What to Look for When Choosing an eCommerce Solution for Your Website
eCommerce websites are special because they require certain tools and server configurations in order to run successfully. To meet the special needs of online business owners, the eCommerce industry has become extremely competitive, and as more companies begin to offer eCommerce hosting plans it becomes more difficult to choose one out of the hundreds available. However, regardless of how many plans are on offer there are some constant factors to consider when shopping for an eCommerce hosting plan.
Reputation and Reliability
First and foremost, before any other factors are considered, it is important ensure the reliability and reputability of any web hosting provider. Even more important than plan features and pricing is the quality of the service provided. All of the features in the world cannot make up for site down time and insecure web hosting. Thus, before comparing plans it is best to assemble a list of the most reputable eCommerce hosting providers.
Features and Functionality
Once you have a pool of reputable web hosting providers to choose from it’s time to begin comparing plan features. It is important to realize that features are far more important than pricing, as you may end up paying more in the long run if you have to upgrade to another plan in the future. Features that are important for any eCommerce hosting plan are:
- Shopping Cart
- Product Catalog Builder
- Payment Processing Tools
- Store Building Tools
- Integrative Tools (Such as eBay and Amazon integration)
- Adequate Bandwidth
- Adequate Disk Space
- Google Adwords Credit (most hosting providers offer this)
- SSL Certificates
- Site Search Engine Tools
Without the above features an eCommerce hosting plan would be essentially useless. All of the above features are equally important, so it is crucial to find a web hosting company that offers all of these features. You should be able narrow down your list based on the above criteria.
Customer Support and Service
Once you’ve narrowed down the list based on the above aspects, it’s time to compare the customer service and support of each company. Support is such a crucial part of any web hosting plan, because there are so many things that can go wrong. Without a qualified and helpful support team by your side you could end up facing many problems by yourself, which could drastically decrease the overall productivity of your business.
Finally, after you’ve narrowed down the list to a few carefully picked selections based on the above criteria, it is time to compare pricing. The best way to compare pricing is to find the plan that would best accommodate your needs and then compare the pricing and features of that plan between services. For example, if you find that the one company’s bronze plan suits you best then you would simply find a plan from another company that matches up well with that plan in terms of features, and then compare the prices of the plans.
By using the above process to select your eCommerce hosting plan you’re essentially guaranteeing quality service for your site.
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I think that most successful e-commerce business owners would agree that one of the most important aspects of their business has to do with effectively fulfilling and tracking orders. There is a lot of data that is created through this process and that data can be used to deliver great customer service, fair and accurate pricing, and enhanced reputation and reliability.
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