Ecommerce Websites

Ecommerce web­sites let you make money online through direct sales. This can either mean selling and shipping physical goods, or virtual goods like tickets, appointment bookings and down­loadable products.

The basics of eco­m­merce are “Buy now” buttons, payment methods and a shopping cart for volume sales. Beyond those, pro­fes­sional eco­m­merce systems help you to manage:

  • Products — usually in several cat­egories, often with vari­ations
  • Taxes and Shipping — at dif­ferent rates, espe­cially when trading inter­na­tionally
  • Customers and their Orders

Many also offer lots of optional or plug-in mar­keting tools like dis­count coupons, or flexible shipping and gift-wrap options. Whilst not all such exten­sions are free, they can usually cover almost any common requirement. If you need unique order or quo­tation pro­cessing, please ask me about bespoke web devel­opment.

Ecommerce Security

Security is vital for online sales, so whilst “SSL” security helps to build trust for any site, no eco­m­merce site can be without it.  SSL pro­tects your cus­tomers’ details and shows the “padlock” icons as a “trust mark”, which improves SEO and increases sales.

All my hosting plans now include SSL security. Still, eco­m­merce sites are obvious targets for hackers, and need regular security updates to keep up with the latest threats. So I build smaller eco­m­merce sites on my Pro Hosting Plus plan to ensure they get these updates. My Business Hosting Plus plan offers more resources and sta­bility, making it a better match for larger, more complex or higher-traffic sites.

Still, actually pro­cessing card pay­ments dir­ectly on your own site is reg­u­lated, and can be costly. The common small business solution for this is to use a payment gateway service like PayPal to process pay­ments. In this case, mer­chants never even see their cus­tomers’ card details, as the pay­ments occur on the pro­cessor’s secure site. This incurs extra third-party service fees, but sim­plifies the initial setup and reduces risk. So PayPal is the default online payment option for most eco­m­merce sites, though I can integrate other solu­tions if needed, too.

Advanced Online Stores

Advanced web shops often need to manage stock levels and product vari­ations for many hun­dreds or thou­sands of products. They may also handle special sales, up-sells, cross-sells, feeds to product com­parison sites, mul­tiple staff logins, trade pricing, and more

There are many forms of eco­m­merce apart from standard web shops. These include review sites reselling affiliate products, drop-shipping and feeds from your main shop to sell through social media channels. I can even build mar­ket­places that let you build a com­munity of sellers by offering a sales channel in return for a fee. Please contact me for indi­vidual quo­ta­tions on such pro­jects.

Planning an eco­m­merce site?

Start today!