Ask about retail e-commerce and it is likely that you will get a million and three responses. Most of these responses will probably be most perplexing acronyms. From ERP, CRM and BI to POS and more, the lists people will give you as necessities just to get you going are endless. Trying to get every bit of software on these lists could mean spending potentially thousands of dollars by the time your online business is ready to launch. To get a retail e-commerce site started, much of this is however, not really that essential. Here is what you really need.

When starting small, software is typically the least of concerns. Way before reaching the point of requiring major solutions for business management, you will have to make some decisions on how you will manage your business. No amount of software or IT magic can make a business become successful without careful planning and good business practices .

Apart from common business sense, before thinking about software, you will need a few important technological features, including:

Reliable Web Host - The majority of hosting providers promises around 99% uptime, but it is vital to thoroughly research this subject by looking at actual numbers; talking to actual users and reading honest reviews. Such reviews will also reveal how good, or bad, customer services and support are. If you want your e-commerce site to be successful, all of these factors matter a great deal.

Security - Just to throw a few more acronyms at you, you need to look for PCI DSS and SSL. PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, while and SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. Both of these features are critical security features good e-commerce hosting solutions should provide in order to keep customer data, payment information and so on private and safe.

Multi-channel Marketing/ Sales - E-commerce customers no longer visit your site/ click on links to make a purchase exclusively from desktop computers. Many consumers now access the Internet via laptops, tablets, smart phones and even gaming consoles. This means suitable channel interfaces to meet respective needs have to be provided.

E-commerce changes continually and rapidly. You have to be prepared for these changes, with your main focus having to be on security and reliability, as opposed to being on some fancy bit of software or another promising to save your e-business in some weird and wonderful way.