E-Commerce and business solutions

Selling stuff using WordPress. Is that possible? Any suggestions on how to do that? What about a booking system? How do I get my real-life business to show up on Google Maps and what is it good for?

Chapter 1: Using PayPal
Chapter 2: How to add a PayPal Shopping Cart to your website
Chapter 3: An easy but not safe solution to sell digital products (E-Books, Music, ...) with PayPal
Chapter 4: How to build an online store (like http://ebookstoretoday.com) using the WP eStore plugin
Chapter 5: Booking system solution
Chapter 6: How to add a vCard to your contact page
Chapter 7: Adding your (real life) business to Google Maps

Chapter 1: Using PayPal

1. Signup to PayPal. To sell stuff through your website and accept payments made by credit card you either need a Premier or a Business account.
What's the difference between a Premier and a Business account? Using a Premier account people will see your personal name in addition to your business name (if any). With a Business account people will only see your business name. If you choose to have a Business PayPal account you also need to have a bank account with your business name to transfer money. You can't have a Business PayPal account and transfer money to a bank account with your personal name. Applying fees are the same for both accounts.
2. Once you signed up go to Merchant portal and you will find something called "Key features" where you have to choose what button you would like to add
- PayPal shopping cart
- Buy now buttons
- Donations
- ...
3. Once you choose the one you want click on it and you will be led to a page where you have many options to customize the button (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3)
4. Once you customized you're button click on "Create Button" at the bottom of the page
5. The code will be created. Click on "Select code" and copy it
6. Paste the code
7. You're done.

Have a look at this for further informations

Chapter 2: How to add a PayPal Shopping Cart to your website

Since a lot of people want to add a Shopping Cart to their website and don’t know how to do that I will explain that using PayPal’s Shopping Cart.

1. Signup to PayPal. To sell stuff through your website and accept payments made by credit card you either need a Premier or a Business account.
What's the difference between a Premier and a Business account? Using a Premier account people will see your personal name in addition to your business name (if any). With a Business account people will only see your business name. If you choose to have a Business PayPal account you also need to have a bank account with your business name to transfer money. You can't have a Business PayPal account and transfer money to a bank account with your personal name. Applying fees are the same for both accounts.
2. Go to Merchant portal and choose PayPal Shopping Cart
3. Under “Accept payment for” choose “Products”
4. Enter Item name, Price, Currency, … and all the other information about taxes, shipping, ... It’s important to give every product an Item ID (1, 2, 3, ...) to make it easier for you to know which item was bought.
5. Once you’ve set all you need to set hit Create button
6. You will be shown a code for the “Add to cart” button (or the “Buy now” button, depending on what you did choose). Copy the code and paste it into your post or page near the description of the product
7. If you want to sell multiple products do the same for all the other products on your page.
8. When this is done create a “View Cart” button which you will place at the end of your page for people to have a look at their Shopping Cart and checkout (confirm the order and pay).
9. Again copy and paste the code on your post or page
10. That’s it

Here’s an example (please note that there are no products to be bought here, as described they work as donations to me and my website and I won’t send you the money back):

Send me a 3$ Donation





Send me a 5$ Donation





Send me a 10$ Donation









and checkout.

Note: if you hit “Add to cart” you can always remove it from your Shopping Cart afterwards. However if you decide to make use of this example/try it out and send me a donation I’d like to thank you and tell you that’s it’s much appreciated!

- Cédric -

Chapter 3: An easy but not safe solution to sell digital products (E-Books, Music, ...) with PayPal

PayPal itself doesn't offer a feature to sell digital products. If you don't want to have a store as described here (offering encrypted links hence links which don't show the real path to the file and links which expire after a defined amount of time) you can set the URL to the zip containing the digital files as the URL people are redirected to after the payment when creating the Buy Now button in PayPal.

Go to PayPal, Merchant Portal, Buy Now Buttons. Type the Item Name, ID, Price as usual. Under Step 3: Customize advanced features (optional) go to "Take customers to this URL when they finish checkout" and enter the URL to the zip file, Create Button.

