OS Commerce – A Smart Way to Do Business

Today, the Internet is the most favoured place for all kinds of website promotion and sales. Most brands and websites have started creating their own websites that act as an online store for their business. Over the years there have been several factors that have helped in the development of website sales. One such feature is OS Commerce.

OS Commerce is an easy and effective e-commerce online solution. This open source online solution is on a consistent growth, enabling features that help to meet the increasing demands of online marketers and ensure a better business through the web.

Open source Commerce or OS Commerce is used to share information in order to provide complete assistance in solving all website related issues. OS Commerce has also enabled store owners to successfully run and operate online solutions with a little effort. The OS Commerce system sis free, moreover, it does not even require licensing.

This free open source path combines several OS solutions together to provide a common e-commerce platform, free of cost. It combines, PHP, Apache web server and MySQL database server to provide an effective and approachable OS Commerce website. This is quite a powerful scripting language that allows a good number of seamless transactions to take place.

The fact that this free e-commerce solution requires no special feature, enables it to run on any PHP web server. All this and much more has enabled to broaden the scope of OS Commerce enabling it to work for several operating systems at the same time.

OS Commerce [http://www.rupizmedia.com/os-commerce] is so far the best tool for all store managers, that enables them to manage all aspects of their store online. Right from product arrangement to addition of newer products, price maintenance to bank transactions, all are possible through this dynamic e-commerce tool.

Within a couple of months of establishment, the tool has been able to power a huge section of the web. A wide variety of online stores and e-commerce websites across the world are making use of this dynamic and effervescent web development tool, in order to grow their business.

– Naman Jain is an online marketing professional, Presently working with Rupiz Media, one of the leading online marketing company offering expert SEO services, affiliate marketing [http://www.rupizmedia.com/affiliate-marketing] services, UK web development services and website designing solutions over the globe.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Naman_Jain/176838

 

A Compatible E-Commerce Solution For Your SEO Campaign

The most ambitious Internet retailers, hoping to emulate the style and online influence of Amazon.com and other recognized brands, tend to aim for sprawling electronic retail websites that may look pretty but accomplish little else. If all the push is towards what appears on the front end instead of a concerted effort in choosing a reliable e-commerce solution from the get go, these decisions can ultimately impact the long-term success of any SEO campaign.

Most Internet retailers opt to use an out of the box e-commerce solution, eliminating the need to build something more suitable from the ground up. Out of the box software, however, may lack some of the flexibility that is required to implement a robust SEO campaign. On the other hand, building a fully customized e-commerce platform can be outright expensive. In an ideal situation, you will want to look for something that is somewhere in between. To help you bridge the gap, we’ve identified four major requirements when shopping for a suitable e-commerce solution that’s compatible with your SEO campaign.

The Proof’s in the Code

Ideally, we would always like to have the code available for us to modify if needed. This constant accessibility allows us to set up server behavior recommendations as well as change the way that things work or function in order to ensure that they are more effective for your SEO campaign. Many vendors will not give out their codes unless you pay them a premium, sometimes upwards of $10,000 per site using that code only, and many vendors may be reluctant to allow even that option.

Search engines only care about resulting code, meaning the HTML is sent to the browser post-parse. So, for an e-commerce website to have an effective SEO campaign, the SEO company you’ve enlisted may need the ability to modify how the software displays the code while the page is being dynamically built. This usually includes any category pages, product pages, or even some of the more “static” pages, such as the privacy policy, site map, and home page.

Customizable Product Administration

Sometimes we run across platforms that allow us to customize certain attributes of pages from the back-end administration, including Title tags, Meta tags, and body content. This is a great advantage when working with an e-commerce solution that does not provide any sort of code access, as that provides the only way for us to “individualize” the hundreds of dynamic pages that may be present on your website when working on your SEO campaign.

