Posted: 2/2/2011

How To Review eCommerce Software Vendors

Before buying any piece of eCommerce software, a business needs to make sure it's the right fit and that it can bring in customers over the long term. While many providers aren't interested in offering free trials, there are a number of ways businesses can review and compare exactly what different eCommernce vendors have to offer.

SEO and Marketing ToolsThis is a huge part of any eCommerce site's success, and should be one of the first things a business looks for when doing eCommerce software reviews. In order to be found and indexed by search engines such as Google, an eCommerce solution needs have tools to optimize keyword and build links organically so that a sudden spike isn't simply a one-off. A great eCommerce solution will also have a broad array of marketing tools to reach both current and prospective customers, as well as options to create ads and affiliate networks.

Customization and ManagementWhile getting word out about an online store is important, just as crucial is the ability to customize and manage everything inside it. Not only should eCommerce software offer theme customization to set a site apart from any other using the same software, but also allow the creation of custom product attributes for placement on product or category pages. Managing orders is just as crucial, and vendors must offer businesses the ability to see and track every order before it goes out, after payment has been processed and ensure that all data is stored for later use.

Reports and AnalysisInformation is power, and the right information combined with the right set of tools lets a business not only see problems but quickly correct them. Having graphical, intuitive reports generated on a regular basis is something worth examining in an eCommerce software reviews - vendors should offer not only customizable reporting but the ability to have it automatically delivered and displayed in such a way as to highlight relevant trends. Along with these reports, tools for analysis such as Google Analytics can help determine where visitors are coming from, what they're looking at and how long they stay. Together, reporting and analysis gives a business the information they need to change.

Social Media OptionsMany businesses still overlook the importance of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter in their eCommerce software, but social media integration can have a significant impact on a bottom line. The ability to post on Facebook or send out a Tweet instantly when a new product is added or promotion begins helps to not only build organic links, but provide customer-to-customer advertising - often far more effective than traditional methods.

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