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Magazines of America


#8 [30.04.2003]

Six components of a good e-commerce site

By Nowshade Kabir ©

Many of your competitors are already doing business through the Internet. You read that yearly growth rate of e-commerce is over 25 percent. E-commerce segment for the businesses that sells to other businesses or B2B, as it is called, is escalating even in a better pace. Naturally, at one point, you too decide that you need to have a piece of this action! But, what are the main characteristics of a good e-commerce site that you must consider even before you build one? A small research will show that there are numerous choices for you to make your business presence online. In fact, you can be overwhelmed with all the possibilities that are available on the Internet to build an e-commerce website.

However, it is important to plan your website before even shop around for tools to build your site. There are some basic components that all e-commerce sites include, such as product or service description pages, a shopping cart - so that buyers can select and keep items from your product list till they generate a purchase order or an invoice, a payment mechanism Ė so that buyers can pay for your products online or offline. But, you also need to pay attention to the following crucial aspects:

Product information

Buyers take their decision whether to buy a product from your site or not depending on the information that you provide. Thatís why the product should have a clear and high-quality picture, short and detailed specifications. If necessary add attachments of diagrams, sketches, video etc. along with the product specification. Write clearly and prominently all sales terms and after sales supports terms, etc.

If you have many products, it is better to use an industry standard classification system to categorize your products. The goal is to have all the information related to the product available on the website, so that the customer can take a positive buying decision instantly.

Different Ordering Methods

The ultimate goal of your e-commerce site is to make sales. Many people still donít feel comfortable to make payments through online transactions. You would be better off if you include ordering processes by fax, telephone and ordinary mail. In fact, to have a telephone number for customer support and order is a must for any e-commerce site as it gives buyers some extra feelings of security. That way they know that they can always talk to a live person if anything goes wrong.

Different Payment Methods

Although credit cards are by far the most acceptable means of payments on the Internet, you should definitely consider other methods as well. For small payments, Paypal is becoming increasingly a popular mode. All e-commerce sites should integrate this to their payment methods. More options include: Electronic checks, e-bullion, Offline bank transfer etc.

Shopping Cart with Tax Calculation

In your search for shopping carts look for the ones, which have different tax calculation mechanisms inbuilt. If you are located in a province or state where your regional tax gets calculated on top of the federal or vice versa, your shopping cart should have the ability to calculate them correctly.


As money back guarantees are becoming increasingly common on online sales you should consider prominently posting your money back guarantee on you website. Be sure to make your money back guarantee generous! Customers are becoming pickier on this issue. For example if you sell knowledge base products like e-books, reports etc. make your hundred percent guarantees at least of two months. For tangible products, after sales warrantees should be also considerably generous. Customers should feel completely secured to buy at your website.

Privacy Policy

Your website must have a privacy policy. Customers are very concerned about the information that they are relaying to you. You must clearly explain them what you plan to do with the various information that you collect from your customers. If your site is planning to use cookies, make sure that you covered this aspect in your privacy policy too.


If your website collects sensitive information from your customers, you should use security systems like SSL (Secure Socket Layer). This guarantees that the data provided by your customer will not fall into the hand of a malicious hacker while transferring from his computer to the web server. This also will reassure your customers that you are truly concerned about the security of their personal and sensitive information.

Once you know how to handle all the above mentioned aspects, go ahead and look for a great tool to build your dream e-commerce website and make money online!


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About the author
Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present CEO of A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he has wide experience in Business Consulting, International Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace with solutions to start and run online business. Click here to contact him.