Ecommerce is the collective name given to online shops, or any online practice where products are sold. Many businesses are slowly opening there own eCommerce stores – in other words, an online shop; if you are a business wanting to setup one then the process of doing so can be a complex one. You can either choose to use an existing eCommerce store system, or you can develop an in-house one; there are both free (open source) and premium (paid) eCommerce store solutions available, before you choose a system you should be aware of all your needs as well as all the different systems which fit your needs. Before beginning, you should identify all your needs within an online shop so that you are able to make informed choices.
Once you have identified your needs, you will then need to identify the available eCommerce solutions which are able to fit your needs; there are universal needs which you should always take into consideration; there are: end-user accessibility, administration accessibility and search engine optimisation. Making sure that your shop is accessible for the end user is of the utmost importance, since you could be easily sued if a disabled person, or anyone for that matter can’t find their way around your shop with ease. In order to make your shop successful you want to make sure that the systems you look at are good with SEO; SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and is the processed involved with optimising a website to gain traffic from search engines. You want to make sure that the administration interface is easy to use and navigate, to that colleagues or employees can find their way around it as well, thus allowing them to add products and administer the shop as well.
Looking at Solutions
Once you have worked out all your needs and have found the systems which suit them, you will need to start looking at the different types of systems which are available to you. Free and premium systems are all available with different features, although many add-ons are normally available for free systems; if you are a new shop and aren’t expecting to earn much when starting off, you should consider using a free system as many of them can be quite powerful and should suit your needs for months, or even years to come. If you are going to be running a shop receiving thousands of visitors, or are going to be listing a large amount of products, you should consider a premium system since they are normally more scalable than free systems and should serve your needs for as long as your business is running. The following is a list of free eCommerce systems which you should take a look at:
- OSCommerce – http://www.oscommerce.com
- Magento – http://www.magentocommerce.com
Premium systems to look at:
- Actinic – http://www.actinic.com
- CactuShop – http://www.cactushop.com
Once you have finalized the Ecommerce Solution you will be using, you need to proceed with hosting your shopping cart with the best hosting company. eUKhost is the most reliable and low cost hosting provider for ecommerce hosting