Six Checks to do Before you go ahead with Ecommerce Software

The way people shop has changed. No longer do we all have to leave the house to buy the things we want. Instead, nearly everything we want is available online. Ordering from the internet couldn't be simpler. After a few clicks of the mouse, we can make our purchases, which are delivered straight to our door. The secret to shopping online is in the eCommerce software that powers retail websites. If you have a business, and are intending to make products or services available online, then choosing the right eCommerce software is essential. Here are six tips to help you make the right decision.

1. Understand your needs

Different online businesses have different needs, so knowing what you need your eCommerce software to do is essential before you start looking for a solution. Choose a solution that is right for your needs. You may need to integrate your current website with your eCommerce site, or you may want something that is easy to customize, allowing you to add and remove products quickly. Know your strengths and weaknesses. There is little point in buying an eCommerce solution that you don't know how to use or can operate, so you may want to opt for something simple.

2. Think of your customers

Not only should an eCommerce platform be easy for you to use, but also it should be user friendly too. Nothing puts off potential customers quicker than an overly complicated website. Make sure products and services are easy to find and that pricing and descriptions are clear. In addition, make sure the shopping cart and check out processes are quick and efficient. Many eCommerce software producers offer a free trial. This can be a good way of testing the software and getting feedback from potential customers.

3. Do your research

A good way of finding an eCommerce system that could be suitable for your business is to look at other websites out there and find out the type of platform they are using. Talk to other businesses and see what software they use. Ask if they had any problems with their eCommerce software and how easy it was to set up. If you can't find anybody in a similar business, check out online forums and eCommerce software review websites, which could help steer you to something suitable.

4. Count the costs

The initial price of eCommerce software is not the only cost you need to consider. Software can be paid for in several ways. Some software has an initial cost, with nothing else to pay no matter how long you use the software. Other eCommerce platforms have a set up fee and others have a monthly subscription fee, which has to be paid for as long as you use the software. In addition, some eCommerce software systems are hosted on your own machines, while others are cloud-based, which means there will be hosting fees, so ensure you know what the true cost will be.

5. Examine the functionality

eCommerce software should not just be a sales platform with a shopping cart. All sorts of other functions can really help your business, so check what is on offer with the software you choose. Look for functionality such as order tracking, report building and statistic analysis. Some eCommerce solutions have SEO facilities built in (search engine optimisation), which can help your customers find you. In addition, make sure you choose an eCommerce platform that does not restrict the size of your business. You want to choose something that can grow with your business, and not something that will need replacing if you expand.

6. Check out the support

If something goes wrong with your eCommerce software, you'll need problems rectified quickly. If your website is down, you lose money, and the longer it is down the more money you lose. Ensure you buy an eCommerce solution that has decent support. This can vary from simple email support that can take hours or sometimes days to get your problems resolved, to round the clock telephone and remote support that can get your eCommerce software up and running as soon as you report the problem.