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What Do I Need to Know Before Launching My Online Store?
 

An e-commerce site builder is a program that lets you build, customize, and run an online store. A complete e-commerce solution will come with the tools to walk you through the entire process: hosting, design, pricing and payment options, marketing tools and reports.

First, consider how much you'll sell. If you anticipate heavy traffic, an e-commerce solution that offers lots of online storage space, inventory, and bandwidth is ideal. Next, decide on the level of customization you'd like. Many e-commerce site builders offer attractive templates ready-to-use, while others come with HTML for more seasoned web designers. Check for must-have features such as payment security and sales reports. Also, be sure to provide enough payment and shipping options for your customers, and look closely at tools such as the ability to create discounts, loyalty programs, or gift-wrap options. Not all website builders will offer the same options, and some may charge for extras. Finally, go with a program that is easy to use and has a solid customer support team. A well-designed e-commerce builder should be simple yet effective. The less time you have to spend figuring out the program, the more time you'll have to run your business. Read our shopping cart reviews to learn even more about the best options for eCommerce shopping carts.

E-Commerce 101

Over the past several years, e-commerce has transformed how people buy and sell. The Internet provides a fast and easy way for people to purchase things without having to visit an actual store, especially if it’s done with one of the best shopping carts software platform options. An online store can reach customers anywhere in the world. In fact, online shopping has become so popular that many vendors sell only online with no physical location. E-commerce also facilitates the purchase of digital media such as downloadable music and movies: with no physical product, vendors can boast truly instant delivery.

Today's top e-commerce site builders take all of these factors into account. Many programs are designed to accommodate the sale of both physical and downloadable products. In addition, online businesses are quickly evolving to face times of economic hardship by offering steeper discounts, flat-rate shipping, loyalty programs, and other perks. Many e-commerce site builders make it easy to run promotions and keep your customers happy. Finally, although the boom in online sales has also opened a potential avenue for fraud and scams, site-builders have managed to stay ahead by offering top-of-the-line site protection and payment security to keep the online marketplace as safe as possible.

The Three S's of E-Commerce

Stick to these three simple S's of e-commerce and you'll be well on your way to launching your online store.

1. Storage Space: Some e-commerce site builders put a cap on your sales, so choose one offers you the inventory space and bandwidth to fit your needs. These tend to be the best ecommerce shopping carts. 2. Safety Protocols: Choose a program that offers fraud protection and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This is for the protection of you and your customers. SSL technology makes it possible to send online payments securely and is a must-have on all e-commerce sites. 3. Site Design: Your shopping cart should have a user-friendly interface. The functions of each tool should be clear and it should be easy to select your desired options. A top-notch site builder will make it easy to build your online store. An extensive FAQ and customer support team can make a world of difference. Also, remember the needs of your customers. Imagine that you're shopping your own online store. Well-designed menus, filters, and sorting options will minimize the amount of time it takes to find a product and purchase it. Consider also the "look" of your site. Many of the shopping carts software options offer professionally-designed templates that are both pleasing to the eye and can improve a customer's overall shopping experience. Just like in a physical store, a cluttered and disorganized display will leave customers frustrated and empty-handed, whereas a streamlined and enjoyable buying process will encourage purchasing.