If you’re working on a new online store, one of the earliest choices you need to make is what eCommerce software to use. Whether you intend to build your own site and run everything yourself or to build a store on someone else’s platform, you can’t nail down any of the other design factors or get any products listed and ready to go until you have software installed or a store set up. There are more and more options all the time, and it may be difficult to choose which is the best for your store. Here are several things you need to think about.
Since humans are highly visual creatures, the display of products has a big impact on what we choose to buy and even where we choose to spend our time looking for products. Whatever you are selling, give it the chance to shine. Make sure that your site is able to show your products in several different views, and especially that you are able to show all of the most important details. Pick a web template that is pleasing to look at but understated, one that will not distract from your products. What you are selling needs to be the star of the show.
Easy Content Management
This is one of the most important things to consider about the ongoing maintenance of your online store. You want to be able to load new products easily, make edits to existing products quickly, and add or remove special coupon codes, warranties, or sales as needed. You don’t want the basic tasks of running your store and maintaining your item listings to be a pain, taking up extra time you could use to work on other areas of your business. Make sure your software or platform has a good content management system which is intuitive for you to use.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you know how your customers find you?
Can you tell when they have abandoned the products they’ve put in their shopping carts, and do you have an idea why?
What are your best-selling items, and how can you stretch some of their magic to your other offerings?
How effective are your advertising campaigns?
Good data about all of these issues will enable you to make effective changes to your store or ads in order to sell more products. Check to see if your software has an analytics package, or whether it is possible to hook in analytics from a third party.
It’s the best of all business problems to have: the need to grow. When your customer base expands or you add in new products, think of how your eCommerce software or package is going to handle the changes. A good system should be able to expand when you need it to, handling extra products, customers, or increased web traffic with no or few issues. Avoid the painful possibility of having to migrate to a different service, right when your business is picking up momentum and making more sales. Choose an eCommerce solution that will grow along with you and support your business at any size.