E-commerce website fundamentals for Windsor small business owners

Ecommerce Website Fundamentals For Windsor Small Business Owners

This article will explain the fundamentals of an Ecommerce website to small business owners in Windsor and Southwestern Ontario. If you are interested in selling goods through a website and developing an online store for your business then this article is for you. It explains the fundamental components incorporated into an Ecommerce website.

Key Ecommerce website components:

– Shopping Cart
– Merchant Account
– Payment Gateway
– SSL certificate for website security


The Ecommerce website or online store enables you to sell goods and services online, with or without a bricks and mortar store. The website incorporates a shopping cart enabling consumers to collect items for sale. You need to setup a merchant account, and payment gateway (such as PayPal) in order to accept and process online payments. The website requires a SSL certificate to ensure all payments and customers details are secure.

“Ecommerce means: electronic commerce and refers to online business purchasing and sales.”

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Ecommerce Shopping Cart

The Ecommerce shopping cart not only stores a customers selected items for checkout. It also enables you to define Tax parameters, generate invoices and calculate shipping costs. Furthermore the shopping cart can list inventory and generates special offers and coupons.

Merchant Account

The Ecommerce website owner (you) is the merchant and as such, you require a merchant (bank) account to deposit all credit card payments made through your website. Merchant accounts may take several weeks to set up and it’s important to research all available options. However two established companies worth considering are PayPal and Stripe. For more insightful information on hidden merchant account fees check out this article: What Is Interchange?” by Merchant Accounts.ca

Payment Gateway

The payment gateway enables bricks and mortar stores and E-Businesses (websites) to accept credit card payments from customers in-store or online. The payment gateway is an apparatus that communicates with the merchant account and credit card company to confirm and process payments. The payment gateway you select should be compatible with your website and merchant account provider. All payment gateway services involve additional costs.

Some payment gateways such as Stripe and PayPal offer customers an integrated merchant account and payment gateway service. However depending on your volume of sales. There are plenty of other competitively priced solutions available such as Worldpay and Authorize.Net  

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SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for secure online payments

The SSL certificate is required to encrypt the link between the buyers’ browser (Chrome, Safari etc.) and the Ecommerce websites server. The server stores each buyers personal information and credit card details. This certificate visually amends the website address, by adding an “s”.

For example http://website.ca changes to https://website.ca

The added ‘s’ informs website users that their payment is secure and encrypted. The SSL certificate is a requirement of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) the body responsible for policing companies that accept and process card payments.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The CRM is used to manage new and established customer relationships, leads and sales. CRMs analyze marketing, increase sales and improve customer support and engagement. Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are two great options that can grow with your business. Visit SoftwareAdvice.com to compare lots more CRMs on the market. CRMs are a website add-on worth utilizing should your Ecommerce website prove successful.

All E-commerce websites published by Line Media include domain name (website address) and secure website hosting as standard. That is why we do not include an overview of such services.

We publish responsive Ecommerce websites that are self-hosted giving you full ownership of the website and domain name. The self-hosted website offers more independence and flexibility to store owners. All our Ecommerce websites are published on the WordPress platform. WooThemed websites integrate beautifully with WordPress delivering a fantastic user experience for consumers shopping on smartphones, tablets and desktops.

If you are considering developing an Ecommerce website to sell products or services through an online store why not contact Andy today to arrange  a Free Ecommerce website consultation.