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9+ best eCommerce software features for your business

Summer Nguyen | 11-22-2023

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Table of Contents

How do eCommerce software features help to grow your business?

eCommerce software features play a pivotal role in driving business growth by addressing critical aspects of online retail operations. Here’s how each of these features contributes to the growth of your business:

Scalability

Scalability as an eCommerce software feature is a crucial concept in the world of technology and business, and it refers to the ability of a system, software application, or organization to handle growth or increased demands efficiently without compromising performance, functionality, or quality. Scalability ensures that as your needs expand or change, your system can adapt and continue to operate effectively. In the context of eCommerce, scalability is critical. Online stores need to be able to handle varying levels of traffic, especially during peak shopping seasons or promotions. A scalable e-commerce platform can accommodate a growing number of products, customers, and transactions without slowing down or experiencing downtime. This ensures a smooth and responsive shopping experience for users.

Usability

Usability is an ecommerce software feature that is a critical concept in the design and development of software applications, websites, and digital products. It refers to how easily and effectively users can interact with and navigate through a system or interface to achieve their goals. Usability is a key factor in ensuring a positive user experience and can have a significant impact on the success of a product or service.

Usability can have a significant impact on the success of a product or service

Painless checkout process

A painless checkout process is a crucial component of eCommerce usability and plays a significant role in the overall success of an online store in eCommerce software feature. It refers to the seamless and user-friendly experience customers have when finalizing their purchases on a website or mobile app. A well-designed and painless checkout process minimizes friction, reduces cart abandonment rates, and encourages customers to complete their transactions efficiently.

Top-notch SEO features

Top-notch SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an eCommerce software feature that are critical components of an e-commerce platform or website that help improve its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). These features are essential for attracting organic traffic, increasing online visibility, and ultimately driving more potential customers to your eCommerce site.

Read more: How to improve the Ranking of your Website with eCommerce SEO hacks?


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Integrates with your current systems

Integrates with your current systems refers to the capability of eCommerce software features to connect and work seamlessly with the existing software applications and systems that your business relies on for various operations. This integration is crucial for optimizing your business processes, reducing manual work, and ensuring that data flows smoothly between different systems.

Optimized for mobile

Optimized for mobile is an eCommerce software feature that refers to the design and functionality of a website or application to ensure that it provides an excellent user experience on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. In the context of e-commerce, having a mobile-optimized online store is crucial because a significant portion of online shopping now takes place on mobile devices.

Hosting included

Hosting included is an eCommerce software feature that refers to a feature offered by many eCommerce platforms and website builders where the cost of web hosting is bundled into the package or subscription price. In this context, hosting refers to the service of storing and serving your eCommerce website’s files and data on a server that is accessible via the internet.

Omnichannel/multichannel mindset

An “omnichannel” or “multichannel” mindset is an eCommerce software feature that is an approach to retail and customer engagement that acknowledges and leverages the diverse channels and touchpoints through which businesses interact with their customers. This mindset recognizes that consumers today have multiple ways of interacting with a brand, whether through physical stores, websites, mobile apps, social media, marketplaces, email, or other means.

Read more: Omnichannel Marketing Strategy to Optimize Conversions

Outstanding customer support

Outstanding customer is an eCommerce software feature that refers to the highest level of service and assistance that a business provides to its customers. It goes beyond basic customer service and aims to exceed customer expectations by delivering exceptional and personalized support experiences. Outstanding customer support is a crucial component of building and maintaining strong customer relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction.

eCommerce software platform types

eCommerce software platforms come in various types, each with its own characteristics and hosting arrangements. Here’s an explanation of the main types of e-commerce software platforms

Open-Source ecommerce software

  • Definition: Open-source eCommerce software is freely available software with its source code open to the public. Users can modify and customize the software to suit their specific needs.
  • Characteristics: Open-source platforms provide flexibility, allowing businesses to tailor their online stores to unique requirements. Users have access to a community of developers and resources for support and extensions.
  • Examples: Magento (now Adobe Commerce), WooCommerce (a WordPress plugin), and PrestaShop are popular open-source e-commerce platforms.

