Getting into online selling can be incredibly easy, or crazy difficult… all depending on which eCommerce software you choose to build your online store with. Here are five questions that most new eCommerce platform users forget to ask before they take the plunge!
Setting up shop on the World Wide Web for the very first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. There’s so much to do! So many options! Before you get lost in all the hubbub, there’s one thing that you have to be very clear-headed about… and that’s the online shopping cart software that you will be using for your online store. We’ve got a handful of often forgotten questions that all new eCommerce platform users should ask. These basic web store builder questions will help you choose the best eCommerce software for your needs.
1. Does the company offer training and support for new eCommerce platform users?
Not everyone is a whiz in coding and setting up websites. And an online store is not a “bare bones” kind of website. Your online store will be handling financial transactions and data, product images and videos, promotions, inventory tracking, and more. In short, the full Monty of Web elements is needed to bring your customer a superior shopping experience. Full documentation of the software, as well as detailed training and support for its use, should be easily available to new customers, in several forms so it’s got 24/7 accessibility. We recommend that you check out the training and resources sections first before purchasing a subscription to any platform. If the material is easily understandable and there’s a wealth of information on how to actually use the features of the eCommerce platform, then that’s a green light.
2. Are there website security measures in place?
DDOS attacks or “distributed denial of service” attacks are common on the Web. Essentially, a DDOS attack is a set of overwhelming actions from a person or group of people that want to hack and deactivate your website. Actions like DDOS attacks are done maliciously, with the intent to cause grief to business owners, online shoppers, and employees who offer support. Good eCommerce software, in general, should have mitigation measures in place to protect their customers’ online stores from potential attacks. If you can’t find any information about this from the platform’s website, shoot their support a quick email.
3. How easy is it to make changes after A/B testing?
A/B testing may be a foreign concept to new eCommerce platform users but it is a staple in the world of online marketing. No successful online store would have made it far without any kind of split testing. A split test allows the online store owner to literally test the effectiveness of at least two elements like a picture, call-to-action button, or Web copy. The only way to measure the effectiveness of certain elements is by creating two versions of the same Web page, one with the old element and the other one with the possible replacement. A/B testing allows business owners to progress swiftly in website optimization and SEO. If the eCommerce platform fully supports A/B testing and deep modifications, you have a potential winner on your hands.
4. Is the platform supported by a responsive support team?
A responsive support team may be your only hope in certain situations, especially if the eCommerce platform is self-hosted. Unfortunately, the only way to test the responsiveness of a support team is by using their system and then asking for help when something goes wrong. But still, it’s something to consider for the long term. Why stay with an eCommerce platform that provides almost no support?
5. Does the platform offer professional services experts to help with your success?
Some high-end eCommerce companies will offer a team of dedicated professionals to help you with the tasks that you may not want to or just don’t have the time to do. These services vary widely but cover everything from the boring routine daily tasks that come with owning your own business to the technical and advanced design services that are best left to the experts. While ‘interviewing’ and reading about the eCommerce platform you have in mind, make sure they offer a wide range of professional services to support their business owners.
Do you have more ideas for questions new eCommerce platform users should ask? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Inspired by her love of travel, Susan is a passionate supporter of eCommerce software and the idea that people should own their own internet business (so they can work from anywhere in the world). Though she currently resides in California, she is often found blogging from random beaches and teaching her kindergartner the delightful difference between ‘hola’ and ‘ciao’.
With a strong past in product evaluation, educational content, and eCommerce sales, Susan is serious about helping online merchants succeed in their goals. She loves meeting other independent business owners on the road and hopes to run into you one day… maybe in the hammock next to her!