Dec 5, 2008


Numerous internet service providers (ISPs) offer e-commerce solutions that require little work on your part. some of the most basic handle your web hosting needs provide standardized storefront tempelates. many are capable of growing with your business, offering additional services and customizable options should you need them down the road. these companies can provide basic design templates and technology to process transactions, too.

Telecommunications company SBC offers an assortment of off-the-shelf set-up packages for individual merchants. some key components to look for in such packages are shopping-cart software (allowing your customers to drop in items as the go through your site) and assistance with web design. this last part is extremely important, as deciding how customers will flow your site is the same as directing them to merchandise. you have to get this part right.

You may have to go through you bank or throuh services like verisign to set up a secure system to accept online payment for orders. for smaller operations, you can also explore services like paypal, which make it easy to accept customer payments with an easily downloadable software package.


Is it better to go it alone or join an existing online community? if you really need to differentiate your product or brand, particularly through site design, you may be better off building your own site. but if your needs are more basic and you want to keep costs down, it's problably to your benefit to pitch your tent in an existing online marketplace, which can provide more traffic than if you just open a shop and wait for customers to blow by. sites like Ebay, Yahoo, and Amazon offer prepackaded storefront service with variety of options for individual merchants, often including free registration of your domain name.

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