Once the payment went through people will see the usual message saying that the payment went through and "If you're not redirected within 5 seconds click here".

Apparently nothing happens, people are not moved to another page but keep seeing the "you will be redirected" message but what happens instead is that the download process starts. So the page doesn't change but the download process is started. One of the problems is that people expect the page to change. If you decide to use this method, make sure you warn them and tell them how it works. Another problem is that hovering over the click here of the "If you're not redirected within 5 seconds click here" message the following URL displays in the browser:

http://iwebfaq.org/media/myfile.zip?tx=4EX449309E169011H&st=Completed&amt=1.00&cc=USD&cm=&item_number=

hence containing the actual path to the file (here in red). This could be a security issue but probably only very few people will notice this. Unfortunately PayPal itself doesn't offer the possibility of creating an encrypted link and or a link which expires after a certain amount of time.

In some cases people may not be redirected automatically and the download is not started or people just click the window away or whatever. You have to offer a way to contact you and send them the link by e-mail.

I wouldn't recommend you to use this method because of the problems mentioned above but thought it would be good if I presented you this as an option to sell digital products.

Chapter 4: How to build an online store (like http://ebookstoretoday.com) using the WP eStore plugin

I entirely explained how to build a store like my EBookStoreToday.com in WordPress in this post:

http://wpfaq.org/site/how-to-build-a-store/

This can be used to either sell your E-Books as I'm doing, your Music in either digital or CD format, T-Shirts, Handcrafts, Paintings or anything else you may want to sell and to me it works really great. I'm very happy with it.

Chapter 5: Booking system solution

Do you have a flat or a house you offer to rent for holidays? If so you may want to display on your website when it is available and when it is already booked. You may want people to be able to book the house or flat right from your website. Here’s an easy way to do that...

First you would have a form on your website for people to contact you and choose when they’d like to rent your house. I would recommend you to use the Contact Form 7 plugin. The form would look something like this:

Flat/House (a tear down menu for people to choose which house they would like to rent if you have multiple houses)

Name:
Address:
E-mail:
Phone number:
Number of people:
Date of arrival:
Date of departure:

Then you would have a calendar (I would recommend you to use Google Calendar) embedded into your website displaying the availability. This way you would have to enter the availability manually. There are also solutions where people can edit the calendar themselves but then it’s hard to know which entry is real and which is fake. So I think it’s better if you do it yourself after you called the people who booked the house to make sure it’s true. You may also want to call the people to make sure it’s not fake and discuss details.

How to setup and use Google Calendar for this purpose is described in the Booking system solution chapter of my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)

That’s what it will look like...

Chapter 6: How to add a vCard to your contact page

vCards are electronic business cards. They can contain the name of your business, the logo, address information, phone number, e-mail address, web address, ... Very useful if you want your clients to be able to easily contact you.

How to add a vCard is described in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)

Chapter 7: Adding your (real life) business to Google Maps

If you’re running your own business it’s a good idea to submit it to Google Maps (if it’s not yet included). On my recent trip to Vienna (Austria, Europe) I found myself using my iPhone at least twice to find what I needed. Once I wanted a coffee so I typed in Coffee on my iPhone and all coffee bars near me popped up on the map. Another time I wanted to have a ride on a bicycle but obviously I left mine at home so I searched for Bicycle and all the bicycle stores around me popped up. I walked to one of them and could rent a bicycle. You can get a coffee at every street corner but finding a bicycles is already harder.

Having your business on Google Maps is also helpful when people search the web for something the traditional way going to google.com and typing in what they’re looking for since the first results on Google usually are Google Maps entries of local businesses.

If your business is not yet listed on Google Maps click here. On that page you will also find a video with instructions on how it’s done. Don’t forget to provide your website’s address for people to get further informations!


This FAQ is also discussed in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


© WPFAQ.org - Tutorials, Tips & Tricks is made with WordPress and for WordPress.
It's an EBookStoretoday.com company. It’s presented by Cédric Giger and hosted by HostGator.com

Thank you for visiting and supporting my website,
- Cédric -




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