With an increasing demand for online buying, more businesses are moving to e-store from the traditional brick-and-mortar store. eCommerce sites make it possible for businesses to sell their products online, and customers can enjoy the convenience and flexibility shopping online offers them. Many businesses have found terrific success selling online.
But the reality of selling online is that the best stores take time, effort, and a lot of technical preparation. Although you’re eager to get your eCommerce business operating and your products selling, if you rush too much, you may miss a critical technical aspect.
Here are 5 important technical factors necessary when launching an eCommerce site:
To get a website active and live on the Internet, you need a web host. A web host will provide you with the space and support your online store needs. The two fundamental choices are hosted and self-hosted. With a hosted website, you pay for a company to provide and maintain the software and hosting for your website. This is known as SaaS (software as a service). Hosted websites are often preferred by new store owners due to the ease of set up, available support staff, and your website is kept up-to-date. Self-hosted is when you have your website totally under your control. You pick and pay for the web server, install and maintain the software yourself, and manage your website completely on your own.
A lot of sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, and home addresses, will flow in and out of your eCommerce site. It’s vital that all information is safe from hackers. Web security will ensure all critical information is not accessible and is kept secure. Your website must provide a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. This allows secure connection across all of the data and transactions on your website.
Accidents happen and files or records unintentionally get deleted, or customer records are wiped out. What’s worse is not having backups. You should set up routine, automatic backups for your store. This allows you to swiftly recover from even the biggest catastrophes.
After a customer places an order, how will you manage the outgoing shipment? What about a shipping label? This is where shipping software comes in. The software will automate the management of outgoing shipments, create and print shipping labels, and import tracking information for orders, and generate automated customer emails. This will save you an immense amount of time and help you stay organized with orders.
A Payment Gateway
Your eCommerce store isn’t functional until you can accept payments. A payment gateway is a merchant service provider that accepts online credit card payments. After a customer enters their credit card information, the payment gateway authorizes the transaction and processes the payment. The payment gateway encrypts sensitive information to ensure that the information passes securely between the customer and merchant. There are a myriad of gateways compatible with different platforms, and gateways that vary by currency and region support. For example, if you sell internationally, an international payment gateway is appropriate.