Ecommerce Software: Starting an online store can be an exciting venture, but it can also be overwhelming. One of the most significant decisions you’ll need is which ecommerce software to use. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to know which is the right fit for your business. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about ecommerce software, including what it is, how it works, and what features to look for.
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If you’re considering starting an online store, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, ecommerce sales are projected to reach $4.9 trillion by 2021. You’ll need to set up an online store with ecommerce software to get a slice of that pie. In this article, we’ll explore what ecommerce software is, how it works, and what to look for when choosing the right one for your business.
2. What is Ecommerce Software?
Ecommerce software is a platform that enables businesses to sell products and services online. It provides everything you need to create an online store, including a shopping cart, payment processing, and inventory management. With ecommerce software, you can create a professional-looking website without the need for extensive technical knowledge or web design skills.
3. Types of Ecommerce Software
There are two main types of ecommerce software: hosted and self-hosted.
Hosted Ecommerce Software
Hosted ecommerce software is where the platform is hosted on the provider’s servers. You don’t need to worry about setting up and maintaining your server. Hosted ecommerce software providers typically offer a range of pricing plans based on the size of your business and the features you need.
Self-Hosted Ecommerce Software
Self-hosted ecommerce software is where you host the platform on your servers. This means you have complete control over your online store and can customize it to your heart’s content. However, self-hosted ecommerce software requires technical knowledge to set up and maintain and can be expensive if you need to hire a developer.
4. Features to Look for in Ecommerce Software
When choosing ecommerce software, there are several features you should look for to ensure your online store is successful. Here are some of the most important ones:
Shopping Cart Functionality
A shopping cart is an essential feature of any ecommerce website. It enables customers to add products to their cart and checkout when they’re ready to purchase.
Payment processing is another crucial feature of ecommerce software. You’ll need to be able to accept payments from customers using various payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay.
Inventory management is the process of keeping track of your stock levels. Your ecommerce software should provide you with tools to manage your inventory, including adding and removing products and tracking stock levels.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results in pages. Your ecommerce software should include tools to help you optimize your website for SEO, including adding meta descriptions, title tags, and alt text for images.
More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse the internet and make purchases. Your ecommerce software should be mobile responsive, meaning it will automatically adjust the layout of your website to fit smaller screens.
Integration with Third-Party Apps
You may need to integrate your ecommerce software with other tools, such as email marketing, social media platforms, or accounting software. Look for ecommerce software that offers integrations with popular third-party apps.
Customer Service Tools
Providing excellent customer service is essential to running a successful ecommerce business. Your ecommerce software should include tools to help you manage customer inquiries, such as live chat, email support, and a help center.
5. Top Ecommerce Software Options
Many ecommerce software options are available, each with its own features and pricing plans. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce software options on the market. It’s a hosted platform, meaning you don’t need to worry about server maintenance. Shopify offers a range of pricing plans to suit businesses of all sizes and includes features such as a shopping cart, payment processing, and inventory management.
WooCommerce is a self-hosted ecommerce software that runs on WordPress. It’s a great option if you’re already familiar with WordPress and want to integrate your ecommerce store with your existing website. WooCommerce includes features such as a shopping cart, payment processing, and inventory management.
BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce software designed for businesses of all sizes. It includes features such as a shopping cart, payment processing, inventory management, and integrations with popular third-party apps.
Magento is a self-hosted ecommerce software that’s designed for larger businesses. It includes advanced features such as multi-store management, advanced SEO tools, and the ability to handle large amounts of traffic and inventory.
Volusion is a hosted ecommerce software designed for small to medium-sized businesses. It includes features such as a shopping cart, payment processing, inventory management, and a range of design templates to choose from.
Squarespace is a website builder that includes ecommerce functionality. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a simple way to create a professional-looking website with ecommerce capabilities. Squarespace contains a shopping cart, payment processing, and inventory management features.
6. Choosing the Right Ecommerce Software
When choosing ecommerce software, it’s essential to consider your business’s specific needs and budget. Look for software that includes the features you need, and don’t be afraid to ask for a demo or trial to see if it’s a good fit for your business.
Choosing the right ecommerce software is crucial in launching a successful online store. Consider the features you need, your budget, and your technical knowledge when deciding. With the right ecommerce software, you can create a professional and user-friendly online store to help you grow your business and reach more customers. Remember that ecommerce software is just one part of running an online store. You’ll also need to focus on marketing, customer service, and other aspects of your business to succeed.
In conclusion, ecommerce software is a must-have tool for any business selling products online. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. You can find the right ecommerce software to help you launch and grow your online store by considering your specific needs and budget and comparing features and pricing plans.
What is ecommerce software?
Ecommerce software is a tool that allows businesses to sell products and services online. It includes shopping cart functionality, payment processing, and inventory management.
What features should I look for in ecommerce software?
Some key features in ecommerce software include shopping cart functionality, payment processing, inventory management, SEO optimization tools, mobile responsiveness, and customer service tools.
How much does ecommerce software cost?
The cost of ecommerce software varies depending on your specific software and pricing plan. Some options offer free programs, while others cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly.
Can I customize the design of my online store with ecommerce software?
Yes, many ecommerce software options allow you to customize the design of your online store using themes, templates, or custom design tools.
How do I choose the right ecommerce software for my business?
To choose the right ecommerce software for your business, consider your specific needs and budget, and compare the features and pricing plans of different options. You may also want to ask for a demo or trial to see if the software fits your business.