Finshop is an online store for surfboard fins. It is an ideal candidate for eCommerce because of the following factors -:
Not easy to duplicate
This solution needed a custom shopping cart to be able to adequate describe the product and break sets of them up if need be whilst ensuring the correct fin was sent. (is left the top or bottom of the board view) We included a the Flash presentation that indicated the different configurations for different types of boards.
A Custom Shopping Cart can be built to the specific requirements of the products you sell - it allows you to stand out from the typical look of an online eCommerce site.
Starting with PayPal
We started with Paypal back in May 2008 and integrated our shopping cart with PayPal
In the case of surfboard fins many of the purchasers are young and familiar with eBay the owner of PayPal. Hence PayPal being free to setup was a great choice to launch the site and test the market.
Moving to a Payment Gateway
The problem with using Paypal or any system that is processed by transferring to another site to complete payment is that you will lose a significant number of sales because of this.
"If they cant process the payment on thier site - is this secure
and can I trust them to deliver?"
In the end it came down to choosing the solution that suited the banking requirements of the clients. We looked at Secure Pay and ANZ (a good option). We ended up with Westpac and thier Payway system (a good option).
Payway comes with a 46 page developers guide an online system that is very easy to use. They also have phone help which allows you to get technical support without being put on hold. You can use a test account that allows you to test your payments without being charged whilst you set up the site.
Hosting - Making the Payment Secure using an SSL certificate
Setting up secure payments is easier when you have great Java Hosting support.
The site needs to be set up to issue a SSL certificate that is recognised by the browser as a secure connection. This setup will vary depending on the host setup. We use our own dedicated servers and VPS both in Australia and OS. Another good mob to deal with for Australian Web Hosting is rackservers.com.au.
Search Engine Optimisation
We are not shy to mention we are search engine optimisation experts
There is not much point in launching a site and not being found in Google. This site is up the top of Google on terms like surfboard fins and FCS surfboard fins
What does it all cost
Check our website prices for full details however this solution costs-:
Come back to check the results - will sales improve when changing from PayPal (offsite) to a secure Merchant facility onsite?
My prediction is a 20%-50% improvement over a year. This solution was implemented live on 10th September 2010 - so lets check the results over the next year.
Comparison of Nov 09 to Nov 10
Completed sales online up %
Duplicate entries reduced dramatically - hence people understand what to do and how to order.
Duplicate enries often occur where someone is not sure how the system works or wants to see if they are going to be charged freight etc
Discontinued orders reduced dramatically Note we moved the site to our dedicated server which would have also contributed to the success.
Philip Hoile has lectured at Griffith University in e-business, advanced e-business, e-commerce and User Interface Design. A web developer since 1996 specialising in programming website Content Management Systems.
My interest in web marketing stems from a desire to improve client outcomes.
Disclaimer Information is presented here that may go out of date or expresses an opinion. This does contain information from sources I have an association with (i.e. I use thier services)