Open-source platforms allow businesses to tailor their online stores to unique requirements

Self-hosted software

  • Definition: Self-hosted eCommerce software refers to platforms that users host on their own servers or hosting providers. Users are responsible for server setup, maintenance, and security.
  • Characteristics: Self-hosted platforms offer complete control and customization but require technical expertise and resources to manage. They are often used by larger businesses with specific needs.
  • Examples: Magento (can be self-hosted), OpenCart, and Zen Cart are examples of self-hosted eCommerce platforms.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

  • Definition: SaaS eCommerce software is a cloud-based solution provided by a third-party vendor. Users subscribe to the service, and the vendor manages hosting, updates, and security.
  • Characteristics: SaaS platforms are easy to set up and use, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes. They typically come with a range of features and scalability options.
  • Examples: Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix are popular SaaS e-commerce platforms.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

  • Definition: PaaS eCommerce software provides a platform for developers to build, deploy, and manage eCommerce applications. It offers greater customization and control than SaaS platforms.
  • Characteristics: PaaS platforms give businesses the tools and infrastructure to create custom e-commerce solutions while abstracting server management tasks. They require development expertise.
  • Examples: Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) and Oracle Commerce Cloud are examples of PaaS eCommerce platforms.

Headless ecommerce software

  • Definition: Headless eCommerce separates the front-end (customer-facing) and back-end (commerce engine) of an eCommerce system. This allows for flexibility and customization in delivering content and shopping experiences.
  • Characteristics: Headless eCommerce platforms enable businesses to use various front-end technologies (websites, mobile apps, IoT devices) while keeping the commerce engine consistent. This approach is favored by businesses seeking unique and innovative customer experiences.

  • Examples: Commercetools and Elastic Path are examples of headless eCommerce platforms. Each type of eCommerce software platform has its own advantages and considerations. The choice depends on factors such as your business’s size, technical expertise, customization needs, and budget. Small businesses often opt for SaaS platforms due to their ease of use, while larger enterprises may prefer self-hosted or PaaS solutions for greater control and customization. Open-source platforms are suitable for businesses seeking complete customization but require technical resources to manage effectively. Headless eCommerce platforms are chosen when businesses want to deliver unique, content-rich experiences across various channels.

eCommerce software to consider

Adobe Commerce (Magento)

Adobe Commerce, formerly known as Magento, is a widely recognized and highly customizable eCommerce platform. It is known for its flexibility, scalability, and extensive feature set, making it suitable for businesses of various sizes and industries. Adobe Commerce offers both cloud-hosted and self-hosted options, allowing businesses to choose the deployment method that best suits their needs. Here’s an introduction to Adobe Commerce along with its pros and cons

Adobe Commerce is a widely recognized and highly customizable eCommerce platform

Pros of Adobe Commerce

  • Customization and Flexibility: Adobe Commerce is renowned for its high degree of customization. Users have full access to the source code, enabling businesses to tailor their online stores to their specific requirements.
  • Scalability: The platform is designed to grow with your business, making it suitable for small startups and large enterprises alike. It can handle high levels of traffic and sales.
  • Robust Feature Set: Adobe Commerce offers an extensive range of built-in eCommerce features, including catalog management, marketing tools, SEO optimization, and order processing, reducing the need for third-party extensions.
  • Multi-Channel Selling: It supports multi-channel selling, allowing businesses to expand their reach by selling on various platforms, including social media, marketplaces, and in physical stores through POS integrations.
  • Large Developer Community: Adobe Commerce boasts a large and active developer community, providing resources, extensions, and support for users.

Cons of Adobe Commerce

  • Complexity: Implementing and customizing Adobe Commerce can be complex, especially for users with limited technical expertise. Small businesses may find it challenging to navigate.
  • Cost: While Adobe Commerce offers a range of pricing plans, it tends to be on the higher end of the cost spectrum, making it less accessible for smaller businesses and startups.
  • Resource-Intensive: The platform’s rich feature set may demand significant time and resources for initial setup, ongoing management, and maintenance.
  • Platform Migration: Moving away from Adobe Commerce to another platform can be challenging, as it often involves complex data transfer and customization efforts. This can potentially lead to vendor lock-in.
  • Third-Party Extensions: While Adobe Commerce offers a robust feature set, some businesses may need to rely on third-party extensions or custom development to achieve specific functionalities, which can add to the overall cost.


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BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a popular and versatile eCommerce platform that empowers businesses to create and manage online stores with ease. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, BigCommerce offers a range of features to help you sell products and services online. It’s known for its scalability, mobile-friendliness, and robust feature set.

