Small business owners today have an easier time running their businesses because of technological advancements. Even with their diverse needs, managing and organizing a business is faster and more efficient. Various e-commerce software are available, which can be tailor-fitted to the products and budget of the business owners.
Before going any further, let us first identify what a business owner might need. When you begin to look into e-commerce platforms, you will encounter these terms: shopping cart software and e-commerce software. The two are interrelated but they do have slight differences. Therefore, it is easier for you to decide what software you really need when you know what the requirements of your business are.
An full-featured e-commerce platform can have everything, including web design and website hosting, setting up your online storefront and payment processing as well as provide online security and marketing and merchant tools. An all-in-one e-commerce software can be integrated into a website that is already existing.
If you are only after payment processing and listing products and services for your existing website, it is better to get a shopping cart software. It can be an extension or website plugin, with some customization allowed, depending on the design of your website and the software’s capability.
Now that you have a general idea of what you might need, here are some of the best e-commerce software to choose from.
This program is quite popular because of its many features, including launching, running and managing your e-commerce business. Built into the program are capabilities such as back-end functionality, inventory management, website builder and web hosting. It also includes customer relationship management or CRM and marketing tools. Shopify is user friendly and very easy to install. Several subscription plans are offered and customer support is available 24/7.
If you have a web developer on board, Magento is a robust e-commerce application that is scalable and customizable so you can modify it based on your current needs. It allows you to manage several online stores with a single Magento Dashboard. It comes in a free, open-source version with cost-effective extensions and plugins. If you have the money to invest, the company offers Magento Enterprise that gives you access to its entire architecture, server implementation and customized solutions as well as connect you with its developers and partners to provide you with all the support you need.
If you have a WordPress website, Woo Commerce is one of the best shopping cart software you can use. It comes in free and paid versions and is very easy to integrate into your existing website to turn it into a customized online store. You can access a variety of themes and extensions to create a site that conforms to your products/services and your personal tastes. There is no need to create a merchant account as it can be directly integrated with PayPal, so it is easier to process and receive payments without paying bank fees.
Squarespace is a very affordable yet fully loaded e-commerce program. It provides various templates for your website even if you do not know how to code so you can have an eye-catching storefront. It allows you to upload an unlimited number of items, sell digital and physical products, generate coupons, configure costs and sales taxes, and create and manage an email list for customers. This is great for a real estate business owner who does not need flashy online stores. It is not that strong in the SEO department or in customer relations department but it you are looking for a software to help you sell your services and products, this is the one. It is a great help for inventory management as well.
Weebly has comprehensive e-commerce features and gives you the option to create an online store with all the features you need. It is very intuitive and one of the most user-friendly e-commerce programs you can find. You can add multiple products and enjoy the benefit of having a great shopping cart option. Weebly can be easily integrated several payment processors like Authorize.net, Square, PayPal and Stripe.
You do not have to be tech-savvy if you use Wix as it is a fully ”drag and drop” website builder. After choosing a website theme, you can easily choose where you want to add content such as text, slideshows and images. If your e-commerce requirements are not that advanced, Wix is a great tool to use.
Whichever e-commerce platform you choose, make sure that it conforms to your current and future needs. It is always better to choose one that is scalable so that you can customize it as your small business grows.
Bernadine Racoma is a senior content writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. After her long stint as an international civil servant, she has aggressively pursued her interest in writing and research. Like her poetry, she writes everything from the heart, and she treats each written piece a work of art. She loves dogs!
February 6, 2017