The key to building your e-commerce store is creating a website that will reach your target audience. This involves comparisons to other online stores that sell products or services similar to yours. Keyword optimization is important to get your website up in ranking. If a customer Googles your website, you want your store coming to the top of the search engine list and not the bottom where few will see it. You should use clear graphics so that customers know exactly what they will be buying. If a customer goes online to buy your glass wind chime and finds it is really made of plastic when it arrives, you will lose a customer and others due to negative feedback spread by that person. It is essential for you to be upfront about your product and/or service.
Once you have your internet website created, you will need to make choices regarding payment processing. Obviously, credit card processing is important. There are fees associated with accepting credit card fees, and these fees are set by the company extending you credit card processing accounts. If you price your merchandise or service with these fees in mind, you will be able to recover any expense. Foreign credit card transactions will require a higher fee, so keep that in mind. Some online merchants use payment services like Paypal. This can make it easy, but remember that there are fees involved and it is easy for clients to retract the payment and often services of this nature are more willing to protect the buyer than the company.
Debit card payments are handled in the same manner that credit card payments are made. The customer will use the form you have created to enter their account number, billing address, and expiration date. The money is taken from their checking account, but the transaction is instant. Some customers are not comfortable with this method because there is higher risk for theft and fraud. Many banks still lack clear policies on responsibility for charges when a debit card has been stolen. Some banks also classify some merchants like adult, collections, credit repair, travel agencies, as higher risk.
You may want to set up your website to accept online check payments (ACH). The fees for ACH are usually minimal as you are taking the customer’s personal check but processing it electronically. Bounced check fees will apply, so make sure you have a clear policy in terms of bounced checks.
One thing that is highly important is to make sure a secure server protects your checkout process. Customers are not going to use your system if you have no means to safeguard their private information including their credit card or bank accounts. It is essential that you look at the company hosting your website and make sure they can set you up with a secure server. Most web hosts are well set up with preformatted systems for adding a credit card checkout or other payment systems to your website and they use secure servers for this information, but you must make sure the system is working correctly and protecting your customers from potential identity theft. If you lack this important measure, you may as well drop any plans for launching a popular e-commerce business because the customers will simply avoid your store.