BigCommerce empowers businesses to create and manage online stores with ease

Pros of BigCommerce

  • Comprehensive Feature Set: BigCommerce provides a wide range of built-in features for eCommerce, including product catalog management, marketing tools, SEO optimization, and order processing. This reduces the need for third-party integrations.
  • Scalability: BigCommerce is designed to grow with your business. It offers various pricing plans to suit different needs, making it suitable for startups and large enterprises alike.
  • Mobile Optimization: With the increasing prevalence of mobile shopping, BigCommerce ensures that your online store is mobile-responsive, providing a seamless shopping experience for customers on smartphones and tablets.
  • Multi-Channel Selling: You can expand your reach by selling on multiple channels, including social media platforms, marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and even in-person sales through Point-of-Sale (POS) integrations.
  • Built-In SEO Tools: BigCommerce includes built-in SEO features to help improve your store’s search engine visibility. This includes customizable URLs, metadata settings, and automatic sitemap generation.

Cons of BigCommerce

  • Cost: While BigCommerce offers a range of pricing plans, it may be more expensive than some competing eCommerce platforms, particularly for businesses with high sales volumes. Transaction fees may also apply.
  • Transaction Fees: Depending on your chosen plan, BigCommerce may charge transaction fees on top of standard payment processing fees for certain payment gateways. This can impact your profit margins.
  • Learning Curve: Despite its user-friendly interface, some users may find that certain advanced features or customizations require a learning curve or technical expertise, especially if you want to delve into code-level changes.
  • Design Limitations: While BigCommerce offers themes and customization options, some users may find the design flexibility somewhat limited compared to other platforms. Highly unique or complex designs may require advanced coding skills.
  • Platform Lock-In: Migrating away from BigCommerce to another platform can be challenging, as it may involve complex data transfer and customization efforts. This can potentially lead to vendor lock-in.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware)

Salesforce Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Demandware, is a cloud-based and highly customizable eCommerce platform designed to help businesses create, launch, and manage online stores. It is a part of the broader Salesforce ecosystem, allowing seamless integration with customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing solutions. Here’s an introduction to Salesforce Commerce Cloud along with its pros and cons

Salesforce Commerce Cloud highly customizable eCommerce platform designed

Pros of Salesforce Commerce Cloud

  • Powerful Integration: As part of the Salesforce suite, Commerce Cloud offers seamless integration with other Salesforce products, providing a comprehensive solution for customer management, marketing, and sales.
  • Scalability: The platform is built to accommodate businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, making it suitable for businesses with growth ambitions.
  • Mobile-First Approach: Salesforce Commerce Cloud is optimized for mobile commerce, ensuring that your online store delivers a consistent and user-friendly experience on mobile devices, a crucial factor in today’s e-commerce landscape.
  • AI-Powered Personalization: The platform leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide advanced personalization, enabling businesses to deliver tailored product recommendations, content, and marketing messages.
  • Multi-Channel Selling: It supports multi-channel sales, allowing businesses to expand their reach by selling products not only on their websites but also on social media, marketplaces, and in physical stores through Point of Sale (POS) integrations.

Cons of Salesforce Commerce Cloud

  • Cost: Salesforce Commerce Cloud can be relatively expensive, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. The pricing model may pose a barrier for startups and smaller retailers.
  • Complexity: Implementing and customizing the platform may require technical expertise, and it may have a steeper learning curve compared to some other eCommerce solutions. Smaller businesses might find it challenging to navigate.
  • Resource-Intensive: The platform’s rich feature set may demand significant time and resources for initial setup, ongoing management, and maintenance.
  • Platform Migration: Moving away from Salesforce Commerce Cloud to another platform can be challenging, as it often involves complex data transfer and customization efforts. This can potentially lead to vendor lock-in.
  • Licensing Structure: The licensing structure may not be as flexible as some other eCommerce platforms, and additional costs can accumulate, particularly for advanced features and integrations.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is the enterprise-level eCommerce platform offered by Shopify, a leading eCommerce solution provider. Designed to meet the needs of high-growth and large businesses, Shopify Plus offers a robust and scalable platform for building and managing online stores. Here’s an introduction to Shopify Plus along with its pros and cons

