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Ecommerce 101

a compilation of threads from the basics to advanced techniques

8:38 pm on Aug 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 31, 2002
votes: 4

The ecommerce world is full of different options but the basic pieces involved are the same. Whether you use a free cart or online service there are a variety of considerations each store owner must address.

A while ago I wrote Shopping Carts 101: A Basic Primer [webmasterworld.com]. Some of the references in that piece probably need to be updated but it's a good intro to the mechanics of ecommerce. For those just thinking about getting into ecommerce you may want to look at How about this for a plan? [webmasterworld.com], Business Roadmap [webmasterworld.com], and Is there any point to starting ecommerce now? [webmasterworld.com]. We also have this gem 100 Ecommerce Tips [webmasterworld.com]

Gateways, CC Processors, & Merchant Accounts
Gateways are the pieces that make credit card transactions happen. And you’ll need a merchant account to accept Credit Card payments.

  • Transparent Paypal Merchant and Gateway Accounts [webmasterworld.com]
  • The 3 Best CC Processors [webmasterworld.com]
  • Low Cost Credit Card Processing [webmasterworld.com]
  • UK Merchant Accounts [webmasterworld.com]
  • PayPal vs. "real credit card processors" [webmasterworld.com]
  • Accepting Credit Cards in the EU [webmasterworld.com]
  • How to collect credit card numbers securely online? [webmasterworld.com]
  • Handling Credit Card info [webmasterworld.com]

    SSL Certificates
    These are the little gems that protect online transactions.

  • Verisign SSL - is their seal worth it? [webmasterworld.com]
  • Which SSL Certificate? [webmasterworld.com]
  • SSL Certificate Quandry: how does this stuff really work [webmasterworld.com]

    Catalogs & Carts
    We often mash these two terms together under the general title of "shopping cart" but in actuality they are two seperate pieces. Catalogs are the part that allow you to display your products and for the buyer to browse and select products from. Carts are the part that keeps track of what the buyer has selected (added to cart) and allows them to buy what they've selected.

  • Shopping Cart Recommendations [webmasterworld.com]
  • ASP Shopping Carts [webmasterworld.com]
  • Shopping cart for large inventory [webmasterworld.com]
  • Google Checkout - Part I [webmasterworld.com]
  • Google Checkout - Part II [webmasterworld.com]
  • How do I pick an e-commerce service provider and e-commerce software [webmasterworld.com]
  • All-in-one Merchant Solution vs. custom eCommerce [webmasterworld.com]

    Shipping & Fulfillment
    Shipping is all about getting the product to the customer. Shipping charges and shippers vary in each country though there are a few international shippers like Fedex and UPS.

  • Free shipping absorbed in higher prices? [webmasterworld.com]
  • Shipping To Canada [webmasterworld.com]
  • Fulfillment - How do you do it? [webmasterworld.com]
  • Shipping Strategies 101 [webmasterworld.com]
  • Integrated Web Ordering and Fulfilment Software? [webmasterworld.com]
  • Shipping Charges and Multiple Drop Shippers [webmasterworld.com]
  • Warehouse Management [webmasterworld.com]

    Site Search Engines
    Well done search tools can help generate sales. Poorly done search tools can lose a customer just as easily. And what about placement of the search box?

  • Site Search - Weakest function of most commerce sites [webmasterworld.com]
  • Site Search - how to make it a total asset [webmasterworld.com]

    Seems to matter to some folks. Others swear it's the only thing that matters!

  • Winning the "price match" race [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)
  • Competitors and pricing strategy [webmasterworld.com]
  • Odd or Even pricing: does it make a difference? [webmasterworld.com]
  • Are US Citizens willing to pay in other currencies? [webmasterworld.com]


    Drop Shipping
    Drop shipping is where you offer products for sale from a manufacturer but you don't actually carry inventory. When an order is placed, the manufacturer (or distributor) ships the order to the customer.

  • Finding Drop Shippers [webmasterworld.com]
  • Distributors Don't Like Ecommerce? [webmasterworld.com]

    Optimization & Conversion
    Optimizing you ecommerce site and converting visitors into buyers.

  • Increasing Conversion Rates: Your Tips for Ecommerce Sites [webmasterworld.com]
  • 20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)
  • The Checkout Process: small changes can lead to big rewards [webmasterworld.com]
  • Does your buy button suck? [webmasterworld.com]
  • 101 Signals of Quality [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)
  • Bad Title Tags Can Sink Your Site [webmasterworld.com]
  • Why I Abandon Your Shopping Cart [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)
  • Brainstorm Ways to Improve Conversion [webmasterworld.com]
  • How To Optimize For Large Retail Sites [webmasterworld.com]

    Confidence Builders

  • Hacker Safe/Scan Alert - Is It Worth It? [webmasterworld.com]

    Credit Card Fraud

  • How to Prevent Fraud [webmasterworld.com]
  • Credit Card Fraud: Why don't banks and merchant account providers care? [webmasterworld.com]

    Advertising & Marketing

  • Radio and/or TV Advertising [webmasterworld.com]
  • Viral Marketing [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)
  • Tips for getting one way inbound links [webmasterworld.com]
  • My Complete Guide to SEO/SEM [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)
  • My Complete Guide to SEO/SEM - part II [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)
  • Writing 'salesy' descriptions [webmasterworld.com]
  • Recommend to a Friend [webmasterworld.com]
  • "Enter Coupon" form at checkout [webmasterworld.com]
  • Marketing at The Local Level: an example of what works [webmasterworld.com] (Supporter's Forum)

    suggestions for this post can be added to this thread [webmasterworld.com].