Thinking about starting an online business can be exciting especially when you know that you’re going to build the business from scratch and the business is going to run 24/7.
The good news about running an online business is that you don’t need to store any inventory. You’re only going to buy the products from your merchants to ship to your customers the moment they make orders for them on your online store.
This means that you’re not going to incur any costs associated with storage of inventories such as renting a space (warehouse) to store the products.
Compared to brick and mortar business, your online business may acquire more customers each day provided you market it effectively on the internet in a strategic way.
Of course, customers will be shopping conveniently from anywhere and at any time since your business will be running 24 hours.
However, you should not start building your online business before finding out all what it is required for you to run a business online. For instance, your online business requires the right ecommerce web hosting company.
It is critical that you select the best ecommerce web hosting company for your ecommerce website or blog. Do you know why?
For sure, the right ecommerce web hosting company will allow your online business to grow and expand. On the other hand, the wrong web hosting service for ecommerce can stunt the potential of your online business and even cost you more than it is worth.
5 Important Questions You Should Ask Web Hosting Company
To help you get the best web hosting service for ecommerce, here are some simple questions to ask.
These questions will guide you in the right direction especially if you’re looking for the best ecommerce web hosting company to host your website or blog.
They’re designed to help you determine if the ecommerce web hosting company you’re considering is the best match for the needs of your online business.
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In addition to these questions, make sure you have a list of your precise needs. By the way, the best ecommerce web hosting company should offers all the important features you need.
1.) What Payment Options Does the Ecommerce Web Hosting Company Support?
You’re in the market running your business to make money, right? In order to do that, you need to be able to accept most payments and ship items with ease.
While PayPal is all-inclusive for both shipping and payment options, you do need to consider some of the other alternatives. There are customers who don’t prefer making payments using PayPal.
It for this reason that you should find the ecommerce web hosting company that will allow you to integrate PayPal, credit cards, checks and other payment options with ease.
If you’re not using PayPal, find a provider that will allow you to ship through your favorite shipping provider without any problem.
UPS, FedEx, the Post Office and even DHL have shipping software you can tie into your website or your online store that will help make shipping simple. They’ll even send your customer a tracking number so they can monitor the progress of their package.
2.) Does the Ecommerce Web Hosting Company Offer the Ability to Customize and Use Your Own Software?
Some ecommerce web hosting companies offer a few simple templates to choose from. You can use these templates to create your store in seconds, but they don’t pack the punch you might be looking for.
Other ecommerce web hosting companies will give you the ability to customize and even use your own shopping program, like OpenCart, to get your e-commerce website up and running.
If you’re required to use their templates, ask what the customization features are. Ask ecommerce web hosting company if they can help you make adjustments to meet your needs or if you can make adjustments yourself. In cases where your only option is what they’re offering, you may need to reconsider other options.
3.) How Many Products Can the Website Support?
How many products are you going to list in your website or store? If you’re going to list many products, then probably you need to find out the most suitable web hosting plan.
As such, you should determine what your actual needs are in terms of items and make sure the ecommerce web hosting company you choose will give you the ability to list everything in your website or store.
4.) What Are Your Item Customization Options?
When there is a limit on the number of items you can feature in your store, the ecommerce web hosting company will also put limitations on customization.
They may state that every color of an item is a unique one. So you may be able to have 1 shirt in 10 colors and that is it.
They may also prevent you from offering various sizes of a shirt in a single listing (having each size as part of your 10 items). However, another ecommerce web hosting company may allow you to list 10 items with any combination of sizes and colors. The latter is what you should be looking for.
Having the ability to set unique color and size options in a single listing will increase the available inventory you have to meet your needs. Customers will appreciate not having to click between 10 different options to find the size and color of shirt they’re interested in.
5.) Will the Ecommerce Web Hosting Company Allow for Growth?
When reviewing your options, determine what your growth options are. Can you ship internationally through them? Can you run promotions easily?
If you need to, can you increase your bandwidth? Is there the ability to create multiple logins for shipping and customer service? If you find they’re restrictive on these options, they might not be the best choice for you. A good ecommerce web hosting company will allow for growth and give you room for expansion.
Finding the right hosting company for your ecommerce website doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep these five important questions in mind and search for an affordable ecommerce web hosting company that meets the needs of your online business.