Evaluate Features Offered and Costs
1. Look carefully at what features will cost more. Most ecommerce providers offer a base set of features for a low setup cost. In some cases, that is all you will need. You should look carefully at what features will increase the price in order to avoid sticker shock after you get started.
2. Find out what's included in the setup cost. For many providers, you do most of the work of creating your web site. Consider how much you will have to do yourself and how much will be ready to go. Try to place a dollar value on your time.
3. Are merchandising tools available or included? Are features such as free shipping offers, featured products, sale items, customer testimonials, email newsletter signup, and email this page to a friend available? All of these tools increase the selling power of your site.
4. Try out the administration tool. There are a world of solutions out there, from simple 'buy now' buttons you add to your existing site which require a moderate level of technical knowledge, to complete site management tools that let you control just about everything on your web site with little technical knowledge. The solution that is right for you depends on your needs, your time, your budget, and your expertise. If you don't understand the steps required to use the software, you should continue your search.
5. Does the solution allow you to easily create additional pages? Does the solution allow/provide that each of your products has it's own web page? This key feature will pay big dividends in the long run. More pages means the search engines will index more pages and that means more chances for shoppers to land on your pages when they are searching for your products.