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Article section - Web development, eCommerce and site promotion tutorials and comments - free for reproduction!

Ecommerce articles, guides, tutorials and tools reviews

All articles in this archive were authored by the webmaster of Taming the Beast.net, Michael Bloch. Before reproducing them, please check the articles index page.

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Software that sells - knowledge base and FAQ's
Implementing an FAQ section as part of your ecommerce site can help reduce inbox overload, while helping to increase conversions.
Online fax services
Faxing is still a necessary evil in the world of ecommerce unfortunately - but you don't need to be stuck with a fax machine. Learn more about Internet fax services and try a free trial.
The scourge of friendly fraud - tips.
Friendly fraud costs ecommerce merchants millions of dollars each year; learn more about what it is and how you can combat it.
The leaky bucket syndrome
If your sales are such that you're looking for additional traffic sources; look closer to home before forking out cash for promotion.
Chargeback disputes
Receiving a chargeback is a painful part of ecommerce; but what about when you have a dispute with another merchant? You may find yourself needing to issue one of the nasty beasts in order to get your hard earned cash back. Some tips and strategies.
Preventing and challenging chargebacks
How chargebacks work, the threat to online businesses, costs, prevention tips and important information all merchants should be aware of.
Russia and ecommerce
The effects of the iron curtain and subsequent chaos since moving to a free(er) market are starting to dissipate in Russia and it's now a target market you may want to consider addressing.
Increasing revenue with server logs
Server logs are an often overlooked tool containing vital information that may help you increase your sales and revenue - learn how!
Digital goods security
If you're selling digital products such as pdf's, software, video or audio and don't have a solid licensing and registration system in place, chances are you're losing revenue to digital thieves. Learn more about a new service that provides high level protection, is easy to use and integrates with any cart system.
Terms of service traps
A Terms of Service document is there to protect the merchant, not the consumer - but even so, it doesn't mean the service provider can add whatever terms they like and for it to remain legal and binding.
Customer complaints and the Streisand effect
It's a nightmare for many business - a company-sucks.com site being launched in their (dis)honor. Before you set your lawyers on the party who created it; research carefully otherwise you may invoke the Streisand effect.
Build your business by outsourcing
Outsourcing sales and support aspects of your business can be quite economical, help increase your sales and free up more of your time to build your business in other ways.
Rainy day revenue
Success and failure can occur very rapidly in online business - here's some strategies on how to prepare for the hard times.
Business plan tips and template
Thinking about launching an ecommerce venture? Even if you have an existing online business, a documented business plan can help you to achieve your goals.
Live chat issues
Live chat services are a great way to provide current and potential clients increased communications with your online business; but some implementations can do more harm to an ecommerce site than good.
Page language translation
Not all your potential customers will have English as their primary language. Translating key pages on your site into different languages can make your online business more "foreigner" friendly!
Contract templates for ecommerce
Contracts and agreements are a necessary evil in an ecommerce environment. Learn more about what templates you should probably be using.
PCI compliance;  it's coming - for all merchants
PCI compliance certification isn't mandatory for all merchants; but that's likely to change very soon - this article contains information on what you need to know.
Basic ecommerce web site design and development - Part 1
A new series - Introduction, content you should include on your site, navigation and image issues.
Basic ecommerce web site development and design - Part 2
Pre-sales web site services services suggestions that may assist you in boosting online sales.
Shopping cart overview
Before spending your money on a shopping cart package, review this article and avoid some problems commonly faced by site owners venturing into the mad world of ecommerce!
Shopping cart reviews - the best solutions
After reviewing over 130 shopping cart/store front solutions, here's our pick based on features, pricing, scalability and support.
Payment Gateways,  Internet Merchant Accounts and 3rd party credit card processors.
The shopping cart is only the beginning. A must-read b2b article that can assist you in saving thousands of dollars!
Ecommerce - handling aggressive clients 
Aggression from some of your clients is one of the unfortunate aspects of ecommerce. These types of situations can be very serious and it's important that you handle them correctly. Pick up some advice in this article.
Backing up - a crucial task
Do you trust your service provider 100% to backup your data? You shouldn't; it should only be considered the second line of defense. Your first line is the backups you store - if you're not already doing this, pick up some tips in this article.
Drop-Shipping and Ecommerce
Drop shipping is an excellent way to decrease costs and expedite rapid order fulfillment, but it does pose a number of challenges in the current ecommerce climate as I recently discovered (from our ezine).
The YouTube story
If you've ever dreamed of striking it rich on the web but perhaps thought that all the good ideas were exhausted a couple of years ago, the recent stellar success of YouTube may have you thinking again :)
Patent trolls
That new idea you have for a killer online application or ecommerce venture may not be so new - and it could cost you big bucks if you launch the service and it catches the eye of the Patent Trolls.
Articles sites as revenue generators
No doubt you've seen the rags to riches stories of people who've launched articles sites and made a truckload through displaying contextual ads; but like anything else in online business, there's more to making a buck than just publishing thousands of pages up.
Getting support from merchants & online providers
