Today a million companies will tell you how great a job they will do designing your website.
They’ll tell you they’ll make it look professional. Your site will use the most advanced web services available today. They might use java or flash, or some other technology that sounds very technical. They might even build a shopping cart for you.
Another million companies will tell you how great a job they will do hosting your website.
They’ll tell you they have great features. Your hosting account will support the most advanced technologies used today. They might support the java or flash, or other technologies used to develop your website. They might even provide a shopping cart with the hosting.
So what does a business owner really need to look for when choosing a company(s) to get started doing business online?
5 Important Tips for choosing the right ecommerce provider
Choose a complete provider–There are some out there. Many times business owners get stuck in the middle between the requirements of the website, and the hosting services needed to support it. The company you choose should be able to design your site and host it as well. If the design firm can’t host the site, think how difficult it may be to find a hosting company that will meet the requirements of the designed site. Selecting a firm that can provide you with both will save you time, frustration, and possibly even money. Some design firms offer discounts on packages when you choose to have them both host and design your site.
Look for examples–Ask the company you are considering doing business with if they can show you examples of similar sites they’ve previously designed and hosted . If the company has done a site for your type of industry or business previously, chances are they may be able to provide you with what you will need for your site.
Ask “What Else” you will need to get started–A website and hosting quote can be just that…A website and hosting quote. A quote doesn’t necessarily mean that your idea of what you want to accomplish is going to be what you get from your finished product. A good example of this occurs when a designing company can’t provide you with a payment gateway or merchant account in addition to your shopping cart. You may have a great looking store online that doesn’t take credit cards. Find out upfront if you will need to seek out other solutions in addition to what the company is doing for you.
Don’t be afraid to pay–In this day and age especially, the old adage “You Get What You Pay For” rings true. All those Do-It-Yourself tools and instant ecommerce sites aren’t going to get you where you want to be online. Professional services are always distinguishable on the Internet. Your Do-It-Yourself site…well…everyone who happens to visit your site will know you did it yourself.
Pay Attention to the conversation–Does the company you’re talking to answer the questions you asked? Do you get technical answers to business questions or vice versa? Or does the company actually pay attention to what you’re trying to do online and show you how they will accomplish it for you? If not, you’re talking to the wrong group of people. Step away, and try other companies until you get what you need.
Conducting business online doesn’t mean you have to shell out tremendous amounts of money to reap the benefits of the Internet. The Internet is geared towards helping those businesses with marketable products reach a much larger audience then they previously could achieve. As a business owner you want to receive the best service at the lowest possible price. If you don’t choose the right provider you can end up with the best price and the lowest possible service. So use these tips and choose wisely. Either way you’ll definitely see the results.