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How to Choose a B2C E-Commerce Suite

As the e-commerce industry became extremely competitive and fast-paced, it was only a matter of time before online retailers recognized the need to offer seamless user experience and customer service.

Generally speaking, the faster and more secure the whole shopping process, the better for your business. And there’s a way to make that happen. Turning to business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce software, as well as various integrations available, can make your online store stand out.

Let’s face it – online retailers need to take care of many intricate processes and components on a daily basis. Thanks to a proper B2C e-commerce suite, though, automating and streamlining the operations is now easier than ever. E-commerce software is basically a tool that drives and simplifies all business processes behind an online store, such as managing the inventory, adding or removing available products, processing payments and executing orders.

Why is this innovative? Because until recently, there were different types of software responsible for managing different parts of the whole process. But sensing the need in the marketplace, software developers started to work on all-in-one solutions and integrations, that are intuitive enough to be used by anyone. And luckily, you can now take advantage of them easily.  

How exactly can you benefit from a B2C e-commerce suite?

A proper e-commerce software can do wonders for your business, and handle many important aspects of running an online store. Besides, it’s often possible to integrate it with other apps and services, which gives you even more benefits.

Basically, a B2C e-commerce suite (along with integrations available) can let you do the following:     

–  Quickly set up an online store. Do you have an idea for your e-commerce business? There’s nothing simpler than using pre-built templates and other easy-to-use features to create an online store. Just add product images, descriptions and prices, take care of the shopping cart, and you’re ready to sell.      

–  Keep your store open at all times. Thanks to an e-commerce software, your online store is constantly open for business. You don’t even have to supervise it all the time – once it’s set up and automated properly, your business can do just fine without you.   

–  Sell multiple products to anyone around the world. A brick-and-mortar shop has its limitations – a certain location, storage space, working hours, and so on. If you run an online store, though, there’s no physical space to limit the number of products you can have in stock, display, and sell. Plus, your clients can come from any place in the world. And they probably will at some point, since more and more people are shopping online nowadays.

–  Enable safe and secure transactions. Proper e-commerce software is equipped with tools that process online payments in a safe and secure manner, and let you track the statuses of all the orders in real time.   

 – Explore built-in marketing tools. Many e-commerce solutions offer powerful marketing, SEO & analytical tools to help you reach the right audience with your products.  

–  Provide quality customer service online. Automating the whole shopping experience means easy product selection, ordering process, and secure payment, supported by the customer service team that can be reached via live chat, as an example.

–  Save time, money and resources. Let’s be honest – running an online store is much more convenient than having a brick-and-mortar one. And with a proper e-commerce suite, it’s now easier than ever to start your business.   

These are only the main benefits of implementing a B2C e-commerce suite, but you can use it for plenty more purposes, especially if you get familiar with integrations that are available to you. If you’re convinced that an e-commerce software is worth investing in (as you should be at this point), here’s how to choose one.

Choosing an e-commerce suite

When it comes to different kinds of e-commerce software, there are two general types that you should be aware of:

–  On-Premise installed on a local server and handled by a dedicated team on-site. It used to be the more popular choice due to greater hands-on management in comparison with other solutions.

–  Nonetheless, it’s Software as a Service that is used by the majority of online stores nowadays. It can be launched quickly and offers different options, without the need to manage necessary updates and improvements yourself.

It’s not the certain type that is the most important here, though. It’s all about the features that you need in order to run a store effectively. Since there are many e-commerce platforms to choose from, it’s important to have a clear overview of what you’re looking for. First, establish what your needs are.

Only then you can decide whether a certain suite is useful for your business. Once you narrow down the choices, test out at least a few different tools and integrations to see what works best.

Realistically, it may be difficult to find a solution that is a perfect fit for your online store. But if you keep focusing on the most important needs and requirements of your business, you can easily find a suite that is worth partnering up with. Remember that the size of your store matters, as well as the stage your business is at.

