Definition of E-Commerce
e-com·merce (e-kom-ers) noun
- Selling stuff, online
OK, So That’s Simplifying Things…
You catch our drift, though. Society is no longer afraid to purchase online, and you shouldn’t be scared to sell to them. The most common misconception about selling online is that it’s easy to do. While anyone can post an item on Craigslist or eBay, opening your own webstore is a different animal altogether. That shouldn’t keep you from trying. All you need is someone with experience to help you plan and implement your webstore. Here are some of the important choices you’ll need to make, and we’re here to help you through the process.
Which Shopping Cart Should I Choose?
There are literally hundreds of shopping cart packages on the market, ranging from free open source solutions like osCommerce and WooCommerce to paid solutions like Shopify and Bigcommerce. The big difference between these is how you’re going to pay for them. If you go open source, you’re going to have up-front and on-going development costs which will be higher than most paid solutions. On the other hand, you’ll have complete control over your shopping cart code. With hosted solutions that charge monthly fees you won’t have access to all of the webstore code. However, you can usually change anything you can think of and it’s just a matter of finding the cart that best suits your needs.
How Do I Accept Payments?
People often overlook the basic necessity of being able to accept payments, and end up scrambling to come up with something at the last minute. We believe that everyone should accept Visa and Mastercard at a minimum, and PayPal and Google Checkout if at all possible. Allowing your customers to pay the way they want to will translate into a higher sale conversion rate. United Networks can help you get a merchant services account setup with your bank and connected to your webstore, making a sometimes complex process simple so you can start selling right away.
What Else Should I Be Thinking About?
Here a few more things you’ll want to put some thought in to:
- SEO – Vital in order to ensure you’re ranked highly in the search engines so people can find your site, search engine optimization is something many companies claim to provide but few rarely go beyond the basics. Learn more about our SEO services here.
- Unique Content – If you have the same content or products as dozens of other stores, we need to find a way to make yours stand out.
- Live Chat – Statistics vary, but everyone agrees that offering Live Chat services increases sales.
- Shipping – How are you going to get your products to your customers? Should you charge for shipping, or provide it for free as most other stores are?
- Marketing – The best way to advertise your online store is, well, online. We’ve been working with Google AdWords for years and can help you be found using this and other tools.