Secure eBusiness Solutions

Monday, 4 February 2008

What do you get from an online trial for eCommerce?

That is a good question and one you should have an answer for before you start the test drive of a trial store. The other important questions are:
  • What level of internet skill do I need?
  • How long will this take me?
  • What can't I do?
  • What should I accomplish?

If you are looking at the web site and considering starting a trial it most likely means that you are interested in starting an online web store or maybe you have one now that you want to improve. If you are starting from scratch and have never done this before then it is a really good idea to try out a few alternative providers and technologies. Generally you can do that for free as with this web site.

We know that some of you who start a trial have no intention of starting an online store but that is OK. If you like what you see recommend us to some friends.

If you think about this test drive just like test driving a car then it might help with the right out come. Most of us before we go test drive a car, know what the key features are that we want. If you have a family of six you most likely will not buy a 2 door sports car for your everyday vehicle. You will generally know if you want a 4 doors, hatch or wagon. What engine size and power range. Is it to be economical, can I tow a trailer, 4 wheel drive, 2 wheel drive, front wheel drive? You also expect certain features like air conditioning, stereo, CD stacker, reversing sensors, central locking etc. Finally you also are probably looking for the right colour and trim.

If you can make a list of the key features that you want and as you go through the trial of the online store either tick them off the list or even better score them from 1 - 5 for comparison with other trials you might start. If you do a little homework up front it can save you heaps of time and give you a better result. One way you might do this is to go to some online sites you know and like; and just list the features you like. Remember of course if the site you use as an example if Amazon or eBay then you might be disappointed those sites cost 100's of millions of dollars to develop. So look for similar businesses and maybe even competitors. Always aim on the high side of functionality as it is easy to prioritise what you want and maybe add new stuff later. However if the capability is just not available it might not be easy to add on later.

What Level of skill do you need?

In order to get the most out of a trial with our technology you need to have basic knowledge of a PC, internet browser, and some tools like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Notebook and Picture Manager. You do not need to know HTML or be a web developer. This technology has built it the capability to automatically create the right HTML and web pages for you. Everything you have to do is done through you internet browser and via the special Management Back Office of ePages and your trial store.

How long will this take me?

You need to spend at least a couple of hours really using the trial store Management Back Office (MBO) to understand what it delivers. If you register for a trial and you receive the URLs to access the web store and back office then that is just the first step. If you are a "tyre kicker" then you get the links, take a quick look at the website and never do anything else. What a lost opportunity.
We give you 14 days to spend as much time as you want with the technology. In our experience that is more than enough time to fully review all the features. If for some reason you can't get finished in 14 days contact us and we can either extend or renew the test drive.

What can't I do?

Not much really these test drives are the real thing. Just like that drive around the block in the car from the dealer. You can't really sell a product and collect money in the test drive. There are some of the design customisation features that have been disabled.

The Test Drive is done on our production system but in a special area so that it does not impact our production customers. Unlike a test drive of a car the store you get will never be reused after you have finished and is deleted completely after 14 days.

If you buy a real store it will be commissioned specially for you to your requirements and features.

What should I accomplish?

In a few hours you will get to see and understand most of the features and facilities of the management back office (MBO) of an ePages web store.

You should expect to achieve the following:
  • Set up all your contact details in the MBO
  • Set up categories specific to your business
  • Add some products with your own images
  • Assign the products to categories
  • Set up a Product Type and create a attribute and product variation
  • Assign products to cross sell
  • Create a product bundle
  • Assign a promotional product
  • Export / Import products and categories to a CSV file and view in Excel
  • Set up special pages:
  • Terms and Conditions.
  • About Us - Customer Information
  • Privacy Policy
  • Set up a payment method(s) so you can see how the check out processs works
  • Set up a delivery method(s)
  • Set up email preferences and email events
  • Set up tax requirements
  • Pick a template and change templates (styles) to see different designs on the website
  • Place an order in the website and view the order in the MBO
  • Register as a customer and view the My Account area
  • View a registered customers details in the MBO
  • Set up a simple Newsletter and assign to a customer
  • Set up a coupon campaign

These are just some of the capabilities but if you have completed all the above then you would have seen and used all the 7 MBO Managers

  • Orders
  • Customers
  • Products
  • Categories
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Settings

But the idea is to go and find out for yourself by taking an eCommerce Test Drive.