E-commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business.
To collect payment for your goods/services you could ask people to send you a check or money order. But that is not what most people look for in consumer transactions. They want to pay by credit card, either directly or through a service like PayPal.
- American Advertising Federation sample privacy policies
Sales taxes in the United States are taxes placed on the sale or lease of goods and services in the United States. While no national general sales tax exists, the federal government levies several national selective sales taxes on the sale or lease of particular goods and services. Furthermore, forty-five states, the District of Columbia, and Guam impose general sales taxes that apply to the sale or lease of most goods and some services, and states also may levy selective sales taxes on the sale or lease of particular goods or services. States may also delegate to local governments the authority to impose additional general or selective sales taxes.
- Wikipedia: Sales taxes in the United States
- TaxCloud - TaxCloud was created by FedTax, a privately held company that is committed to making it easy for retailers to collect sales tax online. TaxCloud is a free service to sellers.
- TaxRates.com - Free tax rate table download and calculator.
Calculating shipping costs may be important. In addition, determining whether or not you have to charge tax on shipping; or shipping and handling, is necessary.
An SSL certificate enables encryption between the client (customer) and your server. The address bar changes from http:// to https:// indicating the connection is secure. Any connection involving e-commerce should be done with a secure connection.
An SSL certificate should be considered mandatory for e-commerce.
Storefront / Shopping cart
Whether you call it a storefront or just a shopping cart, you need some way to display your goods/services and permit people to order them. Then they need to go through the checkout process.
If you are using WordPress, you might want to use a WordPress plugin for your storefront. This would tightly integrate your WordPress with your store. There are a number of WordPress storefront plugins. Here are some of them (not reviewed):