Ecommerce is just short for electronic commerce. This is what you would call any online business that sells products, services or digital goods. You may find that there are many different ways of spelling ecommerce. Some will just use “ecommerce”, others will use “e-commerce” or “E-commerce”. It is all the same thing, there are just variations.
Ecommerce is the wave of the future. Customers love the convenience of shopping online, reading customer reviews and product descriptions and being able to take their time while they do it all. Who would have thought that we could buy new dishes while sitting in our pajamas at home at three in the morning? While customers love it, business owners love it too. It isn’t possible for an actual storefront to stay open 24/7 most of the time. An actual storefront has a lot of overhead expense and needs a lot of hands on management. With an ecommerce web site you have a lot of flexibility as a business owner and it is exciting to think that as you sleep that person is ordering dishes (or whatever). You can make money 24/7 around the clock with ecommerce.
Naturally you can have a store front and an online presence and this does not mean that you have to sell your products online. There are companies that offer services and goods that just want a web presence so that their clients can find them, see them as rock solid and use the contact information. This also allows businesses to share information about themselves.
When you choose an ecommerce web hosting service you need to first think of all the things you need to get out of it. Some of these things may include: email, shopping carts, database capabilities, merchant account, payment gateways, live chat support, and great content management systems.
Depending on your level of experience and the size of our business you may also want to look for some of the following features that may apply to your needs:
- Shipping options – ability to calculate shipping, print labels, etc.
- Calculate sales tax – this is a key element in your shopping cart program that you will need to look for.
- Search engine submission
- Website builder
- Control panel – one that will allow you to manage multiple domains if necessary and that will have an interface that you can easily use.
- Integration into a book keeping system like QuickBooks
- SSL – Secure Sockets Layer for your protection and to protect your customer
- Web space allowed and file transfer allowed
- Website statistics to help you optimize your marketing and tailor to the needs of your clients.
- A database that will hold your product catalog and will be easy to update and to integrate.
These are just a few things you may want to consider when shopping for an ecommerce web host. You will probably also want to consider whether your business needs basic shared hosting, vps hosting or dedicated server hosting.
Our top three picks for best ecommerce web hosting are: