Web Hosting E-Commerce
If you are selling a product or a service, e-commerce might be
a smart way to do business.
E-Commerce is about selling products or services over the Internet.
If you are selling a product or a service, e-commerce might be a smart way to do
business. Over the Internet you can reach a large number of customers.
It is not a very good idea to build your own e-commerce system. Some (larger)
companies might do it, but we will not recommend it if you run a smaller
business. Building an e-commerce system is a complicated process,
with the potential for a lot of errors.
You might buy a ready-to-use system and run it on your own server. Many
systems are available on the market today, and most of them
will cover your basic needs for order management and processing. But again, if
you are not familiar with hosting your own web site, starting with an e-commerce
site is not the right thing.
The best solution, in our opinion, is to find a hosting provider that offers
an e-commerce solution.
E-commerce covers a very huge range of products. With different hosting
providers you will find anything from very simple to very complex solutions.
Most providers will offer a simple and inexpensive solution that allow you
to run your own "virtual store".
- How does it handle customers?
- How does it handle product catalogs?
- How does it handle orders?
- How does it handle inventory?
- How does it handle back orders?
- How does it handle shipment?
- How does it handle accounts?
- How does it handle billing?
- How does it handle payment?
- How does it handle foreign currency?
- How does it handle credit cards?
- How does it handle taxes?
- How does it handle security?
- How does it handle integrity (encryption)?
Also check if the most time-consuming tasks are automated. Look for automated
billing, invoice handling, accounting, and report generation.
Before you sign up a contract with any hosting provider, surf some other
sites on their servers. Find out how it works. Actually try some shopping and
see if you get a good feeling.
Also compare the other sites against yours, to see if it looks like you have the
same needs. Contacting some of the other customers is also a valuable option.
Taxes is a complex issue for most on-line stores. Especially VAT (Value Added
If you are selling on-line, you will most likely be in the export business.
Trading with different countries is easy, but tax issues might be tricky.
Exporting goods may not be the subject of VAT in your country, but often your
customers will have to pay their local VAT when they pick up the goods.
In addition, there will be the issue of income tax for your shop, depending
on how you report your income from sales.
Before starting an on-line store, be sure to consult your tax adviser.
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