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So you've got something to sell – a great content, app, game, or other digital product idea. You need to get it out to the world and give your customers 24/7 access to your products. Choosing an e-commerce platform, is equal parts power and flexibility. Whether you're building a store for yourself, your company, or your client, the system needs to maximize conversions, increase sales, and grow your business.
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Building a digital storefront can be time-consuming, and maintaining one can be stressful. You’ll want a platform that can provide stores and storefronts. For stability purposes, going with a hosted store is ideal because you’ll always have dedicated support and the chances your store going down due to hosting are slim-to-none. The idea is also to get started quickly and start making money right away while being cost effective.
Digital storefronts allows you to display a group of products that you define, usually controlled by the product interface or dashboard. Each product is assigned profile characteristics that will display when a potential buyer is considering a purchase. Setting your price appropriately is an important decision and can have an influence on conversions and sales success.
An excellent marketing tool is to give your customers a discount of some type. You can make a discount that will appear to all customers, or you can make a discount that appears to only some customers, restricted by a date or a coupon code.
Setting up a new subscription service or product should be fast, easy and risk-free. Look for a platform who provides a software development kit that allows end users to make a purchase directly from your software or application product. This reduces friction in the purchase process, gives users an opportunity to immediately access your products, and helps generate more sales at a fair cost.
Choose a provider that will help you deliver your products: someone who can fulfill file downloads, send email and web notifications, generate license codes, or in-app fulfillment. Digital Rights Management (DRM) enables a secure way to offer your products on a free trial or sale basis while still protecting your intellectual property. DRM helps you avoid pirated sales and maximize revenue.
Collecting payment for your sold goods and services should be fast and effortless. Simply choose your payment method and add your account details and let your platform take care of the rest. Choosing a provided that utilizes built-in intelligent payment routing will dramatically increase payment success rates.
Choose a provider that handles collection of taxes on purchases -- this way you don't have to handle sales tax or VAT (value added tax). Legally speaking, you might choose a merchant of record; a reseller who follow all laws and regulations as if the sale of your product was made by them. Your provider can collect all applicable taxes from the customers and we report those taxes to the appropriate authorities.
You’ll want to choose a platform that accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, checks and more. Sometimes a refund is necessary -- choose a provider that will allow you to quickly locate and refund an order with just a few clicks and allows refund actions to be trackable for internal accountability.
Choose a company that provides fraud protection to ensure your company is equipped with the digital security it needs. Choose a platform that analyzes orders in real time using fraud screening technology and that guarantees zero risk of personal data or credit card info being stolen. There are systems that do not store credit card numbers, further reducing risk.
Go with a provider that addresses all PCI compliance issues, securely processes sensitive data, and adhere to PCI DSS regulations. Choose an e-commerce infrastructure that is regularly monitored and credit card numbers are never stored. Faulty security measures can slow processing times and increase failed transactions. Safer passage of your customers’ data means higher conversion rates.
Focus on your core business and on growing your revenue and core business rather than investing your company’s time, money, and resources into building and maintaining a commerce platform, merchant accounts, compliance, transactional, reporting, etc. Choose a platform is constantly updated and improved as your business grows and your needs change.
Managing chargebacks is tricky, so choosing a platform that will do this for you is important. A chargeback is the return of funds to a consumer, forcibly initiated by the consumer's issuing bank. The customer signs an affidavit with their credit card provider claiming they did not make the purchase.
Customer service should extends beyond you, to your customers as well. Being able to count on constant, rapid-response support for both your team and your buyers will ensure success.
Avoid the hassle of managing taxes. Find a provider that handles tax collection, compliance and payments on your behalf, including U.S. state taxes and European Union’s Value-Added Tax (VAT).
Choose a platform that offers integration with Google Analytics and can deliver comprehensive reporting that helps you understand and analyze website traffic. Learn where paying customers are coming from, what their demographics look like, track traffic trends and more. Analyzing your main website in conjunction with your store offers a complete picture of your revenue metrics.
You need to attract customers. With branded order pages, custom shopping carts, usage tracking, testing tools, full CSS control and more, you will need to choose a platform can be tailored to your exact needs, both for branding and functionality. Make sure the platform has optimization and conversion enhancements to track email marketing, banner ads, pay-per-click campaigns, affiliate partners and other web-based advertising.
Affiliate marketing involves networks of trusted companies promoting one another's products.
Make sure that the affiliate program you choose is well established integrates with your store and vertical, and that there is a large number of existing software affiliates already in the system.
Increase your revenue by cross-selling products anytime your customer adds an item to his/her cart. Test different products and scenarios to determine which perform best as crosssell opportunities. Display addon products and services in a variety of locations to find the best place for product exposure during the order flow. Remarketing for cart abandonment is also important.
Having the right affiliate program can be the most powerful way to market products online. It extends your marketing reach, drives more traffic to your website, boosts lead generation, and supercharges your search engine rankings.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a systematic way to test specific elements of an order page sequence, in a way that optimizes conversions and revenue. You should be able to experiment with changes in price, discounts, cross-selling, and style elements.