Each year, it seems only prudent to go over what, in my opinion, is essential in an e-Commerce provider. This is especially true since, in today’s world, it’s easy to start selling online, so I feel it’s even more important to make sure you’ve covered your bases. When you’re ready to look for an e-Commerce shopping cart and website, or searching for a better solution, here are some items that the provider should offer:
- Responsive Design: Mobile commerce is exploding, and making sure your website is mobile-friendly is critical to your e-commerce business success. The easiest way to make your website mobile-friendly is to choose a solution that incorporates “responsive design,” so that the device where the website is shown (computer, laptop, mobile), does the work and automatically adjusts according to the device’s screen size and orientation (landscape or portrait). It switches between these options automatically. Many of our e-commerce partners have templates with responsive design built in. Shopify offers a variety of responsive themes, and Squarespace offers only responsive templates, so they all look great on mobile devices.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): During the 2013 holiday season, a large number of e-Commerce orders (26%), originated from organic search, while 15% came from paid search, and 16% came from e-mail marketing efforts, according to a Custora e-commerce report. Simply stated, you can’t afford NOT to have search engine optimization as part of your site. At the minimum, your website and shopping cart provider should offer the ability to add SEO features into your site, like . Many of our e-commerce partners have built-in SEO capability.
- Coupon Creation: Like it or hate it, we are now part of a “coupon culture.” People want, even expect, coupons when making a purchase. You’ll need the option of creating coupons through your website and shopping cart solution. Again, many of our e-commerce partners offer the ability to create coupons. You should be able to offer coupons for a fixed amount or percentage off all or specific products. Free shipping and flat rate shipping, as well as expiration dates should be a part of this feature, as well.
- Third-Party Apps: Even the best website providers don’t offer everything you need. There will be times when you’ll want to be able to integrate third-party apps, such as shipping services (us, of course!), as well as tax services such as TaxJar. Make sure your website provider makes adding these apps easy.
- Payment Options: Everyone wants choices. Some folks prefer to pay by credit card, others like to use PayPal. Your website and shopping cart solution should offer easy integration with many payment systems.
If you’re selling online, make sure you have the right tools to make your business a success.
So, there you go, I think you’ll be faster to success if you consider these 5 items as you launch your store or make a change to your current platform.
Onward and Upwards.