Build a Storefront for Your Website



There are a few different paths you choose in order to build a storefront on your website. If you have chosen (or will choose to use) an All-Inclusive Website Package,, then chances are they offer a Shopping Cart, or Website Storefront plugin.

If you have chosen another path to build your website, then you will need to consider other options, or third-party softwares which you can plug in and utilize.

Before we look into these options, there are a few things you need to consider before you build a storefront.

  • Good Quality Content
  • Storefront Software - to display your products
  • Payment Processing Software or Gateway
  • Website Traffic



Good Quality Content

If you want to rank highly for the Search Engines, this is a prerequisite for your ecommerce site.

You cannot just build a website, slap on some product images, prices, and a transaction processor, and expect to make any money. You need traffic.

The best way to create large amounts of sustainable traffic is to create lots and lots of good content. aContent plays a very large role in Search Engine Optimization.

There are many ways to create content for an ecommerce site:

1. Write reviews, or a "best of" list for a grouping of products.
2. Allow customers to review products - even better, because now your visitors are writing your content.
3. Write category summaries, and list quality products that fall under each category.
4. Provide a description for each product.
5. Include "ALT" tags for each product image - search engines like "ALT" tags, and they also index images.



Website Storefront Software

The "All-Inclusive" Packages offer ecommerce software or plugins to build a storefront with ease.

If you've chosen this route, there are two benefits to using these storefront options. First, they integrate with ease into your website. And secondly, they also have back-end Merchant Accounts, or Transaction Processing. These also integrate with ease, thus making it even easier to get your storefront online.

Some "All-Inclusive" resources include:

Other Third Party Storefronts, Shopping Carts, etc. offer many additional features in addition to your basic product presentation, fulfillment processing, etc.

Some features you should consider are:

  • Store Setup Wizard
  • Maximum Number of Products
  • Backorders/Partial Shipments
  • Accounting Package Integration
  • Hard Goods/eGoods
  • Up-sell/Cross-sell Module
  • Gift Certificates/Coupons
  • Merchant Account/Gateway Integration
  • Statistics and Reporting
  • Shipping Interfaces (FedEx, UPS, etc.)
  • Tax Calculators
  • SSL - Secure Transactions
  • Backups and Fraud Protection
  • Help/Support

Some Build a Storefront software vendors that encompass most of these above-mentioned features include:

  • 1ShoppingCart.com
  • www.volusion.com
  • www.shopsite.com
  • www.merchandizer.com
  • www.sunshop.com
  • www.easystorecreator.com



Payment Processor - Merchant Account

A payment processor is necessary should you wish to accept payments via your website. The payment processor handles the routing of the transaction from the payment gateway to the credit card company and coordinates the merchants fund settlement payment.

Also needed to accept credit card payments is a merchant account. This is an account that is designed specifically to accept payments from credit cards, and is where the funds from each transaction will settle.

You can go to Authorize.net to view this process flow in an easy-to-understand diagram.

Again, if you have decided to build your storefront with a package that offers Payment Processing and a Merchant Account, you don't need to look further.

I would, however, open a FREE PayPal account as there are visitors who prefer that payment option over Credit Cards.

Some other Payment Processing or Merchant Accounts are below:

  • Merchant Warehouse - provides both Payment Processing and Merchant Account handling
  • Authorize.net - offers great support, fraud protection and many other addons like Recurring Billing.
  • PayPal - offers a very simple to install and FREE Payment Processing solution.

Since 1998, Merchant Warehouse® has maintained a distinguished reputation as one of the largest, most reputable merchant service providers in the payment card industry. Merchant Warehouse has enabled over 50,000 businesses nationwide to accept electronic card payments by offering the best deals on merchant processing solutions and by providing unrivaled service and support.

Merchant Warehouse is Your One-Stop-Shop for:

  • Discounted Credit Card Processing Services & Equipment
  • Customized Business Processing Solutions
  • Competitive Merchant Account Pricing & Value-Added Programs
  • Reliable, Accessible, & Knowledgeable Support Teams

credit card processing and merchant accounts


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