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eCommerce Software

eCommerce software is a tool that allows businesses to conduct transactions for goods and services wholly or partially online. Businesses benefit from eCommerce platforms to manage all processes related to online retail, such as order fulfilment, deliveries and shipping, customer service, returns and refunds, inventory, and product catalogue support. The best eCommerce platform often provides integration tools for call centre support, inventory control, customer relationship management, and payment processing. Various eCommerce solutions, such as B2B eCommerce platforms and multi-channel eCommerce software, provide businesses with different options based on their specific needs. eCommerce software is related to Order Entry software and Order Management software. Compare product reviews and features to help find the best eCommerce Software for your business in the UK.

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#1 Inventory Forecasting and Planning software for e-commerce businesses. Always know exactly what to buy and when to buy it. Learn more about Inventory Planner
#1 Inventory Forecasting and Planning software for e-commerce businesses. Inventory Planner tells you exactly which items to purchase - and exactly when to purchase them based on reliable forecasts of future demand, taking seasonality and market shifts into account - so you never overstock unpopular items or run out of stock when orders spike. With over a decade of experience in forecasting and purchasing, Inventory Planner has helped more than 2,300 merchants accurately plan inventory. Learn more about Inventory Planner

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
United Kingdom Local product
Integrated inventory, order management and listings software built for growing and multichannel retailers. Learn more about Linnworks
Linnworks is the global growth platform for omnichannel retailers. Power your entire commerce operation from a single platform. With more than 100 integrations (including popular platforms like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Walmart), Linnworks covers everything you need - from order and inventory management, analytics and forecasting, warehouse management, selling channel listings, and 3PL/fulfillment. Learn more about Linnworks

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Sleeknote makes it easy for eCommerce brands to monetize their traffic by using intelligent forms, popups, gamification, and more. Learn more about Sleeknote
Sleeknote is a popup builder that helps you collect email addresses and increase sales with personalized, non-intrusive website popups. We believe each website visitor deserves to be treated as an individual and see popups based on where they are in their buying journey. With Sleeknote, you can prevent cart abandonment with exit-intent popups, upsell with product recommendations, and collect email addresses with timely, elegant popups your visitors will love. Learn more about Sleeknote

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Convert more customers and grow your brand faster with Commerce Cloud, the worlds leading eCommerce platform. Learn more about Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Convert more customers and grow your brand with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, the world's leading eCommerce platform. Innovate at the speed of your customers, scale easily across the globe, and meet any level of demand. Extend your commerce with a partner ecosystem of apps to deliver experiences like augmented reality, marketplaces, and more. Unify data, personalize every interaction, and grow revenue across channels with automation, AI, and a single source of truth. Learn more about Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
United Kingdom Local product
EKOM is an AI data enrichment software that enhances eCommerce product listings (PDPs) for enterprise search engine optimization. Learn more about EKOM
EKOM excels in attracting the right customers and streamlining the customer journey directly on the product detail pages (PDPs). By enhancing the quality and accuracy of PDPs and Metadata, we are able to ensure higher conversion rates while providing a better customer experience. What you will find, is that when you enrich your content at the base level and do so with Market Data, not only does this increase the effectiveness of each visit but it also amplifies revenue growth across all channels, positively impacting your P&L. We believe we can play a crucial role in maximizing your ROAS and reducing overall media spend, through delivering a more efficient customer acquisition process. Learn more about EKOM

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
The easiest to use eCommerce platform available. Everything from inventory to checkout, payments to shipping & every step in between. Learn more about Ecwid
Ecwid eCommerce is the easiest to use ecommerce platform available. Feature rich with integration to all the leading payment gateways and POS, shopping cart, checkout, inventory management, order management, shipping and notifications are all at your fingertips. Easily manage your store, embed your store on any website, add products, offer discounts and so much more. Ecwid also makes selling on Instagram, Facebook, Google Shopping & any marketplace easy from a single dashboard. Try it free. Learn more about Ecwid

