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What Are Your E-Commerce Options

by Brandon Welch
Web Designer/Developer & Web Expert
Connect with me: | Facebook | LinkedIn

Whether you are selling a few products, or many products, you would agree that it is important to know what e-commerce options are available for your website. This article was inspired by LH Beads in Panama City Florida. Check out their store…I think you will be shocked what the Panama City downtown has hidden away.

Anyway, this article will explain a few options that ClicksCrazy.com uses, and may help you make some decisions on what is best for your company.

But First…

At ClicksCrazy.com we are highly qualified to build and promote e-commerce websites. However, we do encourage clients not to rush into this highly competitive field without doing much research.

Why do we say this? Thru our experience the e-commerce market is flooded with competition, and price cutting monsters. If not properly prepared (unique or one of kind items are a little different story), you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.

That is certainly not to say that selling a product online that is already being sold is not possible. It is! We can explain what is necessary to run a successful e-commerce store.

So you’re serious about this?

That’s great! Now let’s get down to your tool options that are vital to the success of your e-store.

Option 1: Full On, No Holds Barred E-Commerce

E-Commerce Website Design
Using a third party software like Pinnacle Cart or OS Commerce are perfect for companies wanting a website who’s main focus is e-commerce, and will depend on that website as their main revenue stream.

Third party software is much more cost effective for a small business. The sacrifice, is that it may not have everything that you want.

However, in most cases, your web designer can modify the software to suit your needs! At ClicksCrazy.com for example, we can easily modify the Pinnacle Cart software, as long as the proper license is purchased. (The developer license, that authorizes us to make changes)

Typical Features for this Option:

  • Quickbooks download/integration
  • Payment Gateways to accept credit cards
  • Inventory Control
  • On the fly shipping calculations thru UPS, etc.
  • A Member area for users to register
  • Order Tracking, Trends and Analytics
  • E-Newsletter options built in

These are all the advanced features the software should come with out of the box. It is everything you need to process many orders a day.

Option 2: Split Focus, to Generate Foot Traffic & Online Sales

E Commerce Website Design
This is accomplished with a combination of the WordPress CMS, and a e-commerce shopping cart plugin.

This is best if you have a physical location, and are interested in generating business at your local store as well as selling select products online.

This option gives you nearly all the features of option 1, with a few key things missing that might be a deal breaker for you. Things like the Quickbooks integration, or product suggestions.

For example, you could have a page explaining your location and how to find you. Another page could entice users to visit your store and check out all the unique stuff you have. But you would want a section for users to buy some unique products that you sell. So again, this is a split focus website.

Typical Features for this Option:

  • Payment Gateways to accept credit cards
  • Inventory Control
  • On the fly shipping calculations thru ups, etc.
  • A Member area for users to register

Option 3: Full E-Commerce, but just Selling a Few Products

If you are only selling a few things, using WordPress, and some entry level e-commerce plugins, or pay pal buttons are pretty successful.

My experience has shown that this option actually works for many businesses.

Typical Features for this Option:

  • Secure online payment with Credit Card..Not much else

How to Choose?

The above is only a guide. I have found that almost every business wanting to sell online is a little different. Some need inventory control, some don’t. Some need online payment, some don’t.

The best thing to do is to highlight the most important features to your web developer. They can choose what is best for you, but be prepared to make some compromises when using any third party software.