If you are taking or migrating your online store to one that resides in the cloud, it is often tempting to dismiss third-party vendor options and instead look at purchasing different software store licenses to host at a data center.
Surprisingly, although that will give you the freedom to drill down to a sophisticated level of granularity in your feature set, there are other options available that can save you both time and money. Here are some of the most popular options for companies changing their online merchant service:
Go with a cloud vendor that offers pre-packaged online stores: Many cloud hosting services will allow you to pay a monthly fee and give you access to pre-built online stores that you can customize completely once you have chosen the software that you are going to use. One positive for clients is that the setup is usually automated, leaving you to only have to worry about customization and operations. On the other hand, because there is typically a lot of work to do with customization and marketing, if you are not careful with your time you can end up spending a lot more money than you planned.
Choose a vendor that has their own online store: Although there are several online shopping cart packages on the market, when it comes to features, most packages offer roughly the same basic capabilities. Online shopping carts that have been in professional development for years, like 1shoppingcart.com, do tend to have more advanced features than their competitors. When you choose an online vendor with their own software package, the benefits that you typically have are that your transaction fees will be lower than if you run your own shopping cart on a neutral host. You will also find that their security is customized for store owners, making your customers more confident that your site will protect their data. 1shoppingcart.com has over 25,000 businesses putting their trust into their data center security around the clock.
Use an online mall-type of site: If you have a specialized product and want to look at Ebay or Etsy as a venue for your store, you will likely find that although the feature sets are very minimal for store managers, you will have a lot of traffic visiting those sites in order to find goods that are typically sold there. In that way, you can often save on your marketing budget because you do not need to worry about focusing on bringing people to your individual domain. The downside is that even if the people visiting the main site are looking for goods, there is no guarantee that they will visit your site unless you devote some time to customizing your offerings.
One of the most popular approaches to deciding which type of option is best for you is to develop a set of requirements that address the marketing and operations budget that you are most comfortable with. Once you have done that, it should be fairly easy to see which type of cloud hosting will be best for your online store.