Arranging for the delivery of the products or services.
Paying for the purchases with their preferred (electronic) payment method.
If this sounds complex, remember that you do not necessarily have to create this whole process yourself. For information on products and services that can help you to create an online store, see
‘Choosing a sales platform’.
What do you look for when you buy online?
If you are having trouble deciding what e-commerce features to prioritise on your website, it could be helpful to go to an existing online store and go through the process of buying
something. This could help you build up an idea of the features that are important to you when shopping online.
For example, you may decide that the ability to compare the benefits and prices of items is crucial, or that products like yours need multimedia content like videos or multi-angle image viewers to effectively convey their features and benefits.
Making sure that your e-commerce system looks after you and your customers
There are a number of things that you can do to try to create the best experience for you and your customers (or, in the case of community organisations, donors).
For example, it may be beneficial to:
Establish trust with your potential customers so that they are comfortable purchasing from you online.
Take steps to protect your organisation from fraud (such as unauthorised credit card transactions). For more information, see ‘Security and legal’.
Building trust by providing information
It is important to earn the trust of a customer if you want them to make a payment to you online. This may involve making sure that they have enough information about the online payment process.
This includes making sure that:
The customer knows the exact final charge—including all taxes and, if applicable, shipping costs.
The customer knows all they need to know about donating or spending money with you—including policies on returns, refunds and complaints.
Much of this information can be brought to the customer’s attention during the virtual shopping cart process and with
reminder buttons and links on the payment page.
Public comments build trust
Consider allowing customers to leave public comments on your website. This could be reviews of your products or recounts of their experiences with your service. This shows faith in your own
It is a good idea if your online payment process also:
Clearly explains the products, services or membership you are selling, so that your customers have realistic expectations.
Clearly states how and when you will deliver, activate or supply the products or services. For example, if you are supplying physical products this may include
The delivery time that customers should expect.
How you will deliver the products and what the customer’s obligations are for receiving the products.
How the customer can contact you if the products do not arrive on time.
What action you will take to help if the products do not arrive.
Provides business contact details such as a phone number and email address for customers to request information prior to a transaction or to raise any issues
and complaints. For more information, see ‘Online customer
States the terms and conditions for purchases from your website, including the responsibilities of customers (such as providing an accurate delivery address)
and policies for cancellations and refunds.
Informs customers that their credit card details are secure and that they are safe from scams.
When you engage in e-commerce, you may be exposed to an increased number of potential legal issues. You might like to take the time to make yourself familiar with the Australian Guidelines for Electronic Commerce and review the ‘Legal tips’ section of this site. You should also consider whether to seek independent legal advice.