Over the past few years, e-commerce or digitization has completely changed the buying and selling process of goods and services. Today entrepreneurs are moving to an online store so that they can reach to the larger audience and give their customers convenience, to order round the clock and from any corner of the world.
According to McKinsey research, 12 percent of the global goods trade is conducted via international e-commerce and are driven by virtual marketplaces such as Alibaba, Amazon, eBay or Flipkart.
Well, when an entrepreneur decides to go digital with an online store set up, the first question that comes up is:
Whether he should go for a self-hosted platform or should he go for a SaaS platform?
Setting up an Online store with SaaS platform is the fastest and easiest way to get your business online. There are a plethora of reasons why you should go for an online store with SaaS platform.
When we talk about an online store with SaaS platform, they are quick with their services and delivery (which obviously depends from case to case).
Unlike self-hosted platforms, setting up an online store with SaaS is way easier, you just need to sign up, set your account one time and you are ready to go! Whereas self-hosted platform takes up to six months or more for setting up and “that is excluding the testing phase”
Speed and security guaranteed:
When we talk about an online store with SaaS platform, another question that arises is:
Will they be able to deliver it on time, without hiccups and with security?
The answer is “Yes”, as these platforms are made and handled by highly skilled professionals. SaaS-based companies spend millions of money to do R&D, market analysis and hundreds of test runs.
Also when it comes to security, online store with SaaS-based companies make sure that everything is protected with the best-in-class web host servers.
Millions of entrepreneurs are already using online stores with SaaS platform, where they are creating about a hundred orders an hour.
Experienced customer support with proper training:
One of the most significant benefits of an online store with SaaS platform is that they have the best in class customer support.
The support team helps in setting up customers account, giving them proper product training and resolving their issues.
They make sure that your website is well maintained and running. These professionals are trained to support you 24/7. You report an issue and the team will get it fixed.
You will always have an up to date platform:
While we talk about the benefits of using a SaaS-based platform, there is one point which we cannot miss out that is “companies keep on upgrading the software with new and enhanced features” that you will enjoy for no cost.
You don’t need to invest your time and money on upgrading.
Are you planning to set up an online store?
Well, I understand that when you look for a sustainable and power pack SaaS platform for your business you search all over the internet and still find it challenging to decide which platform to choose. There are thousands of platforms available in the market and the online information creates more confusion.
Choosing a customizable solution for your online business will depend on the features required for your business. Some of the basic functionalities to be considered are:
Every entrepreneur wants to make their customers journey seamless on the website so that they can order as soon as possible. So I have listed some points below to look for in a SaaS-based online store:
Advanced search filters:
With the help of advanced search filters, a customer will find goods with minimum efforts from their side and that will make the ordering process real quick.
Real-time order tracking:
Once I ordered from an online store where they did not provide any tracking link for the order and that order got delivered after one month. Can you imagine the amount of frustration I went through? That is why we need to make sure that a customer can track the order in real time.
Talking about the catalog, it is a place where your customer will see the product or service. All the items should be listed under the catalog section with proper categorization of the product.
Every business has multiple products to sell. Adding all the products and then their subcategories will be a long and time-consuming process. So it is important for any SaaS platform to have a feature of importing CSV file to add products in one go.
Managing the inventory is another important aspect for any business so that they can track stock counts, and automatically stop selling products when inventory runs out. This will also help maintain the inventory to keep the business running.
Time based menu:
Time-based menu plays an important role because there are businesses that operate with a different menu in different hours. For example, when we talk about restaurants they have a different menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
N level catalog:
For an online store, setting up the product catalog differs with the business use case. Having the flexibility to set up any number of subcategories for the respective business type will help in managing the catalog efficiently.
Today entrepreneurs have the vision to target the audience at global level, so for targeting audience globally, you need to make sure that you give global support to your customers in terms of language, payment gateways, etc.
Personalisation is crucial for customer acquisition and engagement. When a brand is going global, displaying the site in the respective local language is a plus. This will give your customers a personalized experience and will build trust in your business.
Global payment Gateways:
Ideal online store with Saas platform should have global payment gateways integrated because while doing online transaction customers have a fear of fraud, so they prefer using their trusted payment gateways.
It also benefits the business because global gateways will enable entrepreneurs to accept payments from local and international customers.
Marketing & SEO
Marketing feature is the main pillar of any online store with SaaS platform because that will help the business in customer acquisition and building brand image.
Social media logins:
Today social media logins are the easiest way to get your customers on-boarded. With just one click you will have customer’s data and then you can run social media campaigns to increase your sales.
Discount and promo codes:
Discounts and promos play an important role when it comes to launching a new product in the market. Also with these offers like Buy One, Get One you can boost sales and build customer loyalty.
Search Engine optimization:
Help your potential customers to find your store using search engines. Ideal SaaS software will support SEO best practices like customizable H1, title, and meta tags.
Easy integrations of your website with other platforms is also very important as these tools enhance your customer experience. There are many software available in the market and I have listed some below:
Tracking your business performance plays an important role. Metrics like average signups or number of orders per day will help you track the business performance. You should be able to download the reports and analysis to derive action points to improvise.
Convenience is the need of the day. To reach the customer at his place, delivery management software is required. Having a delivery dispatch management dashboard with real-time tracking and with optimized routes will help your business to reduce the cost and keep an eye on all the orders shipped.
Your customer can reach out to you when they are looking for more information or query redressal. Resolving customer queries plays a major role in building the brand image, customer retention and boosting sales.
These criteria above will help you evaluate the decision for best suited online store with SaaS platform for your business.
Deciding an ideal platform for your online store is a time-consuming process, but customer reach, sales and updated features depend on the platform.
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