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    1. wholesaleinsight's Avatar
      wholesaleinsight is offline

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      Oct 2009
      United States
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      Creating your first online store tips for success

      Hundreds of thousands of people finally decide to open up their own online shop. The majority go for the usual shopping cart website, where items are showcased and the buyer clicks through the aisles and picks what products to add to their carts and pay for them at checkout. A few even build regular web pages with buy buttons that send visitors to PayPal or some other payment processor. And some just settle for a simple form that can be completed over the phone.

      Amateurs usually go for a hosted solution or some other turnkey package system that is generally free, thinking it is a great deal and believing a WSIWYG site is the solution to their problems. And a large part of that group may soon realize that they are wasting their time and energy and here is why…

      They quickly see that they are building a site that will soon exceed expected growth, or they will begin paying a high monthly fee in order to maintain the site. And by talking to others in online forums they realize they do not own a thing, not even the information that they spent countless hours on. Without a doubt, the number one concern with these type of sites is that they are locked down and all of it belongs to the hosting company. Oftentimes this includes a free domain name as a part of the introductory deal. It is free because the company keeps their name as a part of the URL. Then, when you give up, and most likely you will, you have nothing to take with you and you have to start again from nothing.

      Now that I have said that, I will move on to the most commonly used method for selling online, your very own shopping cart site. Before I talk about products or suppliers there are three factors to consider when you implement an online cart.

      First, you must have a domain name. The www.yourcompanyname.com that is your own personal piece of web property. You want something that lets the world know what you do as a business. If you are selling a particular line of products, it would be advisable to include the general product name as a part of your domain. It will move potential customers one step closer to your shop.

      Domain names are reasonably priced, about $10 per year. The typical .com and .edu can be bought a year at a time, while a .co.uk demands a two year buy.

      Then you have to find a place to host your shop. This is sort of the same as renting land to build a traditional store. Online, the shop is yours, but you have to pay for the space to set it up so the rest of the world can find you. This is what hosting is all about. There are millions of hosting companies out there. There are some who offer you more space than you ever need. Sounds great, but do you need 500 acres for one shop? Yes, it’s pretty cheap, but besides that, why waste all that space when you only need a tiny piece. And there will be all types of features listed by hosting companies. Do not fall prey to their marketing tactics. Once more, overkill, even if you have 25 shops.

      What I guarantee you will need is plenty of help if you want to get started. That is something the big names do not offer. They rent you your space, and they will keep it going, that's it. But if you have some complications with your shop down the line, they do not even remember who you are. So, when you are researching hosting companies choose one of the smaller companies that go the extra marathon if needed, and who value you as an individual, not just another account number. If you're a member of several webmaster forums, don't be afraid to ask others what they doing.

      Then there is one more thing to keep in mind, the shopping cart itself. If you ask several questions on a forum, it's like asking 1000 people what is the best shopping cart. You will probably get 100 different answers. A few will be hardcore techies who sarcastically say to go buy a book and learn how to do it on your own. Don't listen to them.

      I will talk more about shopping carts and their features in an upcoming article. For now, you at least know the basics of running your own online shop.
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    2. Thank you for this post:

      Iain1 (04 Sep 2013)

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