From writing code and installing plug-ins to managing servers, domains, and security measures, running an e-commerce business can quickly start to feel like a daunting crash course in web development.
The advent of DIY website builder software seemed to solve many of these headaches. With popular tools like Squarespace and WordPress, it’s easier than ever to build a website, even without coding experience.
But when it comes to e-commerce, not all website builders are equally effective. In this article, we’ll look at some of the benefits of using a website builder specifically designed for e-commerce.
Much-needed support on high traffic days
Imagine walking into a store on Black Friday to find only a few employees trying to manage a flood of shoppers.
If you choose a website builder that isn’t designed for e-commerce, you might find yourself in the digital version of this situation on high traffic days.
For most website builders, Cyber Monday is just another day of the year. But e-commerce website builders understand that an hour of downtime, a 404 error, or a page that’s slow to load can make the difference between a spike in profits and a gutting loss.
Because e-commerce website builders are already familiar with seasonal sales cycles, their users can count on them for additional support when it’s most critical.
Using seamless marketplace integrations
A recent survey by Clutch, a DC-based ratings and reviews firm, found that nearly 70% of online shoppers prefer Amazon over mom-and-pop websites. This means that e-commerce businesses that don’t sell on online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay are at a disadvantage.
But there’s a good reason many small business owners don’t already sell on marketplaces like Amazon. Tracking orders across multiple platforms can quickly become mind-bendingly difficult.
Different online marketplaces come with a variety of customer service requirements, such as guaranteed delivery dates. Before long, a manual spreadsheet can start to seem like a minefield of potential mix-ups.
By contrast, BigCommerce automatically organizes sales across all channels into one central interface, allowing e-commerce businesses to easily track every order’s shipping requirements, promotions, inventory details, and more.
These tools for multi-channel selling allow e-commerce business owners to spend less time managing logistics. Less time spent on menial tasks mean more opportunity to focus on developing new products, marketing, building customer relationships, and more.
Offering modern payment options
As news about Bitcoin makes headlines daily, many e-commerce businesses wonder what the future holds for online payments.
E-commerce website builders can mitigate this uncertainty by helping companies keep pace with the latest payment options.
For example, BigCommerce now provides integrations with top digital wallets including Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal. These new payment options have already attracted a critical mass of users, ensuring that payment options anticipate customers’ desires while remaining streamlined.
By the time a new payment option becomes prominent, chances are an e-commerce website builder will be ready to help companies implement it in their online stores.
Access to behind-the-scenes tools
The average Squarespace or WordPress website builder software provides drag-and-drop page layout tools that allow users to easily add images and text. For simple web pages or blogs, this is often enough to create a terrific site.
However, e-commerce websites require more complex architecture.
Online shoppers rank text and images as two of the most important website features for e-commerce, but e-commerce websites have to manage more information than what is immediately displayed.
For example, after a shopper views the images and description of a shirt, she will want to select a color and size to see if the specific item she wants is available. Your website will need to calculate whether you actually have the item in stock, and then proceed through a seamless checkout experience.
E-commerce website builders like BigCommerce and Shopify are equipped with tools specifically designed to handle this type of inventory management. (which only becomes more complex as e-commerce businesses expand and grow)
Similarly, other tools help online stores manage sales and discounts.
Selecting which products are eligible for “buy one, get one” promotions or one-time coupon codes becomes as easy as a making few clicks.
Another powerful tool allows e-commerce businesses to send email outreach to customers who have abandoned purchases in their online shopping carts. This drives conversions from customers who are already interested in purchasing a product.
Finally, e-commerce website builders are prepared to handle the complexity of shipping orders to customers around the world.
Shipping integrations allow your website to automatically calculate cost and estimated delivery date. Some e-commerce website builders, like Shopify, even give retailers access to discounted shipping rates.
These behind-the-scenes features designed for e-commerce make the process of selling online more user-friendly and efficient for retailers.
Harness the power of website builders for your ecommerce business
Your customers will probably never know what platform your ecommerce business is built on.
But they will notice when an ecommerce business offers fast, reliable service, flexible payment options, and a presence in the marketplaces they already frequent.
With round-the-clock tech support and a slew of features that customers love, website builders can provide you with the tools you need to help your ecommerce business succeed.
This article originally appeared in The RapidWebLaunch Blog.