Thinking about selling online?
Adding ecommerce to a website can be complicated. Here are a just a few things to think about…
You will need to determine what types of products you are selling. Are they simple products or do your products have “variations”? In other words, do they have sizes, colors or other options that customers will choose? Are your products downloadable, such as a digital product?
You may need different prices for different types of customers. For instance, you can offer a discount to your wholesale customers and members. In this case, members would have a user account and login to see their pricing.
You can also offer discount and coupon codes to shoppers that reduce the price by a percentage or dollar amount.
To have credit card processing on your website you will need a “payment gateway”. A gateway is the middleware between the online store and the credit card company. You have used a payment gateway anytime you have purchased an item online. The most popular ones are PayPal, Stripe and Square. There are several options to choose from, each has their own fee structure.
You should accept credit and debit cards, but you should also accept digital payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Venmo and Zelle are also popular methods of payment.
You will be responsible for setting up the account with the payment processor. The web developer will then use your account credentials and connect the website to your account.
Are you going to ship the items yourself or drop ship them from another location? Drop shipping can help lower initial investments in your business and ongoing overhead, since you don’t have to build and maintain an inventory. It also allows you to offer a wider product offering since you don’t actually have to store the inventory.
How will you charge for shipping? There are several options. Flat Rate Shipping is a flat fee added either per item or per shopping cart. You can also set up calculations based on weight or dimensions of the products or maybe you want to offer free shipping based on the cart total.
If you are currently using UPS or FedEx in your brick and mortar store, you can integrate the online store to your account and have them do the calculations for you.
Sales tax compliance is ever changing. Selling online creates additional complexities when it comes to keeping up with expanding sales tax obligations. Questions arise when you start selling across state and international lines. Tax calculation software can assist with all these complexities and can be added to your ecommerce software.