Shared Marketing Platform
With a shared marketing platform, once you have an account, all you have to do is build a product catalog, then take orders and ship product. You have very limited control over the look and feel of your online shopfront, but also very little effort to create it.
inQsec will help you get things set up, and help you establish your processes for you to manage product listings. After that we can often step back to let you manage everything since they are designed to be simple to use.
Amazon, Google, Facebook and Etsy are examples of shared marketing platforms.
Here is an Amazon storefront inQsec configured for a specialized cleaning product manufacturer.
Proprietary Ecommerce Platform
There are a number of platform providers which let you customize the look and feel of your online store using their specific ecommerce software running on servers which they provision and manage. For these, you can select from a variety of templates for your desired look-and-feel within the constraints of the pre-defined options. There are often many choices for add-ons to provide enhanced functionality and integrate with shipping services, accounting services and inventory synchronization. Then you create and manage your product catalog with descriptions, pricing and images. Finally, you take orders and ship products.
inQsec will help you get things set up, and help you establish your processes for you to manage product listings. After that we usually remain directly involved on a low key to handle template updates and assist in matters arising most often with external integrations for the credit card and shipping interfaces.
A disadvantage with a proprietary ecommerce platform is that your online business is tied very closely to the provider and their software. If their terms of service or fees change to be less advantageous for you then you are faced with a major migration project, possibly at short notice.
Shopify, Volusion and BigCommerce are examples of proprietary ecommerce platforms.
Here is a BigCommerce storefront which inQsec configured for a specialized sports equipment manufacturer.
A number of open-source and proprietary ecommerce software packages can be installed on almost any web hosting provider. These usually have many templates and many options, third-party developers offer plugins to tweak the look and feel. Some packages integrate closely with a CMS such as Wordpress and Joomla to provide an ecommerce section for your larger website.
This is typically the most complex but flexible choice and for which inQsec will undertake the software installation, configuration and integration on a web hosting provider of choice. We get things set up, and help you establish your processes for you to manage product listings, orders, payments and shipping. After that we usually remain directly involved on a continuing basis to handle software and security updates, template updates and assist in any matters arising most often with integrations for the credit card and shipping interfaces.
VirtueMart, WooCommerce, Prestashop, OpenCart, HIkaShop are examples of software-only packages.
Here is a PrestaShop storefront which inQsec built for a specialized sports equipment distributor. Incidentally, this is also an example where the client's previous online store was built using the Shopify proprietary ecommerce platform. When Shopify changed their Terms of Service to disallow listing of certain types of product, the business was forced to migrate from Shopify - or go out of business since they are an online operation only.
For the adventurous, you can also have built an ecommerce platform to your exact specifications from web coding frameworks and custom programming. inQsec does not do this.