Online Store Requirements?

Online Store Requirements – Shopping Carts

Shopping cart software keeps track of what the user selects to buy from the website before proceeding to the “checkout”. An online shopping cart consists of three parts:

• Product Catalog
• Shopping List
• Checkout System

The product catalog is made up of all the information needed to present any product to the customer and to complete a sales transaction online. Information to be included in the product  database generally includes the price, identification number (SKU), image or other multimedia information, product options or choices.

A shopping list (i.e. list of selected products) allows users to track the items they want to purchase.

A shopping cart image is generally used to show what items the shopper has selected for purchase. In order for the shopping cart to function properly the user’s computer must be set to allow “cookies”. The checkout system allows customers to select products by clicking an “add items to cart” button and then enables them to pay for these products.

Online Store Requirements – Secure Server

The secure server helps provide protection against the loss or modification of personal information. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is the most commonly used technology for secure online  transactions. SSL encrypts (or codes) all data between the shop’s server and the customer’s computer.

This makes it very difficult for third parties to decode any information exchanged such as credit card numbers.

Online Store Requirements – Payment Processing

What You Should Consider when Choosing a Payment Option:  Costs associated with the payment option (consider transaction fees, setup fees, monthly fees).

• Take the time to understand the features offered by each option and the pricing model.
• Consider that there are different fees and features associated with merchant accounts.
• Charge back fees and Fees associated with fraudulent transactions and Privacy of the transaction data.
• If you are considering leasing software through a service provider, check the service provider’s policy for disclosure and sharing of information.
• Review fraud protection tools. Merchant accounts typically have a number of customizable fraud filters that identify and track suspicious transactions. The transaction can be placed on hold  while the bank notifies the business of the suspicious activity.

Lastly, general credibility of the service provider. Internet merchant accounts have greater credibility.

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