E-Commerce: Full of opportunities

Blogs, RSS, Twitter, Cloud Computing, Social Networks... Today's online business is moving faster than ever. How can small and medium enterprises keep in step with ever changing technologies and marketing opportunities in order to increase turnover at minimum cost - especially in these financially troubled times?


Two IT trends have proven to bear great opportunities for companies of all sizes: Cloud Computing and Social Commerce. While Cloud Computing stands for flexible resource utilization and a highly technological concept, Social Commerce tools enable customers to experience much more transparent and effective information about products or services.

Cloud Computing: Flexibility and scalability at its best

Cloud Computing is more than just Software as a Service - and it has much more to it than a server that is not any longer in one's own basement: It is the combination of on-demand infrastructure and on-demand software. This concept does not only offer enormous flexibility but has also cost-saving potential.

Local resources like for example hardware are not needed any longer as companies may now store their data externally on virtual servers and use their software via web access. Generally, all essential features for a professional e-business such as CRM solutions, ERP systems and e-commerce software are available. In times of higher traffic, for instance before Christmas or Easter, additional server capacity can be ordered temporarily.

Companies pay only for their individual set of services - and hosting providers will take care of updates and bug fixes. There will be no more worrying whether the last update for example by eBay has been missed.

More than just e-business

It is essential for all online and offline businesses to inform their customers about products, opening hours or news from the company. Recent studies confirm that almost all customers have informed themselves online before actually buying a product. Would it not make sense to offer customers an appointment right away while they are on the website? An active community recommending and commenting your products is not only a much more reliable source than any marketing material but also offers valid feedback about your products.

A professional website can thus play a decisive role in being ahead of competitors. With ePages 6, both the website and the online shop can be combined on one platform, with the same design. Without special programming knowledge, installing and updating an online store and business website is done much easier than before. All that is needed is a computer with Internet access.

Extended by an appointment management and booking function ePages 6 widens the scope of e-commerce beyond the more traditional sales model.

Enhancing service

Customers get used to new services, especially to the so-called Web 2.0 features that enhance the shopping experience for customers. Today, it is state of the art that online shops enable customers to leave comments and recommendations. Since spreading via word-of-mouth is still the most credible way of advertising, it must be of high interest for the retailer to do so. And it is more and more common to discuss trends with customers via a blog. Also, it will soon become normal for customers to sign up for a RSS feed in order to be informed about new offers as soon as possible. In addition, several mash-ups enhance the service for customers, such as Google Maps, the weather forecast or a direct link to a train connection search engine.

With ePages 6, this all is set up with just a few clicks. That makes it a great choice for a professional online appearance. Choosing a web hosted e-commerce package can thus be the perfect start for a professional online business, not needing to invest any large numbers.

From e-commerce to Cloud Commerce

E-commerce has proven to be an important and successful distribution channel. But is this really the case for every business? How can SMEs manage not risking too much and still be sure not to miss the train? And if they are successful, how can they make sure that the solution grows with their needs?

Focusing on SMEs, ePages offers a suitable solution for almost every e-business plan. Choosing ePages software, companies have the chance to grow from a small online business to a worldwide operating corporation. 50,000 online shops all over the world are based on ePages software like the rental e-commerce packages of NTT, Strato, British Telecom, Host Europe and many more.

With ePages 6 in Cloud Computing modus, businesses can now seize chances in e-business and SMEs can use all features of a professional website and an online shop. They can save money by flexibly adding resources as they need them and - if necessary - change from one host to another in the cloud. It's easy, it's Cloud Commerce.

Written 2009-05-14 (Updated 2016-10-10)
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