E-Commerce is short for Electronic Commerce. E-Commerce is simply the idea of replacing physical
business transactions with electronic business transactions using the Internet. E-Commerce cuts through
boundaries such as time and geography to put store owners and customers into a virtual contact with
one another. A key ingredient of E-Commerce is the ability to take orders and receive payments through an
electronic storefront. E-commerce transactions are projected to exceed over $6 trillion dollars annually.

Benefits of eCommerce

Expand Geographical Reach
The most apparent benefit of eCommerce is the ability to acquire customers across the country and around the world.

Expand Customer Base
By providing your customers another purchase channel, your business can attract and retain customers that may have never purchased from you.

Increase Visibility
Consumers are increasingly searching for information on the internet prior to making a purchase. Make your business available to them.

Provide Customers valuable information about your business
Easy to find contact information, store hours, product information, and answers to common questions all add to creating a positive customer experience.

Never Close
Yes, your customers can purchase products from you at 3:00 AM when you are asleep.

Build Customer Loyalty
Technology can provide the means to create an effective, automated customer retention program.

Reduction of Marketing and Advertising Costs
Internet marketing can be highly targeted to your specific customer; it is more effective and provides a higher return on investment than traditional media advertising.

Collection of Customer Data
eCommerce by the very nature of the transactions, automatically collects valuable customer data and relates purchases to that customer. You can leverage this information to increase future sales from your customers.

How to Set Up Your Internet Business(E-Commerce Store)
Step 1 - Get A Domain Name (web address) For Your Online Store

Dot Excel registers domain names. Please click here for information on our competitive domain names.

Step 2 - Design Your Online Store

Create a web store that displays your products, describes them and indicates the cost, sizes, etc. You can create the site yourself or have a web designer do it for you.

Some of our web hosting plans come with a free online store application. This application can be easily installed with your control panel without the need of any programing knowledge. Please click here to find more about our free web based applications.

In setting up your e-commerce web store, one should take the following into consideration:

  • How many products do you wish to display and the type of products.

  • Do you have pictures of products and the ability to scan them to place on the Internet and/or a digital camera.

  • Prices of items and discounts, if applicable

  • The ability to input information for a database that includes: Item Number, Product ID, Description, Price, Weight (if applicable for UPS shipping rates)...

Step 3- Accepting Credit Card Transactions via the Internet

Generally to accept credit card payment you need the following:

  • A business banking account
  • An Internet merchant account
    Internet Merchant Accounts are seperate bank accounts for the merchant that are approved and capable of receiving credit card payments from credit card providers. Internet merchant accounts typically do not hold funds for an extended period of time such as your typical bank account but usually transfer payments to another bank account (above) designated by the internet merchant on a daily basis.

    Australian Internet Merchant Account Providers: Commonwealth Bank, Westpac Bank, ANZ Bank , St. George Bank, National Australia Bank

  • Payment Gateway Processor
    The Payment Gateway is the online credit card processor or transaction handler which is capable of hooking into credit card accounts belonging to the online shopper and the merchant's internet merchant account (above). The payment gateway handles the verification and transfer requests.

    Australian Payment Gateway Providers: Dialect Solutions (www.dialectsolutions.com), Direct One (www.directone.com.au), Payment Express (www.paymentexpress.com), E-Way (www.eway.com.au), Verisign Pay Flow Pro (www.verisign.com.au), St. George OCA (www.stgeorge.com.au), Camtech (www.camtech.com.au)
  • A website (built on step 2) that is programmed to provide online payment facility to your customers
  • A secure site with SSL certificate to collect the card details from your customers
    Dot Excel provides SSL certificates. Please click here for more information about our competitive SSL Certificates.

A customer comes to your online store, purchases your product and enters the credit card information...What next? Here is what happens if you have real-time payment processing:

1) The consumers complete their orders via the web store. This should be done on a secure web page so that the consumer's personal information including banking information (credit card or check) is encrypted so that it can't be intercepted and read by third parties while being transferred over the internet. Secure pages should always be used while handling credit card processing online.

2) The shopping cart program on the web host computer gathers the order information, compiling it into a form that the credit card processing company expects.

3) The shopping cart transmits the formatted order from the web host to the credit card processor (payment gateway). The credit card processor checks that the information it received about the order to be sure it has everything it needs to continue processing the transaction. It then determines what company manages the customer's credit card and transmits a request for the card to be charged.

4) The customer's credit card company validates the card and the account. If everything checks out correctly and the credit card is clear for purchases the credit card company sends an acknowledgement back to the card processor that the amount requested can be transferred. If the credit card company denies the charge it sends a code back to the credit card processor indicating what the problem was.

5) The credit card processor now tells the shopping cart program at the web host whether or not the transaction was successful (the shopping cart then can tell the customer whether or not the order was complete and send the order on to the merchant for delivery of the product or service). The credit card processor initiates a funds transfer (settlement request) to the merchant account company for deposit into the merchant's bank account that it has on record.

6) Internet merchant accounts collect the funds for a specified period of time and make scheduled transfers to the merchant's regular bank account and the credit card processing transaction is complete

Step 4- Sign Up for a Web Hosting package

A Web Hosting package provides you with a secure web server for your transactions and storage space for your web site. 

Please click here to for information on our Low Cost Web Hosting Prices for E-commerce Web Hosting

Step 5- Advertise Your Online Store

Once your site is online, you will need to let others know about it by advertising. You can use various media, i.e. newspapers, radio, tv, flyers, etc. Also, it will be important to register your web site with search engine companies. Some of the popular search engine sites include Yahoo, Google, Excite, WebCrawler, Altavista, AOLfind, and Lycos.

Technology Used