Building an E-commerce Site
The things you need to keep in mind when thinking about building an e-commerce site include:
- Suppliers - this is no different from the concern that any normal store or mail order company has. Without good suppliers you cannot offer products.
- Your price point - a big part of e-commerce is the fact that price comparisons are extremely easy for the consumer. Your price point is important in a transparent market.
- Customer relations - E-commerce offers a variety of different ways to relate to your customer. E-mail, FAQs, knowledge bases, forums, chat rooms... Integrating these features into your e-commerce offering helps you differentiate yourself from the competition.
- The back end: fulfillment, returns, customer service - These processes make or break any retail establishment. They define, in a big way, your relationship with your customer.
When you think about e-commerce, you may also want to consider these other desirable capabilities:
- Affiliate programs
- Special discounts
- Repeat buyer programs
- Seasonal or periodic sales
The reason why you want to keep these things in mind is because they are all difficult unless your e-commerce software supports them. If the software does support them, they are trivial.