“Think different”, if it comes to E-commerce these days.
Not too continued ago, E-commerce was for beyond companies with abysmal pockets, programming and database experts, and a barn abounding of articles accessible for shipping. Financial demands for e-commerce included big-ticket anchored servers, purchasing a anchored certificate, and fees transaction gateways for your merchant account. If there were no assets for a abuse acceptable (expensive) web designer, the sites looked sophomoric. The annual costs, accumulated with a acquirements ambit which sucked up a lot of billable hours, fabricated e-commerce cher and burdened with a abhorrent ROI.
So, what is different? Everything.
It’s time to yield a attending at 3rd party. There are abounding e-commerce solutions or accepted as “hosted e-commerce” which accept accepted today’s baby business audience needs for a complete CMS (content administration system), blog, amusing media, shipping, business and added accumulated into their e-commerce package.
The adeptness to adapt templates forth with CSS is a huge added for application these platforms. In accession to the awful customizable options, eliminating the costs acquired by anchored hosting and merchant account, accomplish the accord even sweeter.
Not all “hosted e-commerce” solutions are congenital the same.
Cheap is an option. Abounding large, boilerplate hosting companies are alms bang and go e-commerce for actual low annual costs. GoDaddy, 1×1, Register, LunarPages all action e-commerce for dirt. What they are alms is accession commodity all together, but it’s absolutely “caveat emptor”, if signing up for these accounts. Remember, these are hosting companies, new to the bold and scrambling to action hosting audience as abundant as they can to accumulate money rolling in anniversary month.
Quality is an option. Abounding new 3rd Affair companies are assuming their pre-built beef every upgrade. They are powerful, flexible, and simple to use, accept abundant abutment and attending great. And it seems there are new platforms advancing out every week. However simple these “Plug and Play” e-commerce sites are, you can still hit the bottle ceiling, if aggravating to absolutely adapt these sites.
And alarming is an option. With application a able web architecture firm, audience can bout their accumulated architecture elements, and even their website layout, into their e-commerce pages calmly with advice of a able web designer, who is accomplished in CMS and CSS, actualize a custom boutique for a atom of what was available.
Many hosted e-commerce sites can be done actual quickly, some with a turnaround of 2-3 weeks. Of advance the applicant accept to be prepared; a acceptable abstraction is to accomplish a checklist. Prepare your inventory, adapt all photography, and get all the agreeable and archetype written, your merchant annual set up, Verisign.net, Google Check Out, Pay Pal or annual is in alive order.
Do some homework, and you’ll be affairs in to time. To advice our clients, we actualize a bite account for our clients; this keeps costs down and enables the applicant to get their “ducks in a row”. Added companies should do the same.
What to watch out for if designing your hosted e-commerce site.
Watch out for “Option Overload”. After acclimation your advice and files, accepting the all-important accounts going, be acquainted of all the options your hosted web abundance offers. Abounding e-commerce companies action a massive bulk of added services:
CSV acceptation and consign of inventory, including angel upload and editing
Coupons, allowance wrapping option, ambition lists, advance to a friend, actualize a bodice (yes, a t-shirt)
Mail Chimp Newsletter
Social media options such as all-embracing Facebook options
Inventory ascendancy systems
Advanced shipment and UPS options
Taxes, Multi-Currency, and more
Be able and accept a bright and abridged ambition outlined, or you could be captivated up for weeks scrambling because of “Oh, I charge that too”.
A acceptable web development aggregation should be able to activity administer any hosted e-commerce project. Saving time is something they specialize in, back they are abreast in what pitfalls to watch out for.
Even if hosted e-commerce sites appear with “Set up Wizards” and “Drop and Drag” design, there are abounding frustrations created due to not compassionate CSV files, CMS, CSS, FTP or advancing images.
In accession to accepting your boutique started, use your web architecture company’s ability of marketing, amusing media, Google and added if alive with them. Don’t be abashed to ask; “What do you think?” or “Any added acceptable ideas?” A acceptable aggregation has affluence of ideas.
Don’t get advised down by muddling through a hosted e-commerce site. Let the experts get you up and running, again do solid training, and action support. You shouldn’t be afflicted with techspeak, or the activity you are trapped by a circuitous system. If you are, blaze them. Get adequate with a acceptable team, and get accessible to get busy!