"Electronic Commerce" a.k.a. "eCommerce". Our definition: Selling stuff over the Internet.
The very first thing we want you to know about eCommerce, as is true with ePublishing, Web Site Development, and Web-Based Database Development, is that you don't necessarily need a consultant. That's right: You can do it yourself. There are a multitude of sites which offer free or low cost web sites, order forms, shopping carts and merchant accounts. There is a link below to a Time magazine article titled "Booting Up Your Business". It's one of the best eCommerce How-To's for Do-It-Yourselfer's we've read. Be our guest and feel free to see what is involved to determine if this is something you want to do yourself. We'll be here if you need us.
What is eCommerce?
- A web site.
- Something to sell: a product or service which can be delivered either via the Internet (software downloads, online subscriptions) or via traditional shipping mechanisms (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc...).
- A credit card merchant account.
- An online merchant account (with an online service which provides the credit card clearing mechanism).
- The ability to display your goods and/or services via your web site, and the ability to take orders for said goods/services via your web site.
"eCommerce", a coin phrase for "Electronic Commerce", also known as "e-commerce" is the process of selling goods and services via the World Wide Web. You need the following to get started in eCommerce:
There's probably more, but these are the major requirements.
What can we do for you?
We can provide you with the benefit of our experience and wisdom on all the steps above, but in particular we can (1.) develop your web site and (2.) develop the online mechanisms needed to both display your goods/services and take orders for them.
We work primarily with real-time systems; that is, an authorization against your customer's credit card is obtained before anything else is done. Once we get an authorization, then the customer can download the software/file, access the online subscription, or you receive notice that the goods can to be shipped. And, of course, this entire process is automated.
We can implement these mechanisms both on sites we develop as well as existing web sites. We also have our own eCommerce system we have developed in-house called the "SDSS Subscription Server". It is designed to provide all the components necessary to do "eCommerce". It is particularly well suited to those who sell "Information" products, such as books, CD's, subscriptions to online content, file downloads, etc...
This is a large and varied arena of interest. Every business is unique in its vision and its method for dealing with its customers. We respect those differences and work with you to deliver the eCommerce scenario which works best for YOU. Please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.
We also realize that it his a relatively new discipline that is constantly evolving and thus, we are all learning on a continual basis. To help you to find the right questions to ask, we have provided a few links below on the subject of eCommerce. Please feel free to review these links and educate yourself further on the subject. If you find you need our services, as stated above, we will be here for you.