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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ecommerce For Dummies

It’s the dream of so many individuals to start their own business and be successful at it. Remember that Kool-aid stand when you were 7 years old? How exciting it was to sell that cool, refreshing drink to everyone in your neighborhood. That entrepreneur spirit never went away, did it?

But in today’s world of technology, the ability to sell your products beyond your neighborhood has become a reality. With Ecommerce websites, you can sell your products to the entire world!

Ecommerce is another word for electronic commerce or the ability to sell products online. There are a few different ways to do this. A very common way is through websites like eBay and Amazon. These websites already have in place pages of items for sale. The website has ecommerce software already installed for shoppers to use for purchasing items. These types of websites can offer huge reach to worldwide customers because they have already established a popular online presence.

Buyers simply click on what they wish to buy, enter their credit card or PayPal information and when the checkout is complete, the item(s) are shipped out by the seller to the addresses of that customer. These websites offer you the ability to open an account with them, pay whatever fees they require for listing your items for sale and then they will build pages for you with your products listed. Your page will be identified as something like this: http://ebay.com/usr/yourstorename.

A second option for building an ecommerce website store is through websites like Shopify.com or Volusion.com. The advantage with this option is that you have a lot more freedom concerning the design of your website store. Most of these websites let you build your own website store the way you want it to look. After opening a free account with them, you are guided through several steps for building your pages without all the code confusion. You simply follow their user friendly instructions for building pages and adding word content. These websites offer galleries of artwork or photos to plug-in to your pages or you can upload your own.

Usually for a monthly fee, these types of websites offer ecommerce packages that allow you to use their shopping cart software that includes a certain amount of online security protection for buyers. In addition, you can usually use for free a domain name that they provide similar in format to the ones that eBay and Amazon give you or you can purchase a domain name from them. You can also purchase your own domain name from websites like GoDaddy.com or Domain.com and then simply direct that name to your site. These types of purchases come with instructions on how to direct those domain names to your website’s address.

A third option for building an ecommerce website store is by purchasing ecommerce software from sellers like X-Cart or 3D Cart and installing them into your already created business website. These software packages usually come with their own security protection for buyers. Additionally, most of these ecommerce software packages come with a variety of features that include the ability to offer coupons, track your inventory, keep customer databases and offer different payment options.

The costs of using these three different options for selling your products online vary greatly. When making a decision to purchase an ecommerce solution for your business website, you should consider cost versus features. Fees for stores like eBay and Amazon are usually around 10-12% of your gross sales, but they offer little when it comes to controlling the look of your store. Shopify.com, Volusion.com, BigCommerce.com and others like it usually cost around $15-$30 per month but offer a great deal of features, freedom, extra applications and professional appearance. And of course, you can always upgrade for more features and applications.

Stand alone ecommerce software applications can cost anywhere from free with basic applications and no security protection to a onetime fee of $500 for more features and limited security to $1500 for loads of features and top notch security protection. These ecommerce solutions are mainly sold to business owners with a little more technical knowledge and desiring an extremely professional and streamlined appearance.

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