To set up your own ecommerce application on your web site you will need these elements:
- A web site hosted with a web hosting provider that supports
- A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) server certificate is necessary to
protect the information about the transaction as it passes through the
Internet. A certificate may be acquired from a provider such as
or Thawte. They generally cost about $125/year. Check with your web hosting
service provide before purchasing a certificate.
- An online catalog/shopping cart of products and services. This
keeps track of what the shopper wants to buy and sends the total to
- A Payment Gateway (such as
PayPal) is the credit card
processor that provides a secure bridge between your web site and your
merchant account. Payment gateways range from no setup/no monthly fee but
high per-transaction charge, to high setup plus monthly fees and inexpensive
- An Internet Merchant Bank Account that deposits the money into
your bank account (expect $20-$100/month plus fees for this service).
Merchant accounts may be offered by your bank. Verify that your account can
connect to your payment gateway.
- Third party payment processors
- Third party processors such as PayPal
will handle the payment gateway, merchant bank account, and SSL portions of
your ecommerce site.
- Processing manually
- You can use a virtual terminal to manually process orders submitted
through a secure (see SSL above) web page or over the phone.
Options for ecommerce only web site hosts
- Online Malls
- You can build a store using an online mall such as
- Auction Sites
- List your items on an auction site such as
eBay and ubid.
- Hosted Store-fronts
- Host your ecommerce web site with an
ecommerce provider that provides all the
necessary software to catalog, shopping cart, and process your sales.