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What is Ecommerce Software?

B2B vs B2C Ecommerce: What’s the Difference?

Discover the benefits of ecommerce software, SaaS ecommerce platforms, and tips for choosing the right one for your business.

Ecommerce software is a collection of tools and systems designed to help retailers run their digital shops. It includes everything needed to operate an online store smoothly, including managing inventory, adding or removing products, processing payments, calculating taxes, and fulfilling orders.

This type of software combines all the complex aspects of running an online store into one user-friendly platform. Thanks to intuitive interfaces and features, even those with minimal technical skills can generally use ecommerce software effectively.

Additionally, ecommerce software can connect with other platforms and services such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions, CMS (Content Management Systems), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions, payment gateways, email marketing tools, accounting software, fulfilment services, and social media networks.

Alongside making management possible, one key objective of e-commerce software is enhancing the customer experience. It ensures that customers can easily find products, add them to their carts, and complete their purchases straightforwardly.

In this article, we’ll dive into the different types of ecommerce software and some key considerations if you’re changing systems or rolling out a new ecommerce solution. 

Types of ecommerce software

It may come as no surprise that there are many types of ecommerce software, built to facilitate different types of transactions and stores. You may initially imagine a solution that serves business-to-consumer sales with a desktop site and mobile app – the type a fashion or homeware brand may use. However, there are also solutions facilitating bidding, business-to-business transactions, social media integrations and more. 

These are some common types of ecommerce software solutions:  

  • Ecommerce websites
  • Auctions
  • CX and ecommerce suites
  • Point of sales
  • Mobile applications
  • Shopping carts
  • Marketplaces
  • PIM systems
  • Inventory management systems

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What is a SaaS ecommerce platform?

A SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) ecommerce platform allows a brand to manage their online store. With SaaS, the technology provider offers software over cloud infrastructure, handling updates, security patches, and new features automatically or with simple integrations. However, your company operates the software independently, keeping complete control over its online store management. This means you still manage your store but don’t need to worry about maintaining software or servers – everything technical is managed for you. 

Benefits of SaaS ecommerce platforms

Always up-to-date 

One of the biggest advantages of SaaS ecommerce platforms is that you’re always updated with the latest software version. Typically, ecommerce platforms regularly introduce new features to help you grow your online business, and with SaaS, you get access to these updates as soon as they are released.

Affordable subscription models

SaaS ecommerce solutions are typically offered monthly. This makes them more cost-effective than traditional ecommerce platforms, which may require a costly up-front purchase and rollout. 

Simplified maintenance

When the provider hosts your SaaS ecommerce platform, they handle all the maintenance, including hosting, performance, and security. Updates and upgrades happen automatically, making it much easier to manage. For example, with Commerce Cloud, the provider manages security, upgrades, hosting and backups, and monitors website traffic, saving your business valuable time and resources.

Customer and order management

Ecommerce platforms assist customers in managing their orders, checking order status, and making necessary modifications. For instance, with some providers, chatbots can send order status updates via WhatsApp, SMS or email, ensuring customers always know where their orders are.

These platforms also handle payment processing, maintain transaction records, manage customer data, generate bills and invoices, aid with accounting, provide analytics and reports, and much more.

Product and inventory administration

Your ecommerce solution can pull detailed product information, from SKUs and variations (size, colour, and quantity) to names and images, facilitating product organisation and cataloguing. It assists with inventory management and alerts you when stock levels are low, ensuring you can reorder promptly, which is especially useful for fast-selling items.

How can ecommerce software benefit your business?

Ecommerce software can manage the essential operations for your online store. Additionally, it can be integrated with various third-party apps and services, allowing you to look after additional tasks from a single interface.

Here are some capabilities to look out for in ecommerce software solutions:

Enhanced marketing efforts

Many ecommerce software solutions include built-in SEO tools that help online stores rank higher in search engine results, driving more traffic to the store. This improves the store’s online visibility and discovery, significantly reducing customer acquisition costs.

Optimise shipping and tax processes

These platforms can print shipping labels, calculate sales taxes based on customer locations, and send automated notification emails to customers, saving time and effort and allowing you to focus on business growth rather than administrative tasks.

Boost customer experience

Ecommerce software enables customers to quickly and efficiently find products in your store. Cloud-based SaaS and PaaS (Platform as a Service) solutions often offer service-level agreements (SLAs) with up to 100% uptime and easy and powerful website management, ensuring an optimal online shopping experience for your customers.

Respond to product inquiries

Up to 53% of customers abandon online purchases because they can’t find answers to their questions about products. Customer service features like AI-driven chatbots can provide real-time answers, preventing customers from waiting or searching for information.

Increase sales conversions

Beyond helping close more sales by answering product queries, ecommerce software offers various methods to boost sales. For example, you could use a chatbot to trigger promotional offers with discount codes when a visitor lands on a product page, spends time on it, scrolls through it, adds a product to their cart, or even removes it.

Selecting the ideal ecommerce software

While choosing ecommerce software might seem challenging, there are some strategies to simplify the process. First, identify what you need from the software and the problems it should address. Knowing the necessary features will help you create a shortlist of suitable options.

Second, take advantage of free trials and demos to get a hands-on understanding of how the software works and how it integrates with your workflow. Review customer feedback and ratings before deciding on a platform or tool.

By selecting the ecommerce software that best meets your company’s needs, you can maximise its potential, increase your customer base, boost sales, enhance brand recognition, and generate more profit.Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a leading SaaS platform that offers AI-driven and powerful commerce functionality. Watch a Commerce Cloud demo to discover the platform’s capabilities.

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