In this ultimate guide to e-commerce software, you will find all your answers to the most common but important questions on E-Commerce Software. After reading this post you will have a clear idea of What is an e-commerce software, What forms of e-commerce software exist, What risks do you need to be aware of when choosing e-commerce software and so on.
So, make sure you read this post carefully to get answers to every question.
What is an e-commerce software
E-commerce software is the engine driving your online shop. It works behind the scenes and is a very critical part of every e-commerce store out there. This makes it easy to handle inventory quickly, to add or delete items, to calculate taxes and everything else required to operate a website, to handle shipping and to fulfill order and more.
Moreover, E-commerce software simplifies every complex process in a friendly way. More Importantly, Individuals with non-technical backgrounds can easily run an e-commerce store with a user-friendly interface. Without this e-commerce would be very very complex.
What forms of e-commerce software exist
It comes with two main types of e-commerce software. And with a whole lot of functionality and tools.
On-Premise: Developers who encourage manual upgrades, repair bugs and do general troubleshooting built and handled on-site. Traditionally, merchants have been using on-premise solutions because of the improved versatility resulting from host solutions.
SaaS: In technological words, software as a service (or “hosted”) systems is far more hands-off. New functionality and custom features are the only development specifications — all modifications, fixes, and newly developed features are achieved automatically or with one-click integrations. Hosted e-commerce software has grown to the point that the previously exclusive on-premise configuration and flexibility is robust, making it more than enough for most online retailers. Ecommerce stores can be operated in 1/3 of the time using SaaS tools and at a much lower cost than on-premise solutions.
What risks do you need to be aware of when choosing e-commerce software
There are many risks involved in choosing e-commerce software, and you should be well aware of that. Also, the most important questions to answer when choosing e-commerce software are: does this fit your budget? Are you comfortable with using it? Does this contain all the features you need?
Reliability of Software Provider
The worst thing an online retailer can do is not make its website accessible to visitors. This will cause you to immediately lose your sales and destroy your reputation.
“Uptime” is the number of times visitors have access to your website. This is usually shown as a percentage. The company will preferably guarantee a 100% uptime. This is almost impossible to do in practice, however, and therefore you will probably never find a guarantee like that.
Uptime 99 percent of the guarantees look reliable, but they are not useful if there is no impact on downtime. Most e-commerce software providers outsource hosting to a hosting company and have no direct impact on uptime.
In reality, security protocols tend to be used as a means of assessing the reliability of the supplier. ISO 27001 is the standard for data security. Although this certificate does not guarantee uptime, it does show that the provider has complied with all the necessary safety requirements.
No matter which solution you chose, make sure you didn’t ignore any secret complications. SaaS providers also enforce restrictions. These restrictions may include data limits, storage limits or restrictions on items. Any time you reach your plan’s cap, you will have to pay extra.
In addition to having limitations on (data), providers are not always explicit about their software’s features. Features are also broken up into different plans and are sold separately. The general thumb rule is The more apps you like, the more you’ll pay. Some providers have extra charges for different features (or modules) that you wish to use, in addition to the price of your package.
Solvency of the Provider
The company you selected for your e-commerce applications is going bankrupt or is giving up services. You’re left high and dry. Changing online store systems is a huge problem, costing a lot of time and money. You need to transfer all of your website content, customer information about your products, redesign the site, get acquainted with a new program, etc.
To potentially avoid this, it is necessary to study the company extensively before you sign up. Inform the manufacturer how long it has been in operation, what kind of reputation it has, how many clients it has, how large the company is, etc.
The online merchant is always responsible for your online store security. It is necessary therefore to ensure that customer information and payment details are well secured. Of this, you are dependent on your online store provider. Look at the websites of the online store provider, the hosting company and other online stores using their systems to decide if:
- The ordering process goes via a safe (SSL) link
- Contact information is transmitted through a safe (SSL) link
- The vendor is regularly the target of DDoS attacks (and whether those are resolved quickly)
What are the advanced features I should look into before I choose an online store builder
Several features are included in more comprehensive e-commerce software. We are going to discuss them.
