ECommerce Guides

ECommerce should be a part of almost every small business. It can be as simple as becoming an affiliate of Amazon, or as full-featured as a unique online store with integrated checkout. But it can also be as simple as including a link to schedule appointments at a hair salon which also offers email marketing reminders of specials or a way of ordering personal care products online. No matter your need, these E-Commerce links should help you get started in the right direction. Don’t forget to check out the great free or low-cost training opportunities, plus free professional business counseling, from  your local Small Business Development Center!

E-Commerce Basics

Start at the beginning with overviews and tutorials.

Online E-Commerce Training

E-Commerce and Your Business Strategy

How does e-commerce fit with your business?

Build Your Web Site

Register a Domain Name

Find a Web Host

Web Storefront Services

Get an out-of-the-box, commerce-enabled site.

Build a commerce-enabled web presence for your small business using these low-cost, out-of-the-box services. Web storefront software should allow you to maintain your product catalog as well as enable you to process credit card transactions.

Low-cost, out-of-the-box solutions to create your e-commerce web store:

E-Commerce software solutions:

How will you receive payment on your web site?

You’ll need a merchant account provider (MAP) to allow you to accept credit cards over the web and a credit card clearinghouse service that supports your MAP. It is also important to note whether your web storefront software/shopping cart software is compatible with your credit card clearing service.

The E-Commerce Payment Process

Making the payment process easier for your customer:

Merchant Accounts:

A Merchant Account Provider is a bank or other institution that processes online credit card transactions, will verify the credit card, process the transaction, and deposit the results into your account.

Credit Card Clearing Services:

A clearing service takes the credit card information from your site and transfers the information to your bank or Merchant Account Provider. Performs a similar function as a swipe terminal might in a brick-and-mortar setting.

  • Other payment options:
  • Electronic Checks – works similarly to paper checks.
  • PayPal – a possible choice for merchants with lower-priced goods who may not be able to afford credit card capabilities.
  • Micropayments – From the W3C.

Security Issues

Ensure that all transactions on your site are protected. Generally, security is provided by various implementations of cryptography, including encryption, digital signatures and notarization, secure protocols and digital certificates.

Taxation of E-Commerce

Sources for Marketing Your E-Commerce Web Site

Improve the chances of customers finding you online.

Marketing/Statistics on E-Commerce


How will you track and fill your customers’ orders?

Customer Service

Is shopping on your site a good experience for your customer?

E-Commerce News and Information

Keep up to date.

General Resources

Link Building

  • Website Traffic – Webmasters helping webmasters develop high value relevant links. Promoting ethical web-marketing using the time trusted pillars of relevance and popularity.

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