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Owners of businesses big and small have realized that to maximize profits they need to make their products available online. Even people who aren’t already store owners have discovered that opening an Internet store is a great way to earn some extra cash or simply engage in a fun hobby. However, there's a lot to think about when opening an online store. For example, what will your site look like? How will people find out about you? How will you process orders and payments? Fortunately, all the information and resources you’ll need are available online.
- To get an overview of the e-commerce experience, check out this article on the ECommerce-Guide Web site. The article recounts the experience of one woman who expanded her brick-and-mortar clothing store to include an online storefront and discusses what worked for her and the mistakes she made along the way.
- If you're not ready to put in the time or money to develop your own storefront, you might consider teaming up with a bigger e-commerce mogul, such as eBay or Amazon. Amazon CEO Werner Vogels was interviewed to discuss his vision of Amazon not as simply a colossal bookseller, but as a technologically innovative marketing company. The article appears in Queue, the technology magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
- When building your online store, you can choose to get full support from a design-and-build site, or to pick and choose your own products and build your own site.
- If you’re not already set up to accept credit card payments, consider setting up an account with Paypal. Even if you already have a personal account as a consumer, you may want your business to receive payments through a separate account.
- There are ways other than Paypal to accept payments online. Entrepeneur.com answers your questions about accepting credit card payments and explains your options in this article: http://www.entrepreneur.com/ebusiness/operations/article60902.html. Note the tip about secure, encrypted connections: don’t pick a service that doesn’t provide one.