While online business owners do need several things to get up and running, there are all-in-one solutions to help you. E-commerce software simplifies the process of
opening an online store by walking owners through each step of the process, including registering a domain name, designing a website, uploading and managing inventory,
connecting to a shopping cart, and providing secure payment options for shoppers.
When choosing e-commerce software, small business owners should consider several factors. The software should incorporate all aspects of creating and maintaining an
e-commerce website, such as hosting, website design and SEO integration. In addition, business owners should ensure the software offers a shopping cart capable of
accepting a variety of payments, including credit cards, PayPal and eChecks. Finally, the software should provide top-notch security, such as fraud and secure sockets
layer protection, to give consumers peace of mind that their personal information won’t end up in the wrong hands.
Most e-commerce software providers charge online businesses a monthly fee for their services. While most of the top software providers waive a setup fee, monthly costs
can range from $15 to $300 a month depending on several factors, including how large the online store is and how many of the software’s services the business owner
Our other site, Business.com, has done extensive, in-depth reviews of numerous e-commerce software options. These are its top three options:
3dcart, which allows you to create a unique website with its versatile customization tools, plenty of integrations and easy checkout process
Shopify, which features a searchable customer menu for targeted marketing campaigns and a lot of flexibility to grow with your business
Volusion, which offers advanced security and back-room tools, and integrates with Amazon to boost sales
Small business owners who feel creating their own e-commerce site is too difficult have other options for selling goods online. In one increasingly popular method,
many entrepreneurs go through a third-party provider, like Amazon. These large-scale online marketplaces provide each individual business with its own page within the
third-party provider’s site.
The benefit of such sites is that business owners don’t have to set up an extensive e-commerce website and deal with the hassle of accepting payments. The process is
very simple. Within hours, any business owner can register in the marketplace, set up a page and start selling.
One big negative of such sites is the cost. Most online marketplaces charge a host of fees, including those to list items, which are generally 20 to 25 cents per item,
plus a percentage of each sale, which can be 3 to 10 percent of the total sale price.
Additionally, shoppers must search for the business within the huge marketplace. While a regular e-commerce site only has products listed for one business, visitors to
sites like eBay or Amazon will see a wide variety of goods. Even though each business has its own page on these sites, other sellers can easily lure a shopper in
another direction. This can make closing sales much more difficult.
Some of the more popular online marketplaces today are eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Yahoo Shopping, Overstock.com, eCrater, Webstore.com and Bonanza.