When looking at the types of businesses that you can run from home, don’t rule out running an ecommerce store. Many would-be entrepreneurs assume that they need a degree or background in web design, marketing, and sales to get a retail operation off the ground, but that’s no longer the case! One of the factors that have levelled the playing field for stay-at-home entrepreneurs is the development of ecommerce software. Today’s best programs create a fool-proof way to set up and manage your website, with secure hosting and payment integration. Yet not all ecommerce software is created alike, so it’s best to look at some of the more useful features to watch out for.
Benefits of Ecommerce Software
One of the primary benefits of using ecommerce software when you’re just getting started is that it allows you to design a slick, professional-looking website. These programs usually offer templates to choose from. For example, Shopify ecommerce software offers over 100 different templates, which can be fully customized with your own colours, fonts, and company logo. You can benefit from secure hosting and a shopping cart checkout system that integrates your site with different payment gateways. The best ecommerce sites will be easy to navigate, with a one-page checkout system to make shopping easy for customers.
In addition to helping you with these basic logistics, another reason why ecommerce software can be good for your business is that it provides you with a centralized management system. To succeed, most business owners will want to have an online shop as well as a blog, which could potentially require two separate hosting services. Using an ecommerce content management system allows you to go to one central area to post blog updates, rearrange your inventory into neat groups, post new inventory, or communicate with customers.
A huge benefit that the best ecommerce software provides is personalized coaching, to improve your sales and marketing efforts. The software should also provide you with site analytics, so that you can see who is visiting your shop and which referral techniques are the most effective. Be sure to choose a platform that allows you to link social networking profiles with your main website, to reach out to a wider audience and broaden your online presence.
Potential Pitfalls to Be Aware Of
Security is an important issue to be aware of when operating an online business. You are responsible for protecting your customers’ sensitive financial information when they purchase products from you. Be sure that the ecommerce software that you choose to work with is fully encrypted and has a SSL certificate. Another factor to be aware of is that some software will require the strict use of templates, without any ability to customize them. If you don’t want your site looking just like all the others, be sure to choose software with customizable features.
By taking the time to shop around and compare your software options, you should find a platform that has all the perks you need to make managing your online shop a piece of cake.
Guest post is provided by Preet Sandhu, a marketing student and writer. She currently represents Shopify, an e-commerce software provider.