Finding a suitable ecommerce provider with hosting
My partner and I want to start up an online bookstore business but are finding it difficult to work out what to look for in an ecommerce provider. There are so many out there that it is just too overwhelming.
We are trying out various ones through trials etc but I guess I'm being wary because you don't really know what you're getting yourself into until you actually sign up and get on with using it for real. We want it to be compatible with PayPal as then we wouldn't have to get a separate merchant account (is that right?) and we want to make it look as professional as possible. Also, what do we have to look for in terms of security?
We are currently asking our chosen wholesaler whether they can extract their data feed so that we only receive info on the titles that we will be stocking. I assume this would be an extra cost from the ecommerce provider to integrate this into our website? Does anybody have any experience/comments on this?
Can anybody outline in layman terms what we should be looking for in a good ecommerce provider? No advertisers please!
There are a few different methods to attain what you are looking for. For instance I believe PayPal offers e-commerce sites for you to use if you want something quick and easy. If you want to design the site yourself you will need to research separate hosts and software choices. This will take a lot of time but will probably cost you the least. You can also hire a web designer and they can make a lot of those descisions for you but it will cost you the most of your choices. For books I would look into Amazon if you have not already sone so. They offer a complete solution.
There are a number of different ways that you can get an ecommerce store set up. One there are options like yahoo stores that charge you a monthly fee and then provide a store front that you can just drop all of your stuff into and start selling things. Option 2, is using a shopping cart supplied through a web host or installing one yourself. There are a number of both open source and paid carts out there for you to choose from. Some of the open source carts include osCommerce and Zen Cart both of these carts you can find a number of templates that have been designed for them out there. If you set it up yourself you still have to deal with getting the cart installed. Setting up the template. Installing the SSL, etc. The third option is going with more of a turnkey e-commerce site provider. These will be a little more expensive than you average host but they will help you get everything set up templates installed, SSL installed etc.