Building an e-Business
There are numerous ways to design, develop and maintain an e-business. Some businesses establish online presences using turnkey solutions. (See the Yahoo! Store feature.) A turn-key solution is a prepackaged e-business. Another option for e-business development is e-business templates, which outline the business’ basic structure, but allow the design to be determined by the owner. Alternatively, larger corporations and businesses with substantial funding can outsource the project to an organization that offers e-business solution pack-ages. Large corporations also can build e-business solutions in-house.
Online store-builder solutions allow merchants to set up online storefronts, complete with catalogs, shopping carts and order-processing capabilities. Although these usually fixed-price options are available to businesses of all sizes, they are ideal for small busi-nesses that cannot afford custom solutions or do not possess secure merchant servers. Yahoo! Store is one of the most popular e-commerce store-builder solutions.7 Yahoo! Store is available at store.Yahoo.com.
Yahoo! Store charges monthly fees on the basis of the number of items that users want to sell. Designed to simplify the process of creating an online store, this turnkey solution contains all the features necessary to build a complete e-commerce site.
To set up a demo store, go to store.yahoo.com and click the Create a Store link. Under I’m a New User, click on Sign me up! Users must enter the addresses and names of their sites. After clicking Create, users are presented with the Yahoo! Store Merchant Service Agreement, which must be accepted before a demo store can be built. After the user accepts the agreement, Yahoo! Store provides detailed direc-tions to help merchants set up active online storefronts. The construction of a demo store is free, but orders cannot be processed.
Merchants can change the style of their Web sites by clicking on the Look button. Several style templates are available. In addition, the Random option can be used to change the colors and fonts. Yahoo! Store automatically sets up the shopping cart and secure order forms so customers can purchase products through new Web stores.
To set up a working storefront where orders can be accepted, users must sign on with Yahoo! Store and set up merchant accounts with banks, enabling the acceptance of credit-card payments. Generally, merchant banks and credit-card companies retain a small percentage of each transaction as their fee. (Online payments are discussed in Section 32.5.)
Yahoo! Store e-commerce sites are hosted on Yahoo! secure servers, which are maintained on a 24-by-7 basis. The site also backs up all the information needed to run a store and provides SSL technology to encrypt credit-card transactions. (We discuss SSL security in Section 32.6.2.)
Yahoo! Store merchants can track sales, analyze customers’ paths through the Web to their sites and use the Yahoo! wallet. (E-wallets are discussed in Section 32.5.2.) In addition, Yahoo! lists each store in Yahoo! Shopping, allowing customers to access the store through a link at the Yahoo! Web site.
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