If done correctly, it can be very profitable. Imagine seeing sales order almost on autopilot on a daily basis. All you have to do is to pack and ship the items. Or if you can identify a reliable drop shipper, you can have the dropshipper fill all the orders on your behalf.
But before you even see an orders coming in, you have to figure out how to setup your eCommerce website properly. Here are some issues to consider when setting up your website.
1) Hosting platform.
Your hosting platform depends largely on your choice of eCommerce software. Software can be powered by various programming languages such as PHP& ASP.NET . Most of the open source software are written in PHP, so it’s best that you get some Linux & Windows hosting with Cpanel or Plesk for such software. Open source software is rather popular because you don’t have to pay additional fees for the software. In fact, you can even install the software in your hosting account without having to download anything. The installation feature is already provided by the hosting company. All you have to do is to choose an admin username and password and click install. No messy scripts and databases.
2) Reliability of hosting.
Once you have decided on the type of hosting that you need, you will need to do a little research to determine the reliability of the hundreds of hosting companies out there. Visit some hosting review sites and see if you can pick up some recommendations. Make sure you don’t just go for the cheapest hosting package. Cheapest doesn’t equate reliable. If you choose a hosting company that is not reliable, you may end up losing more money because the servers keep going offline. And for all Internet businesses, going offline is a big “No, no!”. That means your revenue stream stops completely. No website means no sales.
An eCommerce site requires you to upload lots of product images. You will also need lots of bandwidth so that as more and more people visit your shopping site, you can still cope with the demand. Most hosting companies offer unlimited bandwidth nowadays. So that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. However, note that some do limit the number of files for each hosting account. Usually, that number is sufficiently large for 90% of the customers (like 50,000 files). But if you intend to setup more than 50,000 products, that means you are likely to have 50k product images in your account. Check with your hosting company if “unlimited” means that you can upload more than 50k files.
4) Search engine friendly software.
As mentioned earlier, your hosting provider should have the feature to allow you to install open source eCommerce software easily. To get more traffic from the search engines, it’s best to use a software that is search engine friendly. For example, a search engine friendly software uses the product title in the page title, as well as uses search friendly URLs. Search engine traffic is unpaid traffic. So there is no reason why you should leave money on the table by not choosing a search engine friendly software for your site.
Your hosting account should include all the above. That’s a lot of value in a hosting account if chosen wisely.
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