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Frequently Asked Questions about Starting an Online Shop or Business:

Are you looking for an answer to a question about eCommerce web design? Are you wondering about an online business, payment gateways, shopping cart products, or your choice of what e-commerce website platform to use? We are here to help you!
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1. Frequently Asked Questions about Starting an Online Shop or Business:

How do I start an online shop?

1. Choose Your Niche
2. Research your target audience
3. Register your online business
4. Create a Business Plan
5. Source reliable suppliers
6. Design your website
7. Create marketing campaigns
8. Build relationships with customers
9. Choose an e-commerce platform
10. Set up payment processing
11. Create a product catalog
12. Promoting your online shop
13. Test your store's payment processing
14. launch your online store and start selling

Read more start an online shop

How do I optimize my eCommerce website for search engines?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for eCommerce websites to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). You can optimise your products by using relevant keywords in product descriptions and metadata, optimising images, including videos, building backlinks, and making your website work better on mobile devices.

What is E-Commerce-as-a-Service (EaaS)?

E-Commerce-as-a-Service is a platform that allows anyone to start their own online business or store. Through our managed eCommerce solutions, we automate your business, and provide all of the features you'd expect from a premium e-commerce solution, but without the hassle of hosting updates, or security.
We have everything you need to succeed in selling a service, a product, or information online. Whether you are an individual running your own personal business or a local business looking to expand internationally, we are here to co-create your new business.

How long will it take for my web hosting account to be set up?

Your Hosting account will be set up on the same day when you order our services

What do I need to sell a product or service in an online shop?

TWe set up your website with everything you need to sell. We build your online store with CMS eCommerce software. You would need product images and a description of your products, content like the About Us, and the Terms & Conditions document.

How long will it take for my new domain name to become active?

Your new domain will become active in 8-24 hours and will be live

Why would I rebuild an eCommerce website?

An online store's appearance, usability, functionality, look and feel, security and credibility convert clients into sales. Outdated code and functionality cause issues. When should I rebuild my website?

Here are 4 reasons you should consider rebuilding your current eCommerce website:

1. Your present website is not only out of date, but it also lacks the features and functionality that you require.
2. Your website does not function very well on mobile devices, and you would like to provide an improved experience for clients that use mobile devices.
3. Because your website isn't producing enough sales, you want to increase the conversion rate.
4.You've outgrown your current website and want to add more products or services to make it more useful.

Determine whether or not it's time to rebuild my online store?

Can I buy a domain name, but not buy web hosting?

Domain name registration is free for one year as well as web hosting, you may host the website with your own hosting service provider. We prefer that your host use compatible platform software. Please read our Terms and Conditions for more details.

Will I be able to upload and manage my products in my store?

Yes, we supply full training, and we deliver it on your PC via a remote interface, We Skype you and show you how to fully manage your store. We also create video tutorials for uploading your products and managing your store.

What are the advantages of having your own e commerce shop?

1. Expanding your business into the global market is less expensive.
2. The cost of marketing and product advertising is 70% cheaper than print and traditional media.
3. It's easy to manage and update product prices, and you own the domain and web property.
4. Time-saving for both vendors and customers.
5. E-commerce is useful for both small and big businesses.
6. Use email autoresponders to send mass emails with information about new products to your customers.
7. Marketing and advertising cost: With an online eCommerce store, you spend less money on advertising and marketing. Organic search engine traffic, social media traffic, and pay-per-click are the most cost-effective ways to get people to your site.
8. Less Staff: In an online store with automation of check-out, billing, inventory management, and payment gateway payments, the operational costs are lower, and you would need fewer employees to run your eCommerce business.No travel costs: Customers don't have to drive far to get to a store because eCommerce lets them buy things online with just a few clicks.

The following are the steps to take to begin opening and operating an online shop:

1. Determine whether you will be offering a product or a service.
2. Pick an e-commerce software to run your online shop, such as Shopify or WooCommerce.
3. Set up an online presence for your business by getting a domain name and building a website.
4. After you have chosen a shipping provider and integrated your payment gateway, continue.
5. Make a detailed list of your products, including good quality images, and write detailed descriptions for each one.
6. Market your store by doing things like sending out email campaigns or putting up ads on social media.

Step-by-step guide to designing an online shopping website.

Do you upload my categories and products?

We upload all of your categories as well as the first 30 products with descriptions and images (depending on the price package). We use a remote interface to show you a remote computer screen.

