eCommerce solutions

February 4, 2010

What is a Shopping Cart?

shopping-cart-checkoutIf you are a coach that markets online and are selling products or providing coaching services, more than likely you have some sort of shopping cart attached to your site. However, many do not understand what a shopping cart is or what it is capable of doing. Let’s break it down to make it easier to understand. A shopping cart allows customers or clients the ease of purchasing your items.

The shopping cart is actually a software application that will normally run on your computer where your site is located or on the server itself. With this software a customer can choose items that you offer and place them in a shopping cart, similar to a grocery cart or basket that will keep the items there until ready to check out. What makes this possible is the way the actual program is written. Some programs are available that allow an experienced programmer the ability to change codes and features, while others do not. Much of what happens behind the scenes of shopping cart software is difficult for someone who is not technologically savvy in that particular area. Many individuals that use shopping cart systems basically want to know the features it contains.

Since not every shopping cart software is made alike, it is wise to do some comparison-shopping before deciding on a particular system to use for you website or online business. Determine what features you will need to make your experience one that is hassle-free. Shopping cart software typically consists of two components: storefront and administration.

The storefront is the ‘store’ that is accessed by clients to an online shop or website. The categories, products and other pages are generated by the software and saved in the store database. The look of the storefront can be changed or designed to match the shop or site. The administration involves the area of the store that is only accessible by the merchant who can then manage the shop. In other words, the administration is the ‘behind the scenes’ section where the merchant can add, delete, edit, categorize, set prices, as well as hourly, and monthly fees, etc. This area can be web-based or implemented on your computer. Most are web-based which makes it easier for the merchant without the fear of computer crashing and losing all the information.

If you have an online coaching business that offers coaching services or products such as E-books and audios chances are you are using a shopping cart. A little knowledge on the mechanics of a shopping cart is always helpful and the ease of having a shopping cart software that is web-based with features that will benefit your business is important.

Coaches need ecommerce solutions too! Contact me for a free 15 minute ecommerce solution consultation, I look forward to answering all of your questions.

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker is the co-creator of Wahmcart and the Ecommerce Solutions Expert for Group Mastery.  She created Wahmcart as a full ecommerce software solution for work at home moms without the huge price tag. She's dedicated to educating the small business individual (sole proprietors) and companies with ecommerce solutions that will allow them to work smarter, not harder while at the same time providing an affordable solution that the “average” person can afford.   More about Wahmcart

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January 12, 2010

Are You Digital Download Ready?

secure digital downloadIf you’ve purchased a report, audio or ebook, then you’ve experienced what a digital download is. The great thing about being a digital product owner is the fact you get to set your own price.

A digital download is a text, audio, or video file that buyers can download instantly onto their hard drive and access immediately. Instead of waiting until tomorrow afternoon to run to their favorite book store, they log in at 3 o’clock in the morning when they can’t sleep and download a book on the topic they want. Poof! Instant cash to your Paypal or other merchant account.

As a Coach, you can create eBooks, eReports, eCourses and Audios to compete with tangibles. You’ll charge a lot more, but you’ll be able to pay your affiliates a lot for their efforts, too.

If you’re not a writer and prefer a different type of product creation for your digital download, you can choose to create a series of MP3 files – audio tutorials that teach your topic to a paying audience. The public loves information they can digest on the go using their iPod or other electronic gadgets.

You can also use a tool like Camtasia and create video productions as your product creation tool of choice. Some people prefer to watch a lesson rather than read it. With both audio and video digital downloads, your price point can go beyond the borders of what text info products can pull in.

Once you’ve created your product of choice, you then create a secure download link for buyers to receive once they’ve purchased.

Digital Download Options

If you haven’t acquired a full feature secure shopping cart service, you can put the download on your domain, create a autoresponder message and attach the file to that message or you can manually send the document each time a customer purchases.

Digital Download BusinessAll of those things mentioned above are solutions, but not very good ‘secure’ solutions. Having a secure shopping cart service that offers a secured digital download feature, not only provides a seamless way of offering your products, it also enables you to capture the name and email addresses of your customers and immediately send them a receipt along with a thank you message.

Now you have a way of not only building a customer list, but also a way to communicate with them on a regular basis telling them about your new products, special sales or anything else you want to share with them.

