At the moment, many people prefer to run their own business, avoiding the necessity to be hired by someone. One of the most widespread methods of doing such a business is managing online shops. At first glance, this way seems the easiest one, but in practice, it’s not very true. Sometimes it’s really complicated to make buyers come back to the website to purchase something else, as in this case there’s no a direct contact, and sales managers lack chances to entice customers.
According to this research by RJMetrics, only 32 % of clients made the second order on an online store within the first year. Thus, it seems obvious that e-shops’ owners have no choice but to engage the audience via website features.
The creation of any e-commerce site starts with choosing the right content management system (CMS). So, let’s have a brief look at the most popular platforms.
1) Magento is, perhaps, the well-loved CMS, used by the majority of businessmen. Magento outstands thanks to its high level of functionality and customizability, a wide number of plugins and extensions, as well as low overall development and maintenance costs.
Moreover, Magento is SEO-friendly, as it provides an array of tools for boosting traffic, sales, and audience engagement. If you happen to run more than one online shop, this CMS will give you an opportunity to manage them from one dashboard. Another Magento’s advantage is the possibility to easily export, import and manage records and catalogues and securely integrate the needed payment gateway.
2) Drupal commerce is an open source system that is easy to use. Among other peculiarities are top-notch quality, fast speed, and marvellous security. This CMS meets the web shop needs thanks to trouble-free integration with third-party systems. Furthermore, Drupal Commerce gives you design freedom: you can try a vast amount of free or premium themes.
This CMS also supports any type of currency and taxes and a number of languages. Drupal Commerce looks great on small screens, so, your customers won’t have problems with mobile shopping.
3) WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that will help you sell any product (physical or digital one) and services. This CMS is the right fit for small businesses. As for making payments, WooCommerce can be integrated with more than 140 region-specific gateways. Besides, you are granted a chance to make any adjustments any time: feel free to change your design and modify settings.
By opting for this CMS, you are joining the huge WordPress support community. WooCommerce also guarantees great reporting, helping to track sales, product reviews, overall performance, etc.
4) Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform with a variety of features for launching and managing online stores. You can relish Shopify’s own gateway, avoiding a need to use third-party services. Employ embedded analytics tools to estimate the performance of your online store. With Shopify, shops’ owners and their clients should not worry about the security of all the operations conducted on the website, let it be the safety of personal data within the registration process or credit card payments.
One of the major advantages of this platform is that you don’t have to purchase additional solutions, as Shopify offers CRM tools (to manage the client database), automatic upgrades, and backups.
5) BigCommerce is another popular platform with hosted e-commerce solutions. It can boast an easy-to-use interface, the cleanest dashboard, and best directions for making your e-shop work within a few moments. BigCommerce provides original designs and responsive templates. Marketing and conversion tools of this platform allow to drive more traffic and engage visitors. Without extra coding or design, your web shop will function great on desktops, mobile devices, and tablets. Furthermore, let your customers spend less time on looking for goods thanks to a faceted search that enables different kinds of filtering.
What is more, by choosing the right CMS to reach your goals, don’t ignore tips of experts in custom e-commerce solutions and pay attention to a range of some other features.
1) Use top-notch web shops templates: it’s a nice option to attract customers visually, i.e. through a template that would correspond to your business aims, philosophy, core ideas and would be pretty to look at and easy to use.
2) Make your SEO friendly: simplify the search process and increase the chances of your website thanks to friendly URLs, meta tags and descriptions.
3) Implement social networks integration: save your clients’ time by allowing them to register via Facebook or twitter, boost your products by engaging your customers, allowing them to make a purchase via social media. Get feedback thanks to users’ opinions that can be displayed as social posts on your web shop homepage or under the description of a certain product.
4) Create huge product catalogues: propose your potential clients a broad range of categories and subcategories and provide an easy catalogue search (by goods, prices, delivery date, etc.), as nobody has a desire to browse through a multitude of web pages to choose the right product. And if your e-shop has expanded, it’s better to mull over the possibility of creating a number of separate websites for featuring certain brands/categories. Find more about multiple websites creation here.
5) Choose a secure payment gateway: think twice of the right payment gateway for your store. First of all, the integration should be secure for you and your clients. Consider the opportunity of using a number of gateways in case your site faces technical problems during payment processes. The detailed information on choosing and integrating best payment gateways can be found here.
Taking into consideration all the above-mentioned tips and practices, it becomes clear that the creation and management of a web shop result in a painstaking process. That is why before launching such a business, start with elaborating the whole concept, philosophy, and an array of distinguishing features thanks to which you’ll be able to prevail over rivals by gaining users’ confidence.
About the author:
Yana Yelina is a website design and development expert at EffectiveSoft, a custom software development company with 250+ savvy specialists with extensive expertise in different business domains. You can reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.