E-Commerce Solutions Overview
Do you have a product or service to sell? If you have a brick and mortar storefront, are you ready to complement it with an on-line presence? Do you run a wholesale business and want to provide pricing information to just your wholesale customers? Are your customers asking if they can order on-line or if you have a web site? Are you trying to supplement or increase your income via the Internet? If so, then you need an E-Commerce Solution.
If you answered yes to any one of the above question then we can help. If you are ready to get started, let us help you by putting together a plan that will meet your needs both now and in the future. The first thing you will need is a shopping cart. You cannot just pick any old cart; you need one which will meet your current and future needs, which is why we offer more than one e-commerce solution.
You can build a thriving business solution right from any existing web site using this hosted solution. It helps you quickly turn your web traffic into a revenue stream.
shopsite® Shopping Cart
shopsite® Shopping cart provides the tools to build a template based e-commerce site or customized solutions. Easily sell 1 to 1000's of products.
Zen Cart Shopping Cart
Zen Cart is like a Swiss Army Knife of shopping carts. Fully customizable, with lots of free additions and plug-ins it can be used for almost any situation and product mix.
In order to take the complexity out of e-commerce we have several E-Commerce Ready™ solutions available at the click of a button. These solutions include a shopping cart, a shared SSL certificate and web hosting. All you need to do is enter in your products and promote your site.
Credit Card Processing
You want to get paid for the goods and services you sell and in today's internet savvy marketplace just accepting checks is no longer enough. You need to be able to accept and process credit cards automatically on-line. It is no longer acceptable to download and manually enter credit card information as this violates the more stringent PCI compliance rules regarding the storage and transmission of credit card information. This in turn can cause problems with your bank and credit card processor who may assess penalties and additional fees. Learn about credit card processing and Merchant Accounts and alternative services like PayPal or Goggle Checkout, both which will accept credit cards on your behalf for a fee, but may require that your customer have an account with them.
While PCI compliance requires the use of an SSL certificate, you may or may not need an SSL certificate for your site. It all depends on how you process your payments and if you have any sort of login to your site. If you use a service like PayPal or Goggle Checkout, where you never see the credit card number, you won't need an SSL certificate for credit card processing. If you accept credit cards directly on your site you will need an SSL certificate. If you have a login screen of any sort, your should have an SSL certificate to protect the user's login ID and password. Just as there are different types of cars on the road there are different types of SSL certificates. These are described more fully in our SSL Certificate Information Page.
This is an industry standard which any merchant or service provider that stores, processes or transmits credit card data must abide by. The PCI Security Standards Council sets several levels of compliance, based on the number of credit card transactions you process and how you handle credit cards, which must be met in order to accept credit cards. PCI compliance can be complex with a lot of parts to it. The easiest way to meet PCI compliance is to off load your credit card processing and handling to a 3rd party service. In the end PCI compliance is the responsibility of the merchant.
We have written a Getting Started guide to PCI compliance which you are welcome to download and share.
There is also a section in our Knowledge Base dedicated to PCI Compliance.
Taxes, Shipping and Handling
Once you have the order and are ready to ship your product there are many options which can be setup in the shopping cart. You need to make sure that your shopping cart handles taxes correctly and also the way you ship product and automatically calculates shipping and handling. If you are just starting out in business you will need to check with your local city, county and state to determine your responsibilities.
Promoting Your Site
What good is having a website if no one visits it. There are many ways to drive traffic to your site including SEO, PPC, Email, Social Media, Videos, Blogs, Print Advertising, Call Centers. What is best for your business and website may vary depending on the business you are in, what you are selling, how long the sales cycle is and can be expensive or cost hardly anything.