Ecommerce Outsourcing
The Best Time To Take Advantage,
Is Now!

Ecommerce Outsourcing - Put It Off No Longer

For any small business who has ever wanted to sell their product or service on the internet, there truly has never been a better time. Regarding ecommerce outsourcing the world wide web is littered with options for the small business person. All of which are designed to make it as easy as possible to get set up quickly and with the minimum amount of fuss. So whether your business is selling products or services, locally or abroad there is no excuse to put it off any longer. Read along as we explore your options.

There Are Two Main Options

ecommerce outsourcing shopping cart picImage: Grant Cochrane

There are two main options to know about regarding ecommerce. We will touch on the pros and cons of both, however, due the fact that many small business are time poor and have limited operating budgets, we will really only cover one in detail - Third Party Software.
  • Custom Built Ecommerce
  • Third Party Software

Custom Built Ecommerce

Adding custom built ecommerce functionality to your site can be a costly exercise and one not really recommended for many small business.

Pros

  • Branding - Totally customized look and feel to match your brand.
  • Payment - Not limited in any way in regards to accepting payment in different currencies and the application of shipping.
  • Totally customized - Can be completely customized to your specific business needs.

Cons

  • Costs - The Costs can be out of reach for many small business.
  • Support - Unless you have dedicated web masters you will have to deal with technical problems your-self or go back to developer, the cost of which can add up.
  • Bugs - As with any custom built software there are often test issues; bugs in code or features not seamless working as they should be straight away.

Third Party Software

Third Party Software is what I mean when I talk of ecommerce outsourcing. For many smaller businesses outsourcing their ecommerce requirements to third party providers can be a smarter option.

Pros

  • Costs - Low to Medium.
  • Support - Usually well covered by provider.
  • Maintenance - You are normally able to maintain the shop front yourself with little or no programing skills required.

Cons

  • Migration - Migration options of catalogues built using some third party software may be limited.
  • Branding - In some cases the look and feel may not blend in well with an existing site.
  • Growth - Some third party software may not grow well with your business.

Third Party Software in Profile

OK, before you get started. Go through this check list first.

Q: Have you done your research into your niche?

If you do not know the answers to these essential questions;
  1. How much Competition is there ?
  2. What is the Demand like ?
  3. How Profitable is your niche?

Then Stop!!

Visit the following resources for help before going further. Invest the time now and you will not only save time later, but also much money and frustration.

The following keyword tools will help you identity the answers to the above questions. Use Wordtracker's Free Keyword Research Tool . It is one of the better free keyword tools I've seen. On the other hand if you are a "data nut" like me use SBI's Brainstorm It Keyword Research Tool this one is not free but it ensures you end up with the clearest answers to the above questions concerning your niche.

Tip:

It is a good idea to do your keyword research on not just your overall niche and domain name, but also for every web page you build, focusing and building that web page around that keyword.

Q: Have you decided on how and what you are going to sell ?

If you are selling a service or just a few products, you may not need specialized ecommerce hosting that comes with Custom Built Ecommerce you may in fact be able to incorporate the ecommerce functions within a standard web page, saving money.

Q: Do you understand the difference between ecommerce and web page hosting ?


Q: If you have decided that you do need ecommerce functionality. Have you found the best ecommerce software options for you?


Q: Does your business really need an ecommerce merchant account ?

Congratulations, you are now ready to move forward!

With the many ecommerce outsourcing options available for your small business. There has truly been no better time to set up your ecommerce functionality.

The likes of the traditional third party ecommerce software service providers like Pay Pal, have been joined by Ebay and Amazon's Webstore, and more recently by Yahoo! Stores/Small Business and Google's Checkout to allow the small business person with ambitions of selling online the ability to mix and match what type of ecommerce they want to provide to their customers. These include:

  • Selling your product and or service exclusively.
  • Or supplementing your sales with products from other ecommerce providers like Amazon and earning affiliate commissions.
  • Or earn advertising referral fees from Google's Adsense Program or Yahoo's Publisher Network (YPN).
  • Or a combination of all of the above.

You can add all this functionality to your site quickly and easily with little or no programing skills and without it costing thousands of dollars in the process.

If your interested in taking action on your website that will result in long term free traffic and increased sales.

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