Anyone planning to start their own Ecommerce business need to first choose the right website builder. Irrespective of the type of business a company has, a well-designed online store can certainly give a competitive advantage and increase revenue. Taking business online is particularly beneficial for value added resellers (VARs). VAR business is well-known to be a low margin business. However, by taking business online, VARs can reduce their overhead cost substantially and increase margin. As a VAR, it is imperative that you find an effective Ecommerce software to improve your sales.
Creating sales quotes is an integral part of VAR business. In order to speed up the Sales quoting process, automating it through an appropriate software application is recommended. Hence, as a VAR, go for an ecommerce platform that comes with a built-in sales quoting module.
Following are the vital factors to keep in mind before selecting an ecommerce platform for small business.
Being a small VAR, you are no stranger to budget problems. You simply cannot afford to spend a fortune on setting up your own ecommerce site. Hence, affordability is an important factor when choosing a website builder. An inexpensive way to launch your online store is by using a cloud-based ecommerce platform.
Adopting a cloud-based ecommerce solution eliminates the need to invest in various aspects of IT infrastructure such as servers, security, backups etc. Your server is hosted on the Internet and not installed locally on your organization’s hardware system. The service provider takes care of everything from hardware maintenance to software upgrades. Moreover, a cloud-based ecommerce solution is usually available on a monthly subscription basis. You have to pay a reasonable monthly fee to avail the services.
Ease of Use
Whether you are a beginner or novice in website development, you shouldn’t face any issue in setting up your website quickly. The ecommerce solution you choose should allow you to create your online store even without having any knowledge of code. Your aim to start your own ecommerce store is to make money and not spend time in managing its technical aspects. In such circumstances, avoid choosing a self-hosted ecommerce platform as it is too complicated to setup and manage. Go for web-based ecommerce solutions that comes with a drag and drop website builder tool. These are considered to be one of the easiest store builders and you don’t require any extensive tech experience to create an online store.
Scalability is an important factor that VARs need to consider when settling on any specific ecommerce website builder. Yes, your business is small, but when it starts growing your ecommerce platform should be able to handle it efficiently. As your VAR business grows, your customer base will increase and get more orders. In such a scenario, your web store must have the capability to handle traffic spikes. This is possible only when your ecommerce platform is scalable. If your ecommerce platform is not able to grow to meet your increasing demands, your website could possibly crash, eventually leading to lost sales and customers. So ensure that the ecommerce solution you choose is scalable and supports your future growth.
VARs need to understand that having a responsive site is critical to the success of any online business. Gone are the days of sitting in front of desktops to do online shopping. Now more and more consumers prefer to use mobile devices for making online purchases. As a VAR, if your site is difficult to view on smartphones, tablets or iPads, you are likely to lose lot of potential customers. So choose an ecommerce website builder that incorporates a responsive web design. A responsive website adjusts its content automatically to provide an optimal viewing experience on any screen size. Whether your customers are using a smartphone or tablet, your website will look consistent across all devices.
Built-in SEO Features
Is your ecommerce website builder SEO friendly? Well, you simply cannot ignore the SEO aspect of your ecommerce platform if you are serious about running a profitable online store. Today, SEO plays a major role in any ecommerce business’s financial result. Having your own online store is not enough to succeed in VAR business. SEO is equally important to achieve your business objectives.
SEO will enable the search engine to better understand your website and rank it higher on the result pages. With your ecommerce store better placed in search engine result pages, you can expect a substantial increase in website traffic. The better your website’s SEO is, the more people will visit your store. The more traffic your site receives, the more sales it will generate. So ensure your ecommerce website builder has all the necessary features that will enable you to implement SEO best practices.
It all starts with a stunning website. A visually appealing website captures the audience’s attention and encourages visitors to keep coming back. So make sure your website builder has a wide range of beautiful website templates that can be customized to suit your business needs. The ecommerce platform should enable you to design the look and feel of your online store that best represents your brand. All in all, the ecommerce platform has to be highly customizable with the ability to create as many custom pages as you want. In case, you will be handling B2B/B2G customers in the near future, your website builder should allow you to create customer-specific landing pages.
An ecommerce platform that comes with a built-in email marketing module will allow you to promote your online VAR business. It will allow you to run email marketing campaigns to engage with your existing customers and grow your potential buyer list. You can communicate your special offers and discounts through email marketing and increase your sale. Also, there are ecommerce software solutions that allow you to sell products on multiple online platforms. You have to simply export your product catalog to popular online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay etc., and increase sales. So make sure your ecommerce website builder has these key marketing features that help to boost brand awareness and audience engagement.
Flexible Payment Options
Offering your customers multiple payment options can help increase conversions and grow your revenue. So choose an ecommerce platform that supports flexible payment options. You need to give your customers the convenience of making payments through your site. So make sure all the popular payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net etc., are supported by your ecommerce platform. This will enable your customers to make payments online using debit cards and credit cards.
Not everyone has a credit card. Many prefer to make online purchases through digital wallets. So to cater to a larger audience, your online store builder should support different digital wallet payment options such as Apple Pay, Android Pay etc. Your ecommerce platform should also support other modes of payment such as Cash on delivery, company PO, Personal check, money order etc., to make it more convenient for your customers to pay.
As a VAR, you certainly don’t want to spend time and money in managing inventory. So go for an ecommerce solution that enables you to directly connect with your dropship suppliers. In other words, the ecommerce platform should allow you to setup your own dropship business, thereby eliminating the responsibility to store and ship products to customers.
Real Time Shipping Rates
Quite a few ecommerce solutions have real time integration with various third party shipping services such as FedEx, UPS etc. It eliminates the need to calculate shipping cost manually. This allows users to view real time shipping rates coming from various carriers. As a VAR, you can show your customers different shipping options and their live pricing at checkout page. So make sure your ecommerce platform you choose has the provision to integrate with several shipping services.
Excellent Customer Support
When trying to choose an ecommerce website builder, customer support is an important aspect to consider. If you have any technical issues or customization requests, they need to be addressed quickly. A swift and efficient customer support respond urgently and can tackle customers’ problems in the most effective manner. So ensure that the ecommerce vendor you select offers outstanding customer support. A quick response is expected whenever you try to contact the team via phone, email or live chat.
Shane is an American writer for various digital news publications. After being in the ecommerce industry for more than 15 years, Shane has a good understanding of what it takes to make an ecommerce business successful. His articles give insights on the latest trends in the B2C and B2B ecommerce industry. His ecommerce coverage is robust and provides everything from best ecommerce platform to improving your website site. He also likes to cover newsworthy events related to business management software, customer relationship management (CRM) and Quoting software.