So I built my website, now how do I sell my products? Well you are entering into the business owners headache. E-Commerce. This is something that while I cant say you can’t DIY. In good conscious I must recommend you seek the services of a qualified IT professional. This is the stuff lawsuits are made of. As such please note this is not meant to be legal advice or imply any kind of client relationship.
Ok legal ease and compliance aside. You first will need to secure a credit processor compliant with your use case. For those in CBD, firearms or other high risk categories DO NOT USE paypal, square, or the like. Always review the TOS (Terms of Service), you will have your money frozen if you are found in violation. Finally, if you are doing a high volume of sales and transactions you may also want to look at a traditional credit card processor. Some integrate with the same gateways used by counter credit card terminals, the simplification alone is worth it. Contact your financial institution and google the options and shop around. Build yourself a team you can rely on.
This article is assuming you are running a wordpress website as per the earlier article. Other CMS systems have similar methodologies you will need to do you own research to figure out which to use. In our case look in your plugins library for a plugin called Woocommerce. It is a simple installation procedure and it has a wizard to guide you through setting it up. Depending on your credit card processor you will need to then get a plugin to integrate woocommerce with your payment processor’s gateway. A competent professional will save you a bunch of time with this task.
The next thing you will need to ensure is to add your products. Before proceeding you will want to ensure that you have an SSL certificate installed that is compliant with your payment processors requirements. Once that is done, put some thought into how you intend to organize them. There are two means of organizing content, categories and tags. Best practice is to use categories are for broad attributes and tags for fine ones. As an example, a blue truck would be category of truck and tagged blue. By doing this you build a taxonomy. A well defined taxonomy will allow you to make robust queries and save you a bunch of time later. That taxonomy is like the foundation of your house, treat it accordingly.
Finally the bane of every e-commerce operators existence. Compliance. As an American I can only comment on PCI Compliance, and to reiterate, this is meant to be a broad overview consult a professional familiar with your use case. Your credit card processor may also have additional requirements you must meet. That said, some common features are the following.
1.) You must ensure that you are displaying the accepted cards logos.
2.) You must post a terms of service and or a return policy (footers are your friend)
3.) You must show a green bar on your site and your SSL must be compatible with your processors requirements.
Talking the specifics of what gateway or what processor is required for your usecase is impossible to do in a general article. Your merchant service provider (MSP) will have advice and point you in the right direction. Your IT professional will also have some good input. Even if you are using a processor like paypal, woocommerce and its like will grow with you if you need to expand to a more industrial grade solution it is open for you. In reality building a solid e-commerce site is about building a good team. Good luck all!