The ecommerce industry is growing faster than anyone ever imagined. According to a report from eMarketer last summer, the global ecommerce industry will be worth $4 billion within the next three years.
Unfortunately, the rapidly growing industry hasn’t made things easier for new ecommerce providers. The failure rate for ecommerce sites is over 90%. Brands cannot possibly succeed in this industry without taking advantage of the right technology.
You shouldn’t plan on launching an ecommerce website without the following tools and technology.
Secure Payment Processing Tools
Collecting payments from your customers is one of the most challenging aspects of running an ecommerce website Unfortunately, it’s become more difficult for a couple of reasons:
- Brands reaching customers in foreign markets may not be able to collect payments through traditional channels. Customers in many developing economies often don’t have credit cards, so other payment processing options are necessary.
- A growing number of security threats have created deterred customers from making online purchases. According to one survey, 34% of customers stopped shopping online after a few security breaches over the last couple years. Ecommerce sites must reassure their customers that they have taken all possible precautions to safeguard their financial information.
It’s important to use payment security systems that have at least 32-bit encryption.
Excessive downtime can utterly destroy your ecommerce business, especially if you are promoting your website with paid traffic sources, such as Google Adwords or media buying opportunities. It’s very important to choose a reliable hosting provider.
Here are some factors that you need to take into consideration when choosing a hosting plan:
- Estimate the amount of traffic your site will receive. This varies significantly by industry and your degree of specialization.
- Make sure your site can stand up against DDoS attacks, especially if you sell products that will receive negative attention from potential activists.
Plenty of companies offer decent hosting plans, so make sure you choose one that suits your needs.
Drop Shipping and Fulfilment Solutions
If you sell digital information, such as ebooks, then running an ecommerce site is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, things are a bit more complicated for companies that need to sell physical products.
It’s important to have a fulfillment solution like Whiplash. Depending on the nature of your ecommerce service, your fulfillment service may need the following features:
- The ability to generate invoices, provided payments aren’t made online.
- The option to print labels for your products.
- The ability to track inventory and purchases.
- An automated system to respond to customer inquiries about your products.
You will want to choose a fulfillment service that offers these solutions at a reasonable price, especially if you are just getting into the industry on a tight startup budget.
Dependable Content Management System
Every ecommerce website should run on a reliable content management system (CMS). You must be able to:
- Easily create and publish web pages
- Make sure all key pages are optimized for search engines
- Enable you to interact with customers
- Use plugins to simplify the management of your site
There are many CMS options, but some of them aren’t ideal for ecommerce. For example, WordPress is a popular CMS for bloggers, but isn’t well-suited for ecommerce management. Drupal is a better option, but has a steeper learning curve. Shopify is a better CMS for ecommerce merchants, but there are others on the market as well.
Leverage Technology to Make Your Ecommerce Site Easier to Run
Running a profitable ecommerce website is difficult. Investing in the right technology drastically increases the odds of success.
Don’t even consider launching a website without the tools listed above. You will be fighting an uphill battle every step of the way.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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