Making Online Store Platform Selection Easy

Deciding on the best Online Store approach for your business is a daunting prospect, there are many things to consider in making an informed decision. Since the launch of Arpastart eCommerce, we have received a lot of questions about how to make a good selection and heard some horror stories about people who have signed up for an Online Store contract to find that it doesn’t meet their needs and has done their businesses more harm than good.

There are a lot of great Online Store solutions out there, it is just a matter of finding out which one will work best for your business. To make sure that you get the best deal possible, make sure you consider the following:

HOW MUCH CONTROL DO YOU WANT OVER THE APPEARANCE OF YOUR STORE?

Many Online Store packages give you the option of a number of pre-defined themes to choose from. If you only want to be able to change your colours or upload a logo and your product this may or may not be a factor for you in your decision. If your business is strongly branded and relies on your design and personality showing through in your website this may be vital.

Arpastart eCommerce offers full control of the look and feel of your site.

A standard theme is available by default, allowing you to brand the site by changing colours and applying logo and banners at no extra cost.

WHAT CODING DO THEY USE & HOW WELL DOES IT TRANSLATE TO MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES?

The type of coding used can limit how and if your customers can view your site. If it doesn’t state what type of coding is used in creating the site, ask. A lot of free website builders use code which cannot be viewed on Apple computers and devices. Professional coding will optimise efficiency of loading and advantages across platforms.

Arpastart eCommerce is able to be enjoyed across all platforms and devices. It is fully responsive too, so you won’t miss out on those mobile sales.

HOW MUCH WORK IS INVOLVED FROM YOU?

The set-up of different packages means that vastly different maintenance hours are required from you. Solutions which are largely automated through database integration will save you a lot of time if all you need to do is upload your photos, enter your data and let the Online Store do the rest for you. Some offer ‘drag and drop’ formatting which allows you place your items in the position you want visually, but be aware that depending upon how well the code it is written you may experience some problems with alignment in formatting. Some offer automatic stock control options and others don’t. Read the fine print or talk to a representative about what your time investment is likely to be. Some solutions also offer to do Store maintenance on your behalf, and at a fee, update your site with information you provide to them. For those who find their time is needed elsewhere in their business this can be a valuable option.

Arpastart eCommerce can be easily maintained through a user friendly interface. Our database allows you to upload your product information and have it display consistently across the site.
Stock control options allow you to track your inventory in store. Pre-sales and sales by subscription are made easy.

Processing orders is also a breeze, with handy shortcuts designed to minimise your administration time and keep your customers happy and up to date with order progress.

HOW MUCH SUPPORT IS OFFERED OR TRAINING AVAILABLE?

Make sure you know how to go about finding out the information you need to run your store at optimum performance. Online Stores can vary in the amount of support and training they offer ranging from non-existent to intensive and can include such delivery methods as online demonstrations, webinars, manuals and individual and group training sessions.

We currently offer personal and group training options, and an online manual which is constantly being updated with new features as they become available.

IS YOUR CONTRACT LIMITED BY SPACE, BANDWIDTH OR THE NUMBER OF TRANSACTIONS PER MONTH?

Working out the best plan for you can be fraught with difficulty if it is your first online store and you are not sure how much trade you will do, or how many people will be visiting your site. Most Online Store solutions offer a range of different plans depending on storage space, bandwidth, or the number or value of transactions per month. Many start on a free or cheap plan and then find themselves in a financial bind when they start using over their allocated plan and are forced into the next plan bracket. A solution based on a flat fee for small business has enormous advantages.

Your costs with Arpastart eCommerce are the initial set up, and monthly hosting. There are no additional fees based on sales or bandwidth. You’ve worked hard to make your profits. You deserve to keep them.

ARE THE CHARGES IN AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS?

Check the currency that your plan is charged in. A good price one month may be an appalling price in six months’ time depending on the exchange rate. If you are charged in Australian dollars then you know that your charges will be steady and it is easier to budget.

We charge in Australian dollars and offer a range of payment options.

