Table of Contents:
1. Frequently Asked Questions.
What kind of person does it take to run an online store?. How much will it cost to get my store up and running?. What equipment and software do I need?. Can I run my store out of my house or apartment or should I find an office?. How many employees do I need? Can I do it myself?. How much money can I make?. What are some advantages and disadvantages to running an online store?. How much content do I need to generate?. Are there any specific laws and regulations covering online stores?. How do I find a good lawyer?. What sells best on the Web? What should I sell?. Once I've started selling things, how do I get the products to the customers?. Can I make my store virtual?. Is there anything I can sell and distribute directly over the Web?. Should I consider combining my traditional store with an online store?. What are some of the most successful online stores?. What are online auctions?. What's the difference between simply selling something online and running an online store?. Isn't online retailing really competitive? Will I be able to succeed?. Can I just open my store and let the orders roll in?. What is spam? Is it a good thing?. I don't know much about computers, let alone HTML code. What should I learn before opening my online store?. Should I hire someone to develop my site or should I do it myself?. Are there any "Shop In A Box" products available?. What are Net.Commerce, Open Market Transact, and Microsoft Site Server?. What are online malls and how do they work?. I hear there is a risk involved in accepting credit card orders.Should I accept them?. What other kinds of security risks do I have to worry about?. What are SET, SSL, e-cash, and TRUSTe?. I've heard a lot about VeriSign. Who are they?. Are there any good references to help online store proprietors?. All right, I'm going to start an online store. Where do I start? 2. The Story of Tronix.
A Beginning in Retail. The Birth of Tronix. Keys to Success. Why Many Web Stores Fail. Becoming a Workaholic out of Necessity. Looking Ahead 3. Lessons From Other Online Retailers.
Fogdog Sports. Eddie Bauer. Surf Warehouse. Learn from Others 4. Understanding the Online Store Market Opportunity.
Starting with the Fundamentals. Web-User Demographics. From Hardware and Software to Users. How Are People Shopping Online?. Understanding the Nature of Online Shoppers. Understanding the Detriments. In the End, Information Is Key. What Does This All Mean?. What's a Web Merchant to Do?. Numbers Can't Make Your Idea Work. Further Reading and Resources 5. Web Store Business Models.
One-to-One Relationships. Narrow Interest Aggregation. Low Cost of Entry. Leveraging Technology. The Sea Is Changing. Choosing a Business Model. Which Model Works for You.
II. Building Your Store.
6. Launching Your Online Store.
Selecting a Name. Choosing a Legal Entity. A Tax ID and Resale Certificate. Working Out of an Office. Acquiring a Merchant Account to Accept Credit Cards. Setting Up with Distributors and Vendors. Choosing Your Web-Hosting Situation. Hiring a Developer vs. Doing It Yourself. Choosing the Right Software. Wrap Up 7. Joe's Template For Store Design.
Developing Your Own Web Site. Constructing a User-Friendly Web Site. On to Inventory 8. Stocking Your Store.
Getting Product. Minimizing Your Inventory Risk. Knowing Which Items Are Hot. Importing. Getting Big by Keeping It Small 9. Creating Retail Content Without Spending a Fortune.
Informational Content. Interactive Content. Multimedia Content. Software Content. Tips for Generating Good Content. Essential Gravy
III. Promoting Your Store.
10. Finding Customers Online.
Forum and Community Types. Making Use of the Usenet. Using Mailing Lists. Using Online Forums and Clubs. Other Ways to Spread the Good Word. An Easy, Personal Way to Reach Customers 11. Promoting Your Store Online and Offline.
Search Engines. Links. Bounty Programs. Online Malls. Working with Online and Offline Media. Never Underestimate Promotion 12. Advertising.
Why, When, and What to Advertise?. Where Should I Advertise?. Where Should I Advertise on the Internet?. Banner Ads. Calculating a Return on Your Investment. Do it, Mix it, and Maintain it
IV. Selling and Shipping.
13. International Sales.
Processing an International Order. Promoting Your Store Internationally. International Telecommunications. Credit Card Orders. Internationalizing Your Web Store. Shipping Page. International Email Tips. International Access from Your Back Yard 14. Payment Acceptance and Processing.
Setting Up a Merchant Account. Before You Enable Transactions. Types of Payment and Acceptance. Major Credit Cards. Processing an Online Credit Card Order. Processing a Phone or Fax Order. International Orders. Secure Electronic Transaction (SET). Accept Credit Cards, But Be Careful 15. Identifying and Preventing Crime.
A Variety of Crime. Preventing Electronic Crimes. Implementing Encryption. Credit Card Fraud. Stop, Thief! 16. Electronic Software Distribution.
Benefits of ESD. Types of ESD. A Closer Look at ESD. Stepping Through an ESD Transaction. ESD Fraud and Other Concerns. Coordination Is Key. ESD Is the Future 17. Shipping.
Setting Up a Shipping Account. Utilizing Each Courier's Strengths. Minimizing Your Shipping Rates. Shipping Supplies. Easier to Get Than You Think. Linking Shipping with Your Web Site. Pros and Cons of COD. Mistakes Happen and That Means a Refund. Reinforcing the Shipping Link
V. Maintaining and Growing Your Store.
18. Maintaining Your Store.
Organizing Your Day. Redesigning Your Web Site. Invoicing. Organizing Your Site's Back End. Periodic Maintenance. If You Fail To Plan, You Plan To Fail. 19. Building Loyal Customers Through Online Customer Service.
Email Accounts and Customer Profiles. Creating Email Mailing Lists. Top Email Packages. How to Handle Phone Calls. Privacy. Customer Service Is an Investment. 20. Fighting Off the Competition.
Unique Aspects of Internet Competition. Tracking the Competition. Finding a Competitive Niche. Keeping in Touch with the Web Community. Fight, Fight, Fight! 21. Legal Issues.
Introduction. Jurisdiction. Tax Issues. Intellectual Property. International Law. Miscellaneous Concerns. Conclusion.
VI. Store-Building Tips and Details.
22. All-In-One Store-Building. Yahoo Store and Other Offerings.
Introduction and Yahoo Store Features. Advanced Features. Merchant Resources. Test Drive. Amazon.com Shops. Other Options. But Wait, There's More. Finding the Best Store-Building Service for You. You Now Have No Excuse! 23. Creating Online Auction Stores
What Are Online Auctions and Why Are They So Popular?. Auctioning via a Service vs. Running an Auction Store. Running Your Own Server. OpenSite Auction Server. Promoting Your Auction Store. More Auction Tips. Getting People to Buy. Auctions. from Sideshow to Mainstream 24. Home-Brewed Store-Building.
The Three Approaches. Step 1. Get Hosting Service That Supports ShopSite. Step 2. Build Out Your Product Information. Step 3. Build Your Custom Site. Step 4. Build Credit Processing. Step 5. Additional Configuration Issues. Reports. Merchandising Options. Step 6. Publish and Manage. Do-It-Yourself Affiliate System and Stores. The Home-Brewed Affiliate Store. Where to Next? 25. Advanced Store-Building.
Choosing a Server and an OS. Database Choice and Plan. Other Key Decisions. Toward the Fully Integrated Store. Here Comes XML. Summary Index.