Affordable Ecommerce Solutions

Many businesses, small or large, benefit from affordable ecommerce solutions by expanding their reach from local sales to global sales. Ecommerce is the selling of merchandise using websites and Internet tools. Customers simply log on to a retailer's website and click on the links to look at the products. Some retailers are larger than others and must have the products categorized. Even a corporation with thousands of products can offer all of them online. These are the amazing technological capabilities that retailers and customers have at their finger tips. Many small businesses with less than 50 products are taking advantage of the ecommerce market. Few are seeing any disadvantages to going online. In fact, profits are often on the rise. Clueless business owners may want a piece of the pie but don't know where to begin. Fortunately, an ecommerce solution for small business can make the process a snap.

Although physical storefronts do still bring in customers and sales, the virtual storefront has become a major player in the retail market. Nearly every major retail store, from bookstores to clothing stores, now has a website to accompany the physical storefront, and they often have an affordable ecommerce solutions company manage it. Customers can visit these sites and conveniently browse many of the same items right from home. Sometimes items are even less expensive online. Other stores will offer discounts or free shipping when shoppers spend a certain amount of money online. With cell phones now having Internet capabilities, many stores are right in the customer's pocket. A local retailer with a small shop could have only a couple of hundred regular customers throughout the year. By starting a virtual storefront, the customer base explodes to thousands of regular customers. If a business owner doesn't mind adding the shipping and handling component to their business, there's potential of seeing profits double or even triple.

An ecommerce solution for small business is offer by many different companies. These companies will offer not only hosting but tech support and shopping carts. The shopping cart is an important ecommerce feature that can be seen on the sites for many major retailers. It will follow the customer as he shops and show his total. He can also click on it to view the details of his purchase. As the customer makes purchases, the total attached to the shopping cart grows. This feature gives consumers peace of mind, like looking down into a physical shopping cart to see what has accumulated. It has become the standard in tracking purchases. Other features will include shipping and handling estimates and monthly sales tracking. These are convenient features that most business owners will want to take advantage of.

Business owners who are looking to get online for the first time will want to work with a company that offers options from scratch. Although a business owner can work with an independent website designer, it may be easier to choose an affordable ecommerce solutions company that offers this service. Some will offer to create a company logo, layout, and buttons. If the owner chooses to have the company begin the website from the ground up, the owner must have a say in the process. A demo or sample should be provided, and the company should be in constant contact with the owner about the different options. While some companies offer a selection of templates, others will assign a web designer to create a layout tailor just to that business. This may cost a little more but can be well worth the extra cost. After all, appearances are extremely important even in the virtual world. If a physical store is dingy and smelly, customers are likely to turn away. If a retailer's website has tacky colors, mismatched fonts, and confusing links, customers will turn away.

The cost of an ecommerce solution for small business varies from company to company. It also depends heavily on the size and needs of the business. Some companies offer their services in monthly packages. The monthly fee could be as little as $20 per month or higher than $100 per month. Small businesses usually have the most affordable options because these carry fewer products and have fewer visitors to their sites than major corporations. Although the cost is more overhead, the increase in customers and sales will usually make up for the monthly fee. Business owners will want to take advantage of any marketing services that the company offers as well. Postings on search engines will draw customers in for only a few extra dollars a month. Owners will need to read through all of the package options to decide what will benefit the business the most.

Choosing the right affordable ecommerce solutions company is not all about price. "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). A good reputation combined with strong customer service is extremely important. Whether working with a national company or a local company, the right one will be known for a history of customer satisfaction. Business owners should ask other owners for recommendations of companies. The Internet is also a great source for company information and reviews. Seek out comparisons of companies as well as customer reviews. Companies with a lot of bad reviews and a poor track record will usually stand out like a sore thumb. Good companies will offer examples of their work on their websites. To be sure that these are real examples, make contact with the owners of these businesses. Ask them about the company and if it would be the best choice. These efforts to find an ecommerce solution for small business will pay off in the long run when no problems occur and profits start rolling in.

Custom Ecommerce Solutions

Custom ecommerce solutions are the web site design of choice for businesses that want to distinguish themselves from all the rest. Pre-built designs that feature cookie cutter shopping cart lay outs and typical product presentations may be appropriate for some companies. For owners who prefer custom ecommerce tips and personalized attention as they formulate their Internet business, there are many online sources that specialize in custom solutions for every commercial need. Personalized designs are based on owner specifications, business protocol and technical web functions.

Many companies want to distinguish themselves from the start with custom ecommerce solutions that reflect their own particular concepts, business focus and customer approach. Many niche marketing concepts do much better if designed in a customized format with 'specialty' written all over the site. In today's competitive marketplace, there must be something that sets a successful company apart from all the rest. Even if the goods and services offered are of exceptional quality, the presentation web site is the first impression consumers receive. If what they see is another version of the commercial template they just saw at a competing site, the impression of quality may be slightly lost in the distraction of seeing a very similar shopping cart and advertising presentation.

There are several custom ecommerce tips that can be helpful for new businesses preparing to enter the online world of business. In developing the best web presence possible, remember that first impressions are very important. Don't pinch pennies when developing an overall web site design that presents a business venture. Custom solutions are usually the best bet in providing a personalized, niche driven business platform. Yes, hiring a professional web design company can be a bit expensive, but why run the risk of squandering start up money on a sub quality web presence that hampers even the first consumer impression? Original, customized sites complete with shopping carts, purchase processing and other tailored business requirements are well worth it in the initial investment phase.

Among other custom ecommerce tips that are important to remember when starting a new Internet commercial site is to develop a real plan and stick with it for developing custom ecommerce solutions. Within an overall plan, it is important to have a general idea of what the commercial web site needs to look like, decide on a good domain name, and work on the information or content that is to be displayed within the site. The type of service that is provided will heavily determine the functionality of a web site. Sites that sell merchandise will need extensive shopping cart functionality, secure credit card processing, customer service policies, shipping choices and record keeping functions. This requirement alone can be require quite extensive work and professional assistance in order to provide the best services for customers.

Products such as ebooks, music downloads and other informational or entertainment products require different transactional platforms than does typical merchandise. Custom solutions can be extremely important in setting up the download procedures, sales structures and safety features that are needed. Custom ecommerce tips include deciding on an effective domain name for any business. A domain name that is indicative of a business name is very important. There are many times when a company cannot use their exact name because it may have already been taken. Choosing a domain name that has part of the company name can also be effective. The shorter the better is always a rule of thumb when considering domain names.

Short URL's are always more memorable to consumers and will prove to be a plus for any online commercial effort. "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Psalm 100:1-4) The content is very important for any web site and only a company can know exactly what needs to be presented. Even though professional design firms can guide a business through a web site building process, the information must be produced by the business. Information such as the history of a company, product features, recommendations, contact address and phone numbers, return policies, and warranties offered are just some of the important content that must be presented on custom ecommerce solutions.

If a customer is not satisfied that a company is reputable, easily accessible and has a proven track record with other customers, he or she may be leery of investing hard earned cash into any product or service that cannot be backed up substantiated claims. Make sure that all information is well written and brief. If necessary, hire a professional writer who can compile, write and edit all content before it is added to a site. Nothing screams unprofessionalism any more than poorly written content on a web site. In order to insure that any prospective web business comes across with the right impression for first time customers, hiring professional, custom ecommerce solutions may just be the best move any enterprise can make toward a successful venture.

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