The last three activities of the Sales and Marketing cycle are grouped together under the banner of delivering on your online promise.


  1. Execute transaction
  2. Delivery
  3. Build relationship. 

Execute transaction

There are two general approaches for accepting payments online:

  1. through your own bank merchant account
  2. through a third-party online payment processor.

When accepting payments through your own merchant account, apart from the Internet merchant account from a bank, you will need shopping cart software, a store or site host, a processor, and a secure payment gateway as part of your website development. The costs and fees associated will vary on how you piece these things together.

Third-party online payment processors allow you to accept payments online without the cost and obligation of a merchant account. To compensate, transaction fees and/or discount rates are higher than for merchant accounts.

For both approaches the risks associated with credit card fraud lies with the exporter. The incidence of charge-backs is not covered by the banks, the credit card providers, or the third-party online payment processors.

Commonly a credit card payment is contested by the buyer/importer and a charge-back can occur when:

  • The buyer/importer says the ‘goods are not as described’ (if there is no formal description of goods accepted by the buyer prior to purchase).
  • The buyer/importer says they did not receive the goods (if no signed receipt of goods documentation exists).
  • The buyer/importer says that their card was used without their authorisation (if no signature was obtained on a credit card voucher – relates to online transactions).

Charge-backs can occur up to 180 days after the purchase occurs and monies have been paid into the seller’s account. They can even occur after goods have been shipped or services consumed. In the instance of a ‘charge-back’ your bank may take the payment amount back from your bank account.

DigitalIQ tips

  • Risks vary depending on the nature of the product being sold. Physical goods tend to be at lower risk than digitally delivered goods (software, music) as they provide greater anonymity to fraudsters because there is no physical delivery address required.
  • When transacting online for both physical and digital products, always ask for a street address, phone number and email address. You should also request the CVC number found on the signature panel on the back of the card.
  • When transacting online – don’t accept overly large payment amounts until you have developed a relationship with the buyer. If you must accept large payments take the transaction offline and receive monies via telegraphic transfer, money order, or cheque.
  • Don’t assume that your prospective customer will complete the transaction online. The rate of abandoned transactions online is high as users often reach the point of entering their credit card details, have second thoughts, and leave the site altogether.

Always provide an option at this critical point allowing the user to complete the transaction offline in some way.

  • Ensure your transaction pages are secure and communicate this fact to the user/prospective customer.


Products, services and processes that can be represented digitally can be delivered online. Examples include the online supply of software where applications are downloaded from a website, and also publishing and media services.

The delivery of physical goods is also supported and enhanced by the internet.

Internet based inventory systems, online dispatch and online order tracking facilities are commonplace.

Build relationships with good customer service

Generally, the reasons for introducing online customer service should include customer satisfaction, not simply cost savings.

Improving online customer service will benefit the business through:

  • increased service levels
  • reduced service costs
  • faster customer response times
  • more satisfied customers.

DigitalIQ tips

  • Customer interaction preferences vary. Some prefer to talk on the phone, whilst others favour email. It is important to provide a selection of customer service channels so customers can choose how to engage the organisation.
  • Online technical support is often a combination of static information and interaction. The static information includes frequently asked questions (FAQs), specifications, and trouble shooting.
  • An interaction often lets the user send a question and within a time period, usually 48 hours, an email response is sent in return.
  • Online tools such as a website or email can play a supporting role and build relationships before, during and after the transaction takes place.

Information source ‘Exporting Online’

Importing Online

Many businesses and people interested in starting new businesses are interested in forming business relationships with potential purchases. The same principles of clear communication apply to developing potential sourcing relationships..

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please contact or call 02 8005 7471.

Provide information and detailing what you are seeking

When providing information and detailing what you are seeking to import be sure to keep in mind that a website performs three essential tasks.

1. An importer website establishes organisation credibility

Often with import, the website is the first point of contact between a company and a prospective supplier. The website must make the visitor feel at ease and assured that your company is capable, reliable and worth doing business with.

The best way to do this is to provide information describing who you are and what you do. Evidence of capability such as customer case-studies and testimonials (including domestic customers) are effective.

Prospective suppliers also like to see Security and Privacy statements on your website. It puts them at ease and encourages them to contact you via email, perhaps leave their email address, or complete transactions on your website.

2. An importer website facilitates use

Your website design should make it easy for site visitors to find information and complete tasks such as supplying a product or sending an enquiry.

A well-designed website may display the type of products you market.

Just like a customer, a prospective supplier requires information in the form of a catalogue, list sales support or distribution information, and allow the visitor to clearly understand your offering.

For supplier markets where English is not the main language, translating key pages (home page, product/service information, contact details) into the language of the user can enhance user utility and support proper search engine indexing.

Use a ‘human’ translator, as accuracy and cultural understanding is critical.

3. An importer website encourages users to revisit and reuse it

A good way to do this is to constantly refresh the information, give fixed period product or service offers, provide free information, and use email newsletters containing your website address to direct users back to the website.

Digital Strategy and Project Management

If you do not currently have a Digital Strategy, please refer to ‘Digital Health Check’ contained within this website , else send an email to