Creating an Estore From the Ground Up - Setting Up the Store Front
(Page 4 of 4 )
The merging of this catalog of items to a site is the process of creating a storefront. Now admittedly, this depends on the option that you chose before, since many of the no-code options will actually create your storefront as well.
If you haven't, however, now is a good time. The sky is the limit with your skills, but some of these tips can help you to create a great new storefront.
- Be careful of your widths and lengths. Your catalog images need to be the star.
- Allow for multiple methods of search, since some users may want to sort by color or item number.
- Create a system where users can get access to positive reviews or other information, if such a thing exists.
Adding A Payment System
In this case you will need to have some kind of a third party system. The processing of a credit card is usually done by a very specific set of authorized processors. Of course, they will have a set of standards to adhere to, if you choose them. If you choose to use a web-based service, like PayPal, however, you should always look before you leap. After all, these systems will either want an up front fee, or a percentage. It is possible that they will want both, so you will need to choose wisely.
The specifics of coding your own will depend of a lot of different factors, so this part is too complex to look at with a generic solution. Just be aware that even if you choose to do it yourself, your client will need to get set up as an independent credit card payment processor, which will also come with a fee per transaction. It just may be a lower fee than going through a third party system. What you decide to do here is really a matter of weighing the trade offs and choosing based on costs versus benefits.
The no-code options may, in this case, be worth the fee. Some of your choices include:
· BMT Micro
· Digital River
· Commission Junction
· 2Checkout (2CO)
· Google Checkout
With so many options you may wonder how to choose between them. Well, no one can tell you exactly what should matter to you, but there are some factors you may want to consider:
- The cost for each transaction. Is it a percent or a flat fee? A flat fee may be a higher percent of smaller transactions, but a better deal on larger ones. It all depends on what type of sales you intend to make, realistically.
- The range of accepted credit and debit cards. It may seem silly, but if your system excludes Amex users, then you could miss out on sales. Systems with serious debit card issues are going to be a big problem.
- Available languages and currencies. This may be a problem if you are going to be selling to an international market, or just the multi-cultural groups in USA who are more fluent in their native language.
- Handling sales taxes. You know that you have to pay them anyway.
- Ability to print and ship media on demand. Obviously, this is only an issue if you are selling a media-related product, or a download-based produce. Makers of books, CDs, DVDs and the like should be particularly aware of this need, as most consumers have little desire to wait, and you need to be timely in order to be able to compete with the big boys like Amazon. After all, just because you got the one-time sale does not mean that your customer will come back. You need to meet those expectations.
- Deals and partnerships with distributors. You never know how you will find more clients. Sure, it will probably never be the kind of a sales method that you can rely on, but it never hurts to keep all of your options open.
Now that you know how to create a catalog of items, make a storefront and set up your payment processing, all you have to do is get it set up on a host and begin the bonanza of sales. Best of luck with your new shop.
* All code in this piece have been borrowed from http://java.sun.com/blueprints/guidelines/
for illustrative uses.
| DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware. |