There is so much to choose from that at times it can be rather confusing, so it is really wise to narrow your choices by taking a few key issues into consideration. The best way to start is my creating a simple on-line store, which may develop with time and before you do this ask yourself two important questions: who will be running your site and how do you plan to collect the money.
The first thing to consider is the cost of running your website. Operating and running a website can be expensive and rather complicated. Not only will you need the hardware, Internet connection and software, you will also need programmers and a web-master to keep it functioning. It is no good creating an on-line business if clients cannot rely on its correct functioning.
If your budget is low then you can forget a Web developer, the cost would be to high to be worthwhile. There are however, many do-it-yourself services to help you launch a basic on-line store, some charging a small monthly fee, while others are completely free of charge.
When creating your on-line store, be it simple, you will still be needing the basic behind-the-scene technology. You can choose from various storefront software to keep track of inventory, calculate sales tax and shipping charges as well as your catalog, although these will cost you thousands of dollars, for they require technical expertise to operate and keep going.
This is why it might be better if you rely on a service that operates and hosts you e-commerce software for a small monthly fee. What you do is you operate your own website and you build a storefront by linking it to the service's e-commerce software, thus saving you a lot of complicated programming.
The next step to consider is how to collect the money. You will need to create an account with a transaction-processing service, which will accept credit cards or other forms of payment, they will then transfer the fund to your bank or merchant account.
Whether you are building your own storefront or using a third-party service, you'll need a transaction-processing service. These companies usually charge a per-transaction fee and take a percentage of each transaction. In some cases you'll have a choice of transaction processing services, although if you are building a site with a do-it-yourself service, you might have to use that service's preferred processor.