What do you need to have an online store and what exactly is a shopping cart?
Shopping cart software is an operating system used to allow consumers to purchase goods and or services, track customers, and tie together all aspects of ecommerce into one cohesive whole.
While there are many types of software that you can use, turnkey solutions that can be customized are proven to be a cost effective method to build, edit and maintain an online store. How do online shopping carts differ from those found in a grocery store? The image is one of an invisible shopping cart. You enter an online store, see a product that fulfills your demand and you place it into your virtual shopping basket. When you are through browsing, you click checkout and complete the transaction by providing payment information.
The road to creating a successful online store can be a difficult one if unaware of e-commerce principles and what e-commerce solutions are supposed to do for your online business. Researching and understanding the guidelines required to properly implement an e-business plan is a crucial part to becoming successful with online store building.
To start an online business it is best to find a niche product that consumers have difficulty finding in malls or department stores. Also take shipping into consideration. Pets.com found out the hard way: dog food is expensive to ship FedEx! Then you need an e-commerce enabled website. This can either be a new site developed from scratch, or an existing site to which you can add e-commerce shopping cart capabilities.
The next step, you need a means of accepting online payments. This usually entails obtaining a merchant account and accepting credit cards through an online payment gateway (some smaller sites stick with simpler methods of accepting payments such as PayPal).
Lastly, you need a marketing strategy for driving targeted traffic to your site and a means of enticing repeat customers. If you are new to e-commerce keep things simple- know your limitations.
E-commerce can be a very rewarding venture, but you cannot make money overnight. It is important to do a lot of research, ask questions, work hard and make business decisions on facts learned from researching e-commerce. Don’t rely on “gut” feelings.
We can guide you through the process and design you a site that when launched you will be able to maintain yourself, with little or no further input from us.
To see an example of an e-commerce site completed by us recently click here.