Selecting The Right Ecommerce Provider To Automate Your Sales ProcessSelecting The Right Ecommerce Provider To Automate Your Sales Process

Because the internet enables shoppers to access your website 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without geographic limitations or concerns for time zones, automation of the sales process is a necessity. It would be incredibly expensive to staff your internet business to accept orders 24 hours a day. An ecommerce provider that can automate your ordering process eliminates the need for a sales staff to take orders from customers.

Selecting an ecommerce provider can be a bit mind boggling because there are many options for an ecommerce provider and they don't all offer the same types of services and ecommerce solutions. The costs associated with using an ecommerce provider also vary from one provider to the next. The main thing to consider when choosing an ecommerce provider is the availability of payment options that they provide for your customers. If you offer a limited number of payment options, you may make it difficult for some customers to buy from you. By offering a wide array of options, you can actually gain a competitive advantage due to the customer-centric service you can provide.

I am adamant about the necessity of accepting credit cards through an online business. If you don't accept credit cards, you lose sales. It really is that simple. The majority of online shoppers use credit cards to make purchases online, so if you have to compromise in regard to the types of payments processed through an ecommerce provider, be sure to choose the ecommerce provider that accepts the greatest variety of credit cards.

Other payment solutions that may be offered by an ecommerce provider include the acceptance of checks online, accepting debit cards, use of digital wallets (also known as e-wallets), person- to-person email payments, and escrow services. Accepting PayPal as a payment option is also a good idea as it is a popular online payment method used by internet shoppers worldwide. Some ecommerce providers use a web-based shopping cart that is associated with your website to automate the sales process.

It is important to understand that services offered by an ecommerce provider are not generally all-encompassing. In other words, they don't necessarily provide all of the services for various payment options themselves. Rather, an ecommerce provider generally works as a consultant and coordinates various services and ecommerce solutions to be sure that they work well together and meet the unique needs of your business.

Components that have to be compatible in order to efficiently operate a website with an automated sales process include the hosting plan, the website design, the software used for shopping carts or order processing, and the payment processing solutions. Because hosting and website design are included in the mix of ecommerce solutions, it is best to choose a web development firm that is an ecommerce provider and has the capability of hosting, designing and developing your website. Otherwise, if you use one company to host the site, another to design the site and another as an ecommerce provider, you will likely have a hodge-podge of problems that require reworking of previously developed parts of your website which can result in unnecessary costs.

So, what if you have already had your website designed and launched, you need to add ecommerce solutions, and your web developer is not an ecommerce provider? This is a dilemma that many internet business owners face. At this point, you need to find an ecommerce provider that has website design and development capabilities. A good web development company that is an ecommerce provider should be able to work with what you have already and add ecommerce solutions to transform your basic website into an ecommerce website with an automated sales process.

by Christopher J Enders
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Copyright Christopher J. Enders. Are you at the end of your rope, fed up and confused by all the scrambled internet marketing advice you're getting? Whether you are new to internet marketing, or a website owner who wants to make more money from your website, learn the proven strategies that will sky-rocket your internet business at

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