Living in the present era, you might be overwhelmed with the multitude of options you have at your disposal while building that perfect online store of your dreams. But do you know what features to look for while choosing an online store builder among these multitudes of options? And better still, are you willing to scour the web for hours searching for the ideal tools and features in an e-commerce solution provider that will work best for you? No, we don’t think so.
But don’t worry, the hard work has already been done for you including the research and all. So, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the post. Speaking of which, do you know how complicated it was earlier to build an online store? But now, with the new-age technology in our hands, creating an online store is as easy and hassle-free as it can get.
Moreover, you will actually enjoy the overall process of coming up with an ideal web design for your online store. No, I know what you are thinking but no. You do not need to design your own web store. You can simply go with the ready-to-use templates most store builders provide these days. So, jump in with both feet and together, let’s build an online store that will make you feel proud of yourself.
Features to look for in an online store builder
Ease of Use
One of the best features to look out for in an e-commerce development platform is the ease with which you can create an online store for your business. However, e-commerce solutions that these platforms offer aren’t as easy as you would like to think. Often times, they require you to have a decent understanding of the coding in order to launch a fully-functional website. And unless you have some coding experience of your own, be ready to shell out some big bucks on hiring developers.
An online store builder that offers a simple, DIY platform with intuitive design and features would be a much better choice for you. Here, you can easily experiment and create that perfect online store of yours. What's more, if this easy to use e-commerce platform of yours is flexible enough, you can tweak the entities to experiment and create your own custom flows.
Product and Order Management
No online business is successful unless it allows you to easily manage your products and orders. That’s why it is recommended to build an online store that helps you save time on managing these. The time you can spend working on the core competencies of your business such as analysing, improving, growing, etc.
So, streamlined and well-defined product management helps you-
- Improve your product visibility and inventory management.
- Collect customer requirements via wish lists and inquiry forms.
Whereas a well-defined order management system can help you-
- Improve your order accuracy, fulfilment, and reduced refunds.
- An insight into your order metrics
- Plan a better marketing strategy for your e-commerce store.
While building an online store, did you felt like your web design theme doesn’t match with your vision of the store? After all, nobody understands your plans and goals as you do. Now, won’t it be nice for your e-commerce platform to offer you a store where you get to choose from a variety of design themes that can be tweaked easily?
Often times, it’s the simple things that do the trick. For instance, a simple drag and drop tools can do wonders to your design and can go a long way in boosting your marketing efforts. Moreover, these simple design tools offered by your online store builder make your site stickier and more engaging for the customers thus resulting in better conversions.
Mobile support is another essential feature to be considered in order to make your e-commerce website compatible with mobile devices. Because if your online store is not mobile-friendly, you are losing out big on those potential customers of yours. Statistics also prove that this trend regarding mobile users is only going to increase over time.
So, find a store builder that can assist you with building an online store that is not only responsive but also has the feature to create both iOS and Android apps. Also, check if they can turn your store into PWA or Progressive Web Apps. Its a feature that helps your website look, feel and behave like a mobile app without actually the need to develop an app.
Effective On-Site Search
Customers, while visiting an online store, expect to find all the required products within the shortest time possible. It also helps them add more items to their cart. That’s why your online store builder must include an effective and fast search engine that allows your customers to get relevant search results.
An effective navigation system also helps them stay longer on your site thus increasing the chances of conversions. Making your e-commerce website multi functional is a good way to give your customers an opportunity to find necessary items by name, price, size, etc. So, if you wish to make your customers loyal to your brand, be ready to give them a memorable shopping experience.
In today's e-commerce industry, you cannot expect to your website to run by itself. That’s why we recommend you choose an online store builder that offers a platform where you can easily integrate with a host of third-party tools and channels. These integrations help you maintain a stronghold in the digital arena.
And while you are at it, make sure your ‘easy-to-use’ e-commerce platform facilitates live chat, ticketing software, social media channels, mailing software, logistics channels, multiple payment options, etc. all these integrations help you improve your efficiency besides giving you tools for quick business growth.
You might wonder if you build an online store with the best-laid plans, will marketing still be necessary? You bet. A right mix of easy to manage and implement marketing tools for your business will give you the leverage to plan and execute a variety of marketing strategies. Without marketing, It might take ages for you to gain the right momentum to grow.
Look for a store builder that offers a strong discount engine with its e-commerce platform. It gives you tons of benefits such as coupons, promotions, and tools to implement a variety of discounts. All the better if your online store builder offers a discount engine with advanced features such as device and location-based discounts to run sales offers every day. Add the ability to create dynamic marketing pages to it, and you are all set.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO has always been an integral part of any online business. If used correctly, it has the potential to make your website appear straight to the top search results, helping you get the right kind of traffic. It grants visibility to your brand besides the much-needed organic traffic for business growth.
Build an online store with the help of an e-commerce platform that comes with the right SEO tools in place to help you get the traffic you need. Checklist for SEO tools, see if it allows you-
- Create unique URLs for product pages
- Define your meta details
- Feature to define canonical URL
- Sitemap etc.
Choosing the best e-commerce platform provider is a tough and confusing process. However, if you go by this list you can better understand the features you need to look out for while searching for an easy to use online store builder.
Setting up your online store should be approached carefully and diligently. So, look for an ecommerce platform provider that offers all these features and make sure your business never misses out on a sales channel.
Abhishek Aggarwal is an ecommerce expert with 7+ years of experience. With hands-on experience of handling B2B and B2C ecommerce projects, he has a deep understanding of various turnkey platforms for enterprise as well as SME businesses. He writes extensively about the best services and features offered by the most popular ecommerce platforms. He currently works as an ecommerce consultant for clients across various ecommerce industry verticals.