Shopify Plus is the enterprise-level eCommerce platform offered by Shopify

Pros of Shopify Plus

  • Scalability: Shopify Plus is built to handle high levels of traffic and sales, making it suitable for large enterprises and fast-growing businesses.
  • Ease of Use: Despite its powerful features, Shopify Plus maintains the user-friendly interface and ease of use that Shopify is known for, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.
  • Customization: The platform allows for extensive customization through themes and an advanced scripting language called “Laravel,” giving businesses the flexibility to create unique online shopping experiences.
  • Multi-Channel Selling: Shopify Plus supports multi-channel selling, enabling businesses to sell on various platforms, including social media, marketplaces, and in-person through POS integrations.
  • Dedicated Support: Shopify Plus offers dedicated support and account management services, providing assistance to businesses at every stage of their e-commerce journey.

Cons of Shopify Plus

  • Cost: Shopify Plus comes with a significant price tag, which may be prohibitive for small and medium-sized businesses. Pricing is based on a monthly subscription fee and transaction fees.
  • Transaction Fees: Depending on the payment gateway used, Shopify Plus may charge transaction fees on top of standard payment processing fees, which can impact profit margins.
  • Limited Access to Source Code: Unlike some other enterprise-level eCommerce platforms, Shopify Plus provides limited access to the platform’s source code, which can limit the level of customization for businesses with specific needs.
  • Platform Lock-In: Migrating away from Shopify Plus to another platform can be challenging due to data transfer complexities, potentially leading to vendor lock-in.
  • Advanced Features Cost Extra: While Shopify Plus includes many features out of the box, some advanced features and integrations may require additional costs, which can add up.
  • Third-Party Extensions: While Adobe Commerce offers a robust feature set, some businesses may need to rely on third-party extensions or custom development to achieve specific functionalities, which can add to the overall cost.

Commercetools

Commercetools is a modern and flexible headless commerce platform that empowers businesses to deliver unique and innovative e-commerce experiences across various channels. It is designed for businesses looking to take a “headless” approach, which means separating the front-end (customer-facing) and back-end (commerce engine) of their eCommerce systems. Here’s an introduction to Commercetools along with its pros and cons

Commercetools

Pros of Commercetools

  • Headless Architecture: Commercetools’ headless architecture allows businesses to decouple the front-end and back-end, providing flexibility in delivering content and shopping experiences across different devices and touchpoints.
  • Scalability: The platform is highly scalable and can accommodate businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprise-level organizations. It is built to handle high levels of traffic and sales.
  • API-First Approach: Commercetools takes an API-first approach, providing businesses with extensive APIs to build and customize their e-commerce experiences. This makes it developer-friendly and adaptable.
  • Multi-Channel Commerce: It supports multi-channel selling, allowing businesses to expand their reach by selling on various platforms, including web, mobile apps, IoT devices, and more.
  • Customization and Flexibility: Commercetools offers a high degree of customization and flexibility, allowing businesses to adapt the platform to their specific requirements and easily integrate with third-party tools and services.

Cons of Commercetools

  • Learning Curve: Implementing and configuring Commercetools may require a learning curve, particularly for users who are not familiar with headless architecture and extensive APIs.
  • Development Resources: Businesses may need access to experienced developers or development teams to make the most of the platform’s capabilities, which can add to the cost.
  • Cost: While Commercetools can offer cost-effective solutions, particularly for startups, the cost can increase as businesses require more customization, integrations, and additional services.
  • Platform Ecosystem: Compared to some other eCommerce platforms, Commercetools may have a smaller ecosystem of third-party extensions and plugins, which may require custom development for specific functionalities.
  • Maintenance and Management: With flexibility comes the responsibility of managing and maintaining various components of the system. Businesses need to consider the ongoing effort required for upkeep.

The final word

The world of eCommerce is dynamic and competitive, and businesses face a multitude of challenges in establishing and maintaining successful online stores. However, with the right eCommerce software features, many of these challenges can be effectively addressed. By leveraging these features, businesses can reduce expenses, enhance customer satisfaction, drive growth, and ultimately thrive in the ever-evolving world of eCommerce. Investing in the right eCommerce software solution tailored to your specific needs can be the key to overcoming obstacles and achieving lasting success in the digital marketplace.

Summer

Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.



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