E-Commerce Merchant Solutions
Learn about e-commerce merchant solutions available for small business start ups. What should you expect from a service provider? Let’s start by understanding the definition of e commerce.
E-commerce is a business model by which merchants sell items online. Online merchants sell goods or services in a virtual environment using the internet and other technologies to be able to show their products to their prospects online.
People more commonly think that e-commerce is about selling hard products only via the net. However, e-commerce also refers to selling software, services, and info.
To be successful, those who want to use the online business model should be aware about e-commerce merchant solutions available and that make for a successful online biz. Not matter what type of product they are selling.
Most online business start ups aren’t successful because they don’t know what they should be doing to succeed. It’s not just about having a nice website with nice-looking products. So, let me share with you a few things I’ve learned about e-commerce merchant solutions so that you’ll know what to look for before starting.
First, let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of opening an e-commerce vs. a brick-and- mortar store. This way you’ll know what to focus on and the actions you could take to be successful.
So, as you can see, starting an online business is much easier and much less expensive than a brick-and-mortar store. However, it’s also more difficult to sell online. There is a right process and tools.
Now, let’s learn more about the e-commerce merchant solutions you should expect from a service provider.
1. Website hosting
This is your leasing rental space or virtual premises. Online this comes at a very low price (it could be less than a dollar a day). You’ll also need a reliable service.
There are great companies providing hosting services today. But, today it’s not just about great hosting anymore. It’s about building a successful business!
2. Website design
Your online store is your product in a way. This is the first thing your prospects see. So, it should be a professional looking site and also simple and easy to navigate.
You can create great websites using templates and special software, for which there is no need to learn complex programming languages. Design a great website without html knowledge. This page shows a range of styles.
3. Business e-mail
The system you use for e-mail should preferably be part of the same you use to host and create your website. Having a business e-mail capability is the corner stone for successful online business. This is one of the most important ways with which you’ll build rapport with your prospects.
4. Domain name registration
There are great strategies to find a good fit of your future business name and the domain name you should register. This will become your business address online. Learn how to choose the right business name inside!
5. Online Marketing Solutions
About this e-commerce merchant solution, most providers don’t quite meet the small business online needs. This is the most important aspect for a successful e-commerce site. So, you should get the best you can find.
What does this mean?
Your service provider should offer you the most appropriate marketing strategies to make your business available to prospects. They need to find your offering in the crowded virtual world. There are free and very effective ways to generate traffic to your website.
Here’s a great package I’ve found with all the tools you’ll need, integrated in one place. Notice, it doesn’t include a shopping cart if you want to sell hard goods.
What’s so great about e-commerce merchant solution like this? It contains over 80 tools, including a top notch marketing training program to make any e-biz a success. Check them out next:
6. Ecommerce payment gateway
Depending on the product or service you plan to sell, so will the solution be. So, if you plan on selling lots of products, you might need to accept credit card payments (payment gateway), a product catalog, inventory control, and a shopping cart.
If, on the other hand, you plan to sell, say, less than 100 items, Paypay is a great choise as you won’t need a merchant account, but you will need to find a way to keep inventory somehow. There are some accounting software that has invetory contro linked to the Paypal platform for this purpose. Also keep in mind that Paypal does not offer its services to all countries.
Learn about e-commerce merchant solutions that companies are offering such as, package deals and which countries do they serve. Make sure it’s a secure service provider with great reputation and preferably with A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
These companies usually sell integrated solutions which include, not only the shopping cart, but also shipping options, product catalogs, payment gateway not only for US and Canada based businesses but international as well.
These are the core e-commerce merchant solutions you’ll need if you sell physical products online(hard goods).
a. Catalog and Shopping cart
b. Inventory management
c. Credit card processing
d. Secure checkout
e. Merchant account
d. Payment gateway