Employing E-Commerce:

  1. Have something to sell:

    • This doesn’t necessarily need to be something you can put in a box, wrap in plastic, or consign with a courier.
    • It can be a download file, like music or software.
    • A financial transaction would be made in order for the buyer to be allowed to download the product. If you’ve ever bought an app for your smartphone or tablet device, or bought a song off iTunes then you already know about this.
    • It could be a subscription or a  membership, a license or serial number. Many online retailers add value for their existing customers by creating buyer groups that attract higher discounts by selling VIP memberships.
    • Internet Service providers sell a service that provides website storage and functionality.
    • These are just a few examples of where E-Commerce can work. Do you have something to sell?
  2. A way for customers to pay for your product (and for you to collect the revenue):

    • These days people are (rightly) concerned with internet fraud and scams, so you would expect that someone asking you to part with credit-card details in order to provide you with a product or service would have the appropriate security measures in place to protect both your money and your privacy.
    • This is why you should always ensure that as both buyer and seller that you are protected with a secure e-commerce transaction environment.
    • There are many ‘Payment Gateways’ available and depending on your banking and server  setup, can  range from being  either relatively easy to manage and good value, to completely impossible and horrendously expensive.
    • Just like telco plans, which seem to include pages and pages of contractual obligations, it pays to do your research and find the right combination for your business.
  3. A way to deliver your product to your customer:

    • If you have a ‘soft’ product like a subscription or membership, then product delivery is relatively easy to achieve, so long as appropriate care is taken with security.
    • If your product needs to be mailed, sent via courier or despatched in a physical sense, then an appropriate logistical plan should be set in place where the product can be picked, packed and despatched with the minimum of overhead and optimum handling process.
    • Remember that when (most) people order online, they’re generally impatient, they want to be able to track the delivery progress of their purchase, and they’ll need answers if it doesn’t get delivered when you said it would.