How to choose an ecommerce product?
Posted: 19 July 2008 05:30 AM
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In the part I, I had discussed briefly about how most of the small businesses go about selecting a product, whereas a successful small businessmen would be careful and would evaluate the product based on various aspects listed below before making a choice.
I will relist all the important factors, which one should consider before buying an ecommerce product (http://www.ritecart.co.uk) or software for their company.
1.  Ease of configuration
2.  Ability to Scale
3.  Useful latest features
4.  Available marketing tools with the product
5.  Ability to analyze data (analytics, not only google analytics!!)
6.  Reports
7.  Integration (with other modules, Like epos with near realtime online/offline synchronization of data and other packaged application )
8.  Customer Service
9.  Technical Support
10.  Technical Implementation Aspects
11.  Build vs Buy
Ease of Configuration-
It is very important that the product is configurable and suited for one’s current needs and future needs, Like some of the things one may want to determine that how easy it is to
•  Add products, categories and catalogs. Can this be dynamically created using administrative tool and dynamically displayed on the user side? Can it support multiple images with different resolution to be displayed on the user side?
•  Look and manage all the orders placed by the administrator? Before placing the order, does it check for inventories? Does it notify the administrators, if the inventories go below a threshold value? Can the administrator mix and match the shipment to the customer?
•  Create new sales store and new warehouses for inventories? Can the store’s inventory be picked up from different warehouses?
•  Define several types of prices for the same product like list price, default price, component price, sale price etc? Can the price be dynamically setup using a rules engine?
•  Associate a product with host of features like size, color, height, width, UOM, density, length etc? Can the product be setup and shown on the user side on any of the feature mentioned above or any of your new custom features?
•  Return an order, look at shopping list/wish list, browse through the items last visited, go to most popular products in store, discounted product or special product in store, look at promotional products, place a review on the product, recommend a product or provide a valuable feedback and look at the products which are most sought by the people who had brought the same product as the customer in past?
•  Can I select or add a new payment processor easily? I may want to use PayPAL today but I may need GoogleCheck out tomorrow. How many Payment engines does the product support?
•  Customize my shipment company or add a new shipping company? Can I integrate directly with ups, RoyalMail, USPS, Fedex etc?

Sooner or later you will want to provide returning customers with a special discount, or use a coupon as a promotional device. Does your ecommerce product (http://www.ritecart.co.uk) or solution allow for that contingency in your checkout? Can you easily generate creative marketing content and integrate it into the site’s infrastructure? Can you easily identify your targeted customers based on the data you have by analyzing the data in hand? and or does the system seem limiting?
Coupons and other promotions can be key conversion tools, so make sure your ecommerce product   (http://www.ritecart.co.uk) allows for this kind of marketing flexibility. Remember, promotions and marketing tools can make a differ

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