Building and driving revenue through an online store can be a daunting process. However, if you have the right tools in place there is no limit to how far you can reach with the e-commerce world. Let’s take a quick look at the top 4 tools for your online store.
First, you need to make sure that your clientele feels secure with your site. That all starts with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL); yes, the little lock at the bottom of the webpage represents SSL certification. This makes sure that the information that is passed between client and supplier is encrypted and protected from outsiders. It is extremely easy and worthwhile to obtain an SSL as most hosting companies will provide you with one, but you can also obtain your own individually if your hosting company does not supply you with one.
Second, utilize PayPal! I cannot stress this enough as most of the usual internet shoppers will have a PayPal account as it is one of the fastest and easiest payment methods out there. A great feature of this tool is that you can create your own “buy now” buttons, or you can use the generic buttons that they provide; it’s an excellent way to personalize your online store.
Third, if someone does not have PayPal and is looking for the easiest method of payment you have to allow them to utilize a credit card for your online store. The best (and really only) way to do this is through a merchant account and a payment/transaction gateway. Quite a few software systems provide these two systems interlinked, but they are not hard to configure. So, as always, if you need help don’t hesitate to contact Impact and we’ll do our best to explain and/or help.
Finally, and most importantly is the use of a web analytic program. One of my favorite programs out there is free and extremely easy to use…Google Analytics. You need to be able to track all of your visitors, what they are clicking on, buying, and/or not buying. This will help you up-sell your products (i.e. if you are buying a tie you may also be able to buy a shirt and pants as well) as well as monitor your most/least popular items.
Overall, it’s rather simple to create an online store. However, it’s the features and tools that you utilize that truly make or break your e-commerce revenue stream. Keep in mind that you need ways for everyone to pay for your products, to provide a sense of security for your clientele, and a way to monitor exactly what is going on with your site, and you will be on the road to a successful online store.
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