Undoubtedly, starting an ecommerce project is an exciting and important process, requiring plenty of nerves and financial resources. May be, one of the most crucial decisions, every web store owner has to undertake – is choosing an ecommerce platform for a future online store. If you are one of web store owners, you might have guessed, that importance of having professional and easy-to-use ecommerce management software can help increase your profit dramatically and build trust relationships with prospectives.
Currently, hundred of developers are ready to offer a wide range of sophisticated ecommerce platforms of any size. As you can see competition in the market of ecommerce software is not less serious than between online store owners. So how can web store owners avoid unexpected costs and find appropriate ecommerce solutions, created especially to meet their specific business needs and expectations? In my article, I will try to consider key features of ecommerce software to narrow down your perplexity.
Built-in content management & design tools
In modern conditions, when every website tries to stress its individuality, a professional look and rich content remain critical aspects, helping enhance the level of credibility in customer’s eyes. Content management system is software, integrated into a website and specially developed to save your precious time and money.
Up-to-date built-in content management systems allow website owners to use a template or a set of them to create and manage website content, without knowing programming languages. For example, tools such as built-in WYSIWYG editor can help a website owner design text and graphic materials, manipulate layouts of documents, without requiring HTML or CSS knowledge and watch the whole process from the beginning till to the end. Website-in-a-box tools are specially designed to give website owners an opportunity to accomplish complicated operations as for creating own text and images, uploading a logo and others.
Easy & convenient customer interface
The other essential feature you should pay attention to – is a comprehensive and easy-to-use customer interface. If you want to engage and retain customers in your website, try to make a user interface the most simplistic, providing your clients with fast and convenient shopping experience.
A web store must possess a clear navigation system between product catalogs, website windows, allowing visitors to return to previous pages, without starting process from the beginning. The same thing concerns choosing products – a customer must have an opportunity to bring as many required products as he wishes into a single shopping cart. Your product catalogs should contain brief descriptions, not confusing your customers with redundant information arrays. May be one of weak, but significant elements of most modern shopping carts is a complicated check out, taking much customers’ time and forcing them to close a website window. If you want your web store to become really successful, you will have to focus efforts on looking for a shopping cart, allowing your customers to shop in so few steps as possible.
Payment & shipping gateways
Selecting a shopping cart with multiple payment gateways is a nice opportunity to give assurance to your visitors to buy at your online store. It’s rather comfortable as you can ease customers’ transactions, providing them with a chance to purchase via plenty of possible payment methods, including multiple credit cards and bank transfers.
One of the most important things, that disturbs any customer is how his purchases will be delivered. He is likely to upset if he sees just two standard shipping services at the check out. Therefore, your future shopping cart must include various types of shipping methods for example such as DHL, FedEx, USPS. Moreover, plenty of different shipping services can help expand your international sales.
Marketing & promotional tools
If you want to build strong relationships with your visitors or increase a customer base, you will have to work hard at online presence. An ecommerce platform, integrated with such promotional and marketing tools as loyalty programs, advertising methods, analytic and reporting services can draw more traffic in very short terms and help analyze customers’ behavior to define most perspective trends in the ecommerce market.
You shouldn’t forget about such powerful ecommerce tools as social media networks. A shopping cart, integrated with Facebook or Twitter, gives equal benefits for web store owners and customers. Website owners will be able to promote products or services, know their strong and weak sides. As for customers, they will have a direct feedback channel, where each of them can post a review about bought products, place a complaint or ask for support.
Effective on-site search
Visiting an online store, any customer expects to find all required products in a short period of time. Your ecommerce software must include an effective and fast search engine, allowing your customers to get relevant search results. As customers want to find a particular item in your online shop rather quickly, place a search box in the top of a website to prevent them from hunting it high and low. Furthermore, an effective website search should be multifunctional, giving customers an opportunity to find necessary items by product names, size, weight, color, price and so on.
Some of modern shopping carts can provide end users with new ecommerce search solutions on the base cloud-powered technologies. A web store, integrated with a cloud-based search, gives customers an opportunity to enjoy really rocket-fast and smart search results.
Mobile shopping experience
In the age of fast growing mobile technologies, more people prefer to make purchases on-the-go through tablets or smartphones. A mobile optimized shopping cart can bring grist to the mill through additional ecommerce channels. Thanks to new opportunities and responsive e-commerce themes, your online store finally will be displayed correctly, not depending on the size of mobile screen and always will be available. I forgot to mention a website owner, possessing a responsive shopping cart, doesn’t need to spend money on a mobile version of his webs store. So, if you have an old shopping cart, it’s high time to purchase a new ecommerce solution to provide your customers with rich shopping experience and bring your business to a new level.
Have you noticed more useful and essential ecommerce platform features? Don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me in comments below.