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
United Kingdom Local product
B2B growth? Comgem delivers smoother buying, happier customers, & streamlined sales. All-in-one B2B ecommerce platform. Learn more about Comgem
Give your B2B customers the seamless buying experience they deserve. Comgem is the all-in-one B2B ecommerce platform designed to drive your success in the ambitious UK market. Ready to grow your B2B sales? Comgem helps you stand out, streamline, and deliver the personalised experiences your customers demand. Offer the buying convenience your customers crave: Make ordering, reordering, and payments effortless for increased sales and loyalty. Drive engagement with targeted marketing: Connect with your customers through personalised campaigns, promotions, and branded portals that build lasting relationships. Remove friction from the buying process: Simplify quoting, invoicing, and order management to keep your customers coming back. Ensure growth without limitations: Our secure, scalable platform adapts as your business and customer base expand. Put your brand front and centre: Create a B2B online presence that reflects your unique value and builds customer trust. Learn more about Comgem

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
ShippyPro is the shipping software that helps online businesses to ship, track and return their ecommerce orders with ease. Learn more about ShippyPro
ShippyPro is the shipping software that helps online businesses ship, track and manage returns for ecommerce orders with ease. With ShippyPro, online sellers can sync 70+ Marketplaces and CMS to 160+ Carriers worldwide to automatically import unshipped orders. With a 30-seconds setup online sellers are able to: print shipping labels in bulk, keep track of every delivery with a tracking dashboard, upload their return policy and create a custom return module. Start your free trial today Learn more about ShippyPro

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
A leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to build, innovate, and grow. Learn more about BigCommerce
BigCommerce (Nasdaq: BIGC) is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to build, innovate and grow their businesses online. As a leading open SaaS solution, BigCommerce provides merchants enterprise-grade functionality, customization and performance with simplicity and ease-of-use. Tens of thousands of companies across 150 countries and numerous industries use BigCommerce, including Ben & Jerry’s, S.C. Johnson, Skullcandy, Sony and Vodafone. Learn more about BigCommerce

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Perfect for small to large businesses who want to build their digital presence at speed and scale. ewiz commerce helps businesses with Learn more about ewiz commerce
ewiz commerce is an AI-powered eCommerce platform that allows you to digitize all your business functions at speed and scale. Built, managed, and hosted by Powerweave, you save time and money as you don't have to chase or coordinate with multiple parties to get things done. ewiz commerce can be easily integrated with your third-party apps and comes with a built-in product recommendations & marketing automation system. Contact us for a free demo! https://www.ewizcommerce.com/free-consultation/ Learn more about ewiz commerce

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
An all-in-one, customizable solution that¿s fully integrated with Odoo Sales, Inventory, and all major shipping/payment methods. Learn more about Odoo
Odoo¿s eCommerce application offers all the tools a business needs to create a stunning online store in no time at all. Users can effortlessly customize designs for product pages, in order to showcase their business in a memorably unique way. With Odoo¿s fully integrated eCommerce app, inventory and sales can be easily managed and maintained with the help of automatic stock adjustments and reporting. Odoo is also integrated with a number of popular shipping carriers and online payment methods. Learn more about Odoo

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Convert 1.8x more visitors with personalized site search AI-powered site search tailored to any industry and CMS. Full implementation. Learn more about AddSearch
AddSearch is a fully-featured, enterprise-level, and customizable search solution for online stores. Is your store built with Shopify? Try out AddSearch Shopify app for seamless integration between your products and search. Take full advantage of the AddSearch implementation service or set it up yourself with easy-to-use dashboard. AI-based features, such as Progressive Ranking, Personalization, Automated Synonyms Suggestion, Frequently Bought Together, ensure your search delivers value every second. Learn more about AddSearch

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
The best online publishing tool if you want to easily create and publish catalogs, brochures, magazines, portfolios and more. Learn more about Flipsnack
Flipsnack is your go-to e-commerce software if you want to offer your clients a seamless shopping experience. Create and publish digital catalogs in just a few minutes, then sell more by adding interactive features such as a shopping list, buy buttons, or even choose to integrate your Shopify store into your digital catalog. It all starts by uploading your PDF and turning it into a stunning digital catalog, with page-flip effects. Let your audience be captivated by your digital publications. Learn more about Flipsnack

