Website & eCommerce Software

Everything you need to know


Website and eCommerce software, or simply eCommerce software, is a critical tool for almost all retail businesses operating today. A growing number of customers prefer to shop online rather than to visit stores. In addition, eCommerce sales in the United States are forecast to grow to 12.4% of total retail sales in 2020.

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Everything you need to know

Website and eCommerce software, or simply eCommerce software, is a critical tool for almost all retail businesses operating today. A growing number of customers prefer to shop online rather than to visit stores. In addition, eCommerce sales in the United States are forecast to grow to 12.4% of total retail sales in 2020.

This buyers guide helps you understand the key features of Website and eCommerce software, along with its business benefits and market trends.

Here's what we'll cover:

  • What is eCommerce software?
  • Key features of eCommerce software
  • Benefits of and potential issues with eCommerce software

What is eCommerce software?

eCommerce software is the engine that runs an online retail store and manages tasks such as inventory management, online payment, product listings, website design, sales reporting and customer relationship management. The software provides an interface that allows even non-technical users to manage the entire eCommerce operation.

Key features of eCommerce software

Below is a list of core features commonly found in eCommerce solutions:

FeaturesDescription
Website builderProvides several design templates to quickly create a website and storefront design based on user preferences.
Shopping cartAllows online customers to select and save items for purchase during shopping. Carts also support checkout and payments.
Inventory managementAllows users to track quantities and locations of all items in the store in real time. Most of the eCommerce software solutions sync online and in-store sales to create a single transparent inventory.
Order fulfillmentCovers estimated shipping and handling costs involved at the time of purchase. Also manages the end-to-end logistics for all items from inventory to delivery.
Shipping managementCalculates shipping and handling costs at the time of sale and shares customer's delivery address with the third-party shipping company.
Reporting and analyticsAllows users to create dashboards to analyze product-specific sales and identify trends and sales patterns to understand customer buying habits.
Customer relationship managementCovers functions such as customer/product reviews, search engine optimization, email marketing and customer database management.
Mobile commerceAllows users to access an eCommerce website through a mobile app or browser.
IntegrationAllows integration of the eCommerce solution with third-party applications and platforms such as payment processing, email marketing, accounting, etc.
Marketplace managementSells products on online marketplaces such as Ebay and Amazon.
Customer order list in Shopify

Customer order list in Shopify

Benefits of and potential issues with eCommerce software

Benefits

  • Quick website setup starting from design to adding product details to final checkout and payment processing.
  • Built-in SEO features help list your store higher in search engine results, thus attracting new customers with minimum effort.
  • With different shipping and payment tools offered by shopping carts, you can choose among various payment gateways and accept direct payments via all major credit and debit cards.
  • Connect to other existing systems, such as email marketing and payment processing, through a third-party integration feature.
  • No shipping worries as users just need to select the supply location by country and the preferred carrier from the comfort of their computer. Users can also set discounts, set up tax rules and manage all logistics directly from their back office.

Potential issues

  • Some eCommerce software offers less customization and does not allow users to change major parts of the functionalities.
  • In some cases, you might have to pay extra if you don't use the in-house payment processor.
  • It's not easy to switch from one platform to another, but even if you decide to move, you'll have to build everything from scratch in the new platform.
  • Not all eCommerce software supports region-specific functionalities, such as local payment and language options.