Let me begin by dispelling a myth you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on your website in order to make money online. And I'm not talking about some kind of get-rich-quick scheme either. How? First let's begin with the different types of e-commerce websites so you can see your options and decide how best to fulfill your needs and the needs of your customers
There are three phases in enabling purchasing on your site, and you can start with phase I right away, then gradually evolve your capabilities as your site expands.
Phase I: Pricing and Ordering Information
In phase I, you go from merely having product or service descriptions posted on your website to giving actual prices. You also include ordering instructions along with shipping and handling options.
In a phase I site, you take orders offline. Visitors to your website can call an 800 number posted on your Web pages the way they do in an offline catalog.
Add an HTML or PDF order form to your website. Encourage people to print the order form, fill it out, and fax or mail it to order — again, just like an order form in a catalog.
Phase II: Taking Online Orders
In phase II, you replace the PDF or HTML order form with an online order form that is interactive.
Visitors no longer have to print the order form and fill it in by hand. They can enter information to fill in fields on the screen ad click boxes to indicate their preferences (e.g. regular versus priority shipping). When they are finished, they submit the order form with their payment, which is typically credit card information.
On your end, you have to run the credit card number manually to get approval. You may also have to transfer the customer information to a database to keep a record of the transaction.
Phase III: Full-Service Shopping
In phase III, you have a full-fledged online catalog or shopping cart system on your website, similar to Amazon.com or other high-traffic commerce sites such as Victoria's Secret.
Phase III is the online equivalent of a mail-order catalog or retail store. You can flip through the pages or walk the aisles, pick the merchandise you want, put it in your cart or on your order form, then check out at a cash register to finalize your purchase.
Unlike Phase II, a phase III e-commerce site usually checks, authorizes, and charges the credit card automatically, eliminating the need to do so manually. If there is a problem with the credit card, the site automatically notifies the customer and does not accept the order until it is corrected.
Almost all e-commerce websites, whether in phase I, II, or III, offer online shoppers a money-back guarantee of satisfaction. If you do not, online buyers will go elsewhere.
Contact Kethyr Solutions today for more information or call us toll-free at 888-538-4971.
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