Why sell online?
There are many good reasons for selling your products or services online. Most clearly, selling online increases your
market reach and creates opportunities to increase your overall sales revenues. This page explores the opportunities
and challenges of selling online. There are numerous motivations for adopting online sales ranging from increasing
market reach, adding new products, competitive advantage and more.

The BIG reason
The world of research, review, sharing, buying is increasingly moving online. Allowing for online sales captures this
market shift. Studies have demonstrated a much higher rate of return on companies investment in online search-based
marketing over traditional “outbound” marketing and sales because the customers are already converted, they want
the product they just need to decide who to buy it from and will spend the time to research the best options online. If
your company is not online you will miss this entire market share and opportunity to optimize marketing, sales and
business operations.

In addition to accessing a global marketplace, your website enabled for online sales can take orders and process
purchases 24/7 365 days per year from virtually anywhere in the world.

Beyond borders: Selling online allows vendors to reach customers outside of their town, state, even country which increases
the population of possible customers. 

After hours shoppers: This group is commonly forgotten. If your company’s current hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. you may be
missing out on customers in your region who cannot easily shop during regular business hours. Counting on customers to
wait until they can make it into your store vs. buying online when it is convenient is not safe bet.

Vendors/partners/agents that demand online interfaces: if your company wants to break into more channels many
buyers and agents now want access to an online portal as it saves them time and provides better customer service.

Add new products: selling online can include taking some or all of current stock and selling it online. However,
you may also choose to add new products that are optimized for online sales.
Why? These products may have a better ROI  for online sales, and they may be a good up sell for current product
inventory. See the resource page for product ideas, drop shipping, affiliate program concepts and more.

Danger of status quo: If other companies are sharing product availability, making bookings, and closing product sales online
they are capturing customers that could be yours. If you are not online you are not competing with this growing sales
channel.

Niche away: Competing with big box stores online can be a pricing challenge. Focusing on niches or specialty items where
your company can stand apart adds value and increases your competitive advantage.

Give customers what they want when they want it: Make sure they have the information they need and the ability to
buy online. Customers are shopping at all hours, both from their computer and increasingly on mobile devices. They want to
know about product details and your website and online store can serve them when your main store is closed (regular hours),
staff is busy, etc.  Online forms can capture customer information based on the customer input which save your
administration time and allows customers to share the level of information they need to gain an optimal experience.

Data: by tracking what customers have ordered before, viewed, liked, etc. your online sales system (or in store staff using a
connected CRM) can offer more customized sales experience and/or up-sell additional products.

Save administration time and re invest it: Allowing customers to buy online saves time. Take a tourism product as an
example: without online sales clients have to call about availability, requirements, prices, etc. Just offering availability online can
save companies a lot of time if, for example the average call for availability can last 5-10 minutes and occur hundreds of times.
More importantly the customer may choose to skip a company that does not offer this level of information online and move
onto the next company in the search results.

Real time data tracking: Can save expensive inventory stocking, conservative underselling to avoid overbooking, customer
trends for stock optimization and more.




Google
E-Commerce & Shopping Cart Features

RIA based administration panel

Graphic user interface
Web desktop application
Multi-window operation
Sidebar with clock and general sales data
Content management system

Articles
FAQs
Slide show, Image Menu and Product Scroller
Banner manager
Tinymce Editor
Administrator role
Template installation
Google Adsense
Catalog Management

Unlimited product categories with images
Variant associated with images
Attribute with separate price and stock management
Manufacturers and Shop by manufacturer
Shop by price
Filter by popular search term
Product Management

Simple Products, Virtual Products, Downloadable Products, Gift Certificate
Image groups
Watermark
Image zoom and light box
Reviews and Ratings
Wysiwyg html editor
Accessory and Product attachment
Product customization
Batch Add and Duplicate
List/grid view
Product Option Selection
Quantity discount
SKU and Stock
Add to wishlist and add to compare
Tell a friend
Recent history
Customer who purchased this product also purchased
Customer/User Management

Export/Import customers
discount on customer groups
Poll
Who’s Online (Find guests also)
Guest book
Department management
Order Management

Add orders in admin panel
Print invoices and packaging lists
Store Credits
Credit Slip or Store Credit for merchandise return
Abandoned Cart
Track Order
Payment

Amazon IPN
Authorize.net
(credit card and eCheck)
Bank Wire
Cheque
ChronoPay
Cash on delivery
eWay
Google Checkout
iDEAL
Inpay
Moneybookers
NOCHEX
PayPal
PayQuake
Safepay (credit card, bank transfer, virtual terminal)
Western Union
Wire Card (credit card, EFT)
Shipping

Flat Rate
Free Shipping
Per Item
Self Pickup
Table Rate
USPS
Zone Rates
Checkout

One-Page Checkout
Guest checkout
Ajax Shopping Cart
Tax and shipping estimation
Gift-wrapping option
Email system

receive, compose, delete, reply, and forward emails
Newsletter
Email templates
SMTP mail server authentication support
Localization

Multilingual backed by Online Translator tool
Multiple currencies
Flexible tax and tax rates
Search engine optimization

Static URLs
Rich keyword URL for product, category, review, article, etc
Title, meta keyword and meta description for homepage, article and manufacturer
Meta page in template class
Google sitemap
URL rewrites
Statistics and Reports

Audience demographics report
Traffic report
Activity report
Product reports (purchases, viewing goods, categories purchased, low stock)
Order reports (best orders, orders total)
Promotion tools

Specials
Cross-sell
Upcoming Product
Popular Search Term
Featured Product
Best seller
Catalog Promotional Discount
Coupons
Technical support

Installation / configuration wizard
Maintenance mode
Cache control
Backup manager
SSL connection support for admin panel
Other features

Import/export
Captcha
RSS Feed/ Book Marks
SNS sharing

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