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Rockwall, TX 75087-0248







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E-Commerce Steps
How to Build an Internet Store

These are the steps for building your internet store:

1 Determine Products and Strategies - Formulate a Plan

It is important before you start building your website, or adding e-commerce to an existing site, to determine your plan.  Determine what your are going to sell, and outline the major product categories.  This will be the beginning of your "site plan" and lay the groundwork for the decisions you will make along the process.  Are your products something you will have in inventory, such as diesel jeans?  Or words of wisdom such as an e-book that will be electronically delivered?  Inventory is a primary question, because it involves having items on hand.  The main decision is whether you will actually have the items and want to go ahead and charge the customer's credit card immediately, or whether you want to review the order first to ensure you have inventory before going forward.  These are important decisions, critical to customer service and customer satisfaction.

Here is an interesting article which outlines the
features needed for your e-commerce store.

2 Merchant Account

Will you be accepting credit cards?  Will you have a merchant account?  Or will you use a service such as PayPal to take credit cards.  What are the drawbacks to PayPal?  On the plus side, it is relatively inexpensive from the merchant's perspective.  It is also easy to integrate onto a website.  As for the negatives, some online retailers do not want to ask their customers to "join Paypal".  This is an inhibitor for some buyers.

If you plan to get a merchant account, you will need to visit with your banker or a broker who handles these things.  In most cases, if you primarily have an internet store, the institution will want to see your "working website" before granting you the account. 

3 Products

You will need to have a list of the products you are offering, along with these items:

Product Code
Product Image
Shipping Information (if applicable)

4 Shipping and Handling

One of the important things to decide is how you are going to charge for shipping and handling.  There are several methods that are used:

Order Totals
Shipping Amount by Product
Real-time information from FedX, UPS, or USPS (this requires a product weight or dimension)

5 Selection of a Shopping Cart

Webcrew will help you determine the best shopping cart for the website based on your plan, product line, budget, and other factors.

6 Determine whether you are going to "instantly charge" the buyer's card

If you are going to run the charges immediately, you will need to get a clearing house to help with this process.  The larger ones are www.authorize.net, www.verisign.com, and www.linkpoint.com  We are also familiar with many other processors. 

7 Start Building

With these decisions underway, you are ready to start building.  You can expect the process to take 2-4 days per product page.  This depends on the complexity of your site and the number of products you are offering.  Many customers choose to complete their site in stages, and start with 8-10 pages and grow from there. 

Call us at 214.954.1123

webcrew.com - Real help for small business website owners