What is a "flat rate shipping calculator:

A flat rate shipping calculator has one price for all the products, and most courier companies have a flat rate to deliver an item within 3–5 days. A product weighing less than 5 kg will typically cost between R95 and R130.

If you have products that weigh more than 5 kg it would be advisable to integrate them into a courier database for live rates, and the weight and dimensions of the product need to be added for the courier to work. **Additional shipping integration: into a courier company like the www.thecourierguy.co.za where the live rates are instantly calculated after the customer add their delivery address: Add R650.00 to install the integration.

How does the shopping cart calculate delivery and shipping costs?

Our flat-rate shipping calculator is part of the default setting. For more advanced shipping, we set up a delivery database for different geographical areas via postal codes. The shipping calculator lists the delivery charge when the client checks out the products.

What is Product Reviews under a product listing?

Product reviews are written evaluations of products by customers who have purchased and used them. These reviews can provide valuable feedback for both businesses and other potential customers. Businesses can use product reviews to identify areas for improvement, gauge customer satisfaction, and improve their products and services.

Meanwhile, potential customers can use product reviews to make informed purchasing decisions based on the experiences of other users. Product reviews are often displayed on e-commerce websites and can be sorted by rating, date, and other factors to help customers find the most relevant and helpful reviews.

What is Product Ratings under a product listing?

Product ratings are numerical scores assigned to products by customers based on their overall satisfaction with the product. These ratings are often displayed alongside product reviews and can be used to quickly gauge the popularity and quality of a product. Product ratings typically range from one to five stars, with five stars indicating the highest level of satisfaction.

Like product reviews, product ratings can help businesses to identify areas for improvement and improve customer satisfaction. They can also be used by potential customers to make informed purchasing decisions.

How do I know when an order has been placed in my store?

You will receive an email from your website and an email from the payment gateway.

Stock Control and Sold Out Settings?

Stock control and sold out settings are tools that businesses can use to manage their inventory and avoid overselling products. The inventory management features allow you to track stock levels, receive notifications when items are low, and automatically update your store when items are out of stock. You can also integrate with third-party inventory management software if needed.

Sold out settings allow businesses to display a message or hide products when they are out of stock, preventing customers from placing orders for products that are no longer available. These tools help businesses to avoid negative customer experiences, such as delayed or cancelled orders, while also improving inventory management and reducing the risk of stock shortages.

How does a Coupon code work?

Coupon codes are discounts that businesses can offer to customers during the checkout process. These codes can be created in the dashboard and can be customised to apply to specific products, categories, or customer groups. Businesses can set the discount amount or percentage, the duration of the coupon code, and the minimum or maximum order value required to use the code. Coupon codes can be a powerful marketing tool, helping to attract new customers, incentivise repeat purchases, and increase sales.

Do I need an SSL certificate for online transactions?

SSL certificates are required for websites in order to protect user data, validate website ownership, prevent attackers from building a false version of the site, and establish trust with users.
Google is encouraging websites to use an SSL certificate on their sites.
Google's goal is to establish itself as a reliable search engine and to only display secure websites in its search results. That's why HTTPS websites get a ranking boost from Google for having a valid SSL certificate.

What does the sales reports display in my shopping cart?

Sales reports provide businesses with insights into their sales performance over a given period of time. The website ecommerce platform offers a range of sales reports that can be accessed from the dashboard, including sales by date, product, category, and customer.

These reports can help businesses to identify trends in their sales data, track the performance of specific products or categories, and monitor customer behavior. Businesses can use this information to optimize their marketing and sales strategies, make informed pricing decisions?

Do I own my e-commerce website, and can I host it with another hosting company?

We register your domain in your name; you own the domain and the website property if fully paid, and you may host your website with another hosting company. Transferring your website to a third-party hosting company is subject to our terms and conditions.

How many emails can I have?

You may have up to 5x business emails.

What is the difference between webs.co.za and a shared-hosted online store?

We provide managed hosting, domain renewal, updates, and maintenance, whereas some service providers do not allow you to transfer your website property, require a monthly hosting fee, and in most cases we do provide managed hosting and maintenance services.

Do I pay a monthly fee?

We do not charge monthly fees during the first year, but we do have different pricing modules for ongoing maintenance after the first year, which you can read about in website design prices

What is the price of an e-commerce store?

The price of a basic eCommerce shop is between R5900.00 and R7000.00. See the price of an eCommerce site pricing

What is a good courier company in South Africa?

You deliver the product orders to your customer, and the website and payment gateway will alert you via email of a successful order, we allow for a flat rate delivery fee in the shopping cart. The best courier companies in South Africa for real-time shipping rates we recommend: Pargo.co.za fastway.co.za or thecourierguy.co.za

What does 30 products mean?

