With many people now choosing to shop online rather than in high street stores, many businesses are now starting to establish their own online presence through the use of eCommerce stores where they sell their goods or services, enabling their customers to shop with them online.
When setting up an eCommerce website it is important for you to thoroughly consider the web hosting plan that you are going to be using for the purpose of hosting your business website because there are several key features that you should research to ensure that you get good value for money; the main features you want to be looking for are reliability and security.
Your budget is going to be dependent on the size of your business, as will your choice of web hosting plan; even though a dedicated server may seem like the best option for the long term, it is important to bare in mind that you can’t always calculate how successful your new eCommerce store is going to be and so it would probably be best to start out with a shared web hosting plan because you can always upgrade your web hosting plan as your needs change.
As well as making the correct choice of web hosting plan, you should also work out how you are going to market your new eCommerce website with the use of SEO and other web marketing techniques; once you have your website established, you will need to market it properly to ensure that you are able to bring in new customers to make your efforts worthwhile.
Benefits of Establishing an eCommerce Store
There are many benefits to establishing your business online, particularly with an online store through which you can sell your products and services. The main benefits available to you include:
- Wider target audience – an eCommerce store will provide you with the opportunity to engage a wider target audience because there are billions of people who are using the internet all over the world, all of whom will be able to access your website – when running a business it is important to attract new customers where possible and by operating an online store, you will be able to bring in as many customers as you want – however, you will need to take into consideration that there will be more competitors online than you would be use to when running a physical shop on a high street – however, you do have the raised possibility of receiving fraudulent orders which makes it important to keep a close eye on the orders that you receive
- Better marketing opportunities – there are more opportunities to market your business online as you can opt for advertising on other websites or you can carry your own SEO campaign to boost the position of your eCommerce website within the search engine rankings for the keywords that are appropriate to your website – depending on how popular your new eCommerce website is, there may be no need to market your website online at all because word of mouth in person is another way in which you can spread news about your website and so this may be the case, leading to an increase in direct traffic to your website rather than through organic means
- Reduced costs – establishing an online eCommerce store as opposed to setting up a shop on a high street will represent significant cost savings as you won’t need to employ so many staff whilst you can be open 24×7 without any change in the running costs – the benefit of shopping online for consumers is that they are able to shop whenever they want and then have the goods that they have ordered delivered to their door which is why online shopping has become such a popular option and businesses that fail to realize this will be left behind – it is important for your business to be able to save money where possible because functioning economically will help you to sustain your business in the long run.
Disadvantages of eCommerce Store Hosting
There are several disadvantages to eCommerce hosting that you may wish to consider prior to establishing your own online store, such as:
- Establishment costs – setting up an eCommerce website isn’t free, in fact you will have to have significant funds available in the short term to be able to establish an eCommerce website effectively – as well as the cost of your chosen web hosting plan, there are also likely to be costs associated with developing your new online store and unless you do this yourself, hiring a professional to complete this task for you could leave you with a large bill – furthermore, if you are a establishing a new website and not one for a business that is already established to some extent, you will also face the costs of marketing
- Security – if you are going to be processing payments through your online store and handling the personal information of a number of your customers then you are going to have to be able to guarantee that a high level of security has been implemented – if you find yourself in the situation where hackers have managed to get access to your database then you could be held responsible for any stolen information, making it thoroughly important for you to purchase your web hosting services only from web hosting companies that you can trust to provide you with a secure hosting environment.
In conclusion, eCommerce store hosting will allow you to establish your business’s presence online effectively through the use of an online store that you can use to sell and promote the products and services offered by your business.
The two core features that you need to look for in an eCommerce hosting plan are security and reliability, simply because a web hosting plan that doesn’t provide a good level of uptime doesn’t represent good value for money whilst security is an important consideration for any website that is collecting and storing personal information to any extent.
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