The True Cost of E-Commerce

3 min read

16 September 2011,

Ecommerce

The True Cost of E-Commerce

In the past decade, internet marketing has led economic growth globally with more than 25 million home-based businesses can be counted with an increasing presence online, which certainly has enabled private firms to grow their businesses but also left them facing the new challenges and costs to conquer their position on the web.



With so many businesses, large and small, turning to the internet to expand their customer base, e-commerce has created a battleground in every industry and niche. To properly market your products and services online there are certain costs that cannot be avoided. Even with the many ways of saving on online commerce, there are some aspects that need to be considered in order to get the most out of your web presence and draw in the customers you are wanting.

The E-Commerce Essential Every Small Business Should Be Aware Of!

 

There are a few tools that every business needs in order to make their e-commerce plan profitable. Below are just a few:

  • Email
  • Specialized industry/professional information
  • Product information
  • Reaching Customers
  • Building the Website
  • Advertising on other Websites/Banner exchange
  • Management tools
  • Counting Website visitors
  • E-commerce solutions

 

Hidden Costs of Online Business:
A small-business owner must face many risks, delays, and time-consuming tasks to be able to implement his online presence. As with any business there are costs. Some of these costs are obvious to any business that is planning to go online, however there are hidden fees, marketing costs and expenses that most do not think about when putting their budget together and planning their online launch.


Web Server: Domain Name and Security:
A web server conceals the web files and serves them to the site’s users. With an e-commerce site, it will be best to rent a dedicated server due to the ability to control security and configuration settings. There’s also the need to pay an annual fee for a domain name (e.g. www.example.com) and any added costs associated with the web server, which can include an SSL certificate (SSL enables any bank details sent over the internet to be encrypted and decrypted at the server end) and additional IP addresses needing to run the SSL. Furthermore, the website has to be updated, checked and kept under maintenance to provide the user with the best possible experience. As confusing as that sounds, there are many services and web hosting companies out there that will handle this part for you. This will allow you to concentrate more on business than the technical end of your site.

Payment Facilities
To run an online store, there must be a secure premium gateway provider, like Alertpay or Paypal. These payment providers take their cut; usually, a percentage of a sale or a monthly fee. These costs need to be taken into consideration. Researching the fees of each payment service will allow you to find on that fits the size of your business and save you money.

Marketing
Internet marketing is slightly different from other marketing techniques. Everyone knows about Google and how valuable it is for business, but there’s no need to rely on this too much. There are many lesser known ways of marketing and selling. Most online businesses find it beneficial to consult or hire an Internet Marketer & SEO (search engine optimization) expert.

Cut Expenses - Profit More
Even with the high cost of starting your e-commerce presence, there are ways of saving on costs and allowing you to keep your profits. With each aspect of online business there are many services you can save on by shopping around.


Hosting
Regarding review plans, it would be optimal to check several of the major hosting companies that offer special packages as well as discounts and coupons for further purchases.

Advertising and Promotion
Previously, it was said that hiring an expert in the internet marketing is crucial; However, there are many tasks that can be executed by a small-firm company for a fraction of the cost and time involved, just learn from the countless free online resources and fulfill what was written.

Guest Blogging and Review Posting
A great technique to drive targeted visitors to a website is to visit other important blogs and forums on the net; leave a valuable comment or post for the reader, and leave a personal signature.

Link Exchange
Ask for a link from other influent websites on the market, in exchange for some service.

Social Media Activity
Getting social means entering the web 2.0 and social network's world to start interacting and engaging with people interested in related services and products. Building a large social media following can drive sales to your site and assist in gaining a larger online presence.

The dramatic growth in the creation and use of websites sets the stage for e-commerce. Small firms are learning how to use the net to enhance customer relations and appeal to modern prospects. This task takes on new challenges and plans, as long as there's more money to be invested, although, the online crowd will win its quest for more profits and more business opportunities to come. Take in consideration all aspects of e-commerce before launching and you may bring your business into the online sales community with little risk.