Today, there are numerous solid and dependable hosted e-commerce solutions available, for those who want to setup an online shop and make it thrive. Hosted e-commerce solutions have on offer an array of features and operations, including merchandising, inventory, payment and shipping options and shopping cart functions. The choice today is rather vast and good, but for someone who is not exactly familiar with the whole idea, this can be a rather daunting task at first.

How are you supposed to choose? Well, you need to check what is crucial and important for your business. Not all services are the same and not everything can work on the same level, but your needs are very precise, so you have to choose based on them.

Easy and guided setup - If you choose a hosted ecommerce solution, it means that you want an all in one solution, because that makes everything easier. This is the spirit, and this is why you are supposed to choose something that provides an easy setup and customization. A well created wizard should be able to provide you all the needed information and steps so as to complete the installation and customization of the software fast and easy. Once you setup everything you should be able to operate and launch the e-commerce venue.

Import and export features - The basic e-shop storefront is supposed to help you create a catalogue. This is something expected and normal, however not all solutions will allow you to import your own database, which means that you might need to type everything from the beginning. This is not fun and you should always check if the import is available, otherwise you might need to work for days until you have everything up. The best hosted solution will allow you to export the files and data as well. It is something that needs to be available, because if you decide to change the host or choose another solution, you will need to type everything again.

Choice of themes and templates - Even if the basic template of the hosted solution looks good, the availability of several more solutions is mandatory. It is not possible to have one template and one design available only, because there might be hundreds of companies that feature the same theme. The e-commerce vendors should provide you with a fully customizable template, additional features and designs and styles.

Marketing options - When choosing the vendor, you need to make sure that the website will give you the chance to market and promote it accordingly. Is there a mailing list option? Are there incentives and coupons available? Can you run any offers and promotional programs? These are questions that you need to answer before choosing the hosted e-commerce solution.