Secure Ecommerce Shopping Cart

A secure ecommerce shopping cart performs many important functions in Internet sales. This 'cart' is actually software which allows people to participate in making online shopping purchases. While shopping, customers click on the desired item and it is automatically placed into the cart. This is a vast improvement over other sales venues, such as paper catalogs, where the buyer may need to enter product numbers and other information, as well as calculate costs. At checkout time, the total for the order (including taxes and shipping costs) is calculated. Of course, the customer has control of the process and may add or delete items before giving final approval to process the order.

Software for ecommerce shopping cart hosting is either purchased by license or provided by a hosted service provider. If purchased by license, the merchant can install it on any server which has the capability to meet its requirements. The source code for the software can be accessed and the merchant can edit it as needed in order to customize the application for his or her business. Hosted service providers are generally paid monthly or yearly. In addition, some may also charge a percentage of the sales. Be sure to ascertain all set-up charges and on-going fees before committing to a host. Usually access to source code is not given, although a variety of templates are made available to customize the web page. Vendors, however, will keep security features updated and periodically add helpful features.

With a secure ecommerce shopping cart, even a small business can make advances against the sales of larger operations. Having an online website with ecommerce shopping cart hosting allows the business to be open 24/7, without having to hire additional workers or incur other costs. Technical support is often available around the clock. Also, the product or service is able to be sold worldwide. Having a website with a shopping cart does not in itself guarantee that customers will come to the site. Many service providers who offer shopping cart hosting also offer other services, such as website building or logo creation. Search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, and other services designed to improve visitor traffic and gain sales is available, either as part of the service package or for additional cost. Most hosts will be glad to assist their customers in obtaining merchant accounts from credit card companies or obtaining domain registrations. Be sure to check on the features offered with each account, such as the amount of bandwidth and disk storage space that comes with the site. There are also Internet sites which evaluate ecommerce shopping cart hosting providers in areas such as price, features, security and ease of use. These may be helpful in narrowing the many choices available.

Security is probably the main concern of those who wish to purchase items online. Often, online shoppers come upon merchants who assure visitors that they offer a secure ecommerce shopping cart. This is meant to reassure hesitant customers that through Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, their sensitive personal or credit card information is protected. The aim is to deliver information with as little exposure as possible. Using data encryption, the information is sent from the customer. The merchant obtains credit card information which is also encrypted. Other information may not be encrypted, but sensitive material has been removed. Orders may be sent to the email or FAX machine chosen by the business owner. At the same time, a customer will receive an email regarding his or her purchase. Often a password and tracking number is also provided, so that the customer can remain aware of the progress of the order. With some programs, a notes field is available for adding messages for the customer.

Shipping is another area which is simplified by ecommerce shopping cart hosting. A variety of ways to calculate shipping is available. Real time rates can be obtained directly from the carrier. These are usually determined by weight and location. Custom shipping by weight can also be arranged, with rates determined by the business owner according to the total weight of the items in the cart. Custom shipping by price is another option. Sometimes special offers are made for customers who purchase a designated amount -- like free shipping for any order over $100. Arrangements for electronic items such as software applications or audio files can be made so that a customer is sent a login and password to obtain his or her purchases.

Managing a business is also simplified by features offered through ecommerce shopping cart hosting. No HTML experience is needed to maintain the website or shopping cart. Product information can be easily updated with point and click software. Inventory lists and catalogs can be constructed, and any documents or reports needed to help run the business can be generated. Most merchant accounts take only 1-3 days to transfer funds to the business' account. If a business already has a merchant's account, be sure it is supported by the shopping cart service provider. Otherwise, a new account may have to be obtained.

Planning to incorporate a secure ecommerce shopping cart is one indication that an owner is trying to do everything possible to build up a business. In this regard, do not neglect matters which are often ignored. In the zeal to see a business prosper, do not forget to deal with the weighty matters of integrity and diligence. Each step of the way, run the business with honesty and perform necessary tasks promptly. This is a sure way to build up a strong customer base. In Proverbs 12:3, the writer insists that A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. Be one who customers can trust to give accurate information. Take the steps necessary to ensure that products are delivered swiftly and problems resolved fairly. Repeat daily. Enjoy the response from happy customers.

