Build an Ecommerce Website Yourself

By Diane Todd

  • Overview

    ECommerce, (electronic commerce), is a necessity in the world of retail. Defined as the buying, selling or trading of a product through linked, electronic resources, e-Commerce is used to market almost any product or service.
    Build an Ecommerce Website Yourself
    Build an Ecommerce Website Yourself
    • Step 1

      Construct your website. The first step to beginning any business that operates over the Internet is to build its website. You should gear the look and feel of your site toward the preferences of your target audience. The key to running an eCommerce site is to obtain a web-hosting package that includes FTP (File Transfer Protocol) benefits. This feature allows you to exchange information with your customers including product and ordering information. Many hosting companies that offer free web hosting will provide FTP services for a fee.
    • Step 2

      Prepare your product. Once you have decided on your product, prepare it for marketing. Write a detailed description of your product including its features and dimensions. One of the drawbacks of purchasing over the Internet is the lack of ability for the customer to see and touch the product. To avoid any misrepresentation, you should be as clear as possible when describing your product. You should also include a well-lit, straightforward, photograph with alternative views whenever possible.


    • Step 3

      Develop your shipping process. The nature of an eCommerce transaction requires all products to be shipped to the customer after the order is processed; therefore, your shipping and handling process will have to be a well-oiled machine by the time your site goes live. You will need to find the most cost-efficient and safest way to package your product and determine the cost, which you will pass on to your customers. Buyers will want to know the cost of shipping up-front and may choose to bypass a sale if they think shipping is over-priced. Post the shipping cost of each item clearly along with the price and description of the product. If you choose to use flat-fee rates, you should include this information on your home page or under a link labeled "Shipping."
    • Step 4

      Create your forms. FTP sites use a feature called "forms" to transfer information back and forth between the customers, through the host to the seller. You can create a form via HTML or use the "forms" toolbar in any website-building software. Under each item for sale on your site, there should be a link the customer can click labeled "Buy." Upon clicking this link, the customer should be provided with a form you will create. To create your form, use your "Insert" button to add a form to your page. This will create two sets of dotted lines which represent your form on the page. Inside the form, insert text boxes requiring information from your customer for their name, shipping address and billing address. Follow this up with a "submit" button.
    • Step 5

      Institute a method for payment. Your customers will need a safe and efficient way to pay for your product. Web transactions can be problematic. Accepting checks or money orders for services is risky for both parties. It opens up a world of problems including fraudulent checks and third-party theft. Upon submission you can provide your customer with a link to a secure, online payment transaction site such as "PayPal." The service requires a fee from the seller but not from the customer, making it a quick and worry free way for the consumer to complete their payment.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging
    • Ingredients:
    • Computer
    • Product or service
    • Internet connection
    • Shipping resources
    • Tip: Label your form's textboxes clearly so you can easily interpret your purchase orders
    • Tip: Provide a help link to guide customers through the purchasing process, as well as a phone number or email address they can consult for additional help
    • Warning:
    • Be sure to remove purchased items quickly from your site to avoid double buyers
    • Post your return policy so customers know what to expect if they have a problem with an item

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