Use our e-commerce websites to sell your products to new markets
Commerce consists of the exchange of goods and/or services for money. In order to achieve this, buyers and sellers must be brought together and be allowed to interact in such a way that a transaction can take place.
The easier it is for the buyer to perform the transaction, the more likely the seller will make a sale. The easier it is for the seller to attract clients and make sales, the more profit they will make.
Vidoni Studios has many years of experience building websites which facilitate profitable transactions. We can help you with your e-commerce website by:
- working closely with you and profiling your business
- transposing your business model onto the Internet environment
- making it easy for your visitors to make buying decisions
- make it easy for your visitors to pay for your products and services
- advise you on important matters such as security, scalable design, accessible design, internet sales techniques and much more
Details on the elements of e-commerce websites...
For the first time in history virtually anyone with a couple of thousand dollars can set up a store and access a global marketplace.
Moreover, the overheads for this virtual store are not thousands of dollars per month in rent and insurance. You can now have a fully operational e-commerce store online for less than US$50 a month. This covers the cost of hosting the web site and providing the necessary transaction gateways and order systems to make the whole thing work.
Amongst the most popular products sold online are:
- Computer products (hardware & software)
- Financial Services
- Home Electronics
- Travel services
- Tickets and of course Information !
But first there are a few things to consider. There needs to be a way:
- For clients to browse your catalogue and pick what they want from it
- For clients to pay for your product or service
- To guard against credit card theft during the order process
- To verify and log the orders and issue receipts
- For the goods to be dispatched, once the order is received, to the address given by the client (also known as fulfilment)
E-commerce shopping carts
The shopping component of a web site consists of organising your products in an easily accessible fashion with lots of information about each product including things such as size, colour, and, of course, the all-important price.
If the site is too complex and clients can't find what they're looking for because it's buried too deep or is in the wrong section, then they will probably leave in frustration without making any purchases. A product "search" feature can help overcome this problem, but it should not be necessary. There is no substitute for a well organised web site to begin with.
Once a client locates what they are looking for, a single click should be enough to add it to the virtual shopping cart. They can then either continue browsing and adding further products to their shopping cart, or they can proceed to the checkout.
Typically, the client can view the list of items which have been added to the shopping cart. They should also be able to add or remove items, alter the quantities of each item, and see a sum total price of all the items in the shopping cart.
When the client is satisfied that everything is in order they proceed to the checkout phase where they are transferred to a SSL secured page and their details and credit card numbers are used to initiate the transaction.
SSL certificates for secure transactions
SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection.
Once the secure session is initiated by browsing to a secure page (indicated by a padlock appearing on the bottom right corner of your browser) all data between the browser and the web server is encrypted and unreadable by anyone in between.
Many web sites use SSL to securely receive information from the user, such as passwords during a login, online orders, and credit card numbers during a shopping cart checkout. SSL is almost impossible to crack. It has been adopted by banks and other major companies. SSL has also become very popular amongst e-commerce web sites.
SSL encryption gives the user the confidence to transmit their personal information, such as their credit card details, over the internet, with the security of knowing that only the online merchant can read the information.
A real time (automatic) credit card transaction system is more expensive than the manual method of credit card processing by a human operator, but it suits companies that turn over high volumes or do not wish to use a manual processing method.
If you use an automatic method, a secure transaction server is required. This server will pass your customer's credit card details to a 'Payment Gateway' company which will process the transactions with the bank. The bank then either approves or declines the credit card transaction and sends a message back to the payment gateway which in turn sends the message back to the secure transaction server. The secure transaction server then displays either a "payment accepted" message or a "payment declined" message to your customer.
Because the above process is done in 'Real Time' (instantaneous) the money is transferred into your company bank account at the time of the order (or shortly after, depending on when the bank actually does the transfer).
- Money is transferred at the time of the transaction
- No manual card processing work is required ! You simply need to pack and send the order as soon as you receive it
- In the case of high turnover businesses, it is more cost-effective than manual order processing
- In the case of small turnover businesses, it is not as cost-effective as manual order processing
- If you are out of stock then you must organise a refund (however, most payment gateway companies provide you with the means for making refunds)
Building an E-commerce web site
As with many new things, at first it seems overwhelming, but as you learn more and gradually get a feel for it, things become clearer and you gain the confidence necessary to take the next step.
Putting together an online shopping web site with a secure credit card transaction solution depends on your specific requirements. Having a friendly guide who has done it all before makes things much easier.
Once your site is complete, up and running you can take advantage of the statistics offered by the hosting service to profile the customers who come to your site, how they behave, what interests them the most, how long they tend to shop for, and when they leave. This information will help you to refine your site and make it more effective.
If you think your business would benefit from an e-commerce web site and would like to discuss your needs further contact us here to arrange a face to face meeting.