For many, the biggest barrier to getting started with doing business on the Internet may very well boil down to two basic questions. How, exactly, do you set up shop online, and how much does it cost?
In this report, the E-Commerce Times cuts through the usual 'cyber-clutter' to deliver the information you need ? And the answers we've come up with may very well surprise you.
In general, there is a lot of good news for E-commerce merchants. As Internet-based sales skyrocket, competition among E-commerce solutions providers has heated up considerably ? and they're extremely eager to set you up in your very own cyber-shop, at a very low cost.
Additionally, many E-commerce solutions providers have teamed up with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and Web hosting services, a trend that is certain to make it very easy for you to find a one-stop solution for doing business on the Internet. These new "partnerships" often combine site hosting and store setup and credit card processing into a single package specifically designed for E-commerce beginners. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the "Big Three" user-friendly services offering low-cost, one-stop solutions for E-commerce.
Recently, famous Internet search-engine giant, Yahoo! bought an E-commerce company known as Viaweb. With this purchase, Yahoo! emerges as a leader in the business of providing low-cost E-commerce solutions. Most basically, Yahoo! Store allows a cyber-merchant to set up shop quickly (Yahoo! Store claims it takes about 10 minutes), without any knowledge of HTML, nor any prior experience setting up a cyber-store.
How It Works
Just log on to Yahoo! Store's Web site with an ordinary Web browser, like Netscape or Internet Explorer, and fill out online "forms," with information such as the name of your store, as well as product pricing and descriptions, etc. That's all there is to it!
You can also, optionally, upload photographs of your products, which can be automatically integrated into the resulting Web pages of your online store. No additional software or hardware is required, and you can update your store any time, at your convenience.
As part of your easy-to-manage cyber-store, Yahoo! Store includes a "shopping-cart" feature to allow your shoppers to keep track of their orders. The shopping-cart can display the sale price of products, including quantity discounts where applicable, and offers automatic tax and shipping calculation. Once the shopper selects a product, the shopping cart can even suggest related items, thus acting as a "cyber-salesperson."