Do you need web store builder software?  Last week, we started going over the top things to look into before buying eCommerce software and creating an online store.  We walked you through the different considerations of Features and Functionality, Set-up and Design, Mobile Integration and the ability to provide Customer Reviews and Content.  Let’s continue the list now, finishing out what the team here at PinnacleCart feels are the Top 10 things to consider when before buying web store builder software.

5) User-Friendly Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)
Online browsers will quickly loose interest in retailers whose storefronts are dull or have a complicated layout. It takes a good UI and creative UX to offer easy-to-navigate product and information searches, while keeping an audience engaged enough to complete the sale.
User Interface (UI) can sometimes be confused with User Experience (UX).  Both disciplines are extremely important considerations when building or reworking a website but though there is an overlap in the skills needed to develop both, they are not the same.  UI is interactive and UE is reactive.  UI is designing for function and usability, the user-friendliness of a website.   UX is designing for emotion, the feeling you get while you’re surfing a website.  UI is responsible for how easily your shoppers can surf and shop your online business, finding the information and products they want.  UE is the end goal, the reaction a shopper feels while navigating your web store and the memory they are left with after they have moved on.
The more complete your eCommerce software is, the better the development tools will be for both User Interface and User Experience.  A quality web store builder should be able to help design and refine your ideas.  And remember, though they are not the same, you can’t develop a solid UX without building an efficient UI.  It doesn’t matter how good your store looks if it doesn’t function properly.

6) Tech and Customer Support
The level of support a software offers is one of the top factors that affects customer satisfaction, according to Management Study. Initially, the tech support available affects the software buyer, as they’ll need to contact the help desk and get quick, quality responses for their own website troubleshooting.  Once the site is running well, however, customers also need quick and easy customer support so it’s a good idea to shop for a web store builder solution that offers a built-in chat, product Q&A, customer reviews, and other customer support options.  Doing so will ensure you don’t lose sales from customer questions going unanswered.

7) Try It Before You Buy It Trial Offer
One great thing about most reputable eCommerce software is that they’ll offer a free trial period so you can make a demo store and run it, usually for around 2 weeks or more. If you’re looking into companies that do not offer this type of “try-it-before-you-buy-it” experience, you should probably move on.  Being able to walk through and play with templates, graphics, upload products and get a feel for the back admin area will give you a snapshot into the daily life as a site admin for your online store.  This is a pretty important step in determining your comfort level before you invest the time and money required to properly set-up your web store builder.

8) Pricing Packages vs Overall Value
Is the pricing package list the first link you click on when you are researching a web store builder software? It’s important to know the pricing tiers but don’t rush through this step.  It’s more important to have a true understanding of what your true overall monthly cost will be.  At first glance, some solutions will look less expensive than others, or even free.  When push comes to shove, however, they may be charging extra for a lot of the essential add-ons you’ll need to get your business up and running.  Those hidden one-time charges and extra monthly fees will add-up quickly to make a good bargain… a terrible choice.
To avoid getting caught in the pricing package trap, carefully evaluate what is and what is not included in your base or mid-range package fee, as that’s where most will start.  Some extra charges, like an independent SSL or an upgraded theme, are completely reasonable.  Charges for other things, like transaction fees or abandoned cart recovery tools, are not.

web store builder software

A web store builder should help with analytics!

9) The Depth of Reporting Tools
It’s not easy to connect with online shoppers in the same way that physical stores can. You’ll need extra help to offer that personal touch.  Analytics is an often overlooked eCommerce tool that can actually contribute a lot to the success of any business, online or not.  According to com, ‘not collecting enough data’ is one of the top four mistakes that doom eCommerce startups.  Creating a personalized buying experience is easier after you’ve collected comprehensive data on your target audience.  Having this insider’s understanding will help you spend your marketing dollars in the right places, at the right times.  An intuitive shopping cart software should help you get analytics set-up with either a built-in analytics feature or 3rd party add-on option.  Google Analytics should also be set-up to back-up your software reporting tools. Gathering data will help you suggest products on a personal level and turn your prospective shoppers into buyers, build brand loyalty, and create an enjoyable shopping experience.

10) What Makes the eCommerce Software Standout as a Web Store Builder?
When most of your research is done and you’ve narrowed the field, how do you pick between your remaining top contenders? If all other pros and cons are equal, you’ll either have to go with your gut or look for something that makes each web store builder software unique.  What makes solution standout to you may be something random but a few things we look for include the company location, size and how long they’ve been in business.  Are you interested in a huge corporation or personalized company helping you?  If you’re in a refined niche, like automotive, wines, or digital downloads, you may want to look for a Best-of-Breed software that caters to your specific needs.  Recurring billing and subscriptions are other unique offerings that can make eCom software standout!  Whatever it is that will make your store unique, make sure you choose a web store builder software that will enhance your strengths!

Now let’s revisit some hard truth.  Most businesses don’t make it… a whopping 80% of them fail, according to Forbes.  Why is that, do you think?  In the eCommerce world, it’s because so many people come into the idea of a web store and start looking for a quick and easy fix.  Sure, you can build your initial store in minutes but refining your vision and providing the proper functions your audience will need depends greatly on your initial choice in a web store builder software.   Consider these these 10 simple basics of eCommerce Software before you pull the trigger and buy a software that doesn’t fit your needs.

Have you started an online business that failed?  How about one that is still around?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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