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There is More to eCommerce Than Just a Payment Button
Selling items online, or eCommerce, has a host of benefits. It can increase your sales, aid in marketing, increase customer retention, and help you remain competitive in a world of online shopping. If you’re selling one item, it is easy to add a payment button to a basic website and call it a day. However, if you are selling multiple or complicated products to more than one state there is a lot to consider when building an eCommerce website. Here are a few things to think about before building your online store.
We use WooCommerce for our eCommerce customers. It is easy-to-use and integrates seamlessly with our custom WordPress websites. There is a ton of support available for WooCommerce as well, making it easy to customize your website for unlimited product, shipping, and tax variations.
The great thing about WooCommerce is that you can sell physical products, digital products, your time, or memberships all with one easy-to-use plugin. It is important to think about the sizes, colors, types, and other variations of products, regardless of if they are physical, digital, or membership, before you start to build your online store. This will help your web developer when building the initial website and to set up your store.
Do not forget about taxes when building an online store. As of 2018, online retailers must be aware of which states have laws requiring them to pay sales tax on products sold in their state. Undoubtedly this is a lot to keep track of! It is best to consult with an accountant or tax professional to ensure that you are collecting and paying the correct amount of tax to the applicable states.
There are several plugins that can help you to set and collect the proper taxes. WooCommerce has a ton of tax settings that set tax per state and create reports to help you see how much tax you’ve collected each month or year.
Now that you’re able to sell your products online, you need to get them to your customers. WooCommerce includes many standard shipping options:
- Restrict shipping locations
- Enable flat rate shipping costs
- Enable free shipping
- Enable international delivery
- Enable local delivery
- Enable local pickup
- Create shipping classes
Each of these options can be configured as needed. There are many costumizable, paid shipping options depending on the shipping carrier, delivery and shipping options, and inventory and fulfillment services you would like to use. There are also other plugins that provide the same types of varied shipping options as the WooCommerce extension like this Table Rate for WooCommerce by Flexible Shipping.
Finally, it is important to figure out how you’re going to get paid. PayPal was one of the first payment gateway options, but it is certainly not the only option. You should look into cost, location, and security when considering which payment gateway is right for your business.
Cost – Payment gateways are generally not free. Some have a monthly subscription fee and most take a percentage of each transaction. Do your homework and see which one makes the most sense for you.
Location – Where are you selling your products? If you are selling overseas, it is important to find a payment gateway that accepts the correct currency.
Security – It is important to note that choosing to use a third party payment processor, like PayPal, puts the liability on the processor and not the site owner. Using a third party payment processor reduces the website owner’s security considerations to a simple SSL. An SSL is a must for any online store. However, if you’re collecting and storing credit card data on your site, you need to understand the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), which applies to anyone storing, processing or transmitting credit card data.
Finally, if you’re selling a subscription, you need to make sure that the payment gateway you choose supports automatic monthly payments.
If you’re ready to build an online store or eCommerce website, contact CourseVector today.
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