Chapter 10: E-Commerce

Thoughts about E-Commerce

Unfortunately, newspaper headlines have not been kind to the whole idea of secure online transactions. When headlines shout that sites have been hacked or cracked, most readers don’t get the details… that the perpetrator was an insider with passwords, or a government-sponsored, scientifically elite body using a number of supercomputers, in tandem, over the course of better than a week, to crack the weakest form of encryption available.

One very smart credit card company capitalized on that fear, largely based in headlines, by offering a credit card guaranteed against electronic fraud. The brilliance of that marketing program is that surveys have shown that the use of credit cards online, with encrypted sites, is actually eleven times safer than using the same credit card at a restaurant, grocery or department store or other retail establishment. The reason is simple: with an online transaction, most of the time your credit card number will not be seen by a human being. Most fraud takes place from stolen credit cards, or stolen card numbers that are a result of a person getting their hands on the card or on a physical copy of a transaction.

The Elements of Secure Site Commerce

You have several options in the way you handle e-commerce. We’re going to address the elements required for you to do e-commerce in a secure fashion on your own site, without outsourcing any of your e-commerce functions. Later in this chapter we’ll discuss outsourcing options.

Additional content covered in the print edition of WebForging includes a paragraph to a page or more on each of the following:

  • Digital Certificates
  • Merchant Accounts
  • The Process:
    • Adding E-Commerce into the Content of Your Web Presence
    • Adding Large Quantities of E-Commerce Goods into the Content of Your Web Presence
    • Choose From Several Types of E-Commerce Sites
      1. Auction Sites
      2. Online Storefronts
      3. Packaged E-Commerce
        • MIVA – Our Former Choice for Packaged E-Commerce
        • OS Commerce – Our Current Choice for Packaged E-Commerce
      4. Accounting Program Add-on Modules
      5. Custom E-Commerce
    • Complex Secure Site Commerce
  • E-Commerce Metrics
  • E-Commerce Marketing Considerations
  • Encourage the First-Time Buyer
    • Use Calls to Action
    • Discount
    • Show Inventory
    • Make Customer Service Easily Available
    • Online Order Assistance
    • Groopz
  • Encourage Return Visits
    • Retain Account Information
    • Enable User Profiles
    • Follow-up Communications
    • Suggest Related Items
    • Clearance Items