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Articles & Tutorials

Getting Webbed

by Bruce Whitehead

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Summary : If you are in the process of researching ways to bring your new business online, the first and most important step is to ask yourself if your business really needs a home on the Web.

Most E-commerce sites will fall into one of 3 basic types:

  1. Market/Sell Tangible goods
  2. Market/Sell Intangible goods
  3. Informational/Promotional

1. Marketing or Selling Tangible goods

In a nutshell, tangible goods are any sort of merchandise that actually exists in some form or another. Furniture, Clothing, CD's, Cars and so on, are all tangible products.

A website containing an online catalogue of merchandise that visitors can view and purchase directly from, is a very popular and effective way to sell tangible products on the web.

This type of site ususally requires a catalogue for visitors to browse, a shopping cart for visitors to purchase the items with, and possibly order tracking software that can help visitors track their item shipments.

2. Marketing or Selling Intangible goods.

Intangible goods, on the other hand, are products that cannot actually be seen or touched. Web templates, domain names, computer programs, are all good examples of an intangible product. There is no actual product you can see or feel, or tote around in a box.

A business offering intangible goods has no warehousing costs, no shipping costs or other related expenses that an actual brick and mortar store front would have. You can sell website services, domain names, games, programs and more, directly to customers who download the product with their browser. No boxes or shipping required!

A good and splashy website, with a shopping cart system that provides random or time-limited access to download addresses, is all you really need to get into this business.

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