One of the most important decisions you can make when building an online business is which service to use for your online store. It seems like there is an infinite supply of choices for building an online store, and it can seem kind of confusing at times. How do you go about deciding where to build your online store?
Here are some things to think about:
1. Your image. First impressions are important. Many times a website visitor will decide whether or not to investigate your store further based on what your store looks like. If your store looks unprofessional or amateurish, many web visitors will leave your site. So, you want to make sure that your online store enhances your business image.
2. Your web building skills. Some web store building options require that you know how to build web pages, or install software on a server. If that is not your strength, then look for a hosted solution, a store that is already built for you, and all you have to do is add products and customize it.
3. Your income. Obviously, some web store hosting solutions cost more than others, so don’t sign up for something that you can’t afford to pay for.
4. Store features. Will you want to offer your customers coupons, real time shipping quotes, rewards points or a monthly newsletter? Do you need to upload listings to ebay or amazon? Do you need your store to keep track of inventory for you? Decide what you need before committing to any one solution.