eCommerce Solutions


If you want to step into the online sales arena, you’re looking at getting into E-Commerce. E-Commerce is short for electronic commerce and refers to the ability to exchange goods and services electronically across the internet. There are a variety of E-Commerce solutions available, and it pays to understand them before you make the leap.


Shopping Carts


If you are just starting out and don’t expect an incredibly high volume of business on the web, you may want t get your feet wet with a simple shopping cart solution. A shopping cart system is added to your website and allows your customers to choose the goods they want and add them to the cart. When they are finished shopping, they check out, put in their payment information, and the shopping cart provider handles the credit card payment. All you do is package and ship the order. It’s easy and cost effective. PayPal is one of the most popular shopping cart providers.


eCommerce Hosting


E-Commerce hosting is another solution and comes with the added functionality of product catalogs, transaction processing, order management, and a shopping cart system. This is a step above the simple shopping cart solution, and it offers additional aspects of sales that the simpler solution does not. There are numerous firms available to handle these merchant services. With hosting, you do not have to worry about the responsibility of storing and securing credit card data and other personal information. That’s all handled by the hosting company.


Custom Solutions


You can opt for a custom E-Commerce solution that will build your E-Commerce platform from the ground up or as a package that is customized for your business. This is a good solution if you have the revenue for it—custom solutions are expensive not only to create but also to maintain. They require a lot of technical resources such as servers, communications infrastructure, and technical people onsite to handle software upgrades and any problems that arise. These are resources that many small to medium businesses don’t have or simply can’t afford.




Finally you can outsource your E-Commerce to companies that will do it all. They will build your site, host it, handle online marketing and customer service, and fulfill your orders for you. They take a percentage of the revenue generated by the site as payment, so unless you expect to generate a lot of revenue, this may not be the solution for you.