You'll also find that when you use a secure shopping cart for your site, your customer's information will be protected as well. Shopping cart software will come with a security layer that allows your customer to feel protected when it comes to making sure that their purchases and their method of payment is intact. You'll never have to worry about the idea of your customers getting ripped off or hacked in this fashion. Their information is important to them, so it should be important to you too.

Contact me for a free 15 minute ecommerce solution consultation, I look forward to answering all of your questions.

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker is the co-creator of Wahmcart and the Ecommerce Solutions Expert for Group Mastery.  She created Wahmcart as a full ecommerce software solution for work at home moms without the huge price tag. She's dedicated to educating the small business individual (sole proprietors) and companies with ecommerce solutions that will allow them to work smarter, not harder while at the same time providing an affordable solution that the “average” person can afford.   More about Wahmcart

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December 9, 2009

Tis The Season To Be Jolly?: Avoiding Identity Theft

Identity Theft OnlineAvoiding identity theft when paying online is a hot topic in today’s virtual world of shopping ~ especially at Christmas time. Consumers from all over the world are in shopping mode for online specials. This may include buying groceries, paying bills, making online purchases, and more.

Unfortunately, many of these individuals have suffered tremendous
financial losses as a direct result of identity theft.

If you handle any financial business over the internet, it is important to  be aware of a few essential safety tips that will allow you to do so safely.

  1. One of the first things that you should do when you are working on ways to avoiding identity theft when paying online is to make certain that you only purchase items on websites that are considered to be trustworthy.  If you are interested in making a purchase, take the time to ensure that you are purchasing from a website that is considered to be “secure”.  These websites often advertise that they have “secure payment systems”.  In some cases, there are websites that use PayPal. You can trust purchasing through these websites.
  2. Holiday Identity TheftThe next step to avoiding identity theft when paying online is to learn the steps that are necessary to spot phishing scams. This is a technique that is used by individuals who are seeking to steal your identity.   These people will actually set up a website that resembles a website that you know and trust. If you come across one of these websites, it is very likely that you will enter in your personal information and not even realize that you are giving it over to an identity thief. Take the time to learn what types of things identify websites and/or phishing scams.  One simple way to avoid it is to never give your password to anyone UNLESS you know who you're speaking with via telephone - I never give my passwords to anyone instant messaging me or via email — especially banking information.
  3. The next thing that you can do to avoid identity theft when paying online is to ensure that you set secure passwords to the websites that you frequent.  For example, create passwords that include alphanumeric characters and even a symbol and at least 6 to 8 characters.  Furthermore, you should ensure that you take the time to set different passwords for different accounts that you use. This way, if you get violated on one account, you do not have to worry about all of your other accounts suffering.
  4. If you use a computer that is in a public place, such as at work or in a library, you will want to ensure that you do not allow your personal information to be stored on these systems. If the information that you leave behind gets in the wrong hands, it can potentially wreck havoc on your life. You should always make sure that you log out of the accounts and that you leave no traces of your personal activity on these computer systems.
  5. Pay very close attention to the website you're shopping on and look for the https at the top of your screen.  Https stands for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure," it's a protocol primarily developed with secure, safe Internet transactions in mind.
  6. Take your time shopping. Pay close attention to the shopping cart, what you're entering and the checkout process.  Make sure your credit card information is not visibly seen on the computer you're using AFTER the transaction.  Once you've finished, sign out of the website you're on.
  7. The next thing that you can do when avoiding identity theft when paying online is to ensure that you pick up a credit report at least once a year.  If there are any issues when it comes to your personal and financial information, you will be able to tell by reading over the credit report carefully.

Conclusion

Online shopping is safer than you think however, it's very important that you take the steps to make sure your credit card information is not left open for anyone to see. Actually it's no different than shopping at the mall.  Once you finish your transaction, grab your receipt and put your card in a safe place.  This information is suitable for ways to prevent identity theft.

Contact me for a free 15 minute ecommerce solution consultation, I look forward to answering all of your questions.

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker is the co-creator of Wahmcart and the Ecommerce Solutions Expert for Group Mastery.  She created Wahmcart as a full ecommerce software solution for work at home moms without the huge price tag. She's dedicated to educating the small business individual (sole proprietors) and companies with ecommerce solutions that will allow them to work smarter, not harder while at the same time providing an affordable solution that the “average” person can afford.   More about Wahmcart

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