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e-Commerce Web Hosting

Consumers have embraced e-Commerce changing the way products and services are bought. Enterprises have reckoned that opening an online store has becoming increasing important as an additional market channel to supplement the offline business. As the number of Internet users growing fast daily, you certainly want to penetrate into the potential huge targeted Internet audience. Inevitably, opening an online storefront is a good opportunity to grow your business. But what e-commerce solution is right for you?

What are the e-commerce choices do you have?

Typically, there are three options to build a e-Commerce web site:

  1. Build your own system.
  2. Partnering with e-Commerce web hosting provider.
  3. Signing up with e-Commerce service provider.

Build Your Own System

Build a e-Commerce web site yourself could be extremely costly and complex. You need heavy investment in hardware, e-commerce software, leased line Internet connection and a group of system integrators and web developers to develop and maintain your custom online store. There are e-commerce vendors that provide complete e-commerce solution that easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unless you have secured loads of capital investment and you're confident to complete the project within budget and timeframe, otherwise launching another e-commerce web site akin to Amazon.com involves huge financial risk.

e-Commerce Web Hosting Provider

Alternatively, if you have the technical know-how but do not have huge funds to spend, then you can opt to build your online store by engaging e-Commerce services provided by third party to some extent. In this case, you can look for e-Commerce web hosting provider that not only hosts your e-Commerce web site but also provides a variety of e-Commerce hosting features such as shopping cart software (osCommerce or Agora shopping cart), secure SSL and merchant account. Here, you can find the best e-commerce web hosting providers that offer e-commerce features at an affordable price of less than US$5 per month.

Though the e-commerce web hosting providers offer the web hosting plan with e-commerce features, but you are required to integrate them into your e-commerce web site. It is your job to ensure all the integrated e-commerce modules can work seamlessly and reliably. Online security is vital important to an e-commerce web site. Unless you are confident that you can put together a reliable e-commerce web site, otherwise any major fault or mistakes occur could destroy your online business instantly.

e-Commerce Service Provider

On the other hand, signing up with a "off-the-shelf" e-commerce service provider is the least costly and easiest approach to start a basic online store. These e-commerce service providers not only host your e-commerce web site but also offer everything from product catalog management to secure online payment. You don't have to worry about all the technology behind the scenes, they take care all the transaction processing, online security, data backup and etc for a small monthly fee in the range of $20 to $300 per month.

The ready-made e-commerce service allows you to concentrate on your core business while they taking care all the e-commerce processes. You can find many reputable e-commerce service providers that have been operating in the industry for years. Yahoo! Merchant Solutions is one of the most establish e-commerce service that offer everything you need to sell online. Online storefront carries the brand of Yahoo! immediately signify trustworthy and credibility, which are extremely critical when selling online. Yahoo! Merchant Starter is the most basic e-commerce service that starts at only US$39.95 per month.

Alternatively, you can open a web store with customizable online storefront using BigCommerce. BigCommerce is the all-in-one, top rated ecommerce service for selling products online with over 10,000 clients and growing daily. Using BigCommerce anyone can quickly and easily create an online store to sell products online, process and ship orders, track inventory and completely customize the look and layout of their store in just a few minutes. Pricing starts from US$24.95 per month. You can can try BigCommerce free for 15 days here!

If you're just starting out online, you're better off to sign-up a low cost ready-made e-commerce service. In this way, you can test the online storefront business model with little up front investment before deciding to invest huge amount of time and money to implement a more complex e-commerce web site.

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