Key Features of eCommerce Software
eCommerce software packages, also known as shopping cart software solutions or “e-tailware,” are powerful, feature-rich technology applications that dramatically enhance the way Web-based stores are set up, marketed, and run.
With eCommerce software, online retailers can improve the way they design their sites and promote them to buyers, while providing customer with the most convenient shopping experience possible.
An eCommerce software solution provides a broad range of capabilities that streamline and support the various activities involved in online sales, such as:
- Advanced search facilities that make it easy for shoppers to find the products or services they are looking for.
- The ability to add new product listings, complete with pictures, descriptions, and features lists, categorize them logically, and update them as often as needed.
- Full automation of the entire checkout process, including dynamic calculation of pricing sub-totals and totals (when multiple items are purchased), taxes, and shipping and handling fees.
- A portfolio of professionally-styled design templates to accelerate site launch and provide a cutting-edge “look and feel,” without the need to hire a third-party graphic designer or Web developer.
Other important features of eCommerce software include:
A Centralized Database
eCommerce software eliminates the hassle of integrating and maintaining multiple disparate systems for customer data, accounting transactions, and product information. All pertinent data, including product listings, browsing and order histories, and shipping and payment status, are stored in and accessed from a single, fully-centralized location.
In order to help ensure the most efficient and profitable operations possible, many eCommerce software solutions offer seamless integration to a variety of other applications. For example, they can link directly to external payment processing gateways like PayPal, so customers receive the most flexible and convenient payment options possible. Moreover, some eCommerce software systems interface with the systems of third-party shipping service providers, so buyers can customize their delivery options and calculate the related costs at checkout time.
Many eCommerce software vendors offer integration with popular accounting software packages, like Peachtree and QuickBooks, for more effective management of revenues, invoices, outstanding payments, and other sales-related financial transactions.
Advanced Promotion and Marketing
Many eCommerce software solutions provide a variety of ways to enhance site promotion and marketing. For example, they support sophisticated search engine optimization strategies, making the site more visible and accessible to potential buyers.
Additionally, some eCommerce software packages will automatically analyze customer browsing and viewing patterns, and use that intelligence to improve up-sell and cross-sell revenues by automatically recommending other, complimentary products and services while they’re shopping.
Reporting and Analysis
Understanding the vital patterns and trends that impact buyer behaviors are crucial to an online retailer’s ability to compete effectively. That’s why many eCommerce software solutions provide comprehensive statistical reporting. By tracking and analyzing such important data as clickstreams, keywords, referring sites, and customer demographics, companies can gain insight into what works and what doesn’t, so they can identify the most effective ways to boost sales and revenues.