Ask Entrepreneur

Should My Website and Online Store Be Connected?

I run a small apparel business. We have a website and an online store. Our website has information about our brand, products, lookbooks, videos, news, contact info, etc. Our online store is strictly a storefront for customers to buy our products. Would having a fully-integrated website and webstore result in higher sales figures? Is it worth it? What’s your advice?
John Arnold

What steps should I take to start an online mail-order cookie business?

I have started a test version of a specialty cookie business by selling to friends and family. I would like to take it to the next level, but I need some advice on promoting my new e-biz.
Zeke Camusio

Would it be legal to sell replicas online and state that they are replicas?

I did this for a few months two years ago, and then I sold my Web site. It's fun selling online and I would like to do it again, but first I want to do the right thing.
Nina Kaufman

Is it considered unprofessional to use an outside payment provider instead of your own branded solution?

I run a web service where customers pay a monthly fee. Right now it is running through a payment gateway where the customers provide their billing information once on my website, which is then automatically submitted to the provider to set up recurring billing. The upside of this is consistency: Users see only my website and are not redirected to a third party.

I use Amazon's web services to host customer data, and there is a limit to the exclusivity you can provide. So either I need to rethink my hosting situation or use DevPay, which would remove the problem. But I am concerned about appearing inexperienced by having to redirect off to Amazon or PayPal to handle credit card processing.
Lena West

I am looking for an inexpensive, simple shopping cart that will integrate smoothly with my website.

My website is a combination of information and products for sale. I've been using GoDaddy's Quick Shopping Cart, but because it's separately hosted, every time an upgrade is rolled out, I spend hours upgrading my end of the shopping cart to meet the new demands of the upgrade. I am looking for a simple cart interface that will integrate smoothly with the product pages I already have created. Do you have any suggestions?
Lena West

What is the best way to predict how much you will sell on the internet?

I already have a physical store. I am expanding my website. I also need to buy merchandise to be able to fulfil orders. I don't want to buy to much so I have a ton left over. What are your bet ideas for this problem? Where can I go to get stats and more information?
Lena West

How can I be sure I

When selling an item on eBay you may give your item a start bid price of 99 cents and hopefully you'll get many bids to make a profit on an item that may be worth $200. How can you be sure you won't take a loss though, (i.e. you may not get many bidders)? Is there a rule of thumb?

Many thanks,
John
Lena West

How do I get advertisers on my site?

I bought the site resortrank.com and want to start a website where resorts are ranked by people who have been there, not resort critics. But this will be a free access website, so the money will come from advertising, therefore I need Expedia, Orbitz, or any other online travel booking company to pay to be put on my site. How do I get my name out there, and how do I get a company to pay to put their advertising on my site?
Lena West