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10 things an e-commerce Web site needs

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Other than the obvious, decent content, your Web site should also have the following:

Company information and contact details
In terms of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act you need to have certain information about your company on your Web site, says Wilmari Strachan, Director and IT specialist at Werksmans Attorneys.

Web site terms
You are also required to provide consumers with the terms and conditions that govern the transaction. Including your return, exchange and refund policy, how to complain or resolve disputes and cooling off rights.

Privacy policy
Explain how you deal with consumers’ personal information. It is also nice to inform consumers that you use “Cookies” and how it works.

PAIA manual
Section 51 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act requires that you publish your company’s “PAIA manual” on your Web site.

Up-to-date copyright notice
Make sure people know who owns the copyright to your Web site and the content thereon.

Secure payment platform
Your payment system must be secure and at least comply with the Payment Card Industry Security Standards (“PCI compliant”) – because you will be liable if your Web site does not use a secure payment platform.

Sitemap
So that search engines can crawl your Web site more intelligently.

Valid code
To ensure that you have valid code, run your code through a code validator (there are many available on the Internet).

Cross browser/device compatibility
Make sure your Web site can function well on most, if not all, well-known browsers (such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari) and on all devices (such as computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets).

Web analytic tools for tracking your visitors

This is a very valuable marketing tool to assist you to understand how your Web site is being used, which allows you to increase the effectiveness of your Web site and marketing.