A lot goes into running an ecommerce business.
But, if you’re reading this, you probably know that already.
Here’s what you may not have a great understanding of: the right ecommerce software solution will make all the difference in how successful your online store is.
Take the time to consider your decision carefully, because “changing horses mid-stream” is not an easy thing to do. Make the choice before you launch.
If you’re already in business and you’re realizing your current software solution isn’t working out for you, it’s difficult to change, but it’s not impossible.
No matter which point you’re at in your journey, think through these seven factors to make an informed decision.
This is the first thing on the list for a reason.
First and foremost, when choosing an ecommerce software solution, you have to keep your budget in mind.
Having all the bells and whistles is great, but when it’s eating up too much of a chunk of your monthly resources, you’ll quickly find yourself in a bad situation.
Of course, you do need to find software that still has the tools you need, so don’t make a choice based on what’s least expensive, either. Think about where your business is now and what you want it to look like in the future and choose an ecommerce software solution that hits that sweet spot.
Pro tip: Many software companies will offer a free trial so you can give their services a try before you buy.
When you’re running an online store, you have a lot on your plate.
The last thing you want to do is waste precious time trying to figure out software that requires PhD-level computer science comprehension.
Bottom line: You need to be able to use it.
Look for something simple but intuitive, with a simple design, especially if you’re just starting out.
Just like with your budget, think ahead. Make sure to choose an ecommerce software solution that can grow with your business, upgrading the platform regularly.
Plus, software that’s frequently updated will help you stay a step ahead of the competition and in sync with the latest trends in your industry.
If your business software is easy to use, there may still be times when you need some help.
And when those times come, you need customer service that’s available, helpful, and will work with you until your issue is resolved.
Some ecommerce software solutions offer 24/7 chat support, whether it’s live or via email. Or, you can even – GASP – speak to an actual human.
In addition, look for software that has a robust community forum. Often, it’s the most helpful place to find the answers you’re looking for.
Don’t discount the value of accessible customer support – it’s worth a lot.
No matter what type of product or service you sell in your online store, you’ll lose customers if your checkout process is clumsy, slow, or both.
Take a look at one of the most common reasons customers abandon their online shopping carts:
Use an ecommerce software solution that has a reputation for quick and smooth checkout procedures, including accepting a wide variety of payment methods.
Your store won’t sell a whole lot if you don’t get much traffic to your website.
An important factor in getting that organic traffic is SEO or search engine optimization. When your site’s optimized, you’re more likely to show up in Google search results.
That means more traffic, and more traffic means more sales. 🙌
But having the right keywords is only part of the equation. Google also considers the users’ experience on your site when ranking you. (This is an actual metric that’s affected by bounce rates, page depth, and how long a visitor spends on your site, among other factors.)
Look for ecommerce software that offers SEO features that ensure quick page load speed, optimized images, and metadata functionality.
Every website has to be hosted somewhere. It’s how visitors access your online store.
Here’s a quick rundown for the newbs:
So, here’s the deal: Use software that won’t require you to find a third-party web host. And you’ll also have to find server space on your own. Guess what? Yep, more expenses.
But that’s not all. You’ll also be the one responsible for your own site maintenance, which could lead to a lag when traffic is heavy – the exact time you DON’T want your website to experience lags.
This series of unfortunate events can be avoided when you choose software wisely.
The need for multi-channel potential is growing as more and more businesses are selling their products and services both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Your ecommerce software solution should be able to handle the shifting environment of ecommerce.
Look for software that can take the multiple channels you’re selling from and combine them into one, simple database.
At Flight Media, we recommend Shopify to our clients.
It hits each of these seven elements and more.
Shopify has a wide range of plugins and other tools that increase page load speed, they offer inclusive web hosting, their customer support is always available, and they have a variety of integrated sales channels.
It's a platform that’s both easy to use and can grow with your business.
You’ve been given a lot to think about when it comes to choosing an ecommerce software solution for your business.
Use this guide as a checklist as you search for the software that’s your best fit.
If you’d like some help navigating the world of ecommerce and digital marketing for your online store, let’s talk about Flight Media can help you hit your goals.