E-Commerce software is a tool that drives all online store processes, helping owners manage inventory, add or remove products, process payments, compute taxes and fulfill orders, among many others. It offers all the things needed to run a retail site, effectively simplifying online store management.
An online store consists of many intricate components and processes, which ecommerce software streamlines through an easy to use interface that even non-tech persons can operate. Further facilitating things is the ability of the system to integrate with other platforms and services such as CRM, CMS, ERP, payment gateways, email marketing tools, accounting software, fulfillment services, and social media networks, to name some.
The ecommerce industry is big business. According recent reports, ecommerce sales are predicted to reach $6.7 trillion by 2020. More than ever, people are opting to buy online. In fact, for the first time in the US, 51% or more than half of shoppers prefer to buy online than from brick-and-mortar stores. The growth in the ecommerce industry has fueled the growth of the ecommerce software industry as more businesses set up online stores and retail websites to take advantage of the online consumer trend.
In this article, we’ll go beyond answering – What is E-commerce Software? The definition of ecommerce software aside, we’ll examine the many aspects of ecommerce software, including the following:
There are two general classifications of ecommerce software and they pertain to the type of deployment:
What does ecommerce software do? While ecommerce software in itself can handle most of the important tasks relevant to running your store, it oftentimes integrates with other apps and services to help you do some other things right from within the system. With robust features and functionalities, coupled with powerful integration capabilities, ecommerce software becomes your all-in-one integrated platform that can do the following.
Selling on the internet via your website entails a series of steps and processes that ecommerce software takes care of. What is ecommerce but a system to streamline those steps. How does e-commerce software work? It usually goes like this:
The steps above, from order to payment processing, can take just minutes to complete giving you and your customer/shopper utmost efficiency and convenience. Ecommerce software makes all of the above happen worry-free and hassle-free. Which is why you need a fully capable ecommerce platform to make your online store or website operate in the most flawless and responsive manner.
Take note that for your e-commerce site to run successfully, some other components would have to come into play. These include:
Ecommerce software ties all of the above components and services to give you one integrated solution to manage and run you online store from end-to-end.
Why use ecommerce software? Because it has plenty of benefits to your business. Here are the advantages using of e-commerce software.
We can go on with several other benefits or advantages, but the above are enough to firm up your understanding and appreciation of the many positive things and the competitive edge that ecommerce software can bring to your online business.
To be able to realize its purpose, ecommerce software is designed with a wide range of features and functions that streamline and support the many aspects involved in online selling. Here are the common features of ecommerce software:
The cost of ecommerce software varies. Many product vendors usually offer three to four pricing plans – basic, standard, premium (the wording may differ per vendor) – that cater to various business sizes and budgets. Basic plans can go for as low as single-digit figure subscriptions per month, on the other end, pricing can go as high as triple-digit figures. Plans are based on the number of features and functionalities. With premium, deluxe or professional plans, you get the complete set of advanced features and tools of the product.
To give you an idea of the cost of ecommerce software, here’s a price sampling of the basic and premium plans offered by some of the leading ecommerce software vendors.
Aside from their regular plans, some vendors offer quote-based custom pricing according to specific features you need or other particular business requirements. Suffice to say, you have a wide range of plans to choose from whether you’re rolling out your online store for the first or already have an existing one and looking to upgrade your ecommerce software to accommodate a bigger and fast growing business.
To help you get a clearer picture of the marketplace, here are examples of ecommerce software solutions that dominate the landscape.
Wix is a cloud-based website development platform that allows users to create, design, manage, and develop their websites. With different designer-made templates to choose from, you can make your own website, change its layout, and add any tools and features you need for your business. The platform is also equipped with advanced SEO tools to help you have a better chance on Google search engine rankings. Additionally, it allows you to choose custom and professional domains to match your brand and business.
