First of all, you obviously need a product or service to sell. This can be hard goods (physical) or soft goods (downloadable).
After that, you need a place to host your website, called a hosting server. There are many hosting companies you can use, but you need to make sure your shopping cart software is compatible with the hosting server.
Then you need a website. This can be an existing website to which you can add eCommerce capabilities or you can build the site from scratch. Some shopping carts come with website wizards that let you create a website with no html skills. Others offer to build the site with their design professionals.
The shopping cart is one of the most important parts to having a smooth e-commerce transition. Elements that are critical to a shopping cart should be, website wizards, Merchant tools, Shopping features, payment options, shipping and taxes configurations, statistics, and security. A truly great shopping cart is considered an E-commerce solution.
Credit Card Processing
Next you need some way of accepting online payments. This normally means credit cards. There are also other types of payments that the shopping cart should handle, checks, E-checks, cod, phone orders and person-to-person.
Merchant accounts aren't the same as ordinary bank accounts even though ordinary banks provide them. These accounts allow a business to accept credit cards as payment for goods and services. In a way, merchant accounts act as a contract between the business owner and the bank. Rules defining how products will be bought, sold and paid for are set; any violation of these rules is considered fraud.
A customer enters credit card information to purchase your product or service. This data is passed to the merchant web server and a payment gateway through a secure socket layer (SSL)*. Once the