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Your "everything e-commerce app" for Shopify brands looking to scale across the globe or just your hometown. Learn more about Swap Commerce
Swap is your "everything e-commerce app" for Shopify brands looking to scale with a one-login solution for global shipping, returns & exchanges, tracking, insurance, and recycling. From increasing retained revenue with easy exchanges to cross-border commerce support, Swap is fully customizable to your brand's preferences at every stage of the journey. We handle all direct relationships with carriers to give you back time and money you never knew you had. Learn more about Swap Commerce

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Build your own ecommerce store with Zoho. Get a professionally designed, fully functional website without a designer price tag. Learn more about Zoho Commerce
Zoho Commerce is an ecommerce platform that lets businesses build their own ecommerce website, accept orders, track inventory, process payments, manage shipping, and market their brand. They don't need an agency or experience with coding but still enjoy the benefit of numerous ecosystem integrations. Zoho Commerce powers businesses in 30+ countries with plans fitting every need and budget. Learn more about Zoho Commerce

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Get the freedom to create your own stunning eCommerce website exactly the way you want - for free.
Create a stunning eCommerce website for free with Wix. We offer a few different ways you can build your site: Wix Artificial Design Intelligence, Wix Editor, & Wix Code. Whether you're creating a site for the first time or you're a pro, we've got you covered. Wix ADI builds you a unique site with professional text, images & more. Wix Editor gives you total design freedom with advanced functionality & easy drag & drop. And with Wix Code, you can create a state-of-the-art website & web apps. Learn more about Wix

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to easily sell online, at a retail location, and everywhere in between.
Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to easily sell online, at a retail location, and everywhere in between. Shopify offers a professional online storefront, a payment solution to accept credit cards, and the Shopify POS application to power retail sales. Shopify currently powers over 160,000 retailers in 100 different countries, including: Tesla Motors, Gatorade, Forbes, Amnesty International, Encyclopedia Britannica, Maxim Magazine, CrossFit, Black Milk Clothing, Herschel Sup Learn more about Shopify

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Squarespace offers an all-in-one Commerce platform that gives you everything you need to run your business and sell online.
Squarespace is an all-in-one platform that gives you everything you need to run and grow your business -- whether you're just getting started or are an established brand. Start with beautiful website templates to make your store stand out. Sell unlimited products and showcase them with rich merchandising tools. Schedule appointments and let customers book your services. Sell subscriptions, digital content, and gift cards. Offer flexible payment options, secure checkout, shipping, and more. Learn more about Squarespace

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Weebly helps you launch and grow your online store with step-by-step guidance, full SEO optimization, marketing tools and more.
Weebly allows anyone to start and grow their own online store with curated templates, powerful features and integrated marketing. More than 50 million entrepreneurs around the world use Weebly to grow their customer base, reach a global audience and create a quality website that works well on any device. Weebly offers a range of pricing options and is consistently the highest rated website building mobile app in the App Store and Google Play. Learn more about Weebly

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
NetSuite, the world’s #1 cloud ERP, provides the visibility and control needed to make smart decisions, fast, and grow with confidence.
NetSuite is an all-in-one cloud business management software that helps more than 37,000 organisations run their business more effectively. NetSuite automates core processes and provides real-time visibility into operational and financial performance. With a single, integrated suite of applications for managing accounting, order processing, inventory management, production, supply chain, and more, NetSuite gives companies clear visibility of their data and complete control of their business. Learn more about NetSuite

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Just pick a template, then customize fonts, colors, and content to match your style.
GoDaddy Website Builder is an online editing and publishing tool that helps you create a website, regardless of your technical skill level. Just create an account, pick a design and use the built-in editor to add your own images and text. You can make your website as simple or complex as you'd like. You can even add a full online store complete with product listings, coupons, shopping cart, shipping, and multiple payment options. Learn more about GoDaddy Website Builder

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
The smarter way for small businesses to do great work Keap organizes your client information & daily work in one place, freeing you up
Grow your business with the all-in-one CRM, sales & marketing software for serious business owners. Our platform organizes your customer information and daily work in one place, freeing you up from repetitive tasks so you have more time to focus on growing your business. Learn more about Keap

