When you’re trying to decide what ecommerce software platform to build your store on, there are many important details to consider. While it’s tempting to just go with the best looking one, this is a case in which beauty really is only skin deep. If you’re serious about making a go of your online business, these six ecommerce software features are critical to your success.
1.) The software’s customer interface should be logical, intuitive, attractive and most of all, simple to use. The last thing you want to do is make your customer struggle to figure out how to buy when they’ve made the decision to pull the trigger. Keep in mind, most online shoppers are closing their eyes, and crossing their fingers when they make online purchases—hoping everything goes well. If you give them a reason to think again before making a purchase, they will.
2.) Hand in hand with an easy-to-use interface is the provision to accept a variety of different payment methods. Whatever card they put their hand on first should be one you accept. This means your software’s payment gateways have to be flexible enough to deal with a wide array of credit cards, bank transfers and alternative payment options like PayPal. Along with multiple payment methods, a variety of shipping methods should be supported as well.
3.) While you’re making things as easy as possible for your customers, you should be making things as easy as possible for yourself and your employees too. This means an undemanding content management system. Pages should be easy to create and populate with keyword rich copy. You need the freedom to add pictures, video and product descriptions with no knowledge of HTML. In this regard, open source software like Magento Enterprise usually takes a back seat to proprietary software like Shopify Plus. In fact, a comparison between Shopify Plus vs. Magento Enterprise readily demonstrates how much easier proprietary software is to use.
4.) A powerful site search engine is another feature for which your customers will be grateful. Why should your customer have to click their way through multiple pages of your site to find a box of number two pencils, when they could simply (number two pencils) into a search window on your site and be taken directly to the product with a single click?
5.) A survey conducted by American Express found approximately 80 million online shoppers have experienced some form of payment fraud. This makes robust security a prime feature for ecommerce software. The platform you choose should adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards as well as support SSL certificates and encryption. Fraud protection should also be included, as well as monitoring for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
- Mobile is right now and ecommerce is benefitting from it tremendously. Your software platform must support responsive design, so it looks just as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop machine. While desktop still claims the lion’s share of actual purchases, most were researched on a mobile device before the decision was made. If your site doesn’t support mobile, you’re not competitive—period.
While these six ecommerce software features are critical to your success, attributes such as strong marketing and promotional tools, the ability to keep a database of your customers and ready interface with your social media sites should accompany them. Additionally, to help humanize your business, provisions for customer feedback gives your clientele the ability to communicate their desires and concerns, as well as ask for support.