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Planning the store

Ecommerce - Building a Successful Online Store

Ecommerce sites have five main components:

  • a catalogue - complete details, including images, of all products, indexed by category.  Just like a mail order catalogue, except that web pages replace paper pages.
  • a shopping cart - the system which enables products to be ordered and invoiced
  • a payment system - the system which enables payment authorisation and collection of funds
  • an accounting system - to record the transactions
  • a shipping system - the system which handles the picking, packing and shipment of the ordered products

We can help you develop your online store:

  • identify the key and longer term requirements
  • prioritise those requirements
  • identify online store systems, shopping carts, accounting systems, payment systems and shipping systems which optimally fit the requirements of your online store, within your budget
  • build the store
  • assist you on how to best manage your store to maximise sales and profits

Check some of the features and functionality we built into this Australian online store, at a quite reasonable cost.

All ecommerce sites have these components - each with a greater or lesser number of features and varying degrees of automation.  The range extends from sites where everything is automated from ordering to shipping, to sites where the business owner is the sole employee and the accounting system consists of receipts, invoices and other documents stored in a cardboard box.  There are tens of thousands of possible combinations and it is important for the store owner to make the right choice first time, to avoid long term problems.  The bigger the project, the more important is this initial choice.

All online store development projects have funding limitations (i.e. a budget).  Obtaining the optimal combination of features which best suits the needs of your online store and budget is not easy eg - there are more than 150 shopping carts available, not including tailor made ones, each with varying levels of features, automation and cost. There are half a dozen popular accounting systems some some integrate well with certain catalogues and shopping carts and others that don't integrate at all - i.e. details of every transaction, product and category must be, at a minimum, double posted.

Electronic commerce is highly competitive and new features and functionality for online stores is being added all the time, to stores operated by your competitors.  Customers and visitors to Web stores are very demanding, as a result of being able to quickly compare competitive stores, and thus develop high expectations.  Usually you will have a budget for the project and so will have to balance marketing features and functionality with back office features and functionality.  Many features you would like to have initially may have to be deferred until such time as future budgets allow.  However, Miva offers most of these features, right out of the box, with minor tweaking or with low cost third party modules.

Used in more than 80,000 stores worldwide, Miva Merchant web store development and management system is now available for Australian online stores.

Let us help you make the right choices for your ecommerce site, with the least hassle and to suit your needs and budget.

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