Occasionally, however, the administration sections for your e-commerce solution are not all that robust, and once we have proper access to the underlying code, we have to develop code “hacks” in order to get the recommendations for your SEO campaign onto the website. For instance, when adding these “hacks” to client websites, they often take the form of what appears to be a small configuration file with our recommendations attached to variables. And depending on the page, our configuration file will spit out the proper recommendations for that page, manually adding them where they need to go. Unfortunately, this is usually only accomplished with direct access to underlying code in your e-commerce solution. Furthermore, if direct access is not given, we’re often stuck between a rock and a hard place.

A Linux-Based OS

Until IIS can handle.htaccess files (tiny files allowing a wide range of flexibility for your website), an e-commerce solution that runs under Linux is highly desirable for myriad of tasks, such as flattening URLs. Some Windows applications have found ways around this, but they are usually not very aesthetically appealing and don’t function as well as a simple rewrite would. Linux, our operating system of choice, is able to run more applications, and the operating system and associated software are much cheaper than their Windows counterparts.

The.htaccess file is a very powerful tool that is becoming more and more popular in the creation of a suitable e-commerce solution. Part of its power comes from its ability to “flatten URLs” – for example, it takes example.com/products.php?id=437 and changes it into something more friendly, like example.com/products/Yellow-School-Bus/437/. By flattening the URL, we make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl the website – ridding ourselves of dynamic querystrings, which, oftentimes, the spiders have difficulty crawling. Furthermore, flattening URLs allows us to add keyphrases from your SEO campaign into the URL to make them even more attractive to the search engines. And even though the URL may appear to be different, because of the.htaccess file, it will work exactly as it did prior to the flattening process.

Another key advantage of Linux is the ability to implement 301 redirects rather quickly. One of the most trivial tasks is to redirect the non-www to the www version of a website (for instance, http://example.com to http://www.example.com ) – which can be completed entirely on Linux in just two lines that are added to an.htacess file. Implementing this on IIS (Windows) turns out to be an arduous task that involves having root access to the server, which is not often granted by hosting companies.

Flexibility is Key

Often, an SEO company will need to change how a page is displayed or what is displayed and when, perhaps in order to boost rankings and traffic for your SEO campaign. This is where the flexibility of the software comes into play for any effective e-commerce solution. For instance, there is an e-commerce solution that can provide header, footer, and page templates directly through the backend administration.

However, there are some vendors that prefer to lock away the templates by hard-coding them into the site code. The real paradox is when they won’t give you access to the code to modify these things for yourself. This kind of inflexibility can spell disaster for any SEO campaign.

Avoiding Long-Term Hassles

At this point in time, there aren’t any specific recommendations to give on a top performing e-commerce solution as nothing we’ve come across thus far is anywhere near perfect. Unless your company has an in-house SEO technician, you’d be wise to engage a knowledgeable SEO company to avoid the headaches that come with finding out that you’ve spent a significant amount of time and money on an e-commerce solution that does not offer the flexibility needed for a successful SEO campaign.

If you end up choosing an e-commerce solution that doesn’t meet the requirements outlined above, you may just end up with a half optimized site that fails to achieve the rankings and traffic you’ve been hoping for at the outset of your SEO campaign.

(C) Medium Blue 2008

Scott Buresh is the founder of Medium Blue, a search engine optimization company. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including MarketingProfs, ZDNet, SiteProNews, WebProNews, DarwinMag, ISEDB.com, and Search Engine Guide. He was also a contributor to The Complete Guide to Google Advertising (Atlantic, 2008) and Building Your Business with Google (Wiley, 2004). Medium Blue has local and national clients, including Boston Scientific, DS Waters, and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and was named the number one organic search engine optimization company in the world in 2006 and 2007 by PromotionWorld. Visit MediumBlue.com to request a custom SEO guarantee based on your goals and your data.

