The first step in deciding whether you need eCommerce software, is understanding what you’re actually looking for. When you begin searching for eCommerce options, you’ll probably find that countless users and vendors refer to these solutions as ecommerce software and shopping cart software. Some people use these terms interchangeably, which can be confusing for people who are just getting into the business.
The important thing to remember is that eCommerce software and shopping cart software are basically the same thing, as they’re both intended to help you launch and manage an online store, as well as deal with payments and more. However, if you need a fully-featured eCommerce solution, then you need eCommerce software. This software generally includes everything from web design and website hosting, to services for setting up storefronts, and processing payment, as well as managing merchant tools, security, marketing, and everything else you could need for growth.
On the other hand, shopping cart software is designed for people who already have a website in place and need some help setting up ways to list services and products as well as processing payments. Compared to eCommerce software solutions, shopping cart software can be a plugin or extension, and it’s often limited to helping you with your virtual storefront and processing payments.
How to Know if you Need Ecommerce Software
So, now that you know what ecommerce software is, and how it’s different from shopping cart software, you’ll need to start thinking about whether you need it or not. Many small businesses have a range of options available to them when it comes to selling online. One option is to sign up with a marketplace that allows you to list your product through hosted storefronts, like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.
However, if you would prefer to have more control over your business online, then one of the best things that you can do is set up your own website with a shopping cart software or eCommerce software solution. If the following features apply to you, then this is a good sign that you need to invest in eCommerce software.
- You need your own website: When you’re using a marketplace for ecommerce to sell your produces, then your storefront is located on another person’s website and underneath their branding. However, with eCommerce software, you get your own domain name and website that gives your business more authority.
- You need control over your online store: Ecommerce software comes with a range of customization options and features that allow you to take complete control over your online store. It’s possible to design your website however you like, and designate your own preferences for workflows, as well as choosing your own pricing models and so on. Basically, you can set up your store in the way that suits you.
- You want simplicity: You don’t have to be a programming expert to have an ecommerce store front. Most of this software can be used to help your business to get up and running instantly, without any need for complex coding and manual installations. Although certain functions and customizations can be added, it’s easy to go simple if you’re just getting started too.
- You need marketing help: Beside offering a range of merchant tools that give you the resources that you need to sell products online and process specific payments, eCommerce software can include marketing tools that helps you to get the word out about your store. These tools will include social media marketing, and social-sharing solutions that allow your customers to share your product pages and other solutions with followers.
- You want to keep your profits: A lot of online marketplaces make up their profits by taking a percentage of every sale that has been made on their site. Some of these sites also include monthly fees which can eat into your profits. However, with an ecommerce software store, you get to keep all the money that you make.
- You need simple operations: Finally, one of the biggest benefits of using ecommerce software for your small business is that it’s easy to integrate with other business options that are already in place, this can mean that it’s much easier for you to streamline your existing operations, and you’ll get access to all of the latest data that you need quickly too.