Building a successful online store takes some knowledge and preparation.
1. Merchant Account
You will need to get an online Merchant Account. A Merchant Account is the relationship between your website, and your business's bank . An Internet Merchant Account is a special account that permits the acceptance of credit cards online. We recommend using Authorize.net to connect to your bank account. The Authorize.Net Payment Gateway can help you accept credit card and electronic check payments quickly and affordably.* Download Authorize.netS Easy Setup Guide right here -Don't be daunted, it's not as hard as it might seem. Just read :)
2. SSL Certificate
You will need to purchase an SSL Certificate for your website from your hosting company. SSL security is critical for your e-commerce website's success. Installing an SSL Certificate shows that your website is trustworthy and protects your customers' private information, such as credit card numbers or account information. In today's environment, online customers are more wary than ever of Internet fraud, identity theft and "phishing" schemes. Installing the proper security and validation for your site is essential to gaining your customers' trust.
3. Organize your Inventory
Have your inventory of items organized by category & ready to give to us in an Excel spreadsheet if you would like us to input your items. If you would prefer to do it yourself, there will be an easy online admin area to do so manually, but you will still probably need to have the items organized. Make sure you have a product name, price, description and photo for each product.
4. Gather your product Images
The quickest way to lose a sale is to show a crappy image. Take the time to prepare good product images - hire a photographer, or request high resolution images from your vendors. Most providers have them ready & waiting. Make sure you have high quality images that are not too small. JPG files are easiest to work with, but PNG will do also.
This great article from Website Magazine gives examples of exactly what you are aiming for.
5. Set up your Shipping Provider
Get an account with UPS or USPS for your shipping carrier. You will need to set up shipping info for every product, so choose your provider ahead of time & let us know your account login information. We can integrate your account into your cart to help customers have a seamless checkout process.
6. Determine your Policies
Before going live, you will need also a “terms & conditions” page. This will outline your:
- Return Policy
- Shipping Policies
- Payments, Tax & any other info people might need to know to order from you. Ask us for examples from other clients to help guide you in setting up your own. Authorize.net will require it in order to allow your site to take orders. We will set up the page for you of course.
Here is an example of a recent Phrizbie client's "terms" page
Do I need a Trademark or a Copyright?
How to Trademark Your Company Name. Make sure you can legally own your business name before spending $ on a logo design.
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