There are over a 100.000 United States-based online retail stores on the internet. You can only begin to imagine what the number on a worldwide scale is. The business is starting to get over-crowded, and the competition is fierce. You have to keep up with your customers’ demands, make their shopping experience easier and try to convert them into regulars. On the market as vast as this one is, your target audience and potential clients comes in a great variety of worldwide spread individuals set to make a purchase at this very moment. There are many ways to engage them, but you have to struggle and fight for each and every one of them.

Some things are essential for a successful e-commerce business, but many depend on the type of product they offer and your model audience. Before you start building, you have to make sure that your house has a solid foundation.

Domain registration and hosting are only the first things web-hosting companies are expected to maintain. In many cases, e-commerce entrepreneurs turn to them for everything they need: for handling credit card transactions, sending automatic “thank you” emails to customers, forwarding the order to them for shipping and handling, etc. Of course, the lucrative offers of all-in-one package often produce incompetent service, and we are slowly beginning to realize that.

With the rising popularity of the electronic shopping carts, your business can benefit greatly. The system permits individuals to put in their orders online and process credit card payment transactions. So if you plan to have a shopping cart module, and employ a prolific e-commerce, you should know that your future customers will always search for the following four components:

  1. Catalog

The catalogue is a systematized list of products, with the primary purpose of facilitating the purchases for your clientèle. It contains all the necessary information about the company, its products and services. With a detailed description, product image and price, the catalogue gives the purchaser insight in products quality and quantity. Make it clear, comprehensive, and easy for navigation.

  1. Shopping cart

The shopping cart is an e-commerce tool that essentially works just like the real thing. The cart metaphor was used from the very beginning of online shopping and remains the same to this day. Your online payment service tracks all the items in the basket, so the customer can add or delete anything as he goes along. In fact, your service does much more than that, but we are focusing on your clients at this moment. Once selected, the item can remain in the basket even if he or she leaves the site. A person can come back later to complete the purchase without having to re-enter anything.

  1. Checkout counter

Once the purchase is made, the shopper can review the merchandise at the checkout counter. It helps the person revalue his choice and allows him to make any changes. The counter is also the place where he decides on shipping preferences, gift-wrappings, etc. Luckily for everybody, the problems with checkouts are outdated; the software developers paid special attention to programming in recent years, so that the customers do not have any second thoughts.

  1. Order processing

Once everything is finished at the checkout, the monetary transaction is finished and the shipping orders are sent. This program processes the credit card first, after that it verifies all information and then, sends everything to the database. A solid order processing software can give the consumer more reliable deliveries and accurate order fulfilment.

If your e-commerce lacks any of the aforementioned steps, you should do well and review your selling strategy. Always bear in mind that consumers love consistency and will always search for services which employ familiar systems.

Author's Bio: 

James D. Burbank has worked for years in traditional as well as online marketing. He has worked in Central Asia, Europe and Australasia in recent years.