Robust online store builder gives you the freedom to design your online store appearance. Also, you should be able to customize your stuff such as layout, fonts, colors, pictures, and buttons.
Moreover, Open-source software also provides the opportunity to make improvements to the website’s CSS (Styling Framework). And, this gives you 100% flexibility but you need to be able to work with the CSS.
Importing products is particularly important if you already have an online store and want to update your software, or if you have a file containing all of your goods. And not all online store systems have this feature, and user-friendliness varies greatly between solutions, even when they do.
Moreover, If you’re going to do a lot of work with this feature, try it right first. A good option to import a product will save you a lot of time.
Ecommerce software also features multiple marketing tools and integrations. Examples of these functionalities include Google Analytics, Facebook, AdWords, affiliate marketing, newsletters, A / B testing, website comparison, etc.
Multilingualism, and internationalizing your shop
You’ll need the necessary tools if you want to grow your company to involve other countries. It should include features such as international pricing, language, international shipping options, etc. in the software you choose. You will learn more about this below.
Giving discounts can be wise depending on the company and the target market. This is supported by most software but the versatility provided by each application can differ. Determine what you think you would need straight away. Definitions of discounts include coupons, discount codes (by product or group of products), personal discount codes, discounts in bulk, etc.
Customers enjoy being able to create an account where they can view their orders, invoices and add articles to wish lists. Make sure that the software you are using supports that. Do make sure you provide the payment option as a “guest” (without an account).
Determine which methods of payment you plan to give in time. The most robust e-commerce platform lets you incorporate all European methods of payment. It is mostly achieved by a PSP (Payment Service Provider, a group involved in financial transactions). Check which program uses PSPs, and which one better fits your needs.
The ordering process is a big part of the website. Your customers need to make their payments quick. Make sure you know in advance what the checkout software looks like for e-commerce.
Are the protocols for putting an order clear? Are the goods which were ordered logically displayed? How quick it is to enter customer details? Such issues are important to bear in mind.
Every online store builder will allow you to process your orders. The way you can do that varies greatly per device. The more sophisticated your e-commerce program, the more quickly and easily it will help you sort and filter your orders. Your order summary should be straightforward so that you can work with maximum performance.
The screen with order details should be transparent and lightweight, displaying the customer information, a quick description of the orders, and all the resources you need to process the order should be available.
Costs of shipping are involved when an order is made. The program will measure these. See how well this is performed by the app, and whether it provides enough modification choices. Additionally, more robust options provide collaboration with outside delivery companies.
When you’re just starting this might not seem relevant. And a strong bookkeeping program is highly important to the government. The bookkeeping industry has several different services. Good online store builders are linked to several networks to automatically move the order information to the accounting program.
Reliability for online retailers is an important factor. Make sure your eCommerce platform supports both product reviews and store feedback with a feedback section.
What should I think about if I plan to set up a multilingual e-commerce site for selling abroad
Online multilingual store means that the online store is available in more than one language. The store is designed to meet the needs of target markets in the different countries you are selling your goods in. This ensures that visitors to your online store will most frequently select the language of the content being shown.
Any foreign online store ensures that all material completely suited to the country chosen in addition to the pages being translated. Accordingly, the contents can vary by country, and issues such as currency, payment methods, taxes, etc. are decided precisely by country. Online stores around the world can also sell multiple languages per market.
Not all e-commerce solutions provide multi-linguistic assistance. For this reason, most open-source software has modules available. Larger SaaS platforms also offer multilingual options and can offer international options at times. If the future expansion of your store to other countries is your ambition, bear this in mind when choosing the software from your online store.
There are many ways visitors can be directed into the appropriate language. It can be achieved via a drop-down menu, by pressing the correct flag, by overlaying on the homepage, etc. The possibilities can vary according to the software. If you are worried about specific issues, make sure that they are realistic before you make your software choices.
It is recommended that visitors be automatically redirected to the correct language. That can be done based on the visitor’s IP address. Your software has to back this up again.
It takes a significant amount of time to invest in providing an online store in several languages. All content has to be translated into each language and added to the online store’s admin screen.
It is really important that you can do that with your e-commerce apps in an easy way. That will save you a lot of time. A good example of a function, which is incredibly useful in this context, is being able to automatically copy content from a page so that the text can only be interpreted.
