Today, companies cannot fully thrive without selling their software, service, or product online. Many people use eCommerce software, which allows users to manage inventory, accept payments, and automatically calculate shipping and taxes. Choosing the right software platform to power your website is crucial to boosting your sales.
Luckily, it is easy to find a good eCommerce platform, but it's not always obvious which one is best suited to your company. It needs to offer the functionality that you are looking for at a cost-effective rate that can properly scale throughout the growth of your online store. Here are some of the best eCommerce platforms available on the market today and some the most important features to look out for.
Any business can use eCommerce software in order to make an online shop within a website using pre-designed or custom themes with shopping cart capability. These themes can be customized, which means that you can add products and all of the SKUs related to their variations. Nowadays, most platforms offer a drag and drop editor which allows users to make changes to the layout of the theme you chose.
If you plan on easily customizing your site, CSS and HTML editors can help you achieve that. Some abilities of your cart on your website builder can also be tweaked. For instance, you may choose to let customers make purchases as guests or ask them to create an account. Most eCommerce software's accept a wide range of payment gateways, but if you already have a credit card processor, you should be able to keep it. This entirely depends on the platform that you decide on.
There are many options to be found online for those wanting to start an eCommerce website. It is important to know that some platforms will take care of everything (including updates and hosting), while others only provide the necessary software. No matter which you choose, you will be left with a difficult decision. In order to avoid analyzing and comparing countless platforms at once, you should try to pare down your list to three solid eCommerce solutions. You can do this easily if you clearly define your wants and needs.
In order to evaluate what your needs are it is vital to honestly assess your website building skills. If you are truly a beginner, you should go with a service that can do most of the heavy lifting for you. If you are more familiar with coding than the average user, you might want a service that allows you to add your own code for a truly specialized and unique user experience.
When it comes to what you want on your eCommerce website, there is no reason to limit yourself. With all of the competition out there, users are able to choose from a wide selection of services that offer all of the latest and greatest eCommerce capabilities.
When you sell products online you must be able to accept payments from your customers. This is achieved by linking your online shop to a payment gateway, which is a specific processor that moves funds safely from one bank account into another. Kind in mind, however, that not every eCommerce software platform is compatible with every single payment gateway. This could be due to technical limitations or because certain payment options are less in demand. If there is a non-standard payment that you are willing to accept (such as BitCoin), you should make sure you will be able to do so on your eCommerce platform of choice.
Examine beforehand if the payment gateway you have chosen is supported by your platform before making a final decision. It is possible that the eCommerce platform supports it in its core or via an add-on or extension. If you have not chosen a particular payment gateway yet, it does not necessarily matter. Just be sure that the online store will support the currencies you wish to accept. It is difficult to modify, so do your research well in advance.
BigCommerce is one of the best eCommerce software tools for building an online store. Some major pros of the service are that it does not charge any transaction fees with any of the plans, it is suitable for small or large businesses, it offers solid SEO features, and it allows users to add unlimited product options and variants. The platform is easy to use, beginner friendly, and offers a wide array of features.
Three plans come with an abandoned cart feature, which allows the online store owner to contact customers who left products in their cart and failed to complete the checkout process.
All of the customer data and the overall security of your store is highly important. This is one of the reasons choosing a reliable and secure eCommerce platform is crucial.
The small data files that help a browser process transactions securely are called SSL certificates. These could be sensitive transactions such as online purchases. Your platform will most likely give you this certificate if you choose to buy a hosted plan. Otherwise, you can purchase an SSL certificate with additional features.
There is a set of twelve security standards (PCI Security Standards), applicable to all websites that store and accept payment data. As the owner of an online shop, most of the transactions will be processed through the software platform via a payment gateway. The software will most likely abide by these standards and the payments will happen in a secure manner.
The best eCommerce software platforms include extra security packages and perks. For example, monitoring for DDoS attacks and fraud protection. You might not find this useful right now, but keep in mind that your online store might grow and need these features in the future.