What Should Be Known When Purchasing an Ecommerce Hosting Solution
There was a time when the conventional way to shop for and purchase merchandise was to go to various stores. Customers paraded through each store of interest checking out the merchandise and products and when they needed help, they enlisted the aid of a sales person to inquire about more details. While on their shopping sprees, they experienced a sense of security because stores employed security guards to prevent thefts and other criminal activities. When a decision was made, customers went to the checkout counter so the cashier could add up item prices for payment, and they would then leave with their items.
Today, there’s a whole new dimension to shopping. The arrival of the internet has opened the doors to lucrative online business operations. In order to run a successful online business, merchants must construct a website that encompasses the features and benefits that will allow customers to shop in the same way they would when shopping in stores. Therefore, a solution is required that will enable full integration of the buying and selling process between merchants and customers. To accomplish this, merchants must set up an ecommerce website using an ecommerce hosting solution that provides a foundation from which online businesses can operate. With hosting solutions, business owners can run their businesses completely online.
Important Features to Look for When Seeking an Ecommerce Hosting Solution
When setting up a merchant website, it’s absolutely crucial that the owner choose the correct web hosting provider. The service must be dependable and reliable and of course, functional. Merchants should look for the ecommerce hosting package that employs the functionalities that will fulfill all their needs. For instance:
- customers enjoy shopping online because of the convenience of being able to shop whenever they want. Therefore, for maximum profitability, merchants need a service that operates 24/7, 365 days a year. Interactive customer support via telephone, email and/or live chats should also be available at all times;
- to create innovative and compelling websites, merchants must have access to high-quality templates or design codes, and expert design consultation;
- merchants have to be able to create multipage websites to house all of the products and resources necessary, and they must be able to update their sites with added or changed content and features;
- the ecommerce hosting solution has to be able to run fully on autopilot, requiring no interaction between the merchants and customers. However, if intervention is required, the 24/7 customer service operator should be available to answer any questions or resolve any problems;
- providing several electronic payment methods, like credit and debit cards, or PayPal, contributes to a satisfying shopping experience for customers;
- the very life of online businesses is driven by transactions so payment gateway integration (part of the payment system used) has to provide for safe transactions on a secure site that offers fraud protection:
- having marketing tools like the generation of newsletters, gift certificates, coupons and discounts, and the setup of affiliate programs that allow others to sell products for the business, will further increase sales; and
- having access to video tutorials for guidance are an enormous help to customers, especially since tutorials can be of invaluable assistance to customers new to online merchandizing.
Good merchandizing techniques that make the entire process a seamless operation, while giving customers the ability to interact with the site is extremely important. For example:
- color swatch tools that allows the customer to see the product in different colors;
- side-by-side product comparisons; and
- when customers are ready to purchase, it can be done simply using a shopping cart with a one-page checkout.
A good ecommerce hosting solution will be able to integrate this entire process so that merchants will be able to operate their online businesses with confidence. The entire process from beginning to end has to be user-friendly, virtually eliminating frustration for customers while doing their online shopping. Through the internet, merchants who run innovative and highly functional online websites have the ability and potential to attract an unlimited amount of people and therefore, to maintain a successful and profitable business.
Merchants new to this field should search for web hosting providers who are able to offer guidance and instruction on selecting the most suitable hosting packages for their businesses. While affordability is an important factor, it should not outweigh functionality as a priority. Ultimately, the important thing is to get the business up and operating on a consistently reliable foundation and sometimes this means paying a little extra to guarantee dependable service. For maximum impact, a simple yet memorable domain name must be chosen as a title for the business. This name should be unique and original enough to stand out in customers’ minds. SEO content (good use of keywords, keyword placement and keyword density) to help rate higher with search engines is necessary but the content on the site must also make sense, be engaging and straightforward so that it immediately captures the attention of potential customers.
Even if a business owner operates out of a store, opening a website on the internet can be an added plus that contributes to the prosperity and exposure of their business. A good ecommerce hosting solution can even out the competition by allowing the small business owner to experience the success and profitability that allows them to endure as long as many of the giants in the business. One reason why this is possible is because the internet generates another dimension of visibility to businesses that presents the opportunity to develop a presence domestically and internationally.