One part of the admin panel is order management, which is very relevant for a multilingual e-commerce website. It is becoming increasingly important to be able to manage your orders by country, as the number of countries your online store serves increases.
What are the most recent trends in the field of e-commerce software
If you don’t follow the latest e-commerce software trends then you will stay behind. As we move towards 2021, those trends need to be identified to take advantage of. That is why it is so important to examine and incorporate the e-commerce trends in a timely fashion. In doing so, you can advance the e-commerce brand and stay ahead of the competition.
Mobile Shopping is Growing
There has been significant growth in mobile commerce. Sales growing mobile devices have expanded by 15 percent since 2016. Before the end of 2021, there will be 73 percent of e-commerce purchases on mobile devices (Statista, 2019). Can’t forget those statistics. Improving the e-commerce experience for mobile customers can be a tremendous opportunity for businesses to tap into it.
Rise of Voice Search Commerce
Voice-shopping among Internet users is on the rise. At the end of 2017, 13 percent of U.S. smartphone owners claim they made voice transactions. The number is expected to grow by 2022 to 55 percent (OC&C Strategy Consultants, 2018). Across the United Kingdom the overall amount spent on voice shopping has also risen. This e-commerce trend has become increasingly popular since Amazon’s smart speaker, Echo, was launched in 2014. Although voice shopping is still in its early stages, this statistic shows it will become more popular in the years to come.
Evolving Role of Social Media in Ecommerce
The number of social shoppers is rising rapidly, too. Social networking plays an significant role in the e-commerce world with the launch of the “Order” button on Facebook and the Instagram checkout.
Social media has changed the way we live our daily lives, like buying things. It is a great opportunity for brands to start talking about enhancing their social media role, which is a great forum for brands to discover.
QR Code Payments are Back
The QR code appears to make its way back – especially in e-commerce. 40 percent of all internet users scan QR code on their mobile phones on a monthly basis, according to the GlobalWebIndex report (GlobalWebIndex, 2019). There is also an inverse association with age, with more regular use of QR codes by teenagers and young adults than in older age groups.
AI in E-Commerce
AI tools range from automated marketing systems equipped to generate timely deals, to chatbots that automatically respond to customer queries. Other areas where AI can be of assistance to retailers include AI-optimized pricing and discounting, and demand forecasting.
AR in improving Our Shopping Experience
By 2022, Augmented Reality (AR) technology will be used by more than 120,000 stores, providing a much richer shopping experience (Prnewswire 2018). The retail workers and online customers would propel AR’s takeover of the market. One of the biggest issues that people have about being unable to see the product firsthand while shopping online. AR technology helps fill this void and allows online shoppers to better imagine their items.
Why do I need a responsive website
Responsive design for your website will help you solve a lot of problems. This will make your website mobile-friendly, change the way it looks on both large and small screens devices, and increase the number of time visitors spend on your website. It can help you boost your search engine rankings, too.
Moreover, The advantages of using a responsive web design include:
- Improved user experience
- Search engine optimization gains
- Ease of management
It can get expensive to manage different pages for the mobile and non-mobile viewers. You can save money by reducing the expense of paying for a mobile site with the use of responsive design. You will only have to invest in the development of a single site to cater to all visitors and devices.
If you have a responsive design website, you can make changes quickly and easily. You don’t need to worry about making changes to two websites. This versatility is a huge advantage when you just want to tweak a quick design or correct a mistake on your site — you just need to do that once.
Improved user experience
No-one wants to do business with an unprofessional site. Yet responsive design will help persuade people to give your business a chance, providing much better user experience. Since zooming and scrolling can be removed, content can be viewed easier and there will be a much more favorable overall experience that visitors get.
Search engine optimization gains
Responsive design can help with SEO because, as stated, Google gives preference to mobile-friendly websites. Responsiveness in combination with other SEO factors will help give you a big boost in search engine rankings.
Ease of management
The responsive design helps you to make changes quickly and easily. You’ll never have to worry about whether you can connect a mobile or desktop site to a social media update, or whether all of your redirect links work to get the right visitors to the right site. Responsiveness removes most of the burden of running a business website.