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
ShippingEasy is the easiest online shipping platform for growing businesses, featuring discounted shipping rates and easy automation.
ShippingEasy is the easiest, all-in-one shipping, tracking, and email marketing platform for e-commerce merchants. With ShippingEasy, e-commerce sellers can ship fast, access the best shipping rates, and increase orders with a suite of online tools. Multi-carrier and multi-platform capabilities mean you can sell and ship where and how you want while managing everything in one place. Access the lowest USPS and UPS shipping rates, plus other exclusive discounts, regardless of size. Learn more about ShippingEasy

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Build an online store that keeps customers coming back for more. Fully integrated with Marketing 360.
Sell everywhere Boost sales and direct shoppers to your online store by advertising on the top marketing channels. Marketing automation : Create life-long fans and loyal customers with automated text and email marketing. Easy checkout : Give your customers peace of mind when they shop with easy, safe, and secure credit card processing. Manage everything : Everything you need to manage and grow your online store from a singular platform Learn more about Marketing 360

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management
Web-based open source eCommerce platform that helps in the creation of online store with themes, payment, shipping options & more.
Web-based open source eCommerce platform that helps in the creation of online store with themes, payment, shipping options & more. Learn more about WooCommerce

Features

  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • SEO Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Promotions Management
  • CRM
  • Mobile Access
  • Data Security
  • Multi-Store
  • Returns Management
  • Inventory Management

eCommerce Software Buyers Guide

eCommerce Software is a category of software that allows businesses to complete transactions for goods or services over the internet. It enables users to establish, operate, and otherwise manage an online retail store, with the core features allowing for the creation of product listings, the processing of payments, the management of stock levels, and more.

Many of the features of the best eCommerce software are intended to automate tasks, such as the calculation of shipping fees, the application of discounts, and the sending of order confirmation, dispatch confirmation, and delivery tracking emails. The software also facilitates the development of a digital storefront, which customers can use to make their purchases.

This creation of an online retail website is often made easier through the provision of templates, meaning that a fully functional, user-friendly storefront can be created even with limited technical knowledge. At the same time, some of the more advanced features that may be present include analytics and reporting features, inventory management, and CRM tools. The nature of eCommerce website software means it is often categorised alongside solutions like point of sale software, inventory management software, and retail management systems. At the same time, it is important to understand that there are different types of products within this software category, such as B2B eCommerce software solutions and multi-channel eCommerce software, giving businesses different options based on their precise needs.

Generally speaking, the main advantage of using solutions of this type is the ability to create a self-service platform, where customers can browse products or services, make purchases, and otherwise interact with a business and its offerings. In addition, it is worth noting that eCommerce solutions can be broadly separated according to whether they are cloud-based solutions, which are typically delivered by third parties on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis, or on-premises software applications, which are deployed and managed on-site.

While precise options and functions can vary from one program to the next, many eCommerce platforms do share similar features. As a result, they will usually allow users to:

  • Build and manage a digital storefront or online store, complete with self-service functionality
  • Oversee order fulfilment, arrange product deliveries, and respond to refund or return requests
  • Create, organise, and maintain a digital catalogue or library, outlining products and services
  • Manage inventory levels, receive alerts when stock levels decline, and arrange supply

What is eCommerce Software?

eCommerce software is the name given to software applications that allow users to manage and oversee an online store through the creation of a fully functional digital storefront. The online store will generally follow a self-service model, allowing users to browse the available products and services, add items to their digital basket, complete a purchase, request a delivery, organise refunds or returns, and access customer service support.

Using software of this kind, it is possible to manage all aspects related to online retail and eCommerce, such as order fulfilment, deliveries and shipping, customer service, returns and refunds, inventory, and a product catalogue or library, complete with product descriptions. It also allows for sales reporting, payment processing and, in many cases, customer relationship management, meaning the best eCommerce software can serve as a central eCommerce hub.

Some solutions focus on a particular area, such as B2B eCommerce software solutions, which are geared towards business-to-business transactions, or eCommerce marketing software, which places a greater emphasis on marketing rather than sales and customer service. However, even some of the free eCommerce software options on the market provide a more comprehensive range of features, and this can be ideal for any small eCommerce business.

