What is eCommerce?
eCommerce simply refers to any transaction conducted on the internet. This can include anything from ordering a cab through a ride hailing app, or buying a new shirt at your favorite online clothing store.
Where once people were wary of online shopping, it has now taken off in a big way. In the United States alone, nearly 80% of the population shops online. This is an astounding figure, considering that in the beginning of the century the number was only a quarter of that at 22%. People are not only comfortable with shopping online, but they also prefer it in many cases. This is because of, among other things, convenience.
With the rise in eCommerce shopping, there has also been a rise in the number of websites that cater to shoppers in all niches. Anyone can now quickly and easily set up their own online store through eCommerce website builder tools.
What is an eCommerce website builder?
Starting an eCommerce website used to be an expensive and time-consuming proposition. Aside from all of the activity required behind the scenes (such as manufacturing, acquiring inventory, and building business partnerships), creating an online shopping site required programmers and designers to create management tools, shopping cart systems, and automated price calculation. Today, modern software solutions do all of this heavy lifting for you so that you can focus on what really matters in business: your bottom line.
eCommerce website builders are designed to offer new and existing businesses, big and small alike, the tools needed to not only run a business, but to match the services of even the largest competitors and online retailers. This is achieved through pre-programmed sites that allow users to simply choose features, change themes and templates, and add inventory with a few clicks.
Not only do eCommerce website builders save you money on a developer, but they also make it easy for people with little to no internet or coding savvy to create and manage a complete e-tail solution.
What features does an eCommerce website builder offer?
Todays eCommerce website builders offer features that store owners only dreamed of just a few years ago (read how to create the perfect eCommerce website). These features, once reserved for high-end websites with full time developers, are available at even the most basic payment tiers and assist users in not only getting customers to shop on their site, but also in getting them to return.
The home page of an online store is like the storefront of a bricks and mortar shop. It tells customers a lot about what kind of site you run, the style of your product, how much you care about fine details, and more.
eCommerce website builders offer users a vast selection of professional themes designed by world-famous companies and designers. These templates use both psychological and aesthetic methods to bring in users and make them stay. This is the result of years of research in user experience and design, in addition to feedback from store owners.
The result is an extremely effective online storefront that requires zero effort from you, but which has countless hours and money invested in it.
Mobile commerce, or mCommerce, refers to having the ability to make purchases on a mobile device. Whereas once this required special coding specifically to create websites specifically made for a smaller screen, eCommerce website builders now automatically create mCommerce sites to complement your desktop page.
This means that once you create your online store on your computer, you and your customers will be able to access it from mobile as well just as easily.
Advanced Shopping Cart
An online shopping cart is so much more than a place to keep your purchases until checkout. Modern eCommerce website builders offer shopping cart functionality that is capable of some amazing things:
- Abandoned Cart Recovery – Not everyone who places items in their cart is going to purchase them. In fact, an average of 70% of shoppers abandon their cart. Abandoned cart recovery can complete a sale by attempting to lure a customer back in by targeting them with advertisements, or emailing them to follow up. You can sweeten the offer by automatically providing a discount code to people who leave their carts.
- Automatic Taxes and Shipping Rates – There are two certainties in online sales: shipping and taxes. It is therefore imperative that your shopping cart be able to calculate the two based on customer location information. eCommerce website builders offer integrated calculators so you can focus on sales.
- Coupons and Promotional Codes – Everybody loves a deal, and with an advanced shopping cart you can allow users to simply add coupon and promotional codes. Additionally, your eCommerce cart will be able to keep track of store credit and gift cards.
How do I accept payments online?
Accepting payments online is incredibly simple with an eCommerce website builder. In fact, often times you don’t need to do anything at all in order to transfer your money to your desired account. It’s all taken care of by any number of the payment gateways you can choose from.
A payment gateway automatically authorizes payments online just as it would in a retail store. It differs slightly simply due to the number of options people can take advantage of. Thanks to the internet there are literally dozens of gateways including PayPal, iDEAL, and bitcoin. Of course, you can also accept standard credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
eCommerce website builders provide sensitive payment information with a high level of security. Aside from the precautions that third-party companies take with their payment option, eCommerce builders offer SSL certification, ensuring that all transaction data remains safe, secure, and encrypted.
How do I choose an eCommerce website builder?
There are many eCommerce website builder options out there and that can make choosing the right one for your needs overwhelming. Thankfully, we have compiled a list of the best of the bunch and provide rankings that are based on our actual experience with the software. We create real online stores and analyze the ins and outs of each platform so that when you make your decision you can have the confidence that comes with knowing that it is the right one.