What security standards should I need in my e-commerce site
As an online retailer, you are always responsible for your store’s security, even if a third party administers the technical aspects. So understanding the risks involved is vital.
When looking at protection for online stores, four areas need to be recognized:
Use a secure website connection
Some websites used an insecure ‘HTTP link’ a few years ago. It stands for ‘hypertext transfer protocol’ which allows contact between a web client (usually a web browser) and a web server.
Looking at a safe HTTP link, or https is more popular these days. Https is safer since connectivity between two machines validated and trustworthy, and data is always encrypted, in comparison to HTTP. The encryption is performed via an SSL certificate.
This type of communication between the client and the server can not be accessed. This is especially important when pages containing personal information transmitted to the server, for example when someone fills out the contact form or when a client places an order.
Make sure that the program you select runs at least certain types of pages via an https link. Of course, the entire website runs on a safe link is even better.
Order processing security
By far the most vulnerable aspect of an online store is the checkout process. There is a sharing of personal details about things like customer information and payment information.
The entire ordering process should be carried out via a safe connection. A Payment Service Provider (PSP) typically facilitates the payments. An online store owner needs to select a PSP that meets safety requirements.
Risks involved in security leaks
There are several ways hackers can enter a website to obtain data. It’s hard to stay safe from these kinds of attacks.
See how the program protects itself from such attacks before you decide on your e-commerce software. By nature, open-source approaches are more susceptible to attack because the source code is publicly available. Their popularity also appeals to hackers.
DDoS attack risks
Web servers appear to be vulnerable to DDoS attacks as well as security leaks. DDoS describes the Service Denial Distributed. It can happen when someone intentionally sends so many page requests to a web server at once that they can no longer access a website, an internet connection or a network. Usually, large computer networks are used for this reason.
Do timely research to see if the program has already been the victim of DDoS attacks and, if so, how it has been handled.
How to have the optimal advantage against my competitors?
As an e-commerce business, maintaining your market place and being ahead of your competitors is important to you. There is competition in every market. Smarter businesses nullify the impact of competitors to remain on the market.
Here are five easy but powerful ways to beat your business competitors.
Identify and resolve pain points for your customers
The aim here is to provide the prospects with options. And to provide them with what they need, rather than offering them what you want to sell. You just have to satisfy the need and not “sell” anything. Your product or service will start selling more naturally the moment you fill the gap that your rivals lack.
Work on your niche to have less competition
The increasingly competitive industry has less room for growth. To create your niche and reduce your current rivalry, it is important to deliver something special to your customers.
Specialization often leads to a stable, scalable enterprise. And the niche market is reliable and the opportunities are easier to reach. In addition, the customer retention rate is also high. Also, start targeting local outlets where your target consumers may be present and follow a marketing strategy for their niche.
Get the pricing right
The good pricing policy is based on marketing psychology. It’s important to know the market until you set out your pricing strategy. You need to know who has the best value for money on the sale. The price you set meant to be normal and it has to be reasonable.
A smart pricing plan does not necessarily mean lowering the prices of popular goods to attract more customers. In addition, each market has three divisions – the lower, middle and upper classes. And the first step is to define the class you are aiming for. If you get an answer to that, setting the price your customers would love to pay would be a lot easier.
Stay always open to innovation
Innovate with your goods and services and take risks without hesitation. And always remember that your rivals are constantly innovating and that new entrants are transforming the marketplace. Moreover, you should innovate regularly and in a way that the competition finds it challenging to emulate.
Improve customer service
People love companies that provide outstanding customer service. Moreover, if you’re providing great service to your customers. Then you’ll make loyal customers who will recommend your company to their family and friends.
Hire employees who understand the goods or services well. Also, make sure they remain vigilant and have the correct answers to any questions from the customer.
It is important to define the mark, set up the USP and keep your competition ahead in terms of quality, price and customer service. You need to talk to your clients, so you’ll be able to hold them for a lifetime.
We have come to the end of this post, I think after reading this you will have a clear idea of various areas of E-Commerce Software. If you like the information provided to you, then please share it.
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