Different options on the market vary in terms of the scope for website or eCommerce platform design. Most will provide templates, allowing for quick and easy creation, with varying levels of customisation available too. Other solutions will offer more advanced options, which can be better suited for larger businesses that may employ specialist web designers.

What are the benefits of eCommerce Software?

The benefits of eCommerce solutions are largely based around their ability to help businesses create and then maintain an eCommerce website. Most of these solutions will provide a wide range of features, allowing almost all major elements of running an online retail site to be carried out from a single, centralised location. Some of the specific benefits that are associated with using eCommerce website software are explained in more detail below:

  • Set up and manage an online retail platform: the main benefit to be aware of when exploring eCommerce solutions is their ability to allow users to not only set up an online retail website or platform but also continually manage that platform. This means adding products or services to the platform, updating product descriptions, providing self-service features for customers, gathering information about customers and their habits, managing aspects like the delivery or shipping of products, and processing any refund requests. Being able to carry out all of these tasks from one place can save companies time and money, and also make it much easier to train employees to make use of the tools at their disposal. This can be especially advantageous to smaller businesses that only trade online.
  • Automate key eCommerce tasks: another significant benefit of using eCommerce applications is the ability to automate some of the recurring, predictable, repetitive, or unnecessarily time-consuming tasks that are linked to online transactions. Examples of this would include the application of discounts to products for particular customers or groups, the calculation of delivery costs, and the sending out of emails to confirm purchases, announce the dispatch of items, or provide tracking information. This can help to provide a more standardised customer experience while also saving employees time and effort that could be better spent on some of the more complex tasks that actually need human ingenuity.
  • Track stock levels and manage inventory: a key part of running an eCommerce website involves managing an inventory and ensuring that items are in stock as much as possible. However, manually carrying this out can be needlessly laborious and may also result in items being overlooked, especially if stock runs low at a time when people are unavailable to act. The best eCommerce software will allow many of the key elements of inventory management to be automated. These solutions will continually track current levels of stock and send alerts when stock levels run low. In many cases, they can automatically order new stock when levels reach a chosen threshold, and the most advanced software will make use of machine learning capabilities to determine when demand is likely to increase and when the best time to order new stock would be, in order to avoid issues caused by sudden demand spikes.
  • Capitalise on marketing features: much of the software in this category also offers marketing functionality that can be beneficial, including options to automatically apply search engine optimisation (SEO) principles to product pages. Furthermore, some software can track users' interactions with the eCommerce website, identify products or services that are most likely to be of interest to them, and either send out targeted marketing emails or provide recommendations when using the website. This is valuable because Gartner research shows that only 12 per cent of customers receive customised assistance from brands, despite the customer experience now serving as the main battleground and competitive differentiator.
  • Monitor the performance of a digital storefront: finally, eCommerce solutions allow users to monitor the performance of an online retail website or platform over time, tracking key metrics related to visits, sales, interest in particular products or services, and more. Using this information, it then becomes easier to optimise the website and an organisation's marketing strategy so that the right products and services are being promoted and customers are targeted with the information that is most likely to produce positive outcomes.

What are the features of eCommerce software?

The features of eCommerce solutions are centred around the ability to create, organise and manage an eCommerce platform or website. While it is certainly the case that precise features, options, and tools can differ significantly depending on the software chosen and the primary focus areas of that software, most solutions do tend to share some core features. Many of these are common to the point of being category-defining and include the following:

