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E-Commerce Kick-Start Guide

Provided by Steffan Klein and 3D3.com, Content Partner for the SME Toolkit

Are you new to e-Commerce and full of questions? Or unsure about one specific aspect? Then this e-Commerce guide could be of great help to you.

Everything you need to know to get started in e-Commerce has been answered in plain language by one of the pioneers of e-Commerce. Each chapter is brief and to the point. So delve right in. Just click on the headline to read the chapter.

  1. An old service back in vogue
    e-Commerce is nothing new. It''s just a 200-year-old service repackaged: the latest way to sell goods and services.

  2. It's not rocket science
    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to get into e-Commerce. It's easy. There are some pitfalls - but they can be avoided.

  3. What is the Internet ?
    The Internet is a huge worldwide network of computers connected to each other.

  4. How the Net became a mall
    While the Internet has been around for decades, it hasn't always been used for e-Commerce.

  5. What is an Internet shop?
    You can do business on the Internet by selling goods and services on special interactive web pages.

  6. e-Commerce: here to stay
    People enjoy the convenience of shopping on the Internet. And more and more are discovering it.

  7. Get on top of it or get run over
    You are facing a revolution. If you don't get on top of it, you may be left behind by those who do.

  8. Low cost e-Commerce entry
    You don't have to spend thousands to put a shop on the Net. Doing so might actually be a bad idea.

  9. Your Shop Building Options
    To open an Internet shop, you must create web pages with your information. You have four options:

  10. Your Window to the world
    Your web site is like your business window to the world. It should look as professional and appealing as possible.

  11. Don't blow your 30 seconds
    While the Internet is getting faster, for many it is still slow. You have 30 seconds to attract your customer. Starting now.

  12. Make it easy to reap rewards
    Your visitors want shopping to be easy. Don't give them a hard time.

  13. Ten tips to make your Website a success
    A few simple rules can make all the difference, when creating a website or Internet shop.

  14. Security - the perception counts
    Most horror stories you may have heard about doing business on the Internet are wrong. What is true however is, that many people ignore common sense when moving their business onto the Net.

  15. Security for customers
    Worries about lack of security are the number one reason stopping people from buying over the Internet. Even if these worries are not based on reality.

  16. Security for shop owners
    Research shows shoplifting is less of a problem on the Net than in the real world. But don't take this for granted.

  17. Encrypt your orders with SSL and PGP
    Three letters can make all the difference. They stand for encryption methods which ensure your customers can shop in safety.

  18. How do you get the money?
    You have addressed all security concerns. But how do you get the money from a customer?

  19. Accept payments in real-time
    If you don't want to process credit card payments yourself, or your bank is not willing to give you a merchant account to process credit cards, a real-time payment service provider can help you.

  20. Open your doors to the world
    Creating a shop is one thing. Now you must let the world have a look at it.

  21. A place on the Web for your shop
    Using a web hosting company can make your life easier. It also makes you independent.

  22. Your own Internet address
    You need your own Internet address. You can use the one provided by your ISP. A better option is using your own domain name. Make it easy to remember.

  23. The next best address
    If you can't afford a domain name or want to use the free web space provided by the ISP, you can still get a good address.

  24. Let people know you exist
    Putting your Web site on the Internet alone is not enough. Now you have to start fishing for customers.

  25. How will people find you?
    People will not find your business on the Internet, unless you make it easy for them.

  26. Search engines
    Search engines are basically web sites that help you find other web sites. The easiest way to go to a search engine is by clicking on the "Search'' button on your browser. Or type in their web address.

  27. Don't just market on the Net
    Being registered with search engines is important. More important can be to let people know in the real world about your Internet shop.

  28. Keep looking after your shop
    People need to see you are looking after your shop. If it never changes or you do not respond to requests, they'll lose trust in you and take their business elsewhere.

  29. Stay in touch with customers
    The Internet allows you to keep in touch with your customers for very little money.

  30. All about e-mails
    People who are connected to the Internet can send and receive electronic messages - the equivalent of letters on the Internet.

  31. Take web customers seriously
    If you want your Internet venture to be successful, you must take your customers seriously.
Copyright © 2001 - 2016, Steffan Klein. All Rights Reserved.
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