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The current market environment has tipped the scales in favor of e-commerce. Sales rose 129 percent, even as traditional retail sales tapered off.
If you’re thinking about a start-up, then you might be thinking about the e-commerce route. Setting up an online store can be faster and easier than trying to get brick-and-mortar operations running.
To be successful, though, you need to pick the right tools. That’s why you want to know what the best e-commerce software is.
This guide will help you compare various software solutions. With it, you’ll be able to make the best choice for your store.
Online Store Design Options
There are billions of websites out there. Plenty of them are your e-commerce competitors. You know you need a look that’s going to let you stand out from the crowd.
You also know design is key to helping your customers. Good design is not only attractive, it makes it easy to get around the site. It may even help them find what they’re looking for.
You’re also not a web developer, and you’re working with a limited budget. You need something beautiful and functional, but you also need it for the right price.
That’s why you need to think about the design options any e-commerce software solution offers. One of the best in this department is Squarespace, which offers you beautiful designs.
WooCommerce works with WordPress sites, which gives you more flexibility. You can buy any number of beautiful WordPress themes.
Other solutions may give you even more freedom in designing your online storefront. Some are restrictive though, so be sure to assess your options.
Ease of Use
Next, you’ll want to think about how easy it is to use any of the e-commerce software solutions out there. OpenCart scores big points on this front.
Other solutions can be more or less difficult to use. Often, the level of complexity rises with the number of features available.
A complex solution may not be the wrong choice if you want access to more features or need to manage a larger store. It could also be the right choice if you have a background in coding.
An easy-to-use solution will generally save you time and effort. It’s also helpful if you need to bring in more team members. Training is simplified.
Customer service and support can also be factored in to ease of use. Shopify provides a support program that helps get you up to speed. It’s like having a mentor.
This makes the system easier to use. Once you’ve mastered it, you may not need as much help. Until then, though, you have the assistance you need.
Compare the level of support and customer service across platforms, as well as their interfaces. A “difficult” interface might be balanced out by outstanding support.
Think About Features
You’ll want to spend some time comparing the features offered by any e-commerce software. These fall into two categories:
- Website features
- Sales features
Website features might include an SSL certificate, which improves security. Sales features include abandoned shopping cart recovery. This lets you follow up on abandoned shopping carts, converting more leads more often.
It’s important to consider what features are necessities and which ones are nice-to-have. With Google dinging websites in page ranks for not using SSL, having SSL security is a necessity.
Abandoned shopping cart recovery could be considered a necessity for some businesses. If you’re running a very small shop, though, it might be less important.
A good plan is to make a list of features you consider “must-haves” for your online business. Then compare which solutions include these features. If a solution doesn’t offer a must-have, you may want to take it out of the running.
Online Store Software Value
Now you’ll want to give some thought to pricing and value. Online store software solutions range from free to quite expensive.
You might be tempted to go with a free solution, especially if you have a tight budget. The lowest price isn’t always the right choice, though.
It’s often more helpful to think about the value the software provides. What are you getting for your money?
A free solution is the lowest priced, but it could end up costing you a lot more than you know. If it’s difficult to use and there’s not a lot of support, you might find yourself putting in tons of hours. That time could have been spent on other, revenue-generating tasks.
If the low-cost solution you’re considering doesn’t have the right features, you may also lose out on sales. It might be worth paying a little more to get abandoned cart recovery so you can make more sales. Getting the SSL certificate could help your SEO, which could translate to more sales.
Even customer support could justify a higher price. Always think about what your business needs and how that weighs against price.
Integration With Other Programs
Finally, don’t forget that your e-commerce software solution will need to integrate with other systems you’re using. That’s why you should always check what’s supported by any potential solution.
Some solutions support third-party payments and shopping carts. Often, you’ll want to connect your site to PIM solutions or CRM software. You may even need to connect to your shipping solution.
If the solution you choose doesn’t integrate with the other solutions you’re using, you’re creating more work for yourself. You’ll end up spending more time transferring information between systems and correcting errors.
Selecting a system that integrates with the other solutions you’re already using is just good business!
Choosing the Best E-Commerce Software for Your Business
Choosing the best e-commerce software depends a lot on what your business needs. There are many different solutions with different features and functionality. Some are great for small business, while others support bigger online stores.
Using the tips in this guide will help you pick the best one for your business.
Once you’ve picked your online store software, it’s time to get down to business. Check-in with us often for all the latest tips and tricks for e-commerce success.