Would eCommerce suit my business?

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eCommerce software offers far more than the ability to sell direct from your website. It can also provide an overview of your entire sales operation, help create an online shopping experience unique to your brand, and assurance that you and your customers’ data is protected.

Would eCommerce suit my business?

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Is eCommerce the right choice for your business?

Ecommerce software offers far more than just the ability to sell direct from your website. It can also help you grow your business, by providing an overview of your entire sales operation, helping you create an online shopping experience that’s unique to your brand. All while making sure your data and your customers’ data is kept safe and secure.

Small to medium-sized businesses that adopted eCommerce software reported an average 10% productivity increase, and a 7.5% increase in sales over a three-year period.

Before investing, you’ll need to understand the software’s full functionality, to help you decide if it’s right for your business.

Here are three of the main features eCommerce software has to offer:

Dashboard views and reporting

A sales dashboard gives you an instant view of your entire retail operation and better insight into your business, helping you make smarter, more informed business decisions.

It’s great if:

You want to build customer profiles, based on their shopping habits, helping you better target your products, website and marketing.

You want to get automatic inventory updates in real time, so you can keep on top of stock levels.

Or you want to access data quickly to keep tabs on your business’ financial health.

Even if your approach is to sell lower volumes of high-value bespoke products, eCommerce still offers benefits.

Such as the ability to add detailed product information at no extra cost, including multiple photos and descriptions for each item.

Or, if you provide services rather than stock, you can still benefit from the business overview and insight features that eCommerce software provides.

Marketing tools

Ecommerce software includes several valuable features that help customers find your website via search engines and social media. And once browsers are visiting your site, other tools help encourage both sales and loyalty, such as discount codes.

It’s great if:

You want to link your website to your social media platforms.

You want to send automated emails to your customers who leave your site before completing their orders, with a link to the shopping basket.

You want to automatically generate targeted discount codes, to help boost sales and promote loyalty.

Or you simply want your website to be easy for search engines to find and recommend to users.

Security

With onlines sales, you have the responsibility to keep your customers' details safe and secure, as well as your business’.

Shoppers need to trust that you have the right security measures in place.

Most eCommerce software includes robust security features to manage your information securely.

It’s great if:

You’re looking for SSL certification, which stands for secure lockets layer. SSL authenticates a website’s identity and encrypts customer data, keeping all the information transferred from customers’ devices to your website secure.

You need built-in solutions that protect your website against cyber attacks.

These include firewalls to protect against malicious attacks, and anti-malware that detects and deletes viruses and other harmful programs.

Or you want integrated payment solutions.

Next steps

Whether you’re taking online payments for the first time, or you want to offer your customers a more tailored service, eCommerce software could have the features you’re looking for to help you boost sales.

Our six-step software reduction guide provides checklists and guidance for digging deeper into whether eCommerce software can help you reach your business goals, from identifying your objectives to making new software work for your team.

Explore Help to Grow: Digital to find out more, including a discount of up to £5,000 to purchase approved eCommerce software.

We’ve already covered the overall software benefits in Introduction to eCommerce. Here, we’ll take a look at the 3 main features of eCommerce software to help you decide if it’s right for your business.

  1. Instant access to all your sales, orders and site traffic

A sales dashboard of your entire retail operation gives you greater insight into your business, which can help you to make smarter, more informed business decisions.

With eCommerce software, you can:

  • build customer profiles. By learning more about your customers’ shopping habits, you can better target your products, website and marketing

  • get real-time inventory updates. Automatic updates help you keep on top of your stock levels, including when certain products are likely to sell out or if a promotion is needed to advertise some hidden gems

  • access data quickly. Having easy access to your data, such as sales reports, can help you keep tabs on your business’s financial health

If your approach is to sell lower volumes of high-value bespoke products, eCommerce software still benefits your business. For example, the ability to add detailed product information – including multiple photos and descriptions – for each item at no extra cost.

If your business is mainly service rather than product-based, you can still enjoy the features eCommerce software provides. This includes the instant overview of your sales, such as being able to generate financial reports quickly and easily to assess your business’s health.

It’s important to note that eCommerce software will charge you a percentage or fee on transaction in addition to the cost of buying the software.

7.5%

sales increase small to medium-sized businesses that adopted eCommerce software reported over a three-year period.

10%

productivity increase for businesses that use eCommerce software, compared with businesses that don’t.

  1. Marketing tools

eCommerce software includes valuable features that help customers easily find your website, via search engines and social media. Once visitors are browsing your site, other tools, such as discount codes, help to encourage both sales and loyalty.

Features include:

  • built-in search engine optimisation (SEO) tools. SEO tools make it easy for engines such as Google and Bing to find your website and recommend them to users
  • integration with social media channels. Link your social media platforms to your website, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • shopping basket recovery. A handy tool helps to recover potential sales by emailing customers who leave your site before completing their orders
  • discount tools. Automatically generate targeted discount codes, such as free delivery and special offers, to boost sales and promote loyalty

  1. Security

With online sales comes the responsibility to keep your customers’ details safe and secure, as well as your business’s.

Most eCommerce software includes security features to manage your information securely, for example:

  • SSL certification. An SSL (Secure Lockets Layer) certificate authenticates a website’s identity and enables customer data to be encrypted. This keeps all the information transferred from customers’ devices to business websites secure
  • protection against cyber-attack. Built-in security solutions, that include automatic updates, protect your website against cyber-attacks. These include firewalls (to protect against malicious attacks) and anti-malware (that detects and deletes virus and other harmful programs)
  • integrated payment solutions. Trusted payment processing services, such as Worldpay and Apple Pay, help give customers peace of mind and protect cardholders’ data

You can find out more about how to keep your business safe in our article Cyber security for your business.

Next steps…

Whether you’re taking online payments for the first time, or you want to offer your customers a more tailored service, eCommerce software could have the features you’re looking for that will help you boost sales.

Our 6-step adoption guide provides checklists and guidance for digging deeper into whether eCommerce software can help you reach your business goals; from identifying your objectives to making new software work for your team.

Help to Grow: Digital guidance

6 steps to choosing software

Digital technologies can help your business grow. Our 6 steps will steer you through the buying process, so you can make the right choice.

How to recognise your business needs

Identifying your business needs is key to understanding how to help it grow. Download and complete our Business Health Check to find out what shape your business is in.

Apply for 50% off business software

Eligible businesses can get 50% off, up to £5,000, in approved Digital Accounting, Customer Relationship Management and eCommerce software.

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