Starting from individuals, all the way to global enterprises, selling your product is the key to success. Because of this, it is quite expected for them to look for new ways to get better market placement. In recent years, online finance management has evolved and improved. In this train of thought, online sales and purchases have taken off in just a couple of years.
E-commerce software is a practical solution to take your business to the online market. It is an application which builds online shops for companies. Taking care of everything from the display window to the back office account management, it takes businesses to the next level.
Types of E-commerce Software
Such software applications generally perform the same function. However, they mainly differ in the way they function. That’s why they have come to be divided into two main categories:
- Hosted e-commerce software – This is an e-commerce program which does all the major tech tasks for you. It does not require the user to be develop-savvy and thus appears more friendly. With pre-done hosting and tools, it puts the company a click away from their own website.
- Self-hosted e-commerce software – A more flexible, yet demanding solution for companies which don’t have developers in their staff. This software type requires certain coding skills to get the website going. This said and done, it offers freedom to explore and customize every shelf in your web shop.
Buying E-commerce Software – What Should You Get
Once you’ve picked the software type that fits your company, you need to know what to look for when going through specific products. All applications are expected to offer certain key features. That’s the only way for your company to provide its customers with the ultimate online shopping experience.
- Order management – Good e-commerce software should be able to manage the orders it receives. This means that it should provide customers with order confirmation and cancelation. Shipment updates and efficient return policies are also known to increase their satisfaction. On the backend, it should be able to process orders promptly and correctly.
- Payment management – As people nowadays use all sorts of payment services, the software should keep up. Most programs offer standard credit, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal payments. Still, others incorporate additional ones, like the affirmed Amazon and similar online payment services and gateways.
- Shopping cart management – This tool should be made as customer-friendly as possible. It is the primary online purchasing medium, enabling customers to make wish lists or purchase 100 items at one click. Multiple account options, tax calculations and discount packages are just a few of the many benefits it should offer.
- Analyses and reports – The software should work for the company as much as for its customers. Namely, it should be able to produce reports and analyze sales, giving objective data. A customization option for these tasks would come in handy if companies require custom reports.
- Marketing management – When going through your options, try to find a suitable application with a wide array of marketing options. The more channels it has, the better market exposure you company gets. Blogs with the latest coupons and promotions or direct user profile market strategies are just some of the options.
- Product offer management – This software should act as your physical sales representative. If a customer selects a scarf, direct them to some gloves to match. This cross-selling strategy is just one of many which can increase product exposure. A rating and review option is a sure way to get the customers’ vibe.
- Design management – All e-commerce software has options on pre-made or custom-ordered design templates to fit the companies’ needs. Customization is always a good thing when it comes to such creative aspects. The best software providers even offer third party inclusion in order to turn window shopping into a spree.
- Extra features – In order to defeat its competitors, each e-commerce software provider offers certain extra tools. A good mobile version of the website improves accessibility. As for public exposure, social media plug-ins usually do the trick.
- Security – This is a major issue in any online endeavor. However, when it comes to spending actual money, additional measures are a ‘must’. There have been some innovations in this matter recently, which is why compatibility with the security standards is mandatory.
Anything Else You Would Like To Know About E-commerce Software
Implementation is a key factor to a successful online retail business. So, when buying your software, look for vendors providing extensive knowledge databases and tutorials. Some even offer personalized help from a tech team representative.
Customer support in the form of a stable phone or chat channel for inquiries is beneficial for both sides. It results in prompt issue removal from the companies’ websites, and allows software providers to fix problems before they turn massive.