ASP stands for Application Service Provider. The ASP owns the storefront software and operates its own e-commerce server. An ASP licenses out the use of its software and e-commerce hosting services to clients that desire to sell products and services online. The software is hosted on the ASP’s server, and as the client you pay the ASP to use its software and server. This option is often much cheaper than purchasing your own storefront software package. When using the ASP’s storefront solution, a client can be quite confident in the fact that the system will always be up to date. The ASP’s server handles all system updates, back-ups, and technical support on a regular basis. There is no need for a business to purchase any extra on-site equipment or software, and the installation process is fast, straightforward, and affordable. The ASP’s storefront solution can be integrated with your existing Web site. The portion of the storefront that is hosted on the ASP’s server can be customized to duplicate the appearance of your site. This adds to the level of professionalism and maintains a sense of consistency across all pages of your site and the purchase process.
The ASP’s storefront model is known for its high reliability, as well as an unfailing online selling security system. A great benefit of using an ASP’s server is that business owners are able to access their data from any place, at any time. The only equipment needed is an Internet connection as well as your ASP server ID and password.
Each client is given a unique user name and password to allow for easy management of its account. The information hosted on the ASP’s server can be modified at any time—you can add or remove products at your convenience, alter the layout, and so on. This solution is ideal for those businesses that are looking to maintain their own site but do not want to be responsible for configuring and maintaining the technical aspects of the e-commerce system. The ASP model is easy to configure for those individuals with limited HTML knowledge and can be set up and running in a very short timeframe.