The Best Small Business Ecommerce Solutions
Ecommerce Builders for Dummies
We're here to share two options for quickly and easily setting up your own ecommerce site.
Option #1 – Shopping Page on Larger Shared Shopping Site
If you want to put up a shopping website quickly and easily, one option is to add your shopping page to an existing shared shopping site. To research options, try searching on keyword such as:
Ecommerce site builder
Online store builder
This means your site will show up as www.BigShoppingSite.com/mysite instead of www.mysite.com. Some of the benefits of going this route include:
Easy to design your own store
Secure shopping already in place
Hosting included in monthly price
No need to purchase domain
No configuration needed of domain, DNS, etc.
No installation of software needed
Option #2 – Shopping on Your Website
If you want to have shopping available on your own website, many hosting companies offer an auto-installer for various ecommerce applications. Different hosting companies offer different software, so you’ll need to find a provider that offers the software of your choice. Try these keywords when researching hosting companies, in addition to the name of any shopping cart software provider that you like:
Shopping cart hosting
Easy shopping cart for website
Some of the Benefits of Going This Route Include
Hosting companies offer an auto-installer
Only takes a few clicks and minimal input to install
Shopping is on your own website (domain)
You have more freedom to modify the design
Whichever option you choose, there are a couple more important things to consider before making your final selection: Features and Pricing.
Shopping Cart Features
There are hundreds of ecommerce applications on the market today. All of these applications will have most of the same basic features, such as the ability to list an item with photo and description, the ability for a consumer to purchase the item and provide payment. Beyond the basics, applications vary widely in their ease-of-use and features offered. Make a list of the features you want before starting your search. For example, you may want the ability to:
Offer your customer coupons
Accept credit cards directly through your website
Use a payment service, such as PayPal
Duplicate an item to more easily list similar items
Offer downloadable products
Offer wholesale pricing and/or discounts
Input product variables, such a size or color.
How Much Does it Cost?
One of the most important questions to consider when researching an ecommerce solution, is the cost.
There are many free options available, which often need some kind of configuration. Most of the free software is fairly easy to setup, but each one is different. So be sure to demo or test-drive the software during your research.
Some ecommerce applications have a one-time purchase price. This payment option is most often used when the software is hosted on your own website.
If you opt to setup a shopping cart through an existing website, instead of setting up your own website, there will most likely be a monthly fee.
Make sure you understand the pricing structure before committing to a selection.
Once you have selected a software and a hosting company, all you need to do is setup and configure the shopping cart software, list your items for sale, and start marketing!