Internet transactions are oftenÂ described as â€˜e-commerceâ€™, sometimes abbreviated to â€˜e-comâ€™. Itâ€™s a buzzword, but all it means is â€˜selling onlineâ€™.
Online sales had a shaky start, but now they are becoming a valuable tool. Compared to a high street shop or printed marketing material, e-commerce allows businesses to instantly reach out to a much larger selection of customers. The dynamic, changing nature of the internet allows services and products to be offered in new and different ways, and updated as often as necessary.
Of course, the basic rules still apply. You need to have good products and services in order to attract customers, and you will also need to advertise your website in traditional ways to get the full benefit from it. Search Engine Optimisation will help get your site known on the web, but it may also need to be known on the high street. Some possible avenues of promotion include Ââ€“
- promotional video on YouTube and other video hosting sites;
- email newsletter to all your present clients to keep them up to date with changes;
- RSS feeds and news blogging sites to get new developments across.
SoftForge will be happy to advise you and give you examples to help generate more clients. We will also guide you through the process of setting up an e-commerce site.
At SoftForgeÂ we specialise in e-commerce sites, and we recommend Protx as our payment gateway. Click here to get an account.
After you have a shopping cart set up and products included you will also need â€“
- an e-commerce ID
- a SSL certificate
- a static IP
An e-commerce ID is the web equivalent of a merchant ID which allows a shop to take payments via terminals in stores.
If you donâ€™t have a merchant account, then we can point you in the direction of a good e-commerce bank and help you through the process of getting the forms filled in. The exact procedure depends on the bank involved, and can take up to two weeks.
An SSL certificate shows you are secure. It is used in the encryption process to provide a secure connection with the payment gateway (Protx). SoftForge can obtain the certificate and do all the work needed to configure it for you.A static IP provides your computer system with a permanent online address. We can go through the simple set-up process for you.