With the multitude of ready-made platforms out there today, the truly heavy lifting of building an ecommerce site has already been done by a variety of vendors. However, just as there are different horses for different courses, your choice should be predicated by the specific concerns of your business. Still, there are some functions the best ecommerce website builders have in common, regardless of your product. With that said, here’s what to look for in ecommerce software:
During your research, your primary concerns should be budget, the support your particular enterprise will require from your software choice, mobile-friendliness, security and analytics. Once you have a solid grasp on these factors, you can make better decisions regarding the type of software to look for, what functionalities it should support and how much physical effort you’ll need to expend to put it into place.
When you’re thinking in terms of your budget, keep in mind that time is money too. Rather than starting from scratch, it might be better to explore some of the best free ecommerce website builder solutions, Shopify for one comes to mind as an industry leader. These can save you a lot of development time, which in turn could have you up and running much more quickly. If you go with one of these, look for drag-and-drop interfaces that let you rearrange elements within an easy-to-use platform.
A must-have among user tools, a shopping cart makes it easier for your customers to buy several products at once. Displaying inventory counts instill a sense of urgency in customers when supplies start running low. Discounts, loyalty programs and other perks are useful features as well. Product recommendations, reviews, comparisons and viewing histories also help move browsers into the buyer category. Above all, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay. Your ecommerce software should support credit cards, mobile payments, and digital wallets such as PayPal. It should also integrate readily with your merchant account at your bank.
Mobile use is growing at an exponential rate, yet most shoppers still buy on desktop machines. According to a recent Business Insider article on the topic, while US adults spend 59 percent of their computing time on mobile and 41 percent on desktop, 85 percent of purchases are made on desktop. This disparity has been attributed to many factors. One of the most oft-cited is the difficulty of making purchases using mobile platforms. This means a huge slice of the impulse-buy market is going untapped. To get your fair share, one of the things to look for in your ecommerce software is ready support for mobile browsing. It should also make it very easy to accept mobile payments. Another plus is the capability of managing your store from a mobile device.
5Security & Analytics
A perceived lack of security will dissuade customers very quickly. The more you can do to ensure the security of shoppers on your site, the more of your traffic you will convert. Speaking of which, solid analytical tools should be a part of any package to help you keep tabs on your ROI, traffic, conversions and the like. If you know how the site is performing within certain parameters, you can tweak it for optimal performance. In other words, if you can know what’s broke, it’s easier to fix.