Nevertheless, the challenge here isn’t so much in how to get your online shop up and running – instead it’s about attracting visitors and converting them to paying customers. For some folks an online business is a great way to make a little money on the side, while for others it’s their main livelihood. Sadly if you build it people aren’t going to be flocking to your shop. That’s one of the major drawbacks with the ease of setting up an online shop there ends up being tons of them. Fortunately, the things that make the big online shops successful can be applied to your business too. Below you’ll find nine things you can do to make your online shop really standout. 9 Things That Make Online Shops Successful</h5> 1. Product reviews< 2. Quality images 3. Easy payment process 4. Fast loading times 5. Quality design 6. Related products 7. Easy store navigation 8. Excellent copy for product descriptions 9. Fantastic customer support
Let's face it, there's every reason in the world to shop online. The bargains are there. The selection is mind-boggling. The shopping is secure. Shipping is fast. Even returns are pretty easy, with the right e-tailers. Shopping has never been easier or more convenient for consumers. But what about the bad guys who lay in wait? IID's Third Quarter eCrime Report for 2011 indicates that use of phishing attacks (where thieves attempt to swindle you out of your sign-in credentials and even credit card info by pretending to be a real website, or even an online bank) is down, as much as eight percent since the second quarter and 11 percent since the third quarter of last year. That's great news—except the same report says sites with malware (malicious code aimed at compromising your privacy) has increased by 89 percent since the second quarter. Stay calm. While somewhat alarming, these stats should not keep you from shopping online. You simply need some common sense and practical advice. Follow these basic guidelines and you can shop online with confidence. Here are 11 tips for staying safe online, so you can start checking off items on that holiday shopping list. 1. Use Familiar Websites Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. If you know the site, chances are it's less likely to be a rip off. We all know Amazon.com and that it carries everything under the sun; likewise, just about every major retail outlet has an online store, from Target to Best Buy to Home Depot. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example)—those are the oldest tricks in the book. Yes, the sales on these sites might look enticing, but that's how they trick you into giving up your info. 2. Look for the Lock Never ever, ever buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn't have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed—at the very least. You'll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser. Never, ever give anyone your credit card over email. Ever. 3. Don't Tell All No online shopping store needs your social security number or your birthday to do business. However, if crooks get them, combined with your credit card number for purchases, they can do a lot of damage. The more they know, the easier it is to steal your identity. When possible, default to giving up the least amount of information. 4. Check Statements Don't wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don't see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal. (After all, there's more than one way to get to your money.) If you do see something wrong, pick up the phone to address the matter quickly. In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only once you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems, however; after that, you might be liable for the charges anyway.
Our debit card makes it easy to spend from your checking account, and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere credit cards are accepted. But if you have the option to use a credit card, it’s probably safer to use credit — especially when shopping online. How to Stay Safe Using Your Debit Card To reduce the likelihood of problems, follow some basic security rules. Look for the lock: Make sure you’re shopping on a secure website, especially when it’s time to enter your card number. Look for the lock icon in your browser and pay attention to any security warnings that pop up. Monitor your account: It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on your money, and it’s especially important if you’re sharing account information online. Check on your accounts regularly (once per month is a bare minimum — more often is better). Set up alerts in your account so you know when money goes out. Use secure connections: Mobile devices and free Wi-Fi make it easy to get things done. But you never know how secure a public hotspot is. If you’re going to access financial accounts or punch in card numbers, save those tasks for when you’re at home or work and you know your traffic is safe. Debit Card Protection Federal law offers some protection against fraud in your checking account, but you have to report trouble as soon as possible. If you spot the problem and notify your bank, your liability can be limited: You’re liable for up to $50 if you call your bank within two days of fraudulent use. You’re responsible for up to $500 if you report the problem within 60 days. You can be held 100% responsible if you don’t report the problem within 60 days. Some debit cards come with additional protection from the card issuer, so you’re safer than federal law requires. These services are often called “zero liability” policies or similar. However, your card still pulls from your checking account – so you’ll have to wait at least a few days to get your money back. If your checking account is running on empty, that’s going to cause a domino effect. If you're using a prepaid debit card (as opposed to one that came with your checking account), you might have less protection than described above — so be sure to research your card's policies before using it online.