  • Website management: build, manage, and maintain an eCommerce website, complete with product pages, self-service functionality, and more. Most solutions will provide a variety of templates that can be used for the quick and easy creation of a digital storefront, which can then be customised to ensure it fits with the needs of an individual business. Some options on the market will also provide much more advanced creation tools, allowing for those with the necessary technical skills to implement more complex features and design elements. Ultimately, this ability to create an online store makes eCommerce solutions ideal for businesses that wish to trade entirely online or those that wish to move into the eCommerce sphere.
  • Order management: track, process, and otherwise organise customer orders, all from a single, central location. The ability to store data related to all customer orders can be vital for order fulfilment, customer relationship management, and responding to requests for refunds or returns. Many solutions will also allow users to take data from past orders and use this to make intelligent recommendations to customers about other products or services they may be interested in. As a result, long-term, repeat business becomes more likely. In addition to this being a feature within eCommerce solutions, it is also possible to acquire eCommerce order management software, which is specifically designed to focus on this area.
  • Cataloguing/categorisation: add individual products, services, and other items to an internal catalogue. From there, users are able to categorise these items based on how they relate to other items in the catalogue, what their intended uses or functions are, and which types of customers are likely to buy them. The product and service catalogue can enable businesses to provide each individual item with a description, category, price, some tags that can help users to find the item when searching, and more. New items can be added to the catalogue at any time, while items can also be removed when they are no longer for sale.
  • Shopping cart: allow customers to add items to their online shopping cart and then make adjustments to the cart before placing their final order. The shopping cart component of eCommerce websites enables customers to make multiple purchases at the same time, and it can be used to save items for later on too. The shopping cart also allows customers to remove items, change the quantity of an individual item they would like to order, and calculate the total cost of their order before they proceed to the payment processing phase of the customer journey. Therefore, the shopping cart plays a fundamental role in the self-service portal.
  • Inventory management: view current stock levels, place orders with suppliers for new stock, or speed up the production process to accommodate customer demand. A key part of running a successful eCommerce business involves marrying supply and demand, and the inventory component of the best eCommerce software can help to facilitate this. In many cases, alerts can be set up, notifying employees when either stock or demand reaches a set level. Additionally, it may also be possible to set up automatic orders so that new stock is requested without the need for employees to either intervene in the process or manually place the order.
  • Mobile access: access the eCommerce software through mobile and tablet devices, and allow customers to browse the store via a mobile optimised storefront. The concept of mobile accessibility has grown substantially over recent years, and it is no longer sufficient for employees and customers to be able to make use of eCommerce solutions via desktop or laptop computers. The best solutions on the market will not only provide mobile access to all of the key features but will also make this experience as user-friendly and convenient as possible, so that mobile and tablet users are not disadvantaged in any meaningful way.
  • Multi-channel marketing: make use of a variety of marketing tools, spanning multiple channels. The options here will typically include search engine optimisation and email marketing, such as the automatic application of SEO principles on product pages or the automatic sending of personalised marketing emails based on customer behaviour. Ultimately, this means organisations can use their eCommerce platform to not only manage the website itself but also to make attempts to generate interest and boost sales.

Capterra's software directory for eCommerce applications allows users to sort the available options based on the exact features available. This means businesses can begin searching for the right solution by identifying key features they need and only seeing options that actually include those features. This can save time and effort while also making the final decision-making process easier and more efficient.

What should be considered when purchasing eCommerce software?

Before purchasing an eCommerce solution, there are a number of things that need to be carefully considered so that the best choice is made. After all, businesses need to seek out the best option for their specific needs, and this could differ from the best overall solution. A good way to explore the main considerations is to ask the following questions:

