As a number of online entrepreneurs are starting to sell products online; there are various barriers when it comes to setting up an ecommerce website. It is difficult to set up online stores for those of us that aren’t tech savvy, except for the developers and programmers. Before you can begin you need the following: First, you need a domain, buy hosting, buy shopping cart. Then, you have to install it, configure it, modify it, buy SSL, install it, get a merchant account, set it up and so on. Still you are not ready to sell anything or receive any revenue yet. You have to find products to sell, add them to the shopping cart, make them SEO friendly, and finally, begin marketing it. We recognize this stops many entrepreneurs and small businesses from selling their products online.
If you want to create your online store the typical path is to use a shopping cart software. Then assemble different components like payment gateway, shipping trackers etc.. Usually it’s a daunting task for a novice to handle. So most often than not, a web developer is hired to develop the store front. Recently a number of hosted shopping cart providers have started offering their services. This means small businesses or mom and pop operators can create their storefront by just filling few forms online. This makes the entire process of selling online very easy. This is along the same lines of online site builders appeared in the past. Many shopping cart providers jumped on the SaaS (software as a service) bandwagon. Here are the main hosted shopping cart services. If you are looking to create a storefront these sites might be a good option. But if you want to offer services similar to them checkout iScripts GoStores. It is an opensource online store builder software
1. Volusion. You can use their templates and design tools to create your own look or you can have one of their designers do it for you. There are several pricing packages to choose from, based on your needs. If you have a good selection of products and you want a truly professional looking storefront, Volusion should be your choice.
2. ProStores. Like Volusion, ProStores lets you design your own storefront or have one of their designers do it for you. And it offers several different tiers, depending on your needs. Unlike Volusion, in addition to the monthly subscription fee, there is also a transaction fee for each successful transaction. While the subscription fee is less than Volusion’s, the transaction fee could add up quickly if your business takes off
3. Yahoo Merchant Solutions. Yahoo offers most of the same features as Volusion and ProStores. The biggest drawback is the 1.5% transaction fee in addition to the monthly subscription fee. If you are at all successful in building your online business, 1.5% can add up to a lot of money fast! Other than that, it brings all the experience and marketing clout of Yahoo to your efforts. Not a bad choice if you can swallow that transaction fee.
4. Shopify. Shopify’s biggest asset is it’s design flexibility. You can have a professional looking store up and running in no time. It doesn’t have all of the features of Volusion or ProStores, but it is easy to work with. Once again, there are several pricing options to choose from and like the others, Shopify offers a free trial.
Where does iScripts come in the picture? We have recently released new version of iScripts GoStores. It is a hosted shopping cart software. It means you can create a hosted storefront business using iScripts GoStores. You just install the software on your server , do the branding and you are ready to offer the same services as Volusion, ProStores Yahoo Stores and Shopify. This open source software from iScripts clone the business model by other hosted store vendors. It took them years to create their SaaS business. You can do it in couple of hours. How is that for a competitive advantage? This is your opportunity to get into the red hot SaaS business model.
Your customers select a store package, register a domain name, create a storefront and host it on your server. All your customer needs to create their store front is fill in the forms just like Shopify, Volusion etc..Once completed it will be hosted on your server. You get monthly recurring revenue from each of the store hosted in your server. Once a customer creates their store they normally stick with you as the pain of moving everything into a new setup very difficult. You can host unlimited store fronts, customers using iScripts GoStores. Its limited only by your hardware limitations.
You can generate additional revenue by partnering with payment gateways and offering related design, SEO services to your store customers. iScripts can work with you to offer custom designs to your clients if you do not have designers on staff ( our designers will be in the background). This software is ideal for virtual communities, hosting providers, web developers, marketing agencies and entrepreneurs.
We are not supposed to count the chickens before they hatch. But still I think we have a pretty cool application in the making. Its almost ready to hit the limelight. As you know we have a multi vendor shopping cart and a online site builder software. We have been getting a number of requests from clients on modifying either of it to a online store builder – so that they can offer it as a service similar to yahoo stores, volusion.com or prostores to their clients. So this would allow them to be an ASP / or SaaS provider easily. This would a great addition for hosting companies, design houses and marketplace communities.
We have a new online store builder software in the making. Its independent of both iScripts Multicart and iScripts EasyCreate. Current plan is to allow the end user to select a domain or subdomain , select a payment plan and create store. The store would be saved on your server. Your customer can customize the look and feel of the store, add edit categories, products , shipping etc. from the management panel with few clicks. I am not sure about the name yet. But we have been kicking around the name iScripts GoStores for now internally. I will update you once we finalize. If you want to be keep posted about this application or you want participate in the beta trial let me know. If you want to take look at our beta demo contact me at abraham(@)iscripts.com Aji Abraham