"Dave: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL? HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you."
My first ecommerce site was a supplement to my brick-and-mortar shop in 2000. There was little online competition. Amazon sold only books. Most of my competitors were small independents like me, and it was easy to stand above the crowd. I advertised the site on shopping bags, on leaflets at conventions, and in an occasional magazine. This post is the second in a series on starting and growing an ecommerce business.
For most websites, there are established best practices that can help you build a useful, functional site. However, e-commerce websites are unique. They need to manage inventory, process payments and provide a convenient shopping interface. And they need to work harder to overcome the inherent uncertainties of the internet in order to inspire consumers to part with their hard-earned money.