Shopify is an award-winning ecommerce platform widely recognized by experts and business owners alike as one of the best ecommerce solutions available in the market today. Packed with an array of features and functions to help businesses build and operate online stores and even run offline retail business, it is used by over 120,000 stores worldwide. You can quickly and easily set up an attractive-looking and responsive store from a selection of professionally designed themes, import large catalogues, automatically recover abandoned carts, get 24/7 customer support, have your own payment gateway, and utilize powerful marketing tools, among other features.
3dcart is an all-in-one ecommerce solution designed to cater to businesses of all sizes for building and managing their online stores. The platform comes in full-packed, cost-effective product plans that are scaled to grow with your business and features a secure system for online payments, customer data, shop inventory, invoice creation as well as tools such as social media integration, order management, shipping options, tax calculator, mobile compatibility, point-of-sale, branding, marketing, and many more.
Volusion is a scalable ecommerce and shopping cart platform built with unique features and tools to support the selling operation of small and mid-sized businesses as well as sole and freelance entrepreneurs. Its functionality revolves around four essential modules, each targeting a separate phase of the eselling operation – from creating a custom built storefront, personalizing and optimizing content, to enhancing customer experience, and boosting marketing campaigns. Likewise, it offers self-generated in-house services, secure checkouts, analytics, and integration with third party apps and services, including popular social media sites.
Brightpearl is a leading omnichannel management solution that retailers can use to manage their orders, inventory, accounting, reporting, and customer data in a single system. In addition, the software offers real-time reporting of customer buying behavior, profitability by SKU and channel, cash flow, inventory and more. The app integrates with ecommerce sites such as Bigcommerce, Shopify, Magento, and online marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon to give users access to many new channels and grow their business.
WooCommerce allows businesses and individuals to launch their own online stores from the ground up or through their existing WordPress website or blog. It features a plugin that comes with a robust set of tools and an intuitive and powerful interfaces designed to help you easily set up your store and get started as quickly possible. It has an onboarding wizard to guide you through the setup within five minutes. Since it’s powered by WordPress, WooCommerce enables website owners to sell online using a platform they’re already familiar with. They can use an extension library for add-on features such as payment gateways, shipping calculators, subscription management, anti-fraud and many others.
PayPro Global is a suite of eCommerce solutions that cater specifically to software developers and vendors, helping them simplify the distribution and reselling of their digital products, software, SaaS, and other goods to end users all over the world. With PayPro Global, software developers and vendors are able to sell and market their products online, accept payments through multiple online channels, increase cart value, and improve visitor to customer conversion rate.
3DSellers provides eBay merchants with all the essential tools for managing their business. 3DSellers centralizes all processes and operations of eBay storeowners on a single platform, thus, eliminating the need to utilize multiple applications for handling sales, promotions, customer care, billing, and payment processes. With 3DSellers, eBay merchants can greet their customers with attention-getting store designs and product listings. This also them merchants to improve brand recognition as well. Additionally, communicating with customers is hassle-free thanks to the platform’s automated messaging functionalities, enabling them to provide top-notch customer services with minimal effort.
Sellbery simplifies the way online merchants and ecommerce businesses manage all their online stores. This product feed automation and optimization solution gives you full control over all facets of your business, but without the hassle of individually managing your inventory, product data, sales, orders, and other information on various marketplaces. It automates key business processes to relieve you of the time-wasting manual task of updating your product listings one by one. Sellbery also prevents users from overselling by letting them place a custom limit on when they will receive a low stock notification.
If you are an online merchant or seller, ecommerce software should be your priority. As you’ve learned from this article, it provides you with tons of benefits and advantages – simplifying and automating every crucial processe involved in your online business. What is ecommerce software? It’s the system that saves you time, money and effort. It gives you the opportunity to provide customers with top notch service, and equips you with analytics and marketing tools. This tool handles just about every aspect of running you online store, enabling you to focus on selling. Yes, get the ecommerce software that fits your needs, and see how it makes the world of difference in your business.
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