Demand of online shopping is increasing rapidly. People these days can shop almost anything just with few clicks. You must be thinking to open an online store to sell your products or services on the web. Choosing an ecommerce platform for your online business is the first move you have to make. Hundreds of shopping cart software are available, but which one is suitable for your business would be a big question. Below are some factors that you must know before you go for any ecommerce solution.
Go for simple not complicated
Different ecommerce platforms have been designed differently for users. Some of them are complex; you have to download the software, install it on your web server and configure it properly to run the application correctly. You either need a tech guy or technical knowledge to do that. However, there is much easier way to open an online store these days, which is done just by signing up through e-mail. Simply sign-up and verify your e-mail address to start your online shop. Look for ecommerce solution that offers simple process to manage your online store.
Features are really worthy:
You always want to see features of ecommerce platform before you purchase one. Compare features of ecommerce platforms. Here are some must have ecommerce features.
- URL structure for new products – Adding new products to online store may generate dynamic urls. Advance ecommerce platforms generate static url’s while you add new products to your store.
- Seo tool integration: Your ecommerce platform must allow the integration of Google analytics and webmaster tools to observe your store’s performance on Google search engine.
- Social Media integration: Allow your customers to share, tweet and like your products on social networks. Your customers can even shop via facebook login.
- Custom Meta tags: Advance shopping cart allows you insert custom titles, descriptions and keywords of products for seo benefit.
- Integrated Marketing tool: Shopping cart solution must contain inbuilt marketing tool, so that you can send newsletters, discounts coupons to your customers in festive seasons.
- Website speed: Loading speed is a serious issue these days. Faster loading speed is required for seo advantage and for visitor engagement. The reward is less bounce rate and faster caching.
- Template gallery: Ecommerce platforms must include a gallery or library of templates. You can choose any template related to your business model.
- Customizable templates: Your shopping cart should allow you to customize templates if you want to customize them. Some ecommerce platforms allow 100% customization of templates.
- Product rating and comments: Your customers may want to rate a product or would like to comment on your products. Latest ecommerce platforms allow customers to rate and leave comments on products.
- Product display and zoom: Customer always wants to have a closer look before making any purchase from your store. Advance shopping cart offers instant zooming feature. Upload various images for a particular item or product to display it from different angles to inspire your customers.
- Upsell and Cross sell: An excellent ecommerce platform allows you to offers upsell and cross sell options for your customers for better sales opportunity.
- Reminder to dump orders: Send automatic reminder to abandon shopper to complete pending sales.
- Orders by phone: Some customer might want to place orders through phone. Your ecommerce shopping cart must be able to accept payments via net banking.
- Integrated payment gateway: You need an ecommerce solution that has integrated payment gateway. You do not have to invest more money on creating payment gateways.
- Currency and tax: A first-class shopping cart allows you to manage currencies and calculate taxes.
- One click checkout: Allow your customers to complete checkout with a single click.
- Smart phone and tablet compatible: Make sure your store can be accessed from any device. Allow your customers to shop through their smart phones and tablets.
Offer an amazing shopping experience:
Your shopping cart must provide a great shopping experience to your customers. Fast loading time encourages users to browse different products. Instant product zooming, display products from different position motivates visitors in purchasing products. Filtered product display helps customers find exact item they are looking for. Single click checkout makes transaction procedure flawless. Social media sharing of products allows customers to share products with friends and family through social networks that help in website branding.
Reputation and reliability:
Reputation and reliability is big question. Before you choose any shopping cart do a research first. Read reviews, know what people are suggesting. Think about security.
Pricing really matters:
Different ecommerce platforms come with different pricing. Some ecommerce platforms offer special plans. Browse through plans and choose an affordable plan for your business.
Support for technical and non technical issues:
Technical and non technical support is a big issue. Reputed companies provide “24×7” support for their customers. A good ecommerce solution provides technical and non technical assistance and lets you concentrate on your business.
Abhisek Kumar is an advance shopping cart developer and Chief technical officer of IqEcommerce. He loves to write about various ecommerce related issues such as easy shopping cart software and loves to share his experience with other web professionals.