Top E-Commerce Software
Grow Your Business With The Right E-Commerce Software
Have An Online Presence
The World Wide Web is growing at a phenomenal rate. Through a combination of PCs, laptops, tablets and mobiles, there are billions of devices able to access a limitless amount of information, any time, day or night.
With certainty we can say that the growth of the internet will only be slowed down by the finite number of humans on the planet, so it only makes sense in this modern age to have an online presence for a small business or service.
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More and more of consumer’s spending dollars are being spent online which means that in order for a business to really make a footprint in today’s digital age an online presence is mandatory. Failure to have a website on the net will lead to a loss in revenue and potentially the demise of your business. Whether your business operates solely online or uses the Internet as an extension of your already established business, having an online presence will help your business flourish.
Luckily creating an online presence for your small business does not have to be a challenge as there are many e-commerce software companies that can assist you in the process. For any business that sells products online, shopping cart software is needed in order for online businesses to guarantee that they receive revenue from purchases. Shopping cart services online are the number one way to do business because consumers simply want a convenient way to purchase products as more and more buying decisions are taking place from the comfort of one’s own computer.
While there are many e-commerce software products and services that exist to help business owners, finding the right one to fit your business needs can be a challenge. That said, there are numerous benefits to e-commerce software that will ensure your business is launched in the most effective way possible.
The Big Three
The type of software that is available to business owners can be whittled down to three distinct areas: hosted, licensed and open source solutions. Hosted e-commerce software is the most basic type of business solution. This type of software is very turnkey and is the easiest way to run your site because you basically outsource the management of your site to your e-commerce partner. With hosted solutions you rent the software and hand the keys to the software company to manage.
The next solution for e-commerce software is licensed. With licensed solutions the business owner must host on his/her own server, which you will be able to rent from a software company. With this option, the business owner tends to have more access to core functionalities of the website, but one will still not have free- reign.
It is with the open source solution that a business owner can have access to all functionalities of the website. This option can be very freeing as it really lets the business owner manage the site as he or she desires. However, this type of e-commerce site is recommended only for an experienced business owner since it can be complicated to setup. With this option, there is no company that provides feedback and support should you need assistance.
Functionality & Features
When selecting an e-commerce software it is necessary to keep in mind the important features of your business that you want conveyed on your website. The features that you deem important may affect the type of software that you choose. Order processing, marketing tools, design tools and flexibility are all important pieces of the puzzle. Since the goal of your online business is to get users to spend money with your company, it is necessary to make your e-commerce site as easy to use as possible. There are numerous e-commerce sites that will assist business owners with advice on how their site should be set-up. Many sites also include already pre-made web templates, which can make setting up an e-commerce site fairly simple.
The worst possible thing that one can do is to annoy or frustrate customers. A poorly organized or glitch-filled site will only cause users to not return to your website and can lead to a loss in sales. Since website visitors will be on your company’s site for a short period of time, it’s important that the site is designed in a very pleasant and effective manner. When designing the site, it’s important to view the site from the perspective of a consumer, making sure the right buttons are located in the right places. Some of the top-ranked e-commerce sites are able to provide advice based on past experiences and user-studies. It may sound crazy, but the right button in the right place is critical because it can really make a difference in sales.
Security Is Key
Since you’ve likely invested a good amount of time into your business and your brand’s identity, it’s important that this does not get lost or stolen by malicious individuals looking to go-after small businesses. Having a site that is safe and secure is critical to any e-commerce site. You wouldn’t leave a brick-and-mortar store unlocked or without the security system turned on, would you? The same goes for any e-commerce website. Having an online business can be great because it opens up your business to consumers from all across the world. However, it is this very same reason that having a website is also a little unnerving. Without the right security software, your website will be left vulnerable and at high-risk of a hacking.
When evaluating different e-commerce software companies it is recommended to take a look to make sure the provider is PCI Certified. This means that the service has achieved all of the requirements to be listed as a certified provider, which includes on-site inspection by independent auditors and constant automated tests that will repel any attempted hackers. PCI is becoming a must for any business to engage in credit card transactions online. You should immediately be wary if the e-commerce software you are considering is not PCI Certified.
In addition to tracking how many visitors or buyers visit your website, it’s also important to know where visitors come from. In order to make sure that your site and business continues to thrive, it’s necessary to link up with potential affiliates so that traffic can be referred to your site. Most e-commerce services offer this capability, but it is necessary to make sure in advance. Affiliate tracking not only gives one the opportunity to give back to consumers, but it also creates an incentive to your customers to stick around, while attracting new customers. Affiliate tracking ultimately can ensure that your business will be a success, so you want to make sure that the e-commerce partner you select has this capability!
Support & Service
Once you have your store set up, it is important that you are able to easily administer it. Especially if you have a hosted or license e-commerce solution, you will want to make sure that there is someone on hand to help you in case you need some assistance. Finding a service with 24/7 customer service and support is really crucial. Whether it is via e-mail, phone or text it is nice to know one can get in touch with a service representative should an issue arise. Customer support provides one with a sense of comfort and ease, and as such this should definitely be taken into consideration prior to selecting a provider.
Ready, Set, Go
With so many e-commerce solution partners to choose from, the process can sometimes be a little daunting. Regardless of what these companies try to sell you, it is ultimately your decision. Only you truly know what your business really needs so you should really select a provider based on what feels best to you. Remember, you are the one who will have to work hand in hand with the e-commerce provider. You want to make sure you not only feel comfortable with the service you select, but you want to be sure that the solution will work for your business in the short term as well as the long term. Don’t be hasty in your decision; treat it with kid gloves before deciding. If you follow this advice, you will be on your way to a successful e-commerce website of your own in no time!