The term “turnkey” is often used in the technology industry to describe pre-built computer packages in which everything needed to perform a certain task, such as recurring billing and shipping, is sold as a bundle. Such packages for ecommerce often integrate many applications to help develop a website with ready-made solutions and configurations to sell online. There are many ecommerce platform solutions that enable individuals and businesses to easily create online stores.
Trends such as the increasing usage of mobile devices, growing social media reach, use of readily available personal data, payment gateway options, and new point of sale and distribution channels are creating new possibilities for ecommerce shopping. Ecommerce is massive. According to a report by the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), a UK online retail trade organization, global business-to-consumer ecommerce sales will pass the one trillion euro ($1.25 trillion USD) mark by 2013. The total number of Internet users will increase to around 3.5 billion this year, from 2.2 billion at the end of 2011.
From Etsy to a full service ecommerce solution
Over the past few years, it has become easier than ever to start a web store with products like Etsy or Woo Commerce. While free to set up a store, these options come with high fees for each sale that is made through the site, and very little flexibility. Many online stores created on a free niche market platform will experience success, and end up having to graduate to a new platform. This means recreating the store and going through the learning curve again.
Ultimately, an online store needs software that will grow with the business. It is important to consider what happens if there is a desire to customize a store, or distribute to a broader market like Google Shopping or Amazon. An enterprise software solution eliminates limitations, allowing businesses to expand rather than placing a ceiling on growth.
Why turnkey enterprise ecommerce?
With online commerce growing at such a rapid rate, serious sellers need a full enterprise ecommerce software platform. There are endless ways that enterprise ecommerce platforms can connect and share information with other software and services. Online storeowners are seeking new ways to add value to shoppers, while providing a quality user interface resulting in more online retailers adopting turnkey platforms. From application processing to payment gateways to data storage and security, enterprise solutions offer no shortage of computing tools. Companies like Pinnacle Cart, Shopify, Bigcommerce and Volusion are eliminating the clutter by integrating the best of these application tools, making it possible for storeowners to quickly create an efficient store that performs out of the gate.
Based on technological and business innovations, ecommerce software providers have developed application programming interface (API) integrations to offer a unified customer interface and support. Additionally, many providers offer easy access to custom XML exports that can extend functionality and integrate with other third-party software and services, such as Quickbooks, PayPal and Edicia. Some providers also offer the ability to obtain a fully integrated site with applications immediately.
Price need not be a limiting factor, as full service ecommerce platforms start at around $29 per month. Many providers offer free trials. Depending on your sales volume and business goals, now might be the time to consider a turnkey enterprise ecommerce solution that will enable you to capitalize on your share of the growing Internet marketplace.
Mike Auger is president and CEO of Pinnacle Cart, a hosted shopping cart and ecommerce software application that allows you to create, manage and effectively market your business. www.pinnaclecart.com.