Greg Flynn, the chief programmer and implementation expert for Medium Blue, handles all SEO Implementation and Web Development for Medium Blue. Before joining the company in 2007, Greg worked as a senior web developer for an e-commerce and marketing firm, where he oversaw the development and maintenance of several highly trafficked websites.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Scott_Buresh/5018

 

The Evolution of E-Commerce

In it’s simplest definition, e-commerce is the online transaction of business, featuring linked computer systems of the vendor, host, and buyer. Electronic transactions involve the transfer of ownership or rights to use a good or service. (export.gov/sellingonline/whatisecommerce.asp).

There are two main types of e-commerce. The first, and most common, is business to consumer (B2C), which as the name implies, involves e-businesses providing goods and/or services to end consumers. Common examples of popular B2C e-commerce include Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and NewEgg.com. On the other side of the e-commerce spectrum, we have business to business (B2B) e-commerce, which is the electronic transactions between multiple businesses, and does not involve common products or consumers. B2C e-commerce has been changing the way people shop and conduct business online for well over ten years, and has become a significant staple in the way modern retail giants attract and maintain loyal consumers from all over the globe. The number of online e-tailers (electronic retailers) continues to grow each and every year, and new marketing strategies are constantly being developed by businesses to ensure that their products are ultimately being found online and purchased by the end-user.

This growth is being spawned by the mere fact that more and more people are buying online each year. Looking back at the first quarter of 2004, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that $15.5 billion was spent online, an increase of 28.1% from the first quarter of 2003. This sales figure accounted for 1.9% of total retail sales that quarter. Going forward, the progress of retail e-commerce has all but slowed, with online sales increasing no less that 25% each year until the first quarter of 2007, where an estimated $31.5 billion in online spending was reported. Worth noting, however, is that while total e-commerce sales increase, also increasing is total retail spending as a whole. Keeping this in mind, the most effective way to gauge the increasing impact of e-commerce on retail is to look at the percent of total retail that was conducted online. As previously mentioned, 1.9% of retail sales were made online in the first quarter of 2004. This number increases in each first quarter over the next 3 years: 2.2% in 2005, 2.7% in 2006, and 3.2% in 2007. At this rate of increase, one can only assume that by the year 2020, roughly 10% of all retail business will be conducted online.

As a result of this online shopping phenomenon, both commercial and independent brick and mortar shops are looking to integrate e-commerce solutions into their business models in an attempt to compete with the evolving marketplace, yet are falling behind as a result of poor site design, faulty programming and functionality, or weak marketing efforts. In order to effectively sell online, e-tailers need to be able to look at what their site offers through the eyes of the average consumer and come to grips with the fact that running a store online is essentially no different than a physical brick and mortar shop.

Justin Mattison is an Internet Marketing Specialist with Mountain Media E-Commerce Solutions in beautiful Upstate New York.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Justin_Mattison/236530

 

E-Commerce and the Home Business

Suppliers are a vital part of a home based business that deals with e-commerce. It is important that you have suppliers that you can rely on because your customer base can rely on your dependability. Without suppliers there are no products or services that you can offer on your e-commerce site, unless you are marketing products or services that you create or perform. Finding quality suppliers is a major concern in the e-commerce market, and a major factor in the business.

Prices on your home business e-commerce site are very important. There are many software tools available for consumers to comparison shop, so the prices that you set are an important part of your e-commerce business. The price you set is an important profit aspect of your e-commerce business, and there has to be a small profit margin for your home business to make a profit. This means that you have to find a middle ground on prices, one that is very reasonable to consumers but still allows your e-commerce home business to make a profit and be successful.

Customer relations are an important part of an e-commerce business. This includes answering questions by e-mail, phone, and snail mail. By allowing various options for contact, plus maybe a blog or online support, you will separate your e-commerce website from the numerous others on the web. Forums and chat rooms are more great options to add to your e-commerce site, and all of these things will assure your customers that you take customer satisfaction very seriously.

The back part of e-commerce may or may not be done by your home business, depending on whether you want to worry about inventory. This part involves shipping the product, accepting returns and crediting them, and other business concerns of this nature. A lot of e-commerce websites use wholesale drop shipping, which means all the home business does is take the order and forward this and payment information to the affiliate company, where the order is processed and shipped.

