Your teenage daughter needs a new laptop to complete her school submissions on time. She heads straight to your computer, does a search and decides what model she wants, searches the best deal being offered, you approve the budget, place the order online and phew….next day the laptop’s delivered at your doorstep.
E-commerce has greatly altered the way we shop. Brick and mortar stores are slowly loosing footfalls to online traffic. It’s not just buying products but a complete shopping experience that is driving E-commerce growth. Features like “fashion trends”, “create a look ” and the ease of use, flexible payment plans, quicker and hassle free checkouts, social sharing are providing superior customer experience, and converting CASUAL shoppers into LOYAL customers.
So what is fueling this growth …let’s take a look at the technologies and the E-commerce platforms that are driving this and help you achieve what you desire. I have picked up three most popular and widely used technologies. Let’s take a brief look at what each one has to offer
MAGENTO:One of the most well known e-commerce software solution, has been one of the front runner in the online business. It allows users to create and manage successful online stores and manage their business easily. Let’s highlight some of the key advantages of a Magento
a) EASE OF USE AND FLEXIBILITY: Users are able to build their e-stores quickly and easily, and to their exact preferences, with many customizable options to deliver the perfect experience for customers. It is an open source platform and hence gives the users the flexibility to modify the source code and customize templates
b) MOBILE AND OTHER DEVICE FRIENDLY: Majority of the E-commerce purchases happen over the mobile and other hand held devices, hence a mobile friendly configuration is a necessity to ensure the success of your E-commerce venture. Magento stores are optimized for all devices, provide the best mobile viewing experience, thus ensuring that no business is lost due to compatibility issues.
c) THIRD PARTY INTEGRATION: One of the biggest pluses of Magento is that it allows third party integration allowing users to utilize as many options as possible, makes it easier for importing products and getting real time information to make their store a success.
d) MULTIPLE PRICING AND MULTI STORE ENABLED : Magento assists in organizing the site’s products and can make marketing specific items to a specific segment of customer easier. It helps to vary the price of the specific product depending upon the group of customers. It allows us to manage multiple stores, and support multiple locations, multiple languages, multiple pricing and multiple currencies . Coupons and gift cards are also part of the Magento suite of products, yet another tool users can take advantage of to build sales and traffic to their online stores.
e) CUSTOMER SERVICE: Magento’s customer service is top-of-the-line, giving online retailers peace of mind that any issues that arise can be taken care of quickly in order to eliminate down time. Providing their clients with world class service and cutting edge tools, Magento gives online retailers the ability to take their e-commerce business to a new level.
WOOCOMMERCE :A WordPress plugin – a piece of software – and not a subscription-based solution, which means that you need to handle a couple of things before you ever get to working with WooCommerce itself. Mainly, you need to do these:
- Get a domain name
- Sign up for a hosting account
- Install WordPress
- Find and install a WordPress theme
It is only after you have those four taken care of that you can install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website and start getting through the configuration of your online store.Having said that it is also one of the most customizable plugins, offering it’s users free and valuable tools to build and grow their business online, For store owners it gives them the control to sell anything, anywhere, beautifully. Let’s see some key highlights of Woo Commerce:
a) Open source – you can modify your store freely; there are no limitations and you have complete control over your data
b) WooCommerce users can sell anything on their site they can imagine and, with an innovative inventory system, they can keep track of their stock in real time in order to deliver quality products to their customers.
c) WooCommerce also lets its users create marketing campaigns, implementing coupons, sales and other promotions easily, to drive business.
d) Logistics & Shipping has been streamlined as well, with WooCommerce offering many options for its users to deliver their products quickly to customers without having to navigate through multiple websites.
e) Tracking the performance of their online business is important to retailers, and with WooCommerce’s tracking and report system, they can get all of the valuable information they need about what is selling, who is buying, and what changes can be made to improve the system.
SHOPIFY: Is a subscription-based tool/service plus a complete, out-the-box E-commerce solution. It gives all users, beginners and experts, everything they need to build and run a successful online store. With pre-made templates ready to use, Shopify makes designing an online store super fun and easy, allowing for high levels of customization and personalization. Shopify provides its users with innovative E-commerce solutions designed to make selling online easy and running an e-store profitable and rewarding. The best part is that they are all mobile responsive and have a variety of different coloring options Let’s briefly look at some key features Shopify offers:
a) Exclusive designs: For websites – and especially eCommerce stores – design is everything. Users simply don’t trust a site that doesn’t have the right aesthetic or doesn’t function as well as it should. One of Shopify‘s greatest USPs is the visual quality of the themes. These templates look thoroughly professional, have a fashionably sleek and clean aesthetic, which makes it perfect for modern, forward-thinking websites.
b) Inventory Management: Once the store is set up, Shopify makes it easy for retailers to manager their inventory and market effectively to customers. Tracking sales performance gives online sellers a big picture of their store’s performance, and Shopify’s high level of customization lets users make the necessary changes to build the business. Shopify also makes the sales easier, by taking care of payments and shipping through its platform, rather than needing to incorporate outside applications and cluttering up the process.
c) Data Security & Customer service: With Shopify customers can be sure that their information is safe as Shopify gives stores state-of-the-art security software and providing peace of mind. Unlimited, 24/7 customer service also means that an issue with a Shopify powered store gets attended to and resolved with the least amount of lead time
d) Ease Of Use: The main strength of Shopify is that it’s a subscription-based online tool. In other words, to use it, all you need to do is visit Shopify.com, click the sign up button, go through a basic setup wizard, and you’re done.
Shopify is going to help you along the way, asking about the purpose/nature of your store (what you’re planning to sell), and giving you some overall tips as to which design/structure to choose and how to set everything up. Best thing about it is that you can just sign up and create a store right away, with no unexpected interruptions.
Hope the above points help you get a better understanding of what technology is best suited for your needs. I’ll be back with some more E-commerce tips soon
About the author
Pradeep is an entrepreneur and an E-commerce enthusiast. He is a Magento developer and specializes in creating Magento plugins. An avid follower of E-commerce technologies, he enjoys writing about various aspects of E-commerce. He can be reached on: firstname.lastname@example.org