For the Basic Online Shop, you can list up to 30 products/merchandise items, and you should fill out a spreadsheet with your product title, product category, product price, and product description. Send your product images with a free tool like wetransfer.com, renaming them with the product title. We then upload all of the products on the spreadsheet and upload the first 30 product images, and we show you how to upload and manage the shopping cart and process orders via Skype or Zoom. 

Can you provide statistics on how many people viewed each product on my website?

You need to register a free account with Google analytics where you can view your ecommerce store's stats.

Do I get free hosting?

We offer free hosting for the first year on some of our ecommerce store prices.

What is your hosting uptime guarantee?

We offer a 99% uptime per year and an additional Cloud service for faster page speed and security. Read more about our managed hosting

E-commerce site builder vs self-owned domain E-commerce store?

When it comes to SEO, a self-owned and developed e-commerce store will perform better. Keep in mind that some site builders charge a monthly fee and require you to host with the company.
Make certain that you do not own a secondary domain that is linked to the main service provider, as this will make SEO and marketing your e-commerce store extremely difficult.

What is a Merchant Account?

A Merchant Account is a solution established by a bank that enables a company or individual to route money from credit card sales to an account that holds it before transferring it to the business individual's own account.

How to Get a South African Internet Merchant Account?

Before, you had to apply for an Internet merchant account at a South African bank like Standard Bank, Nedbank, ABSA, or FNB.
So, a merchant can go straight to their bank and ask for an Internet merchant account.
A merchant can also use a merchant services provider, such as Swift Merchant Services, who can frequently provide the best merchant rate.
Merchant service providers are independent companies that work with a variety of banks. Payment gateways like payfast.co.za and Ozow.co.za let you take payments from your website without needing a merchant account.

How do I receive money from PayPal?

As an South African citizen you are allowed to open an PayPal account, you are allowed to send money and do transactions but you cannot receive money or payments on your PayPal account without opening a FNB bank account.

Why can't I pay in ZAR with PayPal?

One major problem is that your shopping cart will not be able to do any transactions in ZAR, currently ZAR is not one of the currencies that PayPal trade and do automatic transactions and conversions in. PayPal does not offer South African rand (ZAR) is currently not a PayPal currency.

Can I use another international payment gateway as a South African?

here are some popular payment methods in South Africa that you may consider accepting on your eCommerce website:

PayFast: allows you to accept payments from various sources, including credit cards, Instant EFT, and payflex.
SnapScan: allows customers to pay for purchases by scanning a QR code with their smartphone.
PayGate: supports credit cards, debit cards, and instant EFT.
Ozow: for instant EFT payment solution that allows customers to make online payments directly from their bank account.
Yoco: payment solution that allows customers to pay for purchases using their debit or credit card.
Zapper: mobile payment app that allows customers to pay for purchases by scanning a QR code with their smartphone.
Masterpass: digital wallet that allows customers to store their credit card information and make payments online.
Visa Checkout: digital wallet that allows customers to store their Visa card information and make payments online.
PayPal: popular online payment system that allows customers to make payments using their PayPal account or credit card.

We integrate the Payment Gateway into your shopping cart, you have the option of using local or international payment gateways. More info on Payment Gateways in South Africa

Why do I need to associate my PayPal account with FNB Online Banking?

South African Reserve Bank exchange control regulations require you to withdraw funds in your PayPal account within 30 days of the receipt of funds. Currently FNB bank is the only South African bank that are verified with the South African Reserve Bank. FNB require your verification on their online banking website

How do I get a PayPal account?

To open a PayPal account visit paypal.com. You will need to link a Cheque or Credit card to your PayPal account in order for the account to be verified. More info on PayPal in South Africa

Mobile App Development?

Mobile apps are no longer limited to well-known companies such as Amazon.com.
We can make your eCommerce website available on Google Play and the Apple iOS store.
More information on eCommerce Mobile App Development

I am not able to get an PayPal account is there an alternative payment gateway?

2Checkout accept South Africans and is an excellent alternative to PayPal, 2CO is an intelligent choice if you want to get rid of PayPal complications.

How to start a dropshipping website in South Africa?

Dropshipping is a retail method that allows online merchants to sell goods without keeping any inventory on hand. It's ideal for individuals who want to test various product concepts before committing to a more extensive inventory. When you use the dropshipping business strategy, you can advertise products directly from your online storefront. Once a customer places an order, you transmit (depending on how your store integrates with the supplier) the order to the drop shipper. Reselling of products is the most common kind of dropshipping in South Africa

What is an eCommerce ERP System?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software integrates a business's procedures and functions.
A functional ERP helps B2B organisations manage their business systems.

