HIT THE E-COMMERCE JACKPOT WITH A WEB 2.0 VIRTUAL STOREFRONT AND OTHER EXPERT INDUSTRY TIPS FROM DOTSTEROctober 16, 2008
Internet Business Service Leader Provides Customers with Helpful Hints to Increase Online Revenue and Improve Virtual Storefronts
Vancouver, WA Dotster, Inc., a leading provider of Internet business services, understands the transformative power of e-commerce enabled Web site to open the door to new revenue streams. A century ago, a business's front door was just that a front door. Maybe it had a pretty sign out front, maybe there was gold lettering on the window, but beautiful or not, it was the only chance to impress potential customers.
Many American businesses may still have a physical front door today. But for most enterprises, the real front door is a virtual one their Web site. In the U.S. alone, more than $200 billion in retail goods will change hands online in 2008, up 17% from 2007.
There's a lot of competition for those e-commerce dollars. That competition may even be bigger, more experienced, and better-funded. But here's the good news: a great Web site will level even the most unequal playing field. And it's never been easier to create a Web site that will make the online shopping experience an irresistible one. Start with these simple tips from the experts at Dotster:
Check Out the Competition: Visit some of the most popular e-commerce sites amazon.com, QVC.com, ebay.com, apple.com, bestbuy.com, target.com, for example and take a few notes. You're an online consumer yourself you don't need a doctorate to know what works and what doesn't. What's effective, what's informative, and what's needlessly complicated?
Seek Professional Help: Many companies build their own Web sites. But given the importance of this tool to the ultimate success of your business, a little professional help is a wise investment. Once you've compiled your list of Web site dos and don'ts, a full-spectrum Web services provider like Dotster can help you build your Web site, host it, register your domain name, maintain the site once it's up and running and trouble-shoot any problems that may arise.
You'll need a cart. A good grocery store shopping cart runs smoothly, with no "squeaks." The same goes for the online shopping cart on your Web site. The shopping cart is the online software that allows customers to select, order and pay for the goods and services they require. Keep it short no more than two pages is ideal and easy to use. Multiple payment options make it simple for your customers to place an order.
Set up your merchant account. Your onsite mechanism for accepting orders and payments involves a series of choices. What kind of payments do you want to accept? Credit cards? Electronic cash? Purchase orders to be billed later? Checks? All of the above? The goal is to make product selection and payment as convenient and secure as possible for your customers and for you.
Stocking the shelves. Make sure that the organization of your online store is logical and intuitive. Your customers need to be able to find what they want quickly and easily, through intuitive links to product categories and an efficient product search function. At the back end, a good Web services provider will make it easy to add products, change prices and manage all of the technical details that help you "mind the store."
Make buying easy and secure. Design your site to ensure a seamless, one-click flow between shopping and checkout/purchase. And if you want to prosper online, your customer's personal information must be absolutely secure. Your Web services provider will help you install secure Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate technology, which encrypts data before it's sent to your site and decrypts it upon arrival for a modest yearly fee.
When it comes to designing your business's Web site, it's a good idea to take your time, do your homework then decide on the mix of features that makes the most sense for you and your customers. A little professional help will make sure your e-commerce goals translate into a healthier bottom line.
About Dotster, Inc.
Dotster is a leading full-service provider of essential resources for businesses to get online and grow online. It has helped approximately 1 million businesses and individuals establish their Web presence, build their Web sites and drive revenue. With millions of domain names under management, Dotster is a recognized leader in the domain registration, Web hosting and Internet business service industries. Dotster's mission is to provide the widest range of innovative and easy-to-use Internet solutions and back them with the unprecedented, personalized support that has earned the company superior customer loyalty rates.
Dotster's expansive lineup of intuitive online offerings allows customers to quickly get on the Internet and get started with maximum visibility. Dotster's specialized team of Internet experts understands the online marketplace and the needs of businesses of all sizes. Dotster offers its customers a complete set of services including the ability to get online with a domain name and e-mail address; build a major Web presence with hosting and a custom Web site; and generate traffic with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and local site promotion. The recent launch of Dotster ConnectSM has provided the first all-in-one social media platform for businesses of all sizes. For more information, please visit www.dotster.com or call (360) 449-5900.