The proprietor of an e-commerce site is in a position analogous to the captain of a ship. It is the responsibility of that man or woman and nobody else to make sure that the business continues to prosperous and does not go “belly up.” Such a responsibility involves being on the constant lookout for the following things that could sink the site, including those discussed below.
Lack of online security
Security is the number-one consideration for an online business. As the proprietor you face continual threats from hackers who would steal your business secrets and even your identity. Therefore, given the choice between damage control and prevention you will be wise to choose the latter course of action, just as it would be wiser to prevent yourself from catching the flu in the first place than to treat it once it strikes. Features of e-commerce security include:
• account verification: This includes confirming a customer’s bank account as well as his or her identity. Amazon has one of the best account verification systems in place.
• security seals: This are what you use to brand your site in order to assure your customers that you will not compromise the security of their information.
Know also that the loss of even a single customer credit card number can be enough to cause your online business to go under.
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Bad credit card processing systems
Bad debts, or uncollectable accounts, are another thing that can drive an online company into bankruptcy. They are a measure of the loss incurred by selling on credit. Businesses that use the services of a credit card processing company can also be held liable if they become the victims of credit card fraud. The reason why companies sell on credit is because they can make more money than they otherwise could.
For this reason every customer who applies for a credit account should be subject to a rigorous screening process that includes a thorough check into his or her credit history. Credit accounts should be opened only to those who have a positive record of paying their debts on time.
Choosing the wrong hosting business
The company that you choose to do your online hosting is another decisive part in determining the success or failure of your company. It is thus an area in which you will really need to do your homework. Just because a particular web hosting company works or has worked perfectly well for another client does not necessarily mean that it will work just as well for yours. There is no “one size fits all.” You want to consider such factors as:
• the cost of services
• the amount of bandwidth available
• the quality of customer support
Do not be tempted by a company that does free hosting because it may put irrelevant advertisements all over your site.
Remember: The responsibility for keeping your site up is yours alone!
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