We bring our own experience online businesses when we approach your project. We can offer interesting ideas that are creative, yet practical when applied to real world situations. Here are some issues that we can help with:
Usually, an website enabled for e-commerce is a good starting place. One option is to start with a standard website and add a shopping cart. This is a good option for those that need a highly customized solution for unique solutions. Another good option is to start with a service like Shopify that is built from the ground up as a market. Going this route incurs higher ongoing fees, but is usually simpler to maintain, operate and update. Security is better, too.
Selling on Channels like Amazon or eBay is a great option. These marketplaces attract huge audiences. Niche markets like Rakuten or Houzz are also good for the right products. Pricing must take the required 15-20% commissions into account. The problem is listing and synchronizing these marketplaces since all the data formats are different. There are a few sync services that we can set up. We are familiar with the data standards and can create code for handling unique situations.
Once you have the customer order, you will need to process it. If you have multiple marketplaces, a single shipping solution should be set up to import orders instead of shipping from each individual marketplace. This makes life a lot simpler, and allows for easy access to ship data for bookkeeping. Another option to consider is a fulfillment service like Amazon FBA. This is very convenient, and can be set up to work with many other marketplaces, if they allow it. Again, consider the costs.
Sales tax has to be paid to any state where you have a "nexus", or presence. This generally means a salesperson, office or warehouse or stored product. Product stored at Amazon FBA warehouses are considered a "nexus" by many states, so you may have to register for sales tax collection in more than your home state.
Bookkeeping - Moving sales data into bookkeeping software is especially complicated. Fortunately, several new services are available that will help in this area. Quickbooks and Xero are excellent solutions, although other options exist for unique situations. The service we select will depend on the marketplaces you select.