If you want to use e-commerce services to list (product catalog) and sell (shopping carts and payment gateways) your products there are plenty of options available.
Like Clickbank, JVZoo, DigiResults, PayDotCom and many others.
The downside of selecting one of these services is, that you can’t control the system. It’s theirs, not yours!
One of the disadvantages for instance is, that you have to set up a third party or self-managed autoresponder system.
If you want to control the whole e-commerce process, you’d better setup one of your own.
That’s not as easy as it sounds! But it’s do-able. IF you have the technical skills to set that up.
What you need to set up your own e-commerce services?
- a database with product information,
- a shopping cart,
- interfaces to payment gateways,
- a list management system for follow up and
- a nice extra feature would be an affiliate program.
Of course you’ll need a product management system, so that all product related variables can be stored before you can start the selling process. Once that data is stored, you can start selling.
Shopping cart and ordering features
Your sales process is of the utmost importance. It needs to be smooth, self-explaining and intuitive. Of course it also has to be fast, so the customer doesn’t have to wait.
Here are the most important features:
- sell through different payment gateways, like Authorize.net, 2Checkout or Paypal
- add message for your customers after their purchase (including order info)
- customize the order form pages to look more like your own site
- set up physical shipping rates based on price, weight or quantity
- use Paypal for recurring billing
- set up country/state sales taxes that will be automatically added to the order
- calculating shipping charges automatically
- choose, on product by product basis, whether to charge shipping / taxes
- setup categories of products to make it easier for your customers to choose and buy
- easily add thumbnail images and bigger higher resolution images for each product
- easily choose recurring billing period
- have an initial price that is different from the recurring price
- setup a trial period for recurring billing
- add custom “look and feel” to each product
- choose whether to allow affiliates to sell a product on a case by case basis
- set commission rates for your affiliates per product
- manually add new sales
- see, at a glance, your sales statistics
- export your sales data to industry standard CSV format
- add options to products
The email marketing system
It’s important that you’ll be able to follow up on actions taken by your visitor/customer. Getting the email address enables you to contact your clients over and over again. While you shouldn’t overdo this, it’s important to stay in touch and keep the relationship warm. Existing customers are the best customers.
Therefore your e-commerce services need an email follow up part, with features like:
- unlimited number of autoresponders
- unlimited number of followup messages in each autoresponder
- varied followup intervals for each message
- plain text or HTML
- easy unsubscribe option in each message
- Can SPAM compliant by including your mailing address
- notification of subscription to one of your autoresponders
- easy restart the entire sequence of messages for a particular subscriber
- easily edit or delete any autoresponder message
- review recipients list to a particular autoresponder and day of sequence they are on
- change email address and name that shows as the sender on each message
- standard email header and footer for each email that goes out
- easily send one-time mailing to affiliates, customers, subscribers
- move to different autoresponder after subscriber turns into customer
- manually edit or delete any subscriber’s information
- manually add a new subscriber
- export all your subscribers from any autoresponders
- quickly and easily create HTML forms to put on your own site for people to sign up
Affiliates can be your bread and butter, so you have to get them in and treat them well.
That’s why your e-commerce services need these features:
- easily set up a two tier affiliate program
- set up different commission rates for each product
- easily set duration of the cookie set on your affiliate’s visitors computers
- customize your affiliate “center”
- easily suspend troublesome affiliates
- edit any affiliates information quickly and easily
- manually add a new affiliates (JV’s!)
- see at a glance a report of all affiliate sales
- easily set a minimum payout for affiliates
- quickly add new text or graphical ads for your affiliates
- get an automated affiliate central to send your affiliates to
- affiliate gets access to ad trackers to determine advertising performance
- 3 statuses on affiliate commissions: owed, voided, and paid
- one click download information for affiliate bulk payments via Paypal
Big lists! For sure.
But when you’re technical gifted and have the right tools, you can set it up.
By the way, there’s a great domain called E-commerce-services.com for sale on Flippa, that delivers these tools.
Sometimes there’s an opportunity we just can’t pass. This is such a moment. When you have the skills, grab that domain and prosper. It won’t happen again. 🙂
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