An online store consists of many complex components and processes that e-commerce software simplifies through an easy-to-use interface that even non-technical people can operate. Another convenience is the system’s ability to integrate with other platforms and services such as CRM, CMS, ERP, payment gateways, email marketing tools, accounting software, and social media networks.
In the US, Digital Commerce 360 puts the growth rate of e-commerce in 2020 at a whopping 44% year-on-year. Regardless of which numbers you’d prefer, e-commerce remains largely unaffected by the pandemic. The opposite is true: the pandemic has strengthened the credibility of e-commerce for the future.
What are the types of e-commerce software?
There are two general classifications of e-commerce software and they relate to the type of deployment:
Installed on a local server or computer and managed on-site by a team that handles manual updates, fixes issues and general troubleshooting. Online retailers initially used on-premise solutions because they allowed for more hands-on management compared to hosted solutions.
Software as a service.
SaaS or hosted solutions are a technically impractical option as all updates, fixes and newly released features are done automatically or via one-click integration. Hosted e-commerce software has evolved dramatically to allow for wide customization and flexibility, previously exclusive to on-premise, so that it is now a sufficient solution for most online retailers. In addition, SaaS software can be launched quickly and comes in affordable packages.
What does eCommerce software do?
While e-commerce software can handle most of the important tasks related to running your store by itself, it often integrates with other applications and services to help you do some other things right from within the system. With robust features and functionality coupled with powerful integration capabilities, eCommerce software becomes your all-in-one integrated platform that can do the following.
Customer and order management.
Every order is a sales transaction that affects your bottom line. Therefore, it must be done efficiently and conveniently for the customer. The eCommerce software takes care of order management, order status control and quick changes if necessary. By itself or with the help of some other third-party application or service, it can handle payment processing, keep transaction records, manage customer information, create invoicing and invoicing, perform accurate accounting, and provide analytics and reporting, among other things.
Manage products and inventory.
You get product specifics from SKUs and variations (size, color, quantity) to names and images, allowing you to organize and catalog items. You will also be notified and alerted if stocks are low and which specific things are turning over quickly and needing replenishment.
Built-in SEO allows online stores to rank higher in organic search engines for more excellent online discovery and presence, as well as lower customer acquisition costs.
Improve the customer experience.
E-commerce software is designed to enable customers to find what they need in your store quickly and efficiently. Hosted solutions offer service-level agreements that guarantee 100% uptime and simple yet robust website management, allowing you to provide your customers with the best online shopping experience.
How does eCommerce software work?
Selling online through your website involves a series of steps and processes that eCommerce software takes care of. What is e-commerce but a system that simplifies these steps? How does e-commerce software work? It usually goes like this:
- A shopper visits your website, which displays products and categories that are loaded/stored in the website’s database.
- The customer uses the shopping cart to add items and creates an account with all information stored in the database.
- Once the customer is at the checkout stage, the website usually goes into a secure mode with a lock symbol and an SSL certificate.
- At checkout, the Website may use third-party software or services to provide the customer with delivery options, shipping rates, and expected delivery date.
- When a customer enters a credit card number, the information is sent to a payment processor or payment gateway such as PayPal.
- The customer’s order is now complete and all sensitive information is stored with the payment processor (not the e-commerce website).
- You can have the payment deposited into your merchant account (a service usually provided by a payment gateway) or transferred to your bank account.
The above steps, from order to payment processing, can take just a few minutes to complete, giving you and your customer maximum efficiency and convenience. eCommerce software allows all of the above to happen without any worries or hassles, which is why you need a fully capable eCommerce platform to keep your online store or website running flawlessly and responsively.
For more information on eCommerce software, please contact Coding Brains.