Talking tech since 2003

One success that can be greatly attributed to improvements to technology is the simplicity in which we can manage and spend money. Look at the credit card for example. Prior to electronic processing via point-of-sale machines, credit card transactions had to be done manually on paper, and took days – if not weeks – to process. As technology evolved further and the Internet became part of the everyday lives of millions, a new trend began to emerge. In 2010, online stores make billions of dollars in sales on an annual basis. These stores, which don’t have the same high overhead of physical retail outlets, are able to better service customers in the sense that they never have to close and that they can make ordering easier.

In the early 1990’s, as more people began to populate the Internet, we saw the introduction of stores like the online giant Amazon. Since then, several other reputable online stores have emerged; some catering directly to the Internet, and others simply the online marketplace for established retail chains.

With all the revenue that is generated from online sales, you are probably asking yourself how you can get in on all the potential profits.

You see, setting up an ecommerce site is a relatively simple process using software such as osCommerce. However, the fact of the matter is that setting up this type of web-based software does take a significant amount of effort, and requires you to (ideally) acquire an SSL certificate, which will cost about thirty dollars. Additionally, if you cannot set up ecommerce software on your own, you will likely find yourself paying high rates to have a professional do so.

Even if you manage to get an online store up and running, you are going to be subjecting yourself to overhead costs (while relatively low) and certain liabilities. While these operating costs and liabilities would definitely be worth it if you were making high numbers of sales, the sad fact remains that a “new” online store is unlikely to do so. This is because even when people find a new online store, smart online shoppers will avoid sites that have not proven themselves as reputable.  Think about it.  When you shop online, would you rather purchase from a big name that has a reputation, or a site that you have never heard of?

So what do you do to sell products online? One of the best moves you can make is to use a reputable online store to sell through. Amazon, for example, allows retailers to create a “WebStore”, in which products can be sold using Amazon’s reputation and infrastructure. eBay has a similar service which allows merchants to create storefronts.

Sure, running your store through a third-party service means that you will probably be paying a commission on sales. However when you evaluate all of the overhead you will be eliminating (SSL certificates, fees for professionals, etc.), the truth is that you will be paying about the same, if not less.

Additionally, by using an existing infrastructure, you have a greater potential of having your store and products found, and ultimately turn a profit.

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