Creating a business website that attracts the right kind of visitors is great for your online presence. But online presence is just the beginning. If you’re selling products through the Internet you’ll need the best e-commerce software, or shopping cart software, for building an  electronic shop. This is online store software that lets you display your products and enables potential customers to easily shop and pay for their items safely.

NB: It’s amazing how the simple steps I want to share here can help you set up an e-commerce website in hours and get customers from it so I suggest you read thoroughly and take action!

Lucky for you, doing business online today is easier than ever. Using the best e-commerce software selling goods or services on the web has never been easier and cheaper. With a good e-commerce website builder you can set up an online store quickly. And if you have an existing offline business that electronic shopping cart software allows you to grow your business by reaching new lucrative market.

If you want to build an online shop with the best e-commerce software here are step-by-step preparations to take to guarantee its success right from the start.

Understand Your E-commerce Business Needs

There are two essential factors to consider when building an e-commerce website:

1. Your business model. Do you sell products to other businesses (B2B) or directly to consumers (B2C)? There are other forms of e-commerce business models but the B2B and B2C are the most common ones. Shopping cart vendors usually specialize their services to a specific business model or even a specific industry. You want to use this info for picking an e-commerce website builder that is right for small businesses.

2. Your products and/or services. How many items you’re selling? Are they similar items? Do you need to present a catalog of many different products? What will be your volume of sales the first year? Next year? In five years? Those are some questions that help you specify your e-commerce business needs.

Two e-Commerce Software Platforms

There are many e-commerce software platforms specifically developed to meet the needs of small businesses out there. These e-commerce tools are created based on two major service ideas:

Hosted. All-in-one hosted e-commerce solutions like Shopify offer the entire infrastructure for you to sell products online. Services may start from website design to sales order processing. The facilities offered include website templates for building storefronts or catalogs, electronic shopping carts software, credit card transaction and many more. These solutions offer different level of services payable on a monthly basis.

Licensed. Standalone licensed e-commerce platforms like Magento offer you downloaded software that you can install at your own server or web host. The main benefit is flexibility to change a feature to meet your specific needs. Some open source programs even let you integrate it with third party solutions. This platform requires you to invest a fix, quite-significant, amount of money upfront.

Criteria for Selecting an E-commerce Solution

Here are a few number of criteria for you to pick the best e-commerce software for your small business:

1. Small business friendly. Do you have any experience with services that claim serving small businesses but don’t actually understand their needs? If you’re a busy small business owner you don’t want to learn too many things other than ones that increase sales and improve profits. You may also want an e-commerce solution that help you to focus on those metrics and is right for your budget.

2. Ease of use. You want an e-commerce software that doesn’t create another headache. The processes should be as easy as choose a template, upload your product catalog, and start accepting payments.

3. Hosted shopping cart. Yes, a hosted e-commerce software. A hosted shopping cart solution is easy to set-up and comes in with low monthly cost options — no investment in infrastructure. If you’re just starting out this platform helps you to slash the time for launching your e-store. Of course, you can always compare the costs and benefits with licensed software platform later for opportunities to lower your operation costs.

4. A huge collection of templates. Setting up an e-storefront with a beautiful template suitable for your industry is key to your online business success. This is only possible if the e-commerce software providers have a huge collection of templates or themes for different types of businesses.

I can add more criteria here but I just stop with the above because I don’t want to waste your time with other minor criteria. The most important thing for you right now is to pick the best e-commerce software and set up your own online shop in an hour or two.

An Overview of the Best E-commerce Software Platform

Shopify is a small business friendly, hosted e-commerce solution. One of the reasons is it was built on a successful e-store created by small business people. Another one is it is easy to run an online store even for small business owners who have never built their own website. In short, you can manage all aspects of your shops from uploading products to viewing your completed transactions. Click here to learn my personal experience when using Shopify free trial.

Learn more about the best e-commerce software by starting a 14-day trial today!