Part 3 of a look at different types of websites, for part one click here, part two click here.

ecommerce 620x412 Which Website’s best for you? Part 3: eCommerce

Getting things Direct

For many companies, their website is a passive way to make money – ie people find them on the web and decide to seek out their services. This makes sense for some companies such as those whose businesses are primarily service based. However often I’ll see small shops doing just doing this, possibly not realising how relatively easy and lucrative it can be selling online.

So let’s look at the eCommerce Websites.

Making your Website work for you

Key Features

  • Sell your products online directly through your website
  • Create a virtual Catalogue of your products and services
  • Track and Analyse sales patterns
  • Choose method of receiving payments
  • Update, change and manage product lines

eCommerce websites are simply websites which allow you to sell your goods and/or services directly online. The process is simple and all dealt with on the website, allowing you to receive the orders and money through an automated system. This leaves the only step on your end being to send out the goods.

As with Content Management Systems, the products, services and your own details can easily be added, edited and managed by you. This means you have complete control over the system.

There are many benefits to setting up an eCommerce site including being able to sell to customers far away from your store, the convenience of shoppers to buy online and the cost savings involved for you.

The processing of the payments can either be done directly on your website or via offsite redirects. When the customer comes to pay in the checkout, some prefer to get directed to somewhere like Paypal as they know it is secure. Either way we always use dedicated SSL certificates to ensure the site is safe and secure for you and your customers.

In addition to the processing and sales of products. You can also optionally manage stock levels, track deliveries, automate the sending out of dispatch notes, invoices etc. You can essentially have your entire selling operation managed online.

Spend money to make money

Much like content management systems, eCommerce websites do take some expertise to set up which results in slightly longer development time and slightly increased cost. However this will obviously be offset in the money made through online sales.

Also, contrary to some believe, there is no ongoing cost through running an online sales business. If you want, you can pay for facilities to take card payments over the phone, or special credit facilities but there is no actually need to do this. The last eCommerce site I built and set up pays nothing to keep it running – they just like it when the money comes in!