Even though we may have our own online businesses and be very familiar with ecommerce processes and principles, many site owners still engage in poor communication techniques when requesting support from their own service providers and suppliers. Review my 12 tips for more effective communications.
Instant messaging & live chat etiquette
The right approach to Instant Messaging and Live Chat communications can boost your online sales and improve your networking opportunities. Pick up some tips in our guide. 
Domain name trading - viable?
If you're thinking of getting into domain name speculation and trading as an ecommerce venture; do yourself a favor and read this article first!
Reassured visitors = increased online sales
Confident site visitors become paying customers. Hints and tips on gaining credibility, plus how to develop a privacy statement... without hiring a lawyer!
Open Source software - an ecommerce alternative?
Free ecommerce related applications released under the Open Source initiative offer real alternatives for site owners; but there's a few issues you need to consider before implementing.
Optimizing web page load times
A slow loading web page can cost you sales - pick up some tips for improving page load times.
Credit card fraud strategies (updated).
With credit card fraud and chargeback fees on the rise, no ecommerce merchant can afford not to re-examine their anti fraud strategies. Pick up some valuable tips in this article, plus learn about a very special offer for Taming the Beast.net visitors of 2 months free transaction screening!
MLM/Network Marketing
What is MLM? Is it a good model to work with in ecommerce? Learn more about Multi-Level Marketing
Nigerian scams affecting ecommerce
More recent scams from Nigeria don't just target gullible and greedy individuals - there's some very real dangers for ecommerce merchants
Oil, telecommuting and ecommerce
Gas prices are skyrocketing, oil supplies are diminishing and our environment is suffering. Part of the solution to these problems lies in ecommerce and telecommuting.
WAP/WML tutorial and overview  
The number of WAP enabled handheld devices is rapidly increasing and it's a market that no ecommerce merchant should ignore. Discover more about WAP and learn how to create a cell phone friendly WML page!
CRM software review and guide
How can Customer Relationship Management software help you grow your online business and what the heck is it anyway? Read our guide and try a free service.
VOIP - the basics and benefits to ecommerce
Voice Over Internet Protocol is set to make major changes in the way we communicate via voice. Learn what VOIP is, how to evaluate it for free, and the benefits your online business.
Online business law
Legal resources for ecommerce merchants. Links to information on copyright, fair use, electronic trading, forms and templates.
Pagejacking - identifying/dealing with pagejackers
Pagejackers could be siphoning profits from your hard work. Learn more about the problem and how to combat it.
Success in online business 
Why is it that so many ecommerce entrepreneurs fail while others seem to have the Midas touch? Learn more about the traits of successful online small business owners.
Click fraud
Pay per click fraud - yet another online blight that ecommerce site owners need to be aware of. Review some strategies and tools for minimizing the impact of PPC fraud on your ecommerce investment.
How to minimize shopping cart abandonment
Find out why 57% of shopping cart sessions are abandoned and pick up some tips for minimizing shopping cart abandonment.
Drop shipping
Want to get into ecommerce? Don't want to have to keep inventory? Consider using a drop shipping strategy.
Web site monitoring
There's nothing worse than your site being down - except for not knowing as soon as there's a problem. Retain clients and improve your sales by utilizing web site monitoring services. Read our guide and try out a free service.
Research- Statistics
Search for free resources in relation to ecommerce and marketing statistics or what strategies work and what doesn't? This may help you locate the information you need.
Debt collection..ugh
Chasing overdue payments from partners and clients is never fun, but it's critical to the survival of your business. Read our guide to chasing overdue payments and tips for minimizing the occurrence of bad debt.
Email and Ecommerce
We all know that email marketing is an important part of any ecommerce venture - but what does the future hold? Threats and strategies.
Handling online business crisis
Ever had one of those days where everything went wrong? Survive the next crisis with help from these strategies
Paypal fraud - a blight on ecommerce
PayPal fraud is nothing new, but this latest scam was a little different. From our ezine.
Ecommerce terminology
Common ecommerce related terms and their definitions, plus links to related resources.
What's in a name?
A comprehensive guide to selecting and registering domain names
Web Site Hosting Guide 1 
Asking the right questions & host reviews strategies.  
Web  Site and Email disclaimers
In this age of increasing litigation, site disclaimers have become a necessary evil.
Dot Bomb - Trend or Lesson?
What lessons & opportunities can be gained from the spectular web site nose-dives of the Internet?
Australian ecommerce - b2b yet 2b?
The challenges of working within the current Australian ebusiness environment

Other article and tutorial archives on Taming the Beast:

Search engine optimization tutorials section

General web marketing & promotion articles

Online business security articles and tools

Affiliate marketing strategies and tutorials

Web development tutorials and articles

Our entire marketing, ecommerce & design archives

search for specific articles

Online meeting & webinar software review
Powerful, easy to use collaboration tools that can help improve your marketing sales and training efforts. Learn more about these services in this review & try a free trial!

The best shopping cart software
Our reviews of some of the best shopping carts around - free ecommerce solutions  through to premium services offering affiliate programs, marketing modules & online soft goods delivery.  Shopping cart software guide 

Autoresponder software/mailing list manager
 Read our beginners guide and reviews of all-in-one autoresponder & email marketing software solutions.

Credit card transaction fraud screening!  Effective fraud screening is an essential part of running an online businesses. Fraud transactions cost you money and can threaten your merchant account. Pick up a stack of transaction screening tips in this free guide! 

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