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May 25, 2004
Not only has web presence become an integral part of the way many companies do business, but for some, it is not only the primary, but their sole place of business. The World Wide Web offers a broad market, great advertising opportunities, and—whether you continue to see customers in person at one or more storefronts or not—it may serve you well as promotional tool
While you may have a good handle on competition in older media, such as television, radio, and print advertising, snail mailing lists, and promotional events, the world of the Internet is likely to present some new opportunities and pose some new challenges, both in terms of customer support and in terms of gaining this article has all rights reserved and is copyright by 100 Best a competitive edge. Your choice of domain names, your web design, your ability to draw customers to your site by various means, including page rank, are the element you will have to look to in order to secure your place.
Ecommerce involves selling products or services online. In order to do this, you need to support your customers as they find your site, browse your offerings, make purchases, ask questions, and deal with after-purchase issues.
• Shopping is facilitated by shopping cart software that allows customers to collect items and identify the number and type they wish to purchase.
• It's necessary to arrange for accepting various types of payment: mailed in checks, credit cards, and PayPal.
• You need SSL: Secure Socket Layers to encrypt online transactions so that customers' payment information is protected from credit card and identity theft.
• You need to track, pack, and ship online orders.
• Customer service for online customers and technical support for website issues are both key.
• If you process payment card data, you will have to comply with new Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council regulations that went into effect on June 30, 2008 (http://www.knowpci.com/)
Choosing an Ecommerce Web Host
Some of the features customers want in an eCommerce site are compared in the following chart:
N.B. * means unlimited; 9-p. limit means there's a limit to the number of pages on the site, which, in effect, limits the number of products.