Thinking of starting an online business? Now is a good time to start. With the help of hosted ecommerce software you can now launch your business in no time. This article will guide you how to use an ecommerce software to grow your online business.
Small businesses have a number of options when it comes to selling online. One is signing up in big marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy which allows you to list your products on a hosted storefront. If you already have a business website, integrating a standalone shopping cart might be a better option. However, if you want a full solution that will provide everything from a domain name to conversion tools you need to make sales, including payment processing – launching your own website using hosted e-commerce software is the wisest thing to do.
E-Commerce Software – What Is That?
Ecommerce software is a platform that helps you manage your online business by taking the legwork out of selling your products and services. They make everything easier, from managing your inventory to building your ecommerce website. It’s your one-stop solution to various online store management problems. So how does it help your business? The following are ways e-commerce software helps run your online shop:
Store Customization – Don’t have enough tech skills to tweak and customize your online store? No problem. E-commerce software helps your site look better by offering additional features like content management and web design. You can even change how your store looks depending on the season or occasion. No need to hire an expensive web designer to do all these things for you. Here’s an example of a site (Texas Beard Co) using ecommerce platform Spark Pay to host its ecommerce shop and visual storefront:
Payment Processing – One of the most important aspects on ecommerce websites is the payment processing feature. Without a good system, customers might shy away from placing orders. With the right tools, you can manage your sales in a hassle free method. Most ecommerce softwares run by automatically linking payment gateways such as Stripe and PayPal to your website.
Support System – Help answer your customer’s questions by providing friendly customer service through community forums, phone, live chat or email. When a website has good customer support, users feel valued – and will likely do business with you again. Try to hire someone from your team or outsource the job to virtual customer support that can immediately answer customer questions.
Product Showcase – Easily manage your inventory with the help of e-commerce softwares. By showcasing your products through a visual storefront, adding product descriptions and pricing, you can help your customers choose and decide which item to buy. Here’s an example of a site (Eat Boutique Shop) using Shopify’s online shopping cart tools.
Logistics Portal – A one click solution to your shipping problems. Logistic portals are basically information resources that enable you to schedule pickups, track orders, and send your consumers email alerts once the shipping process starts. It simplifies the internal ordering process and distribution that leads to better cost control, flexibility and customer satisfaction.
App Integration – Add the latest must-have consumer features into your website by allowing third party integration. Most ecommerce softwares allows applications that streamline data and improve customer relationship management.
Blog Features – Drive more traffic to your website by integrating a blog with your site. Through blogging you can market your product, establish yourself as an expert in the industry, and drive more sales. Refrain from over-promoting your service or product in your blog. Think of your site’s blog as a way to create authentic connection with your consumers. Use it to attract a loyal audience that will help build your brand’s name. Here’s an example of a blog showcase from site (La Marzocco) hosted by ecommerce software WooCommerce.
Maintain a good relationship with your consumers and clients by adding a newsletter. Newsletters are regularly distributed publications that revolve around the news and upcoming events in your shop. It helps update your customers with the latest products and upgrades in your services. Like the blog feature, the newsletter serves as a marketing strategy that will help maintain your reputation as a trusted business to your consumers.
Marketing Tools – The right marketing tools create regular customers who will be much willing to spend their money on your product or service. Ecommerce platforms allow features such as social sharing capabilities, discounts, and loyalty programs.
Security –Your online business is a major target for hackers and fraudsters. While using your site, consumers give thousands of credit card details and personal information. Ecommerce platforms provide security for your consumer’s safe online shopping experience
How to Choose the Best E-Commerce Platform for Your Business
With so many e-commerce softwares available today, it can be difficult to scour the marketplace and find the one that will address your business needs. Depending on the nature of your business, there are important things to know when selecting ecommerce software. Aside from choosing the most fitting storefront design, and additional features for your online business, a good ecommerce software should enable you to manage and deliver great service to your customers. When looking for the right ecommerce platform, here are things to keep in mind:
- User Friendly and Customizable – The best ecommerce softwares are set up easily – you can get the program running with minimal tech skills. It has to be a platform you’ll be comfortable to use. Before choosing a software, make sure you’ve tested it yourself.
- SEO Functionality – It’s a common scenario. Owner pays a web developer to build him the most impressive site. He spends a lot of money on the design of the storefront, but then as soon as the site goes live – traffic remains the same- or doesn’t move at all. At the end of the day you can have the best products in the world, but if people can’t find them – how are you going to make sales?
- Up-to-Date Technology –Run the site and check if the software has up-to-date server technology and good site speed. Don’t risk your store’s data by investing in platforms that have slower response time, logging delays, low accuracy, and security breaches.
- Conversion and Marketing Tools – Use the right marketing tools boost your conversion rate. When it comes to marketing your business online, it’s relatively important to have these important features in your site: social network sharing, authentic product reviews, and referral schemes.
Ecommerce softwares give you a complete solution to your storefront and site management problems. It offers a full ecommerce package of tools and features for your online business’ success. But as always, with softwares you have to choose the one that will suit your store and business needs. You can’t expect everything to fall into place, if the piece doesn’t fit the puzzle. Ready to make the change? Check out the following user reviews of online store platforms to help find the best one for your business.
Got any more platforms you think businesses should look into? Talk to us in the comments below!
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