The most important technology components needed to create a successful Web-based business are a professional looking Web site, e-commerce shopping cart software, e-mail address collection and management tool, and e-mail newsletter publishing. Before you can sell anything you will need to have at least these four services in place so you are able to serve your customers:
Professional-looking Web site – It is critical that visitors to your Web site get the impression that they are dealing with reliable, professional people. You need a professional-looking Web site. It needs to clearly say who you are and what you have to sell.
E-commerce shopping cart software – You have to be able to collect money for the products and services that you sell. You have to be able to accept credit cards for payment. E-commerce shopping cart software is required to process sales transactions. Today’s society moves much too quickly to wait for a check in the mail.
E-mail address collection and management – Collecting and managing e-mail information about your customers is necessary so you can continue to communicate with them. Your customer list will be the single most important part of your e-commerce business.
E-mail newsletter publishing – Continuing contact with all of the customers on your mailing list is the best way to sell and resell to them. You can use newsletters to reinforce you message about your products and services. Electronic newsletters are a cost-effective way to stay in touch.
Finding these technologies is easier than you might think. There are many companies that are ready to help new users with these four things. Application service providers (ASP) provide access to software on a monthly basis for these four technologies, thereby reducing initial start-up costs.