Business owners have the best of both worlds with modern e-commerce. You can automate a good chunk of operations and call support, but you can also delve into the minute details, updating and customizing your store to fit your precise vision.
After you’ve read which five things to look for in an e-commerce solution, consider these five options if you’re seeking a new e-commerce software solution to propel your online business forward.
WooCommerce is the essential tool for anyone looking to monetize a WordPress site. As a plugin, it lets you operate an online store for a lower price, provided you purchase hosting through WordPress.
Once this purchase is complete, you can access many basic e-commerce features, such as SEO, product grouping and coupon creating. The platform offers analytics reports, but it can also be integrated with Google Analytics for your convenience.
WooCommerce’s checkout process uses AJAX, giving customers the choice between several payment options (even cash payment at the time of delivery).
As far as design capabilities, this platform offers WooTheme templates for a small fee and a few freebie templates.
You can decide between a simple, visual editing tool or HTML/CSS stylesheets.
Note: If your store offers several hundred products, you may want to try a more robust platform like NOPCommerce instead.
ASP.NET is a highly flexible enterprise e-commerce solution that offers the ability to edit the look and feel of your site.
You can manage multiple storefronts and use unique “skins” or templates to appeal to specific demographics.
In addition, you’ll also have access to several useful promo tools, like a coupon/special offer creator, a customer review option and a customer loyalty program. ASP.NET can be integrated with your accounting software and social media accounts (but not Amazon or eBay).
It’s a phenomenal option for programmers familiar with HTML, XML or AJAX who would like to fine-tune their source code and have a high degree of control.
On the other hand, you may want to consider other options if you need a super-intuitive, beginner-friendly platform.
As a renowned name in self-hosted enterprise e-commerce software, Magento is designed for experienced merchants with a medium-large business.
Zoey Commerce, a Magento partner, is better for smaller enterprises with less experienced business owners.
Magento offers a variety of marketing and catalog management tools, as well as an Extension Marketplace.
You can arrange for special pricing of bulk products, upload high-quality, zoomable product images, create customer groups based on location, and let customers view wishlists via email.
These detailed features are where Magento shines, but like ASP.NET, Magento is a fairly technical platform and will likely require the assistance of a developer.
NOPCommerce has gained recognition as a quality .NET, open source tool that can be integrated with your current web host.
With easy setup and navigation, this platform offers an ideal option for moderately experienced users with medium-sized businesses.
You can browse custom themes, set up tax categories for shoppers and integrate your store with Google Analytics and Paypal. NOP supports a variety of payment options like PayPal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net.
Shopify is the biggest name in e-commerce, partly due to its user-friendly interface.
Anyone can put together a storefront in minimal time and with little technological knowledge.
The platform is also ideal for brick and mortar retail stores because Shopify now offers a POS system.
Customers can create usernames for quicker store access and select from dozens of payment options.
One unique feature is Shopify’s “abandoned checkout recovery,” which follows up with shoppers who have yet to complete their purchase.
Like Magento’s marketplace, Shopify offers a robust app store where you can personalize your store with live chats, reviews and automated inventory re-ordering tools.
As you navigate the multifaceted world of e-commerce choices, consider the size of your business, your level of experience, and your top sales and marketing goals.
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