Online eCommerce systems are easily available on the internet for example Prestashop, Magento, osCommerce, Zen Cart and etc. With so many different systems, we really need to know which system to use and which one will matches our types of business best. This article aims to provide you five important features of the eCommerce systems so that you can decide for yourself which system suits your online business best.
Catalog management is an important aspect of an eCommerce solution. It manages all your products under one roof, ideally it should come with batch import and export functions, and this is an important feature when you have many products to be uploaded onto the website. This feature can help you reduce valuable time by doing a mass upload/download of products onto your server. Imagine how much time can be wasted if you need to upload 3000 products onto your server manually. The catalog should also allow you to manage the prices of your products easily. It should also come with a scheduler to allow you to schedule the prices of your products automatically. When browsing your catalog, the system should also come with a filter and built-in search facility that can help you locate your products easily.
Marketing and Promotions Tools
Marketing and promotion is very important for you eCommerce website. A successful eCommerce store needs occasional online promotions and marketing campaigns to keep your visitors coming back and make that important purchase. Make sure your eCommerce system allows you to create and manage discount coupons, create and manage pricing rules for members and non-members. Powerful tools to allow you to upsell and cross sell your products. These tools are essential for your site to retain customers.
Shipping and Delivery Features
Depending on the type of products you sell on your online store, a well-designed shipping and delivery module is important for your eCommerce site. The delivery/shipping module is the most important feature for the end customers. The system needs to allow your visitors to select the types of delivery options for his/her order, the system also need to auto calculate for the visitor the shipping charges. On top of these, it is also important for you to know what are the international carriers supported and how easy if it for you to integrate the carriers into your system. For example DHL and FedEx provides real-time shipping rates, you need to know how you are able to integrate to them into your eCommerce system.
Similar to shipping and delivery, the payment module is the one of the most important feature in an eCommerce system. Getting paid is the ultimate aim of most eCommerce site selling products and subscriptions. Your eCommerce system needs to support the major payment gateways and systems available. E.g. PayPal, Worldpay and 2Checkout. Your eCommerce site visitors should also be given the freedom to choose from a list of different payment options as different payment systems are popular in different regions in the internet.
Search Engine Optimization
The last important feature of my list is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) feature in the eCommerce system. SEO is very important in all eCommerce sites, your products and services need to be crawled and indexed by search engines. Without SEO, nobody can find the products they want on the internet, and your site cannot find her customers. Unless you are able to market your eCommerce site’s products to the world by other means, otherwise no one will be able to find your products. To be search engine optimized, your eCommerce system needs to generate for you search engine friendly (SEF) urls, they should also help you generate sitemaps automatically to allow you to submit your site to the search engines. They should also provide you the feature to input the meta-information of you products easily on the admin panel of the eCommerce system.