How To SELL Online Without Breaking The Bank

There are so many options for businesses and individuals to start selling products or services online and so very many customers to go around! One of the main issues I've seen is the high long term cost of getting started on the wrong system and the time spent learning or training staff in a system that may fail to meet you needs over time. That's why we've cratfed an awesome and flexible solution that can meet the needs of anyone wanting to sell online.   Here are the basics that you need to get your awesome business selling online easily and affordably:
  • A Domain Name (.com is best but I'm a big fan of .ca as well for Canadian companies) Use a domain search tool to see if your name is available. At Bear Web Development you get 1 free domain registration with your hosting account, but don't worry if you already have a domain, with most of our hosting plans we'll transfer it here at no extra cost so you save the annual fee for as long as you host it with us.
  • Hosting We've tried a few different companies and found that the uptime (how much time your website is live online - this should be nearly 100%) and customer service can vary wildly! We've settled on an excellent virtual server as well as our own Parry Sound server so you can be sure your data is safe, backed up and your website will be up and running reliably.
  • Site security This is a big issue on the internet today and is a subject that shouldn’t be overlooked. No matter what form of payment or information you are collecting you should have your online store protected by SSL. A lot of website providers leave it up to you to purchase and install an SSL certificate. Others, including us, take internet security so seriously we've started automatically setting ALL our clients up with SSL from the starts (for free)! This can really streamline the process of getting your store online..
  • Shopping cart software: There are plenty of choices for software that will allow you to create product listings but you also need to consider what other features your shop will have (examples: coupons, gift cards, payment processing, shipping and tax setup, sales reports, google analytics, newsletter opt-in, Facebook and google products connected, user roles and much more...) Most platforms offer paid extensions which are often made by a third party and need to be kept upto date, there are also security vulnerabilities to consider when installing an extension/plugin yourself. We have over 10 years experience with multiple eCommerce systems so you can trust that we will be able to help you get your store up and running the way you want it to!
You can easily keep your business out of the red, and if you compare the service above to any diy options or getting your store setup by an inexperienced programmer it's clear that this is a huge savings. Trust me when I say I’ve seen people pay $1500+ for eCommerce projects that only include half of what you need to sell online. Basically when you contract out for your eCommerce store you are getting inflated prices on a solution that may not include everything you need (especially reliable hosting). Additional fees that a lot of eCommerce providers charge you: The next thing you must watch when choosing an ecommerce provider is are there any additional fees. Two of the worse additional fees out there are: (1) Listing fees and (2) Transaction fees. Some eCommerce provider actually charge both of these. Why should you pay to list products in your own store and why should you pay when you sell something, because chances are you are already paying fees when a payment is made to you(such as through your merchant account or paypal account). Just think if you list 2,000 items in your store and are charged even 0.10 cents per item that is an extra $200 right there that you have to spend. Then you may be charged a 1.5% transaction fee. Say you do $5,000 in sales a month, this alone would cost you an extra $75 a month for every month you sell $5,000 in sales. Now it is starting to get a lot more expensive. But why you should be charged these extra fees? When you look at some of the other eCommerce providers out there you start to see that the actual cost to get your store online may be more then you first thought. You shouldn’t have to pay extra fees if you are paying a monthly or annual fee because they are double dipping into your profits. Check out our Hosting Plans to learn more