E-commerce can be a terrific home business to have, but there are several things you should consider before starting an e-commerce home business. You will need to consider suppliers, prices, customer relations, shipping, bookkeeping, and various other aspects before you should decide to open an e-commerce home business. By examining these things before you start the business, you will be better prepared to make your e-commerce home business a success.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sun_Vivi/270129

 

Usability of E Commerce Web Design

The World Wide Web has offered a new platform of business. In the past, hardly a number of business concerns could trade globally. But, with the introduction of web there has been a drastic revolution in the market trends. Today, business companies make websites to reach to the millions across the world. In fact, small business enterprises are equally competing with big multinational companies to make their presence felt in the web world.

Increased competition across the cyber market has sped up the growth of new technological development. The obvious outcome was attempt to devise new ways to make the website more user friendly. E commerce web design became the ideal choice of the business concerns for its flexibility and user friendliness.

Usability

One of the most important feature of an e commerce web design is that it is very much user friendly. Moreover, an e commerce website is highly feasible solution for the web owners. Certain basic usability of e commerce website design are stated below:

* Easy product upload – New products of sale can be easily put up on the web page. These new goodies stored in the database of the website is uploaded in no time according to requirement.

* Quick price modification – The prices of goods displayed on the web page can be easily modified. According to the market standards, the prices of commodities are become lower or higher.

* Easy transaction of goods payment – Payment of commodities is done through the Internet. Customer payment is directly deposited in the owners account.

* World market – Websites make an indefinable presence in the global market. Successful e commerce websites create a favorable image of the business company in the eyes of the global consumers.

* Cost effective – An e commerce website is highly cost effective for the web owner. Web owners can trade with their global customers with great ease. These web owners are not harried of setting up business location, manpower etc.

* Fast marketing – Web user can easily shop in the Internet. The products of sale are displayed on screen within seconds. The web users order their requirements through the shopping cart facility.

* Highly convenient – It is the most convenient kind of shopping. The web user can market products according to choice sitting in a remote room from various websites across the world.

* Less time consuming – Internet marketing is very less time consuming. Web users can easily shop within less time.

Ways to make an e commerce web design usable

Business cannot grow if it fails to satisfy the needs and desires of the prospective consumers. An e commerce website must offer easy accessibility to its customers. Some guidelines to design a usable e commerce website design.

1.”Bill of Rights”: The company must have ready information about the fact that it is working in conformity with the laws of the trade. It is extremely essential to provide the prospective consumers with details that the website has been designed only to meet their needs.

2.Easy navigation: It becomes essential that an e commerce web design must offer the prospective users the liberty to easily navigate through the web pages. An e commerce websites contains numerous products of sale. The web designers must design according to the needs of the customers. The web users must be able to browse the products of sale through name, price and data with ease.

3. Clear business policies: An e commerce website design of a website must clearly demonstrate the business policies of the company. Make clear conditions with regard to purchase of products, the entire shipping process which is convenient for the user.

4.Earn trust of the consumers: It really very difficult to earn the trust of the customers. There is no direct communication between the web owners and the users. It important to provide the users with all possible information such as telephone number, postal address.

5. Simple checkout process: Web designers must design the check out process in a simple way. The user must not face any difficulty in the last phase of the transaction process. Generally the users turn to other sites and the obvious result is that there is the web site meets a fatal end.

6. Simple and organized design: A cluttered web design creates confusion in the visitors mind. Web users tend to turn to other sites, which offer easy access. An e commerce web design must be simple and organized so that the web users can easily access the site.

eCommerce web design has been witnessing huge technological changes. With increased competition, web designs are constructed to provide the consumers with state- of – the – art facilities to be more at ease. A usable e commerce website design is more attractive to the consumers and the most successful one.

This informative article is written by Debdulal Dey. He is a content writer and regularly writes for Quality Web Solutions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Debdulal_D_Dey/65036