eCartReviews

BigCommerce is now PCI Complaint

BigCommerce is now PCI complaint according to their blog dated 1/27/11. The stampeding sound you hear are Volusion's disgruntled customers running for the door. I fear they may end up wedged in BigCommerce's front door ala the Three Stooges.

http://www.bigcommerce.com/ecommerce-blog/bigcommerce-is-now-pci-compliant/

Volusion Poised To Release Version 5

Volusion is about to release version 5 of their award winning shopping cart solution. This is according to Volusion's customer forum, where the following was posted by a Volusion representative:

We are still testing V5 and it will still take more time to ensure everything is ready since we have added a lot. We appreciate your patience during this process. We are going to start sharing some of the new features coming in V5 tomorrow. We will only answer questions about each feature in the forums as we announce them. We will not be able to answer questions about new features over the phone, via live chat or via email. We are doing this because the forum moderators will be checking with the developers directly to ensure the answers are as accurate as possible. Thanks for your understanding.

e-Commerce Link Directory

eCartReviews has started an e-commerce link directory. This directory is a way to store links to all the companies discussed on this site and forum. Also included is an area for e-commerce merchants to post a link to their store. The stores are filed by solution so to help other merchants see what different solutions can do.

The directory can be found here:
eCommerce Directory

So come on in and suggest your link today!

Abandoned Shopping Carts and Sales Conversion

Abandoned Shopping Carts and Sales Conversion

Tracking sales conversion and head problems off at the pass.

One of the key objectives when selling online is increasing and maintaining a high conversion rate. This is second only to driving traffic to your site. Why? Because once the traffic is there, you want to convert it to sales. This converting traffic to sales is called a conversion rate.

The average conversion rate for a store is 2%. This can vary greatly depending on your industry and cost points but it’s a good number for most online sellers. To get this rate, you take the number of sales over a certain period and divide it by the amount of site visitors over this same time period. The higher the percentage the better.

Hosted Shopping Cart or DIY Cart?

Hosted Cart Solutions vs. Do-It- Yourself (DIY) Shopping Carts

If you planning on launching an online store, you’ll need a shopping cart. When it comes to shopping cart solutions, you basically have two choices; a hosted shopping cart solution or using a do-it-yourself solution. How do you decide which type of solution to use for your online store? Here’s some pointers.

Hosted cart solutions provided you with everything you need to open an online store (minus a merchant account). This includes hosting, software, updated and security. Examples of hosted shopping carts include the following:

eCommerce and Trust

Building Trust Online
Trust - Build it and they will buy. Lack it and they will leave.

Trust is one of the most important (and overlooked) components of building a successful online store. Customers are inherently weary of shopping online and its incumbent upon the merchant and their storefront to build a level trust with the shopper.

What is trust in terms of online shopping? Nielson (2001) defines this form of trust in the following manner:

Trust means the person’s willingness to invest time, money, and personal data in an e-commerce site in return for goods and services that meet certain expectations. The more a person trusts a website, the larger the risk he or she is willing to take when dealing with the website. If a shopper doesn’t trust a website, a “sale catastrophe” occurs. A sales catastrophe in an issue that is sufficiently important to either prevent a sale, or to discourage the person from returning to the site.

E-Commerce and Small Business

E-Commerce 101
Interested in entering the online business world? Here are some benefits of adding an E-Commerce sales channel to an existing business.

Small businesses can benefit from adding an ecommerce sales channel in following ways:

1. Allows small businesses to compete with other companies both locally and nationally (promotional tool);

2. Creates the possibility and opportunity for more diverse people to start a business;

3. Convenient and easy way of doing business transactions (not restricted to certain hours of operation, virtually open 24 hours a day, seven days a week);

E-Commerce and the Law

E-Commerce and the Law

Currently, there are not any consumer protection laws focused specifically on ecommerce. Online shopping is covered by the same consumer protection laws that cover tradition brick and mortar stores.

There are two classifications of B2C E-Commerce. They are as follows:

1. Direct Sellers
These are companies that provide products or services directly to customers are called direct sellers. These types of B2C companies are the most well-known. There are two types of direct sellers: e-tailers and manufacturers. An example of an e-tailer would be Amazon.com.

Zen Cart Review

Zen Cart Review

Zen Cart is an open source PHP based on osCommerce. It can be tied into a MySQL database and offers modular expansion if you desire to build upon the base features. I took a look at Zen Cart version 1.3.7 and must say, this is an impressive ecommerce solution. Anyone looking for a full featured Do-It-Yourself ecommerce solution should at least download Zen Cart and see what it has to offer.

Out of the box you get everything needed to setup an online store and get it off the ground, including a sample store. Without too much tweaking you can have a pretty professional looking store. If you want to kick it up a notch, the solution is based on css templates. This allows for easy editing or you can just purchases a canned template from a third party. The design possibilities are endless.

Moving from Yahoo Stores

Moving from Yahoo Stores
Free Yourself for The Revenue Sharing Price Structure.

The revenue sharing pricing model for hosted ecommerce solutions is on the way out. Why should merchants have to pay a monthly fee and a percentage of all sales to both their hosting provider and merchant account? They don’t and shouldn’t. Yahoo Stores pioneered this payment structure (while they were pioneering the hosted shopping cart industry) and over 150,000 online merchants continue to share a percentage of their revenue with Yahoo Stores.

Years ago, there wasn’t a hosted shopping cart solution that could compare to Yahoo Stores. This solution offered a low barrier of web/tech skills of launch an online store and once opened, the feature set offered was robust. The markup language used was gobbled up my search engines and Yahoo Stores could rank well with little SEO effort (still true today). The payment system is integrated into the cart so the merchant can process refunds right through the Yahoo Store admin panel. Also integrated into the admin panel was UPS shipping tools. For many years, Yahoo Stores was without rival. That has since changed.