How to start a successful online clothing business?

In this guide, we will take you through the steps to start an online apparel store. the products you choose, the brand you make, the quality of the pictures of the clothes you sell, but also the way your online store is set up, how you get customers, and how you ship orders. Between 2011 and 2017, online fashion sales in South Africa grew by 124 percent.
As more people get used to buying things online, smaller websites with specialised products are getting better at promoting them.
Clothing is the most frequently purchased item online worldwide, reflecting the shift toward online shopping. There is a huge demand for niche online apparel stores.

How do I handle returns and refunds for my online store?

We will take you through the steps to create a return and refund policy for returns and refunds and make sure it is easily accessible on your website. The eCommerce shopping platform have built-in return and refund features that allow you to manage returns and issue refunds from one control panel.

Can I start an online store for free?

If you are just starting out and want to get a feel for how to operate an online store, a free platform can be a good option. If you are planning to build your own e-commerce store, there are a number of e-commerce platforms out there, but not all of them are free. The most popular free e-commerce platform is WooCommerce. Other options include Shopify Lite and Square for retail businesses.
To get started with an online store, you will need to choose a platform and then select a plan. Some platforms offer a free plan, which usually has limited features. If you want to start an online store for free, you can use one of the following platforms:
WooCommerce
Shopify Lite
Square for Retail

These platforms all have free plans that you can use to start your online store. Each platform has its own set of features and limitations, so be sure to choose the one that best suits your needs. WooCommerce is open source. It is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, is used by many large businesses, and can be hosted by any hosting company. Shopify and Square are proprietary software that can only be used on servers run by those companies. Shopify: Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that provides everything you need to create and operate your online store. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial.

What is an online booking system?

An "online booking system" is a web software program that helps businesses accept online appointments and bookings. Users can schedule appointments or make bookings online using a web-or cloud-based system. An online reservation system can take bookings, process payments, and send invoices online. Customers may schedule appointments for services like coaches, therapists, and gyms. Read this guide to starting an online booking website

A service-based business is a company that provides a service to its customers rather than selling a physical product.

Some examples of service-based businesses include:
1. Consulting firms
2. Professional services
3. Repair and maintenance services
4. Personal care services
5. Cleaning services
6. Event planning and management
7, Home healthcare
8. Tutoring and education services
9. Marketing and advertising agencies

Read more about service-based businesses.

What is SAAS?

SaaS is a software delivery paradigm where a third-party provider hosts a software programme and makes it available to clients online.
Customers subscribe to the software via a web browser or smartphone and pay monthly or annually. Customers don't need to instal and maintain SaaS software because it's delivered over the cloud. SaaS can be used for CRM, project management, accounting, HR, marketing, and more.
Detailed SaaS solutions

What is a Multi-Vendor store?

A multi-vendor ecommerce store serves as an online marketplace, allowing multiple vendors to sell their products and services through registration and profile creation. The platform, which does not manufacture products or own inventory, connects buyers to a network of sellers. Well-known multi-vendor marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, providing customers with a diverse range of options to compare and choose from while shopping.

Do I need to register an online shop in South Africa?

The act of registering a company might shield you from some types of personal liability and offer you certain tax benefits.If your business is a sole proprietorship and is a certain size, and falls under a certain tax rate, you don't have to register it.
If you manage a small business as a sole proprietorship and your profits fall below a specific tax band, then you do not need to register your company with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) or the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

What exactly is an online education business?

The act of registering a company might shield you from some types of personal liability and offer you certain tax benefits.If your business is a sole proprietorship and is a certain size, and falls under a certain tax rate, you don't have to register it.
If you manage a small business as a sole proprietorship and your profits fall below a specific tax band, then you do not need to register your company with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) or the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
An "online education" or "courses" business is one that offers educational content and classes over the internet. Educational content can be accessed through a website or a online-course-development system.

What's the role of an e-commerce business coach?

A specialist who assists entrepreneurs and business owners in understanding the ever-changing world of online sales is known as an ecommerce business coach.
They offer experienced advice, assistance, and tactics to help business owners advance their online ventures. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand your existing e-commerce business, an e-commerce business coach can help you achieve your goals. Let our experienced in ecommerce business guide you through the process of starting or growing your online business. Schedule a consultation today.
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