It takes more than a great e-commerce web site to actually make money on the Internet. DREAMWRIGHT can build you a great shopping cart online store but you will need a few more things to succeed. Here are the real costs starting with . . .
In order to build a successful online business selling goods in an e-commerce store you will need more than the store itself. Here are a few other things to consider before opening the doors to your new online web store.
1. THE SOFTWARE
Every e-commerce web site is powered by an e-commerce software solution. Their are many options on the web site choose from with costs ranging from free to millions of dollars. The difference is often based on the complexity of features, the size of the product database, and the web traffic that will use it. If you are just starting out be careful not to spend all your money on the store platform itself. You will be left with a store with a lot of features and no customers. If you are upgrading from a smaller software package to a larger one be sure to call an e-commerce consultant like myself to make sure you have considered every possibility.
2. THE SECURITY
Asking someone to give you their credit card information inside your online store is a big deal. Not having the proper security features in place can get you sued quickly. There are laws regarding what you can and can't do with that sensitive credit card information you just collected which can bring fines upwards of $150,000 or more if you are not careful. Security starts with the e-commerce software and includes other areas such as the hosting, merchant accounts, the gateway, and more. If all these terms sound foreign to you then you might want to consider calling Dreamwright for more information.
3. THE ONGOING FEES
Did you know that you often have to pay a monthly fee just for the right to offer a certain credit card in your store? Banks and other merchant processors also want monthly dues for the right to handle the actual transaction between your online store and the banks. Often your hosting provider will want monthly or yearly fees to keep your web store on the Internet and up-to-date with the latest software releases. You even have to pay to renew your web site domain name every year. Sometimes these fees are forgotten or they are never told to the client by the web provider. We at Dreamwright believe that education is the key and will be upfront with you on everything you can expect. We try and include many of these items in your flat rate monthly package so you will not have to worry about them.
4. THE COST OF CREDIT
Credit card companies make money from the sellers and the buyers who use their cards. Believe it or not but not all credit card companies are the same and they charge different percentages for the right to use their card services on your web site. These fees are small percentages but can certainly add up quick when you are selling a lot of products or have products with really high price tags. American Express as an example can charge you (the seller) 2.8% - 3.5% per transaction. Plus they charge around $8 per month as a service fee for low volume merchants. So if you sell a product for $100 you are actually only making around $97. And if that is the only AE card transaction you had that month it could cost you another $8 making your sell only $89.
5. THE MARKETING
An online store is only as good as the people who know about it. If I were to open a new pizza restaurant in my town and never hang a sign at the top, I probably won't sell any pizza. Same principle applies to an e-commerce store if no one knows you exist. Simply flipping the switch to make your web site live on the Internet is not going to bring customers to your store. You will need to advertise and that takes money. Sure there are free ways to market your website using guerrilla marketing techniques and utilizing social media. But the time you spend doing so yourself costs you something. Hiring someone to do these "free" things for you costs money. Buying ad space, banners, radio ads, billboards, postcards, and other traditional advertising costs a lot of money.
6. THE BOTTOM LINE
Bottom line is that it costs money to make money. We at Dreamwright will outline all these things for you in detail to help you make informed decisions about your online store ideas. Dreamwright is the perfect fit for those who are looking for the right blend of professionalism, expertise, and cost effectiveness when it comes to e-commerce. Contact us today for more information.
~ M. Ryan Corbin
Owner: DREAMWRIGHT STUDIOS