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Building an e-commerce web site is the key to making your small business a success on the internet. A good E-Commerce web site will bring people in and convert browsers into buyers. Of course, converting browsers into buyers is the essence of what doing business is all about.
Building an e-commerce web site consists of several discrete steps – the first step is getting the domain name. Pick a domain name that's strongly associated with your chief product, something that your customers will remember. One tip as a general rule – always go for '.com' if you possibly can – it has WAY more credibility. The next step is building an autoresponder into your web site – something that will show a person who logs in that you're "there", that the storefront is open.
The remaining step is building the shopping cart and putting your products on it. Shopping carts are there to make it easier for people to buy your products. A very important part of getting your shopping cart set up is getting your SSL certificate, which is essential for allowing your customers to use a credit card on your site. Or alternately you can use a good third party provider, which can be easier.
A good mindset when building your e-commerce web site is to consider that you're removing barriers to entry – you want to make it as easy for people to buy your products as possible. Sometimes websites that have too many "bells and whistles" actually detract from sales!
One of the easiest and most economic tools we've found for building an e-commerce web site is Design Dashboard, which gives you a "paint-by-number" approach to create the look and feel of your site and load the tools needed to make it effective.