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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 1st November 2006, 04:41 AM   #1
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Smile What Do You Look At When You Want To Setup An Ecommerce Store?

this is the title of a project which i am working on.

so i thought what other place than this to get more information on this

When a small business owner decides to sell his product online what would you say are the factors which influence his decision?

there are many in the field (who offer various packages) but why did u choose that one you are with?

is the brand name? price? features?(what features).

would really appreciate if you can give any information.


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Old 1st November 2006, 10:45 AM   #2
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Hey Praveen,

You know I think the motivation is different for different people. For me I would choose products because I was genuinely interested in them of the industry. I need to feel some passion for what I do or I know I won't be doing it for long.

I think for many though it's just whether or not they perceive an opportunity. If a product has high profit margins, or if the industry has a high demand and little supply.

I get the feeling most people will start with whatever they know best. If you've spent years working for someone making lamps you're first business online may very well be lamps since you probably already know how to make them or where to get them. You probably also know some valuable information about the industry and how to sell to it.

Of course there will be many people who after years working with lamps hope never to see one again and will chose a different business simply because of the time they've spent with lamps.

I think successful businesses combine a passion along with a good market opportunity.

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Old 1st November 2006, 02:51 PM   #3
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I chose to bolt our web site onto Yahoo!'s e-commerce, for several reasons:
  1. I already have a full time job, and want to keep it;
  2. I can look "real" quickly;
  3. Much of the order and payment processing can be automated and fed into my accounting package;
  4. Yahoo! has a ton of traffic. I think I have a better chance of seeing some of it by placing my store inside a busy mall rather than out in the middle of the Internet desert.

Yahoo is also a pretty expensive way to get going. I thought hard about this before I started, but there's just no substitute for getting going quickly, and for being able to outsource many tasks rather than developing core competency in all of them quickly.

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Old 12th November 2006, 10:16 PM   #4

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Using the open source carts can be a good way to go for a lot of online retailers.

They are generally pretty simple and with about a $200 to $300 budget you can buy a template and have a store going pretty quick

Use things like Google Analytics and set some conversion data and you can see how your site and products are performing.

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Old 20th November 2006, 01:30 PM   #5

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Yahoo stores are very quick to set up and relatively easy. My 12 year old son can put products in and take care of orders.

Plus you have the Yahoo name that adds some credibility and security so people will trust it from the beggining better than some other eccomerce sites.

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Old 4th December 2006, 04:10 AM   #6
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See the portfolio of that web designer first.

If the designer has done a great job in the past, he'll definety do one in the future.

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Old 7th December 2006, 05:41 PM   #7

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I would agree with a lot of the other posters. When setting up an online store it is important to:

- Ensure that you are building a site that makes customers feel safe.
- Use a professional design (even if you do it yourself).
- Ensure that the checkout process "feels safe" (using an established company like Yahoo checkout helps)
- Research the competition
- Note the designs of any sites that you like to buy from

However, equally important is to make sure you have a sound business plan, know your cost of good sold, ensure you have a good support process, and ensure you are ready to make a sale (have product ready, test your processes, make sure you can support any inquiries).

You also asked about choosing a package to go with. The first thing to do before contacting any vendors is to forget about features. You need to document what you are trying to accomplish, and how you would like to accomplish it. Don't worry about the technology, worry about your business. If you can map out your processes you will know what features you need and can then choose a package to go with.

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Old 8th December 2006, 04:42 PM   #8

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Default i think those are the most importent

  1. Usability for customers
  2. very quick to set up
  3. security
  4. makes customers feel safe.
  5. professional design

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Old 16th December 2006, 08:36 AM   #9

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Exclamation You Get What You Pay For


I have looked at many (but not all) business eCommerce "solutions" from open source to high-end, full-blown packages with all the bells and whistles - and in the end, it comes down to "you get what you pay for."

Open source is, to be sure, the most affordable route to take... IF you have no intentions of customizing your site to be just how you want it to be. Otherwise, you will have to be a programmer or pay a good chunk of money to someone else that can do the customization for you.

The commercial packages vary greatly in complexity, flexibility, usability, applicability, and affordability. I have seen some commercial eCommerce packages costing less than $100US that blow away rival packages costing thousands.

The key is to look around; do your homework. Check out as many packages as you can to find exactly what you are looking for. Some basic features to look for include:

User-friendly layout
Easy setup
Good security
Inviting and attractive design
Ease of administrative tasks
Smooth, trustworthy check-out process
Database back-end

One important thing to remember when dealing with an eCommerce solution is to back up early and often. This rings true with ANY computer-based activity. Read that again. Memorize it. Live by it.

Hope this has helped.


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Old 24th December 2006, 12:53 PM   #10

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Default Choosing the right e-commerce package

Hi, I think everyone here had some really good points.

Usability for both you and your customers is one of the most important things to look at. This includes ease of setup and having a provider with a good help system, where you can easily get answers to your questions or help with technical issues. A good package should give you the option of customizing your site's design to give it the look and feel you want.

Look for a package that has all the features you need, plus some extras to make your store even better. Things like good shopping cart software and a secure payment gateway option are essentials if your customers are buying from you online. Some of the extras that can make things easier are things like a currency converter, SEO tools, and good integration with your shipping, newsletters or other admin tasks.

If you're just starting out and have a tight budget then affordability is definitely an issue, and there are some good open-source providers out there. Having a package with a web-design template is also good if you want to update your site often, as some designers will charge you every time you want to make a change to your site.

Anyway, I'm no expert, but I just wanted to throw in my 2-cents-worth. Also, I started my online business store because it's the best way for me to try to make some money, and because I know something about a lot of the products I sell. My business is almost exclusively online because my disabilities and fatigue make it hard for me to work at a more traditional job with regular hours. I hope this helps. Take care.

Last edited by Cruzin; 27th December 2006 at 11:05 PM.
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