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The world has been reduced to the internet and more and more people are scampering to offer different services online. Currently, most people are doing their entire shopping online and this is thanks to the convenience that the internet affords them as well as the assurance. You actually get to enjoy a wide range of products and services to choose from without having to leave your home. Because of this, the e-commerce niche has become a very lucrative business making this the opportune time for you to start your own online store. Hosting providers such as TD Web Services have a variety of favorable services for such a venture. Should you decide to go down this path, how would you go about it?
Why do I need an online store?
Before you start breaking ground, you need to know why you need to start an online store and the opportunities that this has to offer.
The internet is the way to go
While the internet has been around for quiet sometime, it does not seem to be slowing down or running out of pace anytime soon. It is offering more and more new opportunities and even though it is about to hit its adulthood, it is still getting plenty of attention and hence making it the best invention for quite a number of years to come.
Increases your sales and profits
As opposed to opening up a shop you can be able to bump up your sales with much ease with an online store. You do not need to do a lot of advertising and even if you do, it is not half as expensive as it would have been. All you have to do is make sure that you have a good website with relevant content and select your niche well.
Enhance the image of your company
A lot of people consider online presence a great way to ensure credibility and this could do a lot of good for your business.
Become a global player
By opening an online store, you are not only able to reach out the millions in your country but also the billions that are elsewhere in the world. It makes your products and your store available to the world which means more business for you.
Choosing a Shopping cart
Before you even start designing your website, you need to make sure that you are aware of the various options available for the ideal shopping cart. One that will offer you the best possible experience and will also fit in to your website design. Some of the options that you can look into include:
This is an open source e-commerce platform and it puts to use the best and newest technologies that are available on the web. Some of its features include a catalog browser extended customer management and very advanced analytics and reporting just to mention a few. It also has an intuitive administrative interface not to mention that it is utterly scalable.
This is in the same class as the Magento and is yet another open source shopping cart. It is very robust, friendly and powerful not to mention quite user friendly even for those that might be relatively new in this field.
While this is still a relatively new player, it is constantly improving and is drumming up quite a number of users and hence you might want to look into it as well.
If you intend to build your website on WordPress or CMS, then WooCommerce might be a better shopping cart for you. It is cost effective and offers a great number of features that include meta tags as well as SEO friendly links.
What you will need
After you have decided on your shopping cart, then it is time to get down to the real work. You will need:
A domain name
This will require you to be creative since you want people to understand what your business is about from the domain name. It might also be tricky considering that there is a growing number of websites and the domain names are become scarce and harder to find. However, with a little creativity, you should be able to topple this.
A hosting Provider
You will also require a reliable and convenient Business Hosting. It is important to make sure that you take the time to get a good hosting service. This will directly affect how your website is able to perform and also the experience that your clients are able to get. It is also important to ensure that they have good support in case you need it. TD web service has a great enterprise hosting package that you might find quite helpful.
An SSL Certficate
You will also need an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer Protocol) certificate which encrypts the data between the browser and the server which is essential in protecting customer data. You might get this for free but to get a private one, you will be required to cough up a small amount.
A Payment Gateway
To access credit cards and allow people to easily make payments, you will need a payment gateway and preferably PayPal considering that it is the most popular and dominant payment method that the internet has to offer.
Once all these tools and parts have been put in place, you are ready to break ground and start building your online store. You should not experience any trouble from here on out.