Web Design, Hosting, E-Commerce, Networking, Publishing

 
     
 
 
 

 

E-Commerce FAQ's

What is Ecommerce?

What do I need to put my business online?

What are my options for handling transactions?
What are third-party online credit card processors?

What do I need to handle "real time" online credit card transactions myself?

What is a merchant account? How do I get one?

How can I assure my customers that their transactions are secure?

What is SSL?

What is an SSL Certificate? How do I get one?

I already have a Web site. Can I integrate an online store into it?

What software do I need to set up an online store?

How many products can I sell in my online store?

How much will my Online Store cost to develop?

How long will it take to develop my online store?

 

 

What is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce is the term used to describe the selling of goods and services over the Internet. In the most general sense, simply creating a web site that advertises and promotes your products can be considered “ecommerce.” In recent years, however, ecommerce has become much more sophisticated.

Ecommerce businesses now offer elaborate online stores where customers can browse thousands of products, place an order, select the desired shipping method and pay for their purchases using their credit cards.

 

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What do I need to put my business online?

The 4 most important things are:

• Domain- example: www.yourbusiness.com
• Host - a company to host your online store (this is where all the software and web pages for your online store will reside)
• A method for handling transactions - example: merchant account or pay pal account
• Shopping Cart Software - A program that will hold all of the items you wish to sell and be able to enable people to securely purchase these items online.
 

Tekno MicroSystems can provide this as well as everything else you need to run your online store.

 

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What are my options for handling transactions?

You have a number of options for handling transactions. The most basic approach is to handle all of your transactions offline. For example, you could publish your address and have your customers send their orders along with a check or money order directly to you. You could also collect your customers’ credit card information via email or phone and then process the credit card transactions offline using your retail merchant account.

These are probably not the best approaches, though, because one the main reasons customers shop at an online store is for the speed and convenience it provides.

To increase the chances that customers will want to shop at your online store, it should be able to accept and process credit card transactions online and in “real time.” You can handle your own online transactions or outsource them to a third-party credit card processor.

 

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What are third-party online credit card processors?

If you want to be able to accept credit cards but do not want to handle these yourself, you can use a third-party online credit card processor. When your customers want to purchase a product, they click a link that takes them to the third-party’s Web site. There, they will submit their order and credit card information, which is then processed by the third-party processor. Essentially, these processors act as resellers. They may charge you a variety of fees for this service, including an initial set up fee, monthly fees and/or per-transaction fees.

While outsourcing your online transactions may seem appealing, you should consider the fact that it will be obvious to your customers that their transactions are being handled not by your company but by a third-party.

 

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What do I need to handle "real time" online credit card transactions myself?

If you want to handle online credit card transactions yourself, you will need an Internet-ready merchant account, a payment gateway service and an SSL certificate.

 

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What is a merchant account? How do I get one?

A merchant account enables you to accept credit cards as payment for the purchase of goods and services. There are different types of merchant accounts. For example, if you have a traditional “brick and mortar” store, you can get a retail merchant account. If you want to accept credit cards on your Web site, however, you need a specialized type of merchant account known as an “Internet-ready” merchant account.

Internet-ready merchant accounts enable you to handle Internet transactions in "real time" without any human intervention. Because the risk of credit card fraud is greater when you are accepting credit cards over the Internet, these specialized merchant accounts also provide additional checks that can significantly reduce the chance of credit card fraud. Once the transactions are processed, the merchant account provider transfers the funds received from the credit card transactions from your merchant account to your bank account.

A number of companies offer Internet-ready merchant accounts. Tekno MicroSystems online stores support the following any merchant account providers:
• CyberSource
• Authorize.Net
• LinkPoint/Cardservice
• Paymentech
• Plug-n-Pay
• USAePay
• QuickBook Merchant Services

 

Alternative sources are:
• Google Checkout
• Pay Pal

 

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How can I assure my customers that their transactions are secure?

Obviously, if your customers will be submitting their credit card information to you online they will want to know that this information is safe. If they are not comfortable with the security your site offers, they will probably not buy products from you.

The best way to alleviate your customers’ concerns is to secure your site using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). When a site is secured with SSL—the standard form of encryption currently used on the Web—visitors will see a special symbol in their browser window that indicates the site is secure. Visitors can also tell that a page is secured by looking at the URL. A secure page’s URL begins with the letters “HTTPS” instead of the standard “HTTP.”

 

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What is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a method of ensuring that information submitted through your Web site is secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorized users. When a site offers an SSL-secured form, the information submitted via that form (typically credit card information) is encrypted using a special “certificate key” and then decrypted with another key after it has been transmitted. When users access a site secured with SSL using either Netscape or Internet Explorer, a symbol displays in their browser windows indicating that the site is secure.

 

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What is an SSL Certificate? How do I get one?

An SSL Certificate, or a digital certificate, is an electronic document that contains the information necessary to establish a secure SSL connection. When used in credit card transactions, the Web site collecting the credit card information and the site to which the information is being transmitted must both have an SSL Certificate.

Tekno MicroSystems can provide both the secure server and secure server certificate needed to support SSL.

 

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I already have a Web site. Can I integrate an online store into it?

Yes, we can move your current site over to our Network Solutions servers so that both your standard site and online store will reside on your original domain.

 

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What software do I need to set up an online store?

We create the initial design (look and feel) for your store, then all you need to set up your online store is the browser you are using to view this page. If you know how to point and click, you're ready to start. Of course if you elect to, Tekno MicroSystems can set up your entire store (from start to finish) inserting all your product photos, information, credit card options etc.

 

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How many products can I sell in my online store?

You can sell any number of products on your site, from just a few items to thousands.

 

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How much will my Online Store cost to develop?

This will depend on several factors, such as on the number of products you wish to sell online and other features such as placing FLASH presentations on your site. We will be happy to talk to you about this and supply you with a quote. Please feel free to contact us and a representative will get back to you promptly.

 

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How long will it take to develop my online store?

The average time is 3 to 6 weeks, depending on how much content you will require and the addition of customized graphics and FLASH.

 

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