Getting a basic website set up

In Part 3 of our eCommerce series, we take a closer look at what features your website should contain to make it successful.

Features a website should contain.

To achieve your goals when it comes to eCommerce, you should have a comprehensive list of the products and services you sell on your website or marketplace page. The online shop should be easy to navigate, user friendly and aesthetically appealing.

It should also be optimised for mobile devices, because purchases from cellphones are now accounting for a sizeable share of the market. In the US, for example, data from eCommerce platform Oberlo shows that mobile commerce sales reached in the region of $3.56 trillion in 2021. While the figures might be lower in South Africa, there are still many consumers shopping on mobile devices, so it’s critical to optimise your online store for them.

The checkout experience is another important aspect of eCommerce functionality. This is the process the customer goes through to buy your product or service. If your checkout process is clunky and cumbersome

or requires too many steps, you may lose the sale. Shopping cart abandonment is a real phenomenon, with research showing the average abandonment rate stands at 69.57%.


• Most customers expect you to accept debit and credit card payments. To do so, you need a merchant account. Here’s what to expect when opening a merchant account for your business.

• Your business needs a merchant account to accept credit and debit cards in person and online

• A payment processor can set up your merchant account

• When researching credit card processor services, consider fees, hardware support, customer support and contract length.

• The merchant account types available for eCommerce businesses are different from those of brick-and-mortar stores.



Direct: You apply for a direct merchant account directly at a merchant bank

Local: A local merchant account is an account in your home country

Offshore: Also known as an international merchant account, an offshore merchant account is located outside the country

High-risk: A high-risk merchant account is intended for online businesses with a high percentage of chargebacks and returns

Third-party: Connected by an additional secure payment gateway, a third-party merchant account contributes to the processor’s work – sharing its expenses. This type of account is ideal if you’re just starting an e-commerce company.


Take a closer look at what’s happening in the local market by joining these communities, where you’ll find lots of free information to help you on your journey, as well as keep you up to date with trends and news.

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