  • What is the eCommerce software for? A very good starting point is to carefully consider what the software is actually going to be used for. Not all eCommerce businesses are going to make use of every feature, so it is worth taking the time to identify the most crucial features and how they are going to be utilised or leveraged. From there, decisions about which software to actually buy become much easier because decision-makers can focus on the solutions that actually offer what is needed and actively avoid the options on the market that do not provide the required tools and options.
  • What are the main regulations and obligations? It is important that eCommerce businesses think carefully about the regulations that govern online retail, as well as their obligations to customers. A good example of this would be the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for businesses in Europe, which covers the processing of personal data. Transparency and compliance are critical in this area, especially with regards to balancing personalisation and respect for privacy. While many customers do like to be treated as individuals and given a level of personalisation, they may also feel that businesses can become overly intrusive when they start to collect and keep too much data. With this in mind, a decision on which software to opt for should give consideration to whether the software itself has been designed to comply with rules and regulations. The issue of regulations is also a good way to explore why the best eCommerce software UK businesses can buy may be different from the best solutions for businesses in other countries.
  • Is mobile access fully supported? While many solutions on the market do provide mobile access, it can be essential for some businesses to find an option that offers full mobile support. This means all of the main tasks that can be carried out using the software are available to mobile and tablet users. It is equally vital that customers are able to make use of mobile devices to actually access the online store, view products and services, make purchases, manage previous orders, access customer support, and more. Full mobile support is often easier with cloud-based solutions, but some software developers do offer fully functional mobile apps, which include the same core features as their desktop solutions.
  • What is the best deployment method? There are two major options when it comes to deployment, and which of these is best for an eCommerce business can depend on a number of factors. The first option is on-premises deployment, which occurs when the business installs the software on their own systems and stores the data on-site. This will typically have high upfront costs, but it does provide a sense of control and ownership. It is also a deployment option that many businesses are already familiar with and comfortable with. The alternative is cloud-based software, delivered on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis. Here, a third-party service provider will offer cloud-based access to the software while also storing the relevant data securely in the cloud. This option has lower upfront costs and provides access to data and tools from anywhere in the world, using any compatible internet-enabled device.
  • Can eCommerce solutions integrate with existing tools? Finally, it can be useful to try to find the best solution for providing integration and compatibility with existing tools. When the software is able to be used in combination with other applications, it can allow data to be more easily shared, and it can save businesses money on finding new solutions to bridge the compatibility gap. With eCommerce programs, compatibility with customer relationship management (CRM) software can be especially valuable, as can any integration with marketing tools.

The most relevant eCommerce trends related to software are also worth taking the time to fully explore. Businesses need to know that the software they are investing in has been designed with an underlying awareness of the major trends that are disrupting their industry, and choosing an application that has been developed with an understanding of current and emerging trends can also help to make purchases more future-proof.

  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning: The best eCommerce platform is likely to make use of artificial intelligence, and one of the biggest trends in this area centres on machine learning capabilities. This technology allows the software to interpret data in such a way that it can draw seemingly intelligent conclusions and learn lessons. This could mean that the software is capable of identifying the points in the year where demand peaks and then automatically implements the necessary strategic adjustments to cope with that demand. Alternatively, it could monitor levels of stock, along with sales information, and automatically de-list products that are either unavailable or unpopular with customers.
  • Chatbots and conversational interfaces: A related trend to AI has been the rise of chatbots and conversational interfaces. This trend has been accelerated by advances in speech recognition technology and the wider use of voice assistants in everyday life. As customers and employees become more familiar with conversational interfaces, they are more likely to demand them. It should also be stressed that conversational interfaces can help to improve accessibility for disabled users as well. Businesses may wish to find a solution that offers either chatbot functionality, or voice recognition, as it can provide employees with additional options for using the software while simultaneously making the eCommerce platform more accessible to customers.
  • Privacy and options for customers: Personalisation has been a major goal for retail businesses throughout recent memory, but there is a rebalancing to contend with, as customers become more aware of how much data businesses gather about them, and increasingly concerned about how it may be misused. It is also worth highlighting the fact that privacy demands extend to B2B eCommerce solutions too. The key here is to be as transparent as possible and to provide options. For instance, some software solutions will enable an eCommerce website to track customers' browsing and buying habits, but it may also be possible to offer customers the ability to opt-out of this.
  • Remote and hybrid work via cloud technology: A growing number of businesses are capitalising on the advantages associated with remote work or hybrid work models. However, achieving success with remote working arrangements relies on the right tools being available to those who are working off-site. In terms of how this relates to eCommerce applications, the ability to access and use these tools remotely is essential for any business that allows people to work from home. Even in businesses that have not yet embraced this method of working, it may be a consideration for the future. Cloud-based solutions tend to be ideal for this, as they can be accessed from anywhere in the world, using a variety of devices, as long as they are connected to the internet.

Sources:

The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in Capterra's directory that offer them. The following sources were used for this document:

  1. How to Balance Personalization With Data Privacy - Gartner.com (Date accessed: Saturday, October 30, 2021)

  2. Gartner Says By 2023, 65% of the World’s Population Will Have Its Personal Data Covered Under Modern Privacy Regulations - Gartner.com (Date accessed: Sunday, October 31, 2021)