If you are thinking about setting up your own ecommerce solution then you may well be confused as to the multitude of offers available.
You can opt for a full ecommerce solution that purports to include all the functionality you are ever likely to need, or you can opt for the component approach.
Either way you will want to ensure that you are getting value for money and an ecommerce solution that works.
Here is a quick guide to the essential components you should be looking for:
Domain name registration
Always keep control of your domain name registration. It is actually very easy to set up and register a domain name, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you keep control of your domain passwords then it makes transferring your web site at a later date far easier than if you buy it ‘within an ecommerce solution package deal’.
Web site hosting
This is another area where people can be made to pay more than they need to in their ecommerce solution. Web site hosting can be obtained from under $100 per annum, subject to the bandwidth requirements your site will have. Larger sites will cost more but it pays to research this topic before committing yourself to identify the true underlying cost.
Web site construction
With the abundance of web site templates available on the internet nowadays you do not have to have a web site built from scratch. In fact the major template suppliers offer ready made ecommerce solution template packages which build in the extra functionality required, all you need to do is to put in your content and special offers and you are ready to go.
Web site templates save time for both developers and customers alike. The customer gets a very good idea of what a site will look like early on in the development process and the developer gets the customer to give quality input that saves disagreements later on in the development phase.
Shopping Cart Choices
Before you start looking for which shopping cart to buy have you checked to see what your web host supplies? You will find that the better web hosting packages include shopping cart software as part of the hosting package, so you may pay twice for something you already have.
Failing that you should look at the industry standard packages from suppliers such as 1 shopping cart and 2 checkout to get an idea of what ecommerce solutions are possible.
Merchant accounts are possibly the first component you should consider for your ecommerce solution as they can have the longest lead-in time to be up and running. This is due to the requirements the merchant may have in order to confirm your identity etc.
You should look for accounts being offered by your current bankers first, but don’t forget the online alternatives such as Clickbank and Paypal which offer a speedier solution in most cases.
The above are the basic requirements for a typical ecommerce solution, remember that a little research in these areas can save you a lot of money and effort in the long run.