There are many things you need to open an online store. You can go about getting them by purchasing software and services piecemeal and integrate all of them yourself, or you can purchase a complete package that includes everything you need. However, you should know what is best included in a package at a basic minimum. The following are four things you should require from any company you are considering buying an eCommerce site package from.
A good shopping cart
A shopping cart is the heart and soul of an eCommerce website; therefore, it must have all of the basic functions of a shopping cart. This means it should be able to allow a customer to browse your online catalog and select the items they want. When a customer is ready, they can proceed to checkout. Here, orders can be processed by allowing the customer to input their shipping information. Sales tax should be automatically calculated when it is applicable. Your inventory is automatically adjusted after the sale is completed. There are extras that a good shopping cart will also have. One example is the ability to accept coupon codes. Along with a good integration of your inventory file, you should be able to upload your entire inventory in bulk.
Several shipping options should be available
These options can be configured to suit your needs, and you should have all of the most common carriers to choose from. You should also be able to offer your customer expedite services at an additional charge. All of these shipping charges are automatically calculated for the customer. In addition, shipping confirmation emails should automatically be sent to your customers.
Several payment options
Some eCommerce packages will only offer one or two payment processing options, and when you see the one you want, you may stop there and be satisfied. The problem is that once you begin selling products on the Internet, you will find that customers like a variety of choices to pay for goods. You should also be able to process orders both international and domestic. You should have the ability to process a credit card offline. The more options you have, the better off you will be, so make sure an eCommerce package has plenty to offer.
The ability to build an email list
You will find that there is great success in online retail if you can build a list. A good eCommerce package will provide you with the ability to capture the names and emails of your customers so that you can contact them with new offers in the future. It will also allow you to import lists generated elsewhere, so you can bring new customers to our site.
There are many other things that a good eCommerce package may provide you, but you should understand that online shopping carts, payment processing, shipping options and email list building are fundamental. After this, you want to look for any Internet marketing tools that are offered. The more tools a package provides, the better it will be for your business.