How to Choose an Ecommerce Storefront

Choosing an ecommerce storefront drastically affects your sales. Choose wisely and sales double, triple, or more. Choose poorly and you waste your time and money.

Selecting the right ecommerce storefront begins with determining which features you will need. Doing some research and finding out about the different features available will help you select the services designed to target your individual business needs.

If you already have an existing website that is drawing traffic, adding an easy-to-use shopping cart may be all that you need. Deciding whether or not you want the capability to add html code to your existing website or if you want to be able to restructure your product pages completely are questions you should ask yourself while doing your research. Figure out what additional services you may need. Some ecommerce services offer search engine optimization to increase your traffic, website design to give your online business a new look, email delivery for your client base, and inventory control to help you track your merchandise.

If you need a domain name, server, and client management system in addition to the ecommerce service, these features may not be offered by every service. Decide which features might benefit your company the most. Search for a company that offers everything you need.

How user-friendly the service is should be important to you. You may not want or have time to learn HTML in order to use the features you are paying for. Make sure you know how much of your time is required to set up your ecommerce storefront. Many ecommerce solutions are set up in a way that allows you to use the features even without knowledge of HTML.

These services also vary greatly in price. Setting a budget and sticking to it helps you sort out unnecessary features to select a product that you can live with easily. Another consideration is billing. Some companies will charge one flat fee where others you’ll receive a monthly bill.

Studies have shown that customers prefer a speedy checkout. Choose software that allows you to customize the number of clicks needed to check out. You may want the capability to customize other aspects of your service, like providing a consultant or a translator to customize your website further.

One important aspect to consider when choosing an ecommerce storefront service is the shelf life of the software. You do not want your current software to become obsolete in six months. Select one that offers research and product updates on a regular basis to keep your features and software fresh.

Any reputable business offers a satisfaction guarantee. You should thoroughly research the cancellation and refund policies before signing up with an ecommerce storefront. Be wary of any company that does not extend a money-back guarantee.

Read through the customer testimonials available for review. Find out what your competitors have to say about the product. Look for any complaints filed with the online better business bureau.

Customer service is important when deciding on this storefront service. If the company is in a different time zone, check to see that they have adequate customer service representatives available to assist you during your regular business hours. Learn if the company has a service available to help walk you through the setup of your new website.

The company should offer training seminars, videos or troubleshooting guides to help get you through the setup of your new site. As new features become available, training materials should be released to help you learn about these new features.

Getting answers to these targeted issues is the first step toward finding an ecommerce storefront solution that is right for your business. Knowing what you need before you shop gives you the advantage of quickly narrowing down the choices to find the perfect solution.

Originally posted 2010-05-04 16:50:21.