If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, you may want to keep more control to yourself and even invest in an enterprise solution. On the contrary, if you’re about to start selling online, you will need a ready-made tool that will guide you through the whole process.

Interestingly enough, unlike many other nations, the Germans prefer to use a variety of e-commerce tools. And rightly so. It means that online retailers in Germany don’t go for “everyone’s favourites”, but choose software that is tailored to their businesses.

As a matter of fact, the suite doesn’t have to be extremely popular, but it has to offer greater functionality (even at the expense of a user-friendly interface). Below you’ll find examples of tools that combine a wide range of features with an intuitive interface, though.  

Best e-commerce software and integrations

–  Shopify claims to be the best e-commerce platform for selling online, on social media, and in person. And many online stores can vouch for it. Shopify powers some of the most well-known businesses, which should be a good enough reason to check it out.

–  advandoo, on the other hand, specializes in finding customer-oriented solutions and creating customized digital business models for manufacturers and retailers. The company can easily help you integrate ERP or CRM, and is familiar with complex data structures.

–  Shopware is an open source e-commerce platform, that is a leading solution in the German market. Thanks to its scalability, modular basis and range of features, it has already proved to be a great platform for growth for many businesses

– plentymarkets is a cloud-based e-commerce ERP software, which combines stock management with a shop system and omnichannel sales. Because of many functions and interfaces, it allows sellers to completely automate and scale their businesses both online and offline.

–  VARIO 8, a product of the VARIO Software AG, offers an innovative ERP system tailored to the specific needs of small and medium-sized companies, supporting them in all necessary processes.

–  pixi* is a useful tool in e-commerce and omnichannel retailing. It can easily automate your in-house and logistic processes, scale to adjust to seasonal fluctuations while reducing costs.

–  Eltrino, on the contrary, serves both B2B & B2C stores that are established on Magento platform. Their products include DiamanteDesk (open source, help-desk solution without technical limitations) and security solution – WatchDogs, which are both available for free.

–  Sana Commerce helps businesses reach their full potential through seamless integration with SAP and Microsoft Dynamics. It basically leverages existing business logic and data in powerful and user-friendly online stores.

–  ISDK delivers end-to-end e-commerce and marketing solutions in order to build reliable online and omnichannel selling services. Being a partner of both Microsoft and nopCommerce, it has experience in proper development and integration with enterprise systems like SAP, Oracle, Dynamics 365, and SharePoint.

–  Lengow is a technology partner for online retailers and brands that market their products worldwide. Thanks to its e-commerce automation platform, online shops can offer their products systematically and efficiently to over 1,800 affiliated marketplaces, among others.

–  Billbee offers a complete, yet easy to use Multichannel E-Commerce Platform for retailers who sell their products through one or multiple channels online. All relevant after sales processes can be handled and automated – customer communication, order and inventory management, invoicing or shipping, just to name a few.

–  i-systems creates dedicated e-commerce software for retail and distribution. It has been placed twice among fastest growing technology companies in Europe in Deloitte Technology Fast 500 ranking.

–  Roivenue serves a slightly different purpose, being an award-winning suite for marketing strategy decision-making. Using data-driven attribution models and CLV, it allows marketers to identify under-performing campaigns, address over-invested channels, and make decisions that maximize ROI.

–  Custobar has a similar aim too – it gathers all your customer, sales and product data from every source, and put it in your hands so that you can make good use of it and customize your offerings.

–  PushPushGo is designed with online marketers in mind as well. It’s a platform for sending automatic web push notifications on desktop and mobile, that allows segmentation targeting, marketing automation (recovering abandoned carts, cross-selling etc.) and useful e-commerce analytics.

If you sell online, choosing a proper e-commerce software should be a priority. As you can see, it can give a lot of benefits – both to you as a retailer, as well as your customers. By using a B2C e-commerce suite you can not only ensure a seamless shopping experience but also focus more on selling. And frankly, that should be your goal, no matter how big your online venture is.

So, what are you waiting for? Give some of the above-mentioned software a try and take your e-commerce business to the next level.