The advantages of E-commerce are (nearly) endless. It has changed our society in a profound way, making it easy and simple to buy a massive variety of goods and services online. From Tesco shopping to bidding on that rare Pez dispenser on eBay, and with services such as PayPal, it has never been easier to make and accept payment online, with relatively low cost.
One of the key advantages of selling online is constant access to your site. Unlike a physical store you don’t need the expense of employing staff to “man the checkout” and serve your customers; your website does this for you 24/7 providing a very cheap and always open shop front for your products.
The game changer of e-commerce is simply how easy it can make purchasing goods for users by enabling simple point, click and order. Why endure the hassle of trawling busy shops trying to find the items you seek, when all you need can be found with a few clicks from the comfort of your home?
E-commerce opens your target market up to a much wider audience and brings your products up to a whole new market of potential customers. Online shopping can empower many people, such as those who are disabled, live in remote locations or simply don’t have a wide selection of stores. E-commerce achieves this by simply being accessible to all with an internet connection and postal address. An e-commerce store puts your store in a truly global market place giving you access to a huge potential market at minimal cost.
Starting your own e-commerce website has never been easier. All you need is web hosting space, a domain name, SSL certificate to secure your site and an e-commerce system to manage your product base, orders and payments.
There are a few free e-commerce systems such as osCommerce & Zen cart which are both popular PHP based systems. However, for some online stores such as those desiring a more customised system or if you are planning on a busy e-commerce store it may prove to be better to invest in a customised or otherwise paid for e-commerce system which can serve your needs. Picking the right e-commerce system for you, your clients and your products is vital to your success, so choose carefully! For more information on UK2’s Ecommerce products please click here.
Arguably the most important aspect of e-commerce is taking payment for the goods or services you provide. There are a variety of online services which allow you to accept money such as PayPal and Google Checkout to name a few and each has its own advantages. You may choose to offer a selection or just one method; the key is making it easy and ensuring it is integrated properly with your e-commerce system.
So if you have something to sell, e-commerce may just be the answer to an easy, cost-effective way to promote and sell your goods – So what’s stopping you?
Guest Blogger: Dan Rodgers from Dansgalaxy.co.uk / Avid web-developer, lover of technology, web hosting & server geek.
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