Why Digital Media News

eCommerce Savvy?


The Basics of Selling Online

Many of our clients initial launch into the digital world hand, desire website and then an online presence essentially geared around replicating, innovating and selling their goods and services.

At the same time, those joining the UK 75% of businesses with live websites have to contend with the old adage of ‘buying on line is easy – it’s selling that’s hard’. This become ever truer as the web keeps developing new tools for both selling and marketing at the same time as people become more and more accustomed and savvy to the promise and perils of online transactions.

The culture of applying real-world techniques to the web is as old as the web itself. Whether it be simulations in games or sent packet-data that was a direct representation of actual documents, the same is true of the way in which we purchase online, although some of these simulated representations of the real thing (shopping basket icons, ‘click-through’ PayPal etc) have only relatively recently been adopted as accepted ‘industry standards’.

The continuity and mirroring continues as in an actual store you decide, add and subtract items from your real-world basket more or less in a linear fashion moving to an eventual actual checkout area. This process is as faithfully copied as possible online, with the only real technical difference discernable switching human contact for a digital representation is in the full insertion of credit card details and security questions online, instead of that final human sales assistant with essentially the same machine waiting.

Payment Procedures & Platforms

Like much of web design at a fundamental level, the success of your website if geared around the merits of sales from an E-Commerce platform, will lie in the perceived speed, basically ease of use.

Again, inherent to web design as a whole - the devil of this lies very much in the detail and the form of your online selling portal will grow out this and the early decisions you make as a business.

Accompanying easiness on this ideal shopping trip is security and your sales presence and site reputation can rest on these two relatively simple but crucial factors.

To allow the smooth automation of payments, you will need to employ trusted ‘third party gateway’ management. These third party processors will collect online and use their own bank to validate the transaction. This allows for greater transparency and whilst more expensive than taking card payments directly (see below for applying for an Internet Merchant Account for details on this) it enables smaller and less financially established companies like start-ups to begin that early, crucial trading.

Most people have heard of the world leader in this field – PayPal (www.paypal.com) and they are almost the industry standard of TPG’s.

General & Legal

legal definition 

Some people may question why a third-party is needed at all.

Well, as mentioned earlier, accepting cards on your own site needs legal consideration.

If applying for an Internet Merchant Account it is important to realise that the banks and the Financial Services Authority by proxy will require a series of tests of solvency - proving credit history being the key and they are only available to Sole Traders and businesses, so be more prepared for scrutiny than even the traditional marketplace.

You will need to oversee that all transactions are secured via industry standard encryption (SSL certificate) and that your website’s server is deemed secure enough to be used in this fashion, this requires a (PCI audit/compliance).

While these hurdles allow for a smoother, direct checkout process it will add costs in application and designing and constructing and like the IMA – might be over-reaching for many small to mid size retailers.

With an IMA there are longer term savings by not employing a Third Party Gateway provider, but the burden of responsibility from charge-backs and handling fees to just general online checks and security falls squarely on you.

TPG’s make themselves available to individuals and small set up’s and from results recently published into online consumer habits it would seen most customers have no qualms about using them at all.

Here at WHY we have advanced tools and platforms via our Dolphin, Dolphin Lite & Pulsar E Marketing systems that can help you add, track and hone your companies digital selling platform to ensure the joy of the real world shopping experience remains paramount when translated into the online version.