1. Why your business needs an online store:
For many people the Internet is replacing traditional media such as radio and television, while more and more people are choosing to shop online. It's more convenient and easier for people to order goods from their own homes than chasing around looking for a bargain. Businesses that establish an online presence have a global reach, since anyone in the world can see your website once it is online.
Having an online presence can be as simple as an electronic brochure that showcases your products or services for the public. Or it can be a complete online store or even shopping centre, where people can purchase your products with their credit cards and you ship them to their homes. A website store can also collect valuable statistical data about the people who visit it, which can be used to better understand your particular market.
2. What do Fastmart online stores offer that other web companies do not?
Cross-browser compatibility: People surf the Internet using a program called a Web browser. Usually this is Internet Explorer, which comes standard with Microsoft Windows. However, many people choose to use alternative browsers such as Firefox or Chrome, partly because Internet Explorer used to have a history of non-compliance with internationally agreed Internet standards, which means that overseas sites particularly may not display in it correctly. In some countries Internet Explorer now has barely half of the market share (though they are changing), so websites designed to break international internet standards to support it will quickly start to lose their market share.
At Fastmart we test all our websites comprehensively in every major browser: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Google Chrome. So our websites are guaranteed to display and work correctly on any computer and any Web browser. The browsers listed above comprise 99.97% of the world market between them, meaning that your website will work correctly for nearly everybody on the planet.
With international Internet standards currently undergoing some major revisions, it's important for your site to have a Web developer that stays ahead of the curve. Our developers keep a close eye on current events shaping Internet standards and incorporate the latest updates into our web design projects. So with us, your online store will work correctly even in the latest versions of every browser, as well as in 'newer' browsers like Google Chrome.
Fast working websites with speed and efficiency: Many web developers use website development packages, which utilise pre-made templates to make the job easier for them. Unfortunately, these packages generate a lot of redundant computer instructions, creating a slow website when being read by a lot of people. Slow websites produced with these packages also tend not to work in all browsers (see section 2 above), which can exclude part of your market. And to speed up your website is important. According to Nielsen surveys, if a website's home page takes more than 15 seconds to appear, the average user will move on - costing you a customer.
Our Fastmart online stores and shopping centres are custom designed by professional programmers to meet your exact needs while minimising overheads. If you need more website speed then contact Fastmart as we use only the minimum instructions required to make your online store work correctly, resulting in smoother, faster operation for your customers. We also carefully design our graphics to use the smallest amount of memory possible, which again works to speed up your website as there is less data to transfer to the customer's computer over the Internet.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): At Fastmart we fully optimise our content to take advantage of search engines like Google and Yahoo, etc., which kicks you up in their rankings that in turn can make a tremendous difference in getting many more paying customers to view your online store.
Fastmart In-house software systems: With Fastmart stores we use our own in-house shopping cart systems, credit card facilities and multiple relational data bases that other website developers have to lease or hire, which they in turn have to charge you extra for through sometimes inflated monthly payments.
Fastmart Security and reliability: With the worldwide uptake of the Internet, fraud, hacking and cybercrime are becoming an increasing problem. A skilled hacker can break into a website and steal sensitive information about your customers in order to use that information to commit identity theft, spread computer viruses, and deliver unwanted junk email, called “spam” to your customers' email addresses. These hackers work by understanding the most commonly-used programs for running websites and exploiting their known weaknesses.
At Fastmart we design our own custom software, which works differently to the most common programs used by other websites. This not only creates fast working websites, but makes it much harder for a hacker to compromise your valuable information and keeps your customer's details secure. It's like using a commercial car alarm in your car; a thief knows how the alarm works and can bypass it. But if you use a custom alarm designed specially for you, a thief has no way of knowing how it works and runs the risk of being caught when he tries to break in. Our websites are like the custom car alarm; each site is designed specifically for you, and being unique, making it that much harder for a hacker to break in and steal your information.
Expert technical support: Even the most reliable computer system can have bad days, and when the worst happens, you need knowledgeable, expert technicians to put things right as quickly as possible. If a customer experiences a problem with your site, we provide the means for them to contact us directly, so our team of experts can deal with the problem straight away. You don't need to be concerned about people contacting you about technical problems you might not be able to solve; that's what we're here for.
Reliable hosting: We've carefully researched internet hosting providers to find the means of offering the most reliable service for the best price. Our web hosting guarantees 99.5% uptime (meaning your website is always available) and high-speed connections so customers don't have to wait for your website to download. We also provide security certificates and secure hosting if you require an eCommerce online store, to ensure your information and customers' details are protected as securely as possible.