Pre-built templates, plugins and add-ons
Web Builders are built to simplify the process of getting a website. To avoid complex setup processes, choose a website builder with an easy-to-use website editor. Avoid web builders that require a separate e-commerce setup or plugin and opt for an e-commerce store builder that already has built-in e-commerce capabilities. An e-commerce web builder will eliminate the need for additional setups and offer a ‘plug-and-play’ mechanism to website building.
Domain & hosting
Your e-commerce website will require a domain name and hosting. The domain name is the name of your store. E-commerce hosting makes it possible to run an e-commerce business and allows for functions required to operate a commercial website such as payment processing, security, SSL and other plugins. Some e-commerce builder providers come with e-commerce hosting and domain registration services, if not you will have to secure these separately.
Store Inventory Management
An inventory management tool is necessary to help business owners to manage their stock and to run an efficient e-commerce website. Some of the tasks this tool can help you with are generating sales reports, setting up automatic low inventory alerts, and managing order packing and shipping, as well as providing valuable sales data.
It’s important to ensure that your customers’ credit card information, login details and email addresses are safe on your website. One of ways to do this is by purchasing a SSL certificate to show visitors that their information is safe on your e-commerce website. An SSL certificate provides a way for visitors to verify that the website they are on, indeed belongs to the associated domain name. If a website is encrypted with an SSL certificate it is more complex for information to be intercepted. Most reputable e-commerce website builders will handle all your system and security updates to prevent cyberattacks against your website.
Multiple payment options
A recognised, established and well-known payment gateway will instantly put customers at ease. Offer customers multiple ways to pay you so that they can select the one they already trust. The most popular payment methods are credit and debit cards. Other alternatives are Masterpass, Zapper, SnapScan, Mobicred, PayPal as well as SiD Secure EFT and MoMoPay.
Reporting tools and custom report features
Reporting and analytics tools and reports give you the means to review your store’s recent activity. Common reports you can generate for your store are product analytics, sales, acquisition, inventory, behaviour and marketing reports. Having insight into how your customers find you will guide your decision-making with regards to your marketing efforts.
Customers come back to websites that are easy to navigate and have a seamless checkout process. It’s critical to make sure that all necessary information is available and that the consumer understands the stages of the checkout process.
Social media marketing integration
To easily market your store and products, choose a website builder that can integrate your store to your social media accounts allowing you to easily promote deals across the various social media channels. Merchants can also choose to take search engine optimisation and marketing (SEO and SEM) services to make them more discoverable on Google search.
Customer Product Reviews feature
The majority of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. Having review functionality on your e-commerce website enables customers to leave reviews which gives your brand credibility and can help increase sales.
Promotion and discount code tools
Offering customers discounts or offers based on past purchases is a well-known method of attracting customers back to a website. Most e-commerce builders will have this functionality which helps to create discount codes with start and expiration dates.
It’s important as a business to minimise website downtime. When your website is down it means your potential customers can’t reach you or if you are an e-commerce website, can’t make purchases. Choose a provider that prioritises customer services and is available to assist in bringing your systems back up 24/7.