Almost every business’s web presence focuses on generating revenue through sales. No matter what other types of web content or additional online services your organization decides to offer, a website only makes business sense if it becomes a strong stream of income, either as your main outlet or an extension of your offline sales.
A wide variety of online applications can help you get your online store up–and-running. These ecommerce and shopping cart systems mimic the way that you sell products offline, offering visitors the ability to browse your products or services, place orders, and make payments. One of the most popular solutions for ecommerce is osCommerce hosting, which uses a free, open-source system that is remarkably easy to use.
In this article, osCommerce hosting provider JaguarPC looks at the core features of osCommerce and explains the ways in which osCommerce hosting can help you increase your sales and earn more income from your web presence. By reading our article, you will learn how osCommerce features can benefit your sales process and discover more about the availability of osCommerce add-ons to customize your store.
What is osCommerce?
Launched in March 2000, osCommerce is one of the most well-established open-source ecommerce platforms in the industry. Programmed in PHP to make use of MySQL database technology, osCommerce remains an active, routinely updated application, supported by a community of more than a quarter of a million users, including both store owners and expert developers who are committed to making the platform even better.
The core features of osCommerce include:
Customizable osCommerce templates to suit your website design
Hierarchical product categories
Shopping cart and secure checkout functionality
Customer registration to store preferences and address details
Support for physical and downloadable products
Built-in reporting, including products viewed and products purchased
In addition to these essential features, osCommerce hosting users also benefit from the availability of osCommerce add-ons. Currently, osCommerce offers more than 6,800 add-ons that can be used to customize your store, allowing you to add functionality or tweak existing features.
With so many features available free–of-charge, it is no surprise that osCommerce continues to be a leading choice for ecommerce. But how do the many features of osCommerce hosting work in practice to help your business bring in more money?
osCommerce hosting encourages your customers to buy more products
Since osCommerce is designed around the concept of hierarchical product categories, simply listing your products within an osCommerce storefront makes it easier for your visitors to find what they are looking for. Every osCommerce hosting store can include categories and nested subcategories, giving customers the opportunity to browse through products of a certain type. In addition, osCommerce includes fast, easy-to-use search functionality, enabling visitors to go directly to the products they require.
Once you have begun to build a base of customers, one of the most effective ways to increase your revenue is to encourage these customers to spend more money. After all, these are the individuals who already know your brand name, recognize that you have delivered quality products in the past, and are confident enough to make a purchasing decision quickly.
To help cross-sell and upsell products in your store, osCommerce hosting comes complete with a comprehensive product-linking system, much like the ones employed by large online stores such as Amazon. When a visitor navigates to a product information page, you can automatically show them a list of similar or related products, targeting your marketing activity before the visitor even makes a purchase.
Whether you use this related products panel to highlight alternative choices or to sell product accessories, this approach helps ensure that your customers use your store to purchase related items, rather than looking to one of your competitors. Customers would rather find everything they need in one convenient location – osCommerce hosting makes it easy for you to inform your visitors that your store can do this.
osCommerce hosting helps you deliver better customer service
In addition to helping you market your entire product range, osCommerce hosting makes the actual process of ordering as streamlined as possible. The difficulty of online sales is that there are many competing businesses, often providing very similar products. You can be more competitive in this challenging environment and generate more income by making sure that your customers can complete the ordering process quickly and easily.
osCommerce hosting includes a customer accounts system where visitors are asked to register in order to make a purchase. This one-time process saves relevant customer information, including address and shipping details, making future purchases lightning-fast. In addition, the customer accounts system enables you to market your products through mass emailing, helping you retain customers long-term and build brand loyalty.
Customers also distinguish their preferred online stores by the quality of customer service that they receive. Once a customer has placed an order through osCommerce, they can log in to their account at any time to view order tracking information. Depending on your shipping process, this may include an order status, a courier tracking code, or stock updates, all of which reduce the number of customer inquiries that your support department must deal with.
Increasing your sales with osCommerce hosting add-ons
Finally, you can get more from your osCommerce hosting plan with the use of osCommerce hosting add-ons, including osCommerce templates and themes. Although some of these add-ons have a purely aesthetic impact on your online store, there is a range of osCommerce add-ons that bring new functionality to the platform and can help increase your sales.
Add-ons available for osCommerce include search engine optimization (SEO) add-ons to improve your search engine rank and attract more visitors, as well as discount coupon code add-ons that make it easy to launch special promotions for your customers. Some osCommerce store owners even use innovative, unusual add-ons to increase sales, such as customer account grouping, which allows different customers to receive different pricing for the same product. Using this type of add-on, you can create a loyalty scheme for your web site, rewarding regular customers with discounted products.
Order JaguarPC osCommerce hosting to increase your revenue
JaguarPC is a specialty provider of osCommerce hosting with shared web hosting, virtual private server hosting (VPS hosting), and dedicated server hosting plans that include osCommerce as standard.
Whichever type of web hosting service your business requires, you can launch osCommerce on your account in just a few clicks using Fantastico and Softaculous automated script installers. Once osCommerce is up-and-running, JaguarPC offers a range of video and audio tutorials to help you build out your initial product range, install relevant add-ons, and open your store for business.
The entire JaguarPC web hosting service range includes a 24/7/365 customer support service, in addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 100% network uptime service level agreement (SLA).
To learn more about osCommerce hosting from JaguarPC, call 1-888-338-5261 or visit jaguarpc.com today.