Just like a bricks-and-mortar store needs somebody behind the counter, an E-commerce web site requires somebody behind the scenes to make things run smoothly.
Your E-commerce site is never going to be a fire-and-forget operation. Somebody has to process the orders. Somebody has to insure payment has been made. Somebody has to manage inventory and pricing. Somebody has to handle fulfillment and shipping. […]
In a post last week, I mentioned that sometimes something good accidentally happens as a result of the dark machinations of the technology industry’s various would-be Evil Overlords. In the interest of fairness, this week I’m going to point out that more often than not, when the Evil Overlords get involved in the affairs of mere mortals, something wicked this way comes.
The networking mega-corporation Cisco is usually so far behind the scenes that it’s never considered a contender for the Evil Overlord label. If you work in a large company, maybe you’ve heard somebody from tech support ranting about the frustration of taking a Cisco certification exam (although obviously they’ve never experienced the arcane adventure that is Novell Netware). Otherwise, you seldom hear the name spoken in public. Until a few weeks ago, anyway. […]
In the technology business, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out which group of Evil Overlords has the best secret conspiracy strategy for world domination. At times it almost seems that the Evil Microsoft Overlords, the Evil Apple Overlords and the Evil Google Overlords have agreed to take turns wearing the Most Evil Conspiracy Ever championship belt. (Probably to keep the Evil Facebook Overlords-in-Training out of the game.)
Every now and then, though, something useful happens when one of the conspiracies goes awry. Apple has produced some interesting TV commercials, for example, and Microsoft offers its Visio software, which can be a lot of fun if you get your hands on one of those “crime scene diagram” templates. Another one of those happy accidents is Google’s Chrome Web Store. […]
Suppose, for a moment, that you’ve decided your business needs to have an official social media policy. Now you’ve got to figure out what your brand-new policy should include.
Details of the policy will differ a bit depending on whether or not your company uses social media for marketing and/or customer relations. Regardless, as I outlined in an earlier post, your policy needs to define acceptable and unacceptable types of online conduct as specifically as possible. […]
If your business has more than a handful of employees, you need to consider establishing a social media policy.
Do you actively promote your business through social media? If so, then it’s critical to consider creating an acceptable use policy for your employees. They need to know how they’re expected to represent your business online during working hours. […]
So you have a top-notch idea for E-commerce. You even have a well-considered business plan. Here’s a technical question for you: How are your customers going to pay you?
It sounds like a silly ‘small picture’ question, I know. But it’s really one of the most important and most problematic details your brand-new E-commerce project may encounter.
If you’ve got a good idea for an E-commerce web site, chances are you’ve used somebody else’s E-commerce site at some point in the past. If you paid by credit card, you’re familiar with the online payment process from the user’s side of things. But building that functionality into your own web site requires a bit of planning and some critical decision-making well in advance of your ‘go live’ date. […]
Getting your new E-commerce store up and running is only half the fun. Once that’s done – then you’ve got to figure out how to efficiently run your store in order to maximize your bottom line.
Very little of it qualifies as rocket science. In fact, most of it is nothing more than running to ground a bunch of little issues – any one of which can cause endless headaches for your new enterprise. As with most things business, what you’ll soon discover is that the devil is in the details. […]
There are many different ways to build a successful E-commerce business, but they all have one thing in common.
I don’t mean ‘just’ happy customers. I mean customers who will come back to your web site and purchase from you again. It’s not a revolutionary discovery. A lot of books and articles have been written on the same general business theme: Customer satisfaction means nothing; customer loyalty means everything. […]
If you’re a super-hero like Spiderman or The Tick, a secret identity can come in handy. When you’re running an E-Commerce website, however, shrouding your company details in mystery can ruin your business.
One of the main disadvantages of E-Commerce is that consumers can’t see, touch or feel the actual products offered on your website. People like to know what they’re buying. Fortunately, it’s a disadvantage that can be overcome to a degree by including plenty of good product-specific content like photos, videos and reviews. Another disadvantage is that consumers can’t see you — or your business — and gain a sense of trust from that contact. As much as people like to know what they’re buying, they also want to have confidence in who they’re buying from. […]
Contrary to what some people might think, website statistics were not invented by the Brothers Grimm. They’re not fairy tales, nor are they numbers pulled out of thin air by College Johnnies who want to show how smart they are. Website statistics are built on real-world data, and they can tell you a lot about what your website is — or is not — doing for your business. […]
Back in the Internet’s version of the Age of Steam — around 2002 — retail giant Walmart (which was still officially “Wal Mart” at the time) made a bold move to insource all of its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) functions. EDI is a critical behind-the-scenes operation that allows huge retail chains to manage their supply chains and logistics. […]
In a previous post, I pointed out that E-commerce is real business. If you’re an aspiring E-commerce owner, that means you need to do many of the same things as a “bricks and mortar” startup. Write (and execute) a business plan, secure your suppliers, budget your cash and prepare for customers. […]