Considering offering one or more things for sale on your website? Here are some considerations as you plan and launch your online store.
Picking the Best Online Store Management Program
There are a plethora of ready-made options for online stores. Some are open source (free to use), while others cost money. Ideally, you’d select a cart that:
Has everything you’ll ever want or need, both now and in the future
Continually receives enhancements, enhancements, patches, and improvements,
Has access to development staff, and 3.
4. Is Safe.
Nothing is more frustrating than investing in shopping cart software only to find out you can’t contact the creators or support staff when something goes wrong.
Your budget should reflect your desired level of features and customization.
There is a wide variety in prices for shopping cart software, from free to tens of thousands of dollars. Building a unique cart from the ground up can add considerably more to the total price.
While free options may appeal initially, they quickly become untenable when issues arise, or assistance is required. Thus, we arrive at…
Providing a stable base for a cart is crucial. Do they offer real-time assistance if you run across issues (and you will)?
Is there a customer service number I may call if I need help?
Do you have to pay for help?
You might be shocked to learn how many software companies don’t even have a contact phone number.
Prepare the Server and Cart
Your server administrator or the shopping cart creator should handle the installation process. The plethora of server/cart setup options can be overwhelming if you’re not used to the setting.
Setting up a database that can communicate with your shopping cart is also essential.
Make sure the shopping cart you select is compatible with the server OS. The most common scripting languages for Linux servers are PHP and Perl, whereas Windows servers typically run. Software is written in ASP or. NET.
Pick a carrier to transport your product.
UPS Is a Common Choice
Delivery companies, including FedEx, DHL, and the US Postal Service
Shipping costs can be determined in a few different ways.
Possible choices include:
Tables sorted by weight and price with a live rate finder
In-Session Quote Query
The shipping calculator in our shopping basket updates in real-time. This means that the buyer will be charged for delivery based on the product’s combined weight and packaging.
(Installation may differ based on the chosen service.)
If at all possible, you should use the real-time lookup.
Each product’s weight must be specified. Packaging Included
Chart Based on Weight
A weight-based table is another option.
Example of a Table Based on Weight
The Full Order Size (in Pounds) Prices for shipping range from $9.50 for orders up to $29.99 to $4.50 for orders $30 and up. Free ($0)
Table of Costs
You’ll have to create a shipping rate table to determine shipping charges based on the product’s price.
Here is a sample shipping cost table.
Quantity Paid for Completed Order Price of Shipping: $0 – $24.95 = $9.00
$24.96-$49.99 = $5.00 $50.00 and higher Free ($0)
Please keep in mind that the free is just one possible incentive. You are under no obligation to provide free shipping.
I need to know how the package will get to the post office.
Your shipment will be picked up regularly, and you will be responsible for delivering it to the shipping facility.
Your delivery fees will change because of this.
Think about the following:
* Shipping rates can be affected by package dimensions.
* Fee for processing. You can tack on a handling fee if you like. * Which countries do you ship to?
Keep in mind that shipping is crucial while establishing your online store. One of the most common reasons customers cancel their purchases is delivery costs.
Types of Products
The number of product categories required and the number of products in each category must be decided upon. It’s wise, to begin with limited offerings and expand gradually.
Images of Products
You will require pictures of the goods.
A professional photographer is strongly suggested. Your images must be of the highest quality. They may be available directly from the maker in some instances.
Low-resolution photos appear amateurish and do little to boost product sales.
If you insist on snapping the shots alone, here are some pointers to remember.
Backgrounds should be light in color (not white), and lighting should cast little or no shadows.
You’ll want a small thumbnail and a vast, high-definition main image. Several solid pieces of photo editing software are available nowadays. Paint Shop Pro is a great low-cost option for various editing needs.
Adobe Photoshop is your best bet for editing, retouching, and compressing your photographs. This is why experts are picked.
Photo File Naming Protocol
Label the photographs clearly and put them into appropriate folders. Numbers should correspond with the “Photo Name” section of the product description (shown below). The The.JPG file format is commonly used.
Possibilities for Distribution (in the Event of Outsourcing)
Send us a CD or DVD via email if it’s under 5 MB in size, or upload it via FTP to your site or ours.
Description of the Goods
You’ll need to have a detailed description of each product in writing.
Two descriptions are required: one short (one phrase) and one long (one paragraph or more).
Your detailed description should include descriptive words and perhaps a bulleted summary of the product’s qualities to entice and engage potential buyers.
Specs on the Item
The possible required format depends on the shopping cart utilized. Create a separate Word file or Excel spreadsheet for each group. If the category is Widgets, then the document or spreadsheet should be named Widgets.
Item Classification and Title
Title of Image:
Product or item number:
Product-related key phrases:
Options: (color/size/scent/etc.): Possibly relevant:
Accepting Payments/Merchandiser Account
How can I start accepting credit cards on my website?
You can’t accept payments without a merchant account and a gateway.
A. If necessary, connect your shopping cart to your existing merchant account using an authorization gateway (authorize.net, Linkpoint, etc.) to process payments in real-time.
Establish Option B: Create a Merchant Account and Payment Gateway. This is the most polished presentation possible, and it will inspire trust in your clientele.
Interact with PayPal (option c). (it doesn’t belong on a website if you’re trying to. The only other option is this one. Doing so would be unprofessional and potentially cost you, clients. Only those with the tightest budgets should even think about this.
For SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption, a server must install a security certificate. SSL providers include the well-known Verisign, but there are many others, such as Thawte and GeoTrust. Any business that wants to take credit card payments online needs this.
Spend some time exploring the many settings available. It’s not uncommon for shopping cart software to have tens of pages of settings. It’s essential to weigh all the possibilities to find the one that works best for your business and its wares.
A lot of planning, work, and effort is involved in establishing an eCommerce solution. Advanced Web Site Publishing has set up hundreds of eCommerce systems. We know what it takes to keep an online store functioning smoothly. Allow us to suggest the best course of action for you.
Houston-based Advanced Web Site Publishing specializes in both website creation and SEO marketing.
Phone: 281-554-9557 ext. 111 Toll-free: 1-866-900-AWSP (2977) Director of Marketing & Development Advanced Web Site Publishing Keith Hickman
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