Secure Online Shopping

Secure online shopping has become increasingly popular in a relatively short time. Thousands are drawn to the ease that shopping from their own home provides, especially around the holiday season with increased traffic and stress filled crowds filling the local malls. The Internet has become a virtual haven for those who dislike the oppression of standing in long lines and dealing with possible irate employees, similar to how, "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble" (Psalm 9:9). However, with the many advantages the Internet provides, there are disadvantages, mainly when it comes to security fraud and dishonest salespeople. Yet with a little know how and some common sense, perusing the virtual world for purchases can prove to be safe and rewarding.

There are numerous tips and points of advice available for those to read and take into consideration before proceeding to make purchases through the Internet. Shopping at home can be convenient and easy, however, there are pitfalls that should be avoided. Tips for secure online shopping are straightforward, easily implemented and should always be in the forefront of shopper's minds. First of all, the main security tip is to shop only at sites that posses and air of credibility, such as a site that is associated with a chain of a well know store, or a site that offers feedback from other shoppers. Testimonials from previous customers can be an excellent way in allowing future shoppers to see that others have benefited from a positive shopping experience.

Many dislike the idea of shopping online for the simple fact that this method provides too much ease and large quantities of money can be spent if one is not careful. Most stores and sites that offer web based shopping require users to set up a personalized account that is accessed by way of security measures, such as requiring a password in order for one to log in. This method of secure Internet shopping is widely used and usually people need only set up an account one time and then when they decide to make another purchase or series of purchases, time and effort is saved due to the fact that all one's important information is already inputted. Standard information such as a customer's name and billing address will remain on the account, along with a preciously selected method of payment. However, important credit card information will not be remembered for the sake of safety, and the user will simply input all relevant information when prompted.

When selecting a password to ensure secure online shopping a person should keep in mind that the sequence of letters, numbers, or a combination of the two should not only be unique, but sequences that are not easily guessed by a potential hacker or thief. For this reason, many choose to change a password from time to time in order for added security. Internet users must also keep in mind that they should have a different password for every account on various websites. The simple act of having a variety of passwords provides an added level of security due to the fact that if someone were to infiltrate an account the devious person could not have continued access from account to account.

Security precautions should be taken by users even when sites implement their own measures for secure internet shopping. Internet based auctions have become a very popular way of selling all sorts of merchandise, from miscellaneous trinkets of days gone by, to high end furniture, and even occasional vehicles or houses. As easy as it can be to participate in electronic auctions, participants should be selective concerning whom they choose to buy from. For this reason such sites will have options for previous buyers to leave feedback, along with that information future consumers are able to see a rating of sorts that can go a long way into proving the trustworthiness of a seller.

Smart shoppers should also be aware of faulty advertising or scams. A good rule of thumb to go by is to avoid giving out any pertinent and valuable information through a site that looks suspicious. Another tip for secure online shopping is to always make sure of a return policy. Valid sellers and worthwhile stores will cater to the customer, by means of having a relatively simple and secure method of returns if the item does not prove satisfactory. Websites and Internet based stores are simply more credible when they have a straightforward return policy. Shoppers can greatly benefit from conducting research about a company before giving out any private information. One of the main concerns when it comes to shopping online is that one will not receive an item or items that they have paid for. This can be avoided by doing preliminary research into the validity of a store.

Additional precautions include shopping at sites that are based in the United States and avoid overseas transactions, and also to be aware of the shipping schedule and have an idea of how long the item or items should take to arrive. By simply being aware of the basic procedures and shipping costs, people can avoid being taken advantage of and ultimately promote secure internet shopping. In addition, savvy shoppers should always print out the final page of a transaction especially if the page contains pertinent information such as a billing address, date of transaction and method of payment used. Such a page a can act as a receipt so if any problems do in fact ensue, the consumer has a paper copy they can use as proof of the transaction, what was purchased and how much they spent. By keeping a few simple tips in mind, secure internet shopping can yield satisfactory results.

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