Brick-and-mortar shopping starts when a patron walks through the doors and ends at the checkout line. The most impressive stores offer a sort of seamless familiarity that allows a customer to flow from one aisle to the next, easily locating products. Marketing, carting, and buying are all integral parts of a store’s business.
Shoppers and businesses have the same needs when it comes to an eCommerce platform, and selling products and services online requires a complete solution that meets those traditional expectations. Are you new to eCommerce? Consider the basics of online shopping, as well as the following three platforms for beginners.
The “Check Out”: Getting to Know eCommerce
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce is more than selling physical products in an online store. eCommerce represents any type of goods or service transaction via a website or app (mobile commerce). Sometimes these transactions include digital downloads or other intangible items like memberships.
How About a Platform?
The “platform” represents any integrated, all-in-one solution that brings eCommerce services together – such as shopping carts, payment portals, and more – for an easy-to-navigate, seamless user experience. The platform is generally a SaaS (Software as a Service) product that’s installed as a backend plugin for a given website or app. Some platforms are referred to as shopping carts, although they often offer more features.
Who Uses eCommerce Anyway?
Short answer: anyone with something to offer. Since the advent of the Internet, many items have been commoditized, including content, which has paved the way for limitless eCommerce opportunities for a range of business owners. Between the sales of memberships that offer access to such content and even physical goods, a proprietor’s potential is virtually limitless.
Choosing the Right Platform
Now that you know a little more about eCommerce, you can build on this knowledge by shopping for the right system. Every company is different, and so too is the platform that supports it; however, like any SaaS product, most eCommerce software offers core features that almost any online marketplace could benefit from.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of the shopping carts on the market – especially the more specialized options – we think these three systems are good places for newbies to start their platform search.
3dcart is so much more than just a cart. It’s a complete suite. This subscription software offers everything from SEO tools and social media support to data and analytics. This powerful platform works with almost any hosting service to automate a complete setup for online stores needed for new and existing websites.
2. WP eCommerce
Since WordPress (WP) is such a popular web platform, we wouldn’t do this list justice without mentioning the WP eCommerce plugin. This eCommerce tool features marketing capabilities, as well as shipping options. Almost all the configurations are equipped to integrate with other WP plugins, as well – making it an ideal choice for DIY websites that thrive on versatility. While the plugin itself is free, WP eCommerce offers powerful premium add-ons that extend the software’s capabilities to include specific payment gateways, FedEx shipping support, and more.
Magento’s open source software allows the flexibility that many online retailers need. With enterprise and user-based eCommerce solutions, Magento makes it easy for businesses big and small to start getting shoppers. In addition to many of the services offered by the platforms above, Magento features a diverse catalogue of channel partners that work together to help extend the platform’s capabilities.
Need a robust eCommerce platform for your business? Contact Oyova today to speak with a development expert, and find out how we can help your company provide professional looking products and services with website and app development.