DOES IT INTEGRATE WITH YOUR SITE, OR TAKE YOU AWAY TO A SEPARATE SITE FOR SHOPPING CART & CHECKOUT?

If you have a product that people tend to purchase only one of at a time, this may not be a concern for you. Some Online Store solutions allow you to use your existing website and hosting deal and only charge you for the shopping cart and checkout facility, redirecting the customer to their site when they click purchase. If a customer wants to purchase multiple items it can be a very frustrating experience to have to continually navigate between the two sites to add products to their shopping cart, and cause a lot of confusion and frustration.

Arpastart eCommerce is a platform designed to give your customers a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience. Not only can they easily pop multiple products in their carts, they can also create a personal log in and save their products for later, and create wishlists.

WHAT SUPPORT & DATA RECOVERY AVAILABILITY IS THERE IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE & BREAK YOUR SITE?

From time to time the best of us can make a mistake and break a site or cause a major problem with the inventory. If this happens, how easy is the provider to contact, are they able to help you by fixing the problem and teaching you how not to do it again, and do they have a recovery backup available from the previous day to restore your site without having to start from scratch?

We take daily backups, so if something goes wrong we can quickly revert to the previous day’s state for you.

DO THEY INCLUDE A SECURE & ENCRYPTED CONNECTION FOR CHECKOUT AS PART OF THE CONTRACT, OR DO THEY CHARGE YOU AN ADDITIONAL RATE FOR A SECURITY CERTIFICATE?

When completing transactions online you need to protect your customers’ data with a secure connection. Find out before you sign up if this is included as part of the plan you are interested in, if you will be charged an additional rate for this, or be responsible for organising your own.

In the vast majority of cases, the purchase of an SSL certificate is not required to use an Arpastart eCommerce store. Your customers are always provided with a secure checkout.

IS HOSTING INCLUDED OR DO YOU NEED TO FIND YOUR OWN HOSTING SOLUTION?

Do the plans you are looking at include hosting of your site, or do they only cover the transaction side of the Online Store? To compare plans accurately you need to make sure that you also factor in any additional hosting costs you may have.

Our hosting is made easy. We offer one simple low priced monthly plan to suit most businesses.

We offer more powerful hosting solutions for businesses with extremely large traffic demands and space requirements. You will never be forced into a higher plan, the choice to upgrade is always yours.

WHAT ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONALITY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Most Online Store solutions offer the ability to complete online transactions but their functionality ends there. There are packages available which allow you to manage customer databases, mailing lists, coupons and loyalty programs and much, much more.

Arpastart eCommerce allows you manage your customers easily, encourage them to come back regularly. An inbuilt SEO package, blog functionality, and newsletter capabilities are but a few of the features on offer to help your sales.

Give us your feature wish list, you might be surprised what’s possible.

DO YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN ONLINE STORES?

If you have an established Online Store and are looking for an alternative solution to your current one it can be tempting to search only for products which work with your current site. Consider looking more broadly. The fact that you are looking means that your current solution isn’t working for you for some reason, consulting a professional may give you some insights as to how your business could be improved by using a different type of Online Store solution.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON?

Each individual has a different skill set and areas of interest. Some people may enjoy the challenge and process of setting up an Online Store for themselves and find it a joy rather than a job. Others tend to find the whole situation stressful and daunting. As a business owner you have a lot to do, and need to consider whether you are better off spending a bit of money in having your site set up for you, or losing your valuable time (and potentially income) by doing it yourself. A moderate set up fee may actually save you a fortune in ongoing maintenance.

ULTIMATELY:

The needs of your business come first and the solution you decide on needs to enhance your business operations, not hinder them. We are passionate about good customer service and satisfaction, if we don’t think that our product will suit your business we will tell you. We are happy to work with customers to assist them to set up an Online Store with a competitor’s product if it suits their needs.

For a complimentary and obligation free talk about what we can do to enhance your business through our services please give us a call. We’d love to have a chat about what your business needs.

2018-05-19T21:40:52+00:00July 9th, 2015|Arpastart eCommerce Platform, Online Stores|

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