Choosing the right eCommerce software for your business is an essential decision to make. As every business comes with its own traits, it requires a particular kind of platform to work on. What you need to know is that there is no perfect eCommerce software. An important factor for this is your long-term business strategy. Changing the platform can take a lot of time and require a lot of money, depending on the platform of your choice and how much data needs to be moved. Often it’s best to choose a more powerful platform, in order to allow your business to grow.
Your website design is an essential factor for the customer experience, so you are going to want to choose software that provides you with enough flexibility for your needs, now and in the future. There are two kinds of platforms when it comes to design:
- Templates with Custom Code – In this case, what you get is a template that you use as a starting point. It already contains images and text that you can change. If you want to further customize the template, you will need to write custom code, or hire someone that can do the job for you. There are eCommerce platforms out there that enable you to edit fonts, font sizes, and colors, but everything else needs some coding.
- Templates with Drag-and-Drop Design Tools – Here you are also provided with a template that you can use as a starting point for your design. However, if you want to make some changes, you can use drag-and-drop tools in order to customize design without using the code. This is a good choice if you want to be able to alter your design but you aren’t knowledgeable when it comes to coding.
Compatibility and importing data
Setting up a website for your business is a big job on its own, without the need to significantly alter your existing systems. Therefore, you need to make sure that you choose the software that is fully compatible with the operating system, hardware, and web server software that you have. There are operating systems which are compatible with most solutions. These are Windows NT and UNIX. Still, some of the older software can only be found for UNIX.
When it comes to data, you will have to be capable to easily move all your existing product databases into the web store’s database. High-end packages offer a variety of methods for importing data. However, when it comes to entry-level packages, they often lack this feature. This basically means that you will have to input all the data manually.
Product and category tools
The essential elements of an online store are products and categories. These are important factors when choosing the software that you are going to use. You want to make sure that the tools are flexible – that you can create various product types, and that the limit in how many variants or attributes you can come up with doesn’t have a negative effect on how your product is presented to your customers. The software must be easy to use so that you feel comfortable using it on a daily basis. You want to know if the platform includes features which can boost your conversion rates, such as layered navigation and swatches. Finally, you need to know whether it incorporates cross-sells and up-sells, and if it does, how much you can configure them.
Payment methods and detailed reporting
While it is a fact that you will mostly deal with credit card transactions, you need to be able to take as many different payments methods as possible. Therefore, make sure that the software that you choose supports a wide variety of electronic and traditional payment methods.
Detailed reporting is also important, and many entry-level packages don’t have it. It is important to know the activities of your customers when they are in your store. By having these reports, you will be able to properly customize the sales process and improve your sales.
It is very important that you choose the right software for your eCommerce business. Every business needs a specific platform, so you need to take a number of factors into consideration. Since there is no perfect software, you will need to choose the one that has the most properties that suit you. Consider the advice in this article when making this essential decision.
Hannah Thomas is a freelance web developer based in Australia. She is currently cooperating with Websitesdelivered from Sydney. Besides coding, she love’s writing, movies and spending time outdoors.