eCommerce Software is the underlying technology layer that allows you to build a website that can sell products and services online. Typically the eCommerce Software is installed on a server or shared hosting that enables it to be accessed from the world wide web. Web designers might need to assist you to build your design or you might have a designer to it for you.
Once the design is finished you need to add content which will consist of web pages (categories, information, blogs, terms and conditions etc). These web pages are setup in a structure generally called your category structure or directory. This will also be used to show the categories in a menu that your customers and visitors can browse online.
The most important part of any eCommerce website are the products. These are also pages on the website but are setup in a way that search engines and other systems can understand that they are products. They will also contain special information such as price, weight, size and other attributes that define the product. To make the product attractive and useful for visitors to view you add images of the product being sold that can be viewed, in high quality, by visitors.
eCorner host, manage and support an eCommerce Solution here in Australia not just provide software. eCommerce Software is like a building block whereas the Solution is ready to go, much like bricks and mortar versus the completed building.
Solutions use software and are built to meet requirements and market needs. Our eCommerce market is different to many other places around the world. Issues like shipping, tax, payment process and marketing differ from country to country.
Our Australian eCommerce Solution includes all the features that are needed. So each package is a complete online store, or eCommerce website, that is hosted by eCorner and maintained for you. You have to look after the content and take care of the orders and customers.
The service provider, in this case eCorner, has to manage and maintain the infrastructure and servers that run the system, update all the core software and eCommerce software and provide a backup and recovery service. So for a service that starts at AUD$49 / month you get a lot of safety and security for your money that translates to more sleep time for you.
Useing a fully hosted eCommerce solution such as eCorner makes starting an online business much easi. There are many to choose from and a quick Google search on “hosted ecommerce” will find many companies that offer a package. My tip is that if you are based in Australia or New Zealand make sure that the hosted solution is here and not in the USA or Europe. That way support, service and maintenance will be based on your own time zone. We commonly hear about companies having to be on the phone late at night to get technical support, or websites getting pulled down at peak shopping times for maintenance because its an off-peak time in the US.
The hosted solutions in general are based on some proprietary software but the setup and maintenance is much easier, as the hosting supplier is responsible for maintenance. These systems are in general also upgraded in features and functions free in the hosting environment and with a maintenance agreement if on a dedicated server.
The major benefits of a fully hosted solution (Cloud or 'SaaS' - Software as a Service) is that you have a known fixed monthly cost that includes software, hosting, maintenance, upgrades and support. These systems are also often built to be more user friendly for people with less technical skills.
The monthly cost to get you started can very dramatically from vendor to vendor. Many present low package costs but they may not be the only costs. So do not be afraid of shopping around and trying out different solutions and suppliers. The most important thing to do is to ensure that you are comparing similar packages and that those packages will support your business growth.
eCorner provide a number of different levels of packages that vary in price and capability. Packages are scalable up to 10,000's of products online. The four most popular packages key difference is the number of products that are for sale on the website although the packages will vary in functionality. These are perfect for small to medium sized businesses. Our online store packages include hosting and data as part of the package. That is not the same with all providers so you should always make sure of the total cost of hosting, data and website.
Every eCommerce Solution that you review will have similarities and differences. So it is a good idea to compare solutions around the key elements that are necessary for a successful online business. eCorner has created this quick comparison chart to compare a range of hosted solutions providers from around the world.
eCorner supports small to medium sized businesses to grow. So rather that taxing their grows with unreasonable fees on the amount of revenue we maintain our flat fee structure with no hidden fees.
NOTE: The costs that are referenced above where derived from the providers website and were accurate at the time that the content was created.
Designing your website can be the most expensive part of the process of getting online. With a Hosted eCommerce Solution like eCorner there are free design themes that you can use through the built-in Design Manager. You can have multiple themes setup for your online store for sales or holiday periods. If you have something special in mind for a custom logo or banner then it might need to be designed by a professional graphics designer. In general we would recommend that you get started with the design themes that are free from eCorner. These are very flexible and you can change colours, add logos and banners.
If you want a special design then we can help by working with you to refine your requirements but take a look at what is available from eCorner for free first. A custom design can cost as little as $600 - $1,200 to produce and add to the online shop.
Design is important but more important is the user experience and the overall structure and accessibility of your online store. So make sure that you have flexibility in the way that categories, sub-categories and content are created and that they can easily be changed.
Over 50% of all the people looking for products and services are now browsing the web with mobile devices. So it is important that your website works on any device and eCorner's solutions support any browser and any device. Google now also looks at mobile friendly websites and will rank them higher for search engine optimisation and therefore in search results.
Don't pay to connect your online store to eBay! eCorner allows you to manage your eBay, Facebook Shop, Google Shopping or Amazon accounts directly to your online store for no additional cost.
Why pay transaction fees twice. With eCorner you pay your bank or payment provider the transaction fees for your credit card based sales but you do not pay eCorner any transaction or revenue based fees.
eCorner provide a wide variety of shipping methods built in which you can setup on your website such as the Australia Post calculator, Couriers Please integration or your own custom weight and region tables.
All of eCorner's online store packages come enabled and ready to connect to Xero cloud accounting system as a standard feature.
If you are running both a bricks and mortar shop and also selling through online channels then we have a complete solution for you with a fully integrated Point of Sale (POS) solution from Vend or KOUNTA, annd Inventory Management from Unleashed Software.