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Home > Books > SBWTW > Chapter 7

Small Business Websites That Work

Book cover: Small Business Websites That Work By Sean McManus
Published by Prentice Hall (Pearson)

Selling from your website - chapter summary

Get customers to type in their order requests, their address and their credit card details and you have a sale

Your website can make it easier for customers to shop with you, as long as it's planned with care. Include shopping baskets, accounts, gift recommendations and any other features that will save customers time.

Not all products are a good match for online sales, but you can encourage customers to take a risk by offering a guarantee that they can return products they don't like. Digital products such as electronic books, song files and games are a good match for online selling because they can be easily distributed but you might need to invest heavily in anti-piracy measures if this is central to your business plan.

There are several different ways you can accept credit cards for payment, even if you don't have your own merchant account. Any websites you partner with should be easy for customers to use and offer a smooth transition between your site and theirs.

If you are accepting credit cards at your website, you need to invest in a secure server ID. To make best use of it, explain to your customers what it means so that they can overcome any doubts they have about trading with you.

Make the website one of your sales channels that serves your customers and don't treat it as an isolated business. If you can use your walk-in business to take people to the website, or can use the website to bring people into your shop, you'll give them a choice about how they want to shop from you and will be able to offer greater flexibility and a better level of service.

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