These days, the internet has become one of the most popular ways for people to view and eventually buy goods and services. Any business owner with the intention of selling either their products or their skills online should have a thorough understanding of how to make money with ecommerce website as how to choose the best one that will meet their unique needs. With a little research, you can find the solution that enables you to market your products, attend to vital business tasks and please your customers.
ECOMMERCE PLATFORM DEFINED
In a nutshell, your ecommerce services platform will have a front end and a back end. What faces outward is what the customer sees: your online store where you can display your products and set your business apart from the rest in any number of ways, from text explanations to catchy design. In support of what the customer sees is the back end of the platform. This contains the less visible but equally important functions of customer service and relationship management, inventory, ordering, point-of sale and accounting capabilities. In the past, gaining access to such an ecommerce solution required a bulky, stand-alone system that was costly and required ongoing and specialized in-house management. However, today’s cloud-based enterprise level ecommerce software provides affordable, integrated solutions that can simplify every aspect of running your business.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR ECOMMERCE PLATFORM
All ecommerce solutions are not created equal. Before investing in one, make sure it will truly meet your needs and will stretch with your company as it grows. The solutions you can choose from will vary in terms of how thoroughly they integrate and leverage your front- and back-office applications. Make sure you carefully examine the following features:
- Provision of a fully consistent customer experience across all of your channels. Whether someone visits your brick-and-mortar shop, browses online via their desktop or uses their mobile phone, their experience of being marketed to as well as of buying products and receiving follow-up services should be identical and seamless.
- Capabilities that make the ordering and returning experiences exceed customer expectations. Orders should be centralized, and your platform should enable you to view orders across all of your physical and virtual channels.
- Enables you to distinguish yourself from your competition by providing innovative, personalized customer experiences in your physical and online stores.
- If you are looking to expand your product offerings or sell internationally, make sure the ecommerce platform you choose is robust and versatile enough to grow and evolve right along with your business.
If you’re confused about what specific ecommerce solution to integrate into your business, do what many entrepreneurs do and use online resources to see what others in your specific type of business have found to be successful.
ECOMMERCE PLATFORM FEATURES YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Now that we have examined some of the items to carefully weigh as you decide which software to purchase, it’s time to list a few key features that you should not compromise about. These are the vital aspects that will determine whether customers consummate a sale on your website or abandon their cart in frustration:
- Your website should fully load in no more than three seconds. You can use Google’s page speed analysis tools to gauge loading speeds.
- The software should offer a seamless experience for mobile shoppers. When you plug your website into the platform’s test site, make sure it shows how your site will look on mobile vs. desktop.
- It should allow you to add text, create custom landing pages, embed images, install ecommerce tracking software and write your own blogs. All of these features can enhance your position in search engines and make your site more customer-friendly.
- Protect your customers’ privacy and data. Many will even connect them to an SSL certificate vendor.
- Payment options that meet your particular customers’ needs. Analyze your buyers’ payment behaviors, and make sure your website does not disappoint them.
- Allows you to use email to interact with customers who have abandoned their shopping carts or who have not visited your site for awhile as well as providing a way to notify people about sales and other promotions.
Think of your ecommerce platform as a virtual springboard that integrates your numerous business functions while simultaneously interacting with and facilitating positive relationships with your online and brick-and-mortar customers. When you choose the product that is best for you, it truly can function as a miracle multi-tasker. Take the time to integrate it into your operations, and you can take your company to the next level.