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"The future is spinning before your eyes"

Online Product Presentation
You can quite easily have a straightforward web page made up to show an image and describe your product, together with its colour/size/weight or whatever options.

You can easily move from this position to taking orders via a form or email. 

You must remember however, that as the web is a 24 hour 7 day service, some potential customers will just be getting up as you are closing your offices for the night. Generally, this is not a problem, unless the order is urgent, but it does beg the question as to whether you are ready to meet the challenge and logistics of delivery and taxes/export arrangements to another country, or whether you want to restrict acceptance of orders to the UK.

You can go one stage further and make the ordering an online experience. Instead of having a web page with the product described, you have a templated "store" page where the layout of your products, together with a shopping basket (or cart if it is of American origin) allows customers to browse through your product range with a familiar interface and click buttons to add items to their purchase list. These facilities (for smaller businesses) generally require the purchase of an off the shelf software programme such as Shop@ssist or Actinic Catalogue and some programming to incorporate the product range into the software, and the whole into the website.

Generally speaking, the main thing influencing cost is the number of unique items that need to be catalogued, offered for sale, and transacted. The more product options you need, the more robust the software must be, and the more costly the operation is to establish.

For example, offering shirts for sale might  seem, at first sight, quite a simple operation. Say you have five makers as your source, and each shirt is available in three styles, and one of six collar sizes and seven colours. That makes 630 options to cater for, (before you consider long and short sleeves, collar styles and so on).

For larger businesses, with hundreds of product options, the software may well need to be tailored in a much more bespoke manner, not only to include product details, but also to source information from existing product databases, encompass pricing structures for different clients and so on.

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