Once upon a time, the budding entrepreneur was often stopped in their tracks due to the lack of financial resources needed to invest in the traditional brick and mortar store. This no longer has to be the case as both the internet and e-commerce are in full swing, providing companies of all sizes with an opportunity to move up several notches on the competitive ladder. However, finding the right e-commerce solution is never as easy as it sounds. A countless number of companies claim to have exactly what you need, but the harsh truth is that you can never be certain until giving it a try for yourself. Unfortunately, the trial and error approach can turn out to be very risky, especially if you are trying to establish a business online. To help in your search efforts, we have a compiled a list of some features that must be present in order to make up a complete e-commerce solution.
Compatibility with Existing Systems – Launching an e-commerce site is a tremendous process. Therefore, you should not make it even more complex by setting yourself up to encounter technical problems. Whether it is a shopping cart or payment gateway, make sure any e-commerce component you plan to integrate is compatible with your existing hardware, operating system and applications.
Ability to Support Existing Data – An ideal e-commerce solution is one that allows you to easily import data from one location to another. This becomes a must for large stores that maintain databases in environments where it could be complex and costly to manually transfer large amounts of data into a new system. Keep in mind that this feature is usually included in high-end enterprise solutions but may not be included in cheaper, entry-level systems.
APIs with Linking Support – Integrating inventory management and finance systems is one of the most challenging aspects of e-commerce. If this is something you wish to do, you may want to look for a solution that offers flexible APIs. Short for application programming interfaces, these APIs enable developers to write code that will connect your legacy system to your e-commerce server.
Functional Shopping Cart – The shopping cart is the most obvious and important feature of any e-commerce solution. You need to put special emphasis on this application as it will allow visitors to browse your store and purchase the items they want to purchase.
Diverse Payment Systems – Most consumers prefer to shop online with credit cards or third-party services such as PayPal. On the other hand, a complete e-commerce solution goes that extra mile and supports additional payment options. This will give you the opportunity to maximize your profits by catering to a broader range of customers.
The features listed in this article are just a few that must be obtained to form a complete e-commerce solution. This means you need to keep your eyes peeled for several more qualities. Despite how insignificant some of these features may seem, each is equally critical as they will determine the failure or success of your venture with e-commerce.