There is a lot to handle when you have an online store: uploading products, writing descriptions, managing sales, and invoicing are just a small fraction of the whole flow.
And so many processes require specific software to automate processes and reduce the time you would spend filling up endless spreadsheets and other archaic methods.
That’s why in this guide, you are going to learn how to make smart purchases of eCommerce software and even explore some tools in each category necessary to run your online business. Let’s jump right into it.
What is eCommerce software?
Ecommerce software refers to tools that help eCommerce businesses manage their operations, get rid of repetitive tasks, and maximize their resources. Companies of all sizes can benefit from this kind of software, enabling them to easily manage products and inventory, handle finances, and everything else required to fulfill orders and manage their online business.
How to choose the best software for your eCommerce?
Yes, there are thousands of eCommerce tools available in the market. But don’t worry, because when you have a thorough method of choosing software, your decision will be a lot easier than you think.
Choosing software is a serious process because it involves spending two precious things for any business: time and money. That’s why there are 4 essential steps you can follow in choosing the adequate software for your eCommerce.
1. Needs and pains
The first step is to understand what your eCommerce really needs to actually work and deliver an amazing user/buyer experience that will lead to sales. We will talk more about the different kinds of eCommerce software in the article.
Once you know what your eCommerce is lacking, it’s time to define which features will solve this issue. What non-negotiable features a software must have so the eCommerce can be up and running in all the required processes?.
Write down a list based on the pains you have identified earlier. This will be essential for your next step: building a list of software alternatives.
2. The software hunt
Start using tool directories such as Capterra, G2, and ProductHunt. These are reference websites that separate software into categories, reuniting all the information about each tool as also reviews.
If you already know some software but want alternatives, AlternativeTo is a website that will show you its competitors and comparisons.
Besides, you should consider analyzing these aspects to insert software into your list:
- Integrations with other software you already use, such as an eCommerce platform (the core engine of e-commerce);
- Number of users available on plans;
- If it’s straightforward to use it;
- If it has case studies similar to yours;
3. Budget and prices
We highly recommended you set a budget for the software before narrowing down your list. After all, extrapolating budgets can harm your business and affect you in the future.
Once you have set a budget, start looking at each software’s prices on the list and compare them. The list of features will also be crucial because each software will offer different plans with certain functionalities and a number of seats.
4. Free trials and demos
Once you have a list with just a few of the best e-commerce software, you need to experience each one to analyze them deeply. When you use a software free trial, you definitely can identify how it will help your eCommerce or not.
Software companies usually offer free trials of 7, 15, and even 30 days. Some of them also provide free demos through videoconference to help you set an account and understand everything the software can do for your business.
Moreover, while using a free trial, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the system fast enough?
- Does it provide a great user experience for you and your website customer?
- Is it easy to learn how to manage it?
Make notes of your insights on each tool to finally compare them and decide on the best option for you.
The 12 Best ECommerce Software
Navigate on the menu below to read about each type of software and the 12 solutions we have listed:
E-Commerce tools’ main purpose is to provide additional functionalities that enhance e-commerce business websites and/or back-office management. That’s why there are varied functionalities that we can include to categorize software as e-commerce tools. As examples, we can mention ERP system integration, accounting settings, customer data collection, abandoned shopping cart recovery, Augmented Reality features, CRM, helpdesk, and more.
For this section, we have varied examples of eCommerce tools. Firstly, Drag, as an all-in-one solution for help desk, sales CRM, Marketing, and other back-office activities. Secondly, Spiffy a checkout page builder; and at last, Tackle.io a tool to create a complete strategy for listing, selling, and deploying software in the cloud.
Drag is a resourceful collaboration tool that allows users to manage different eCommerce areas and multiple tasks. The most important thing about Drag is that it works in Gmail, allowing users to handle their emails as tasks, and create new assignments from scratch. Both can coexist in the same place called boards.
As you can see on the image above, with Drag, you can create customizable boards for different purposes, such as Help desk, CRM, Task Management, Content calendar. In short, you can literally manage your entire back-office workflow without leaving your inbox.
Besides, you can share team inboxes inside Drag with teammates, eliminating many steps you normally take to share emails —such as FWD, Cc, Bcc.
- Shared inboxes;
- Team chat inside each email to give context;
- Kanban view;
- Automation on boards to avoid usual manual processes;
- Email tracking;
- Integrations with Google Groups and Google Calendar;
- Email delegation;
- Shared email drafts to collaborate with team members on replies;
- Email templates and sequences;
- Checklists, notes, color coding, tags, sort, and filter;
Drag is free for solo users and freelancers limited to one board. For teams and businesses, Drag costs $8 per user/month. You can enjoy a 14-day trial and/or schedule a demo call to check this tool.
Spiffy is a checkout page builder and purchase automation software. It helps e-commerce businesses to create checkout pages optimized for conversion and mobile-friendly.
Besides, it allows the users to create purchase actions to trigger events in their CRM or Marketing Automation platform.
- Custom Fields;
- Checkout Options;
- Embeds Upsells;
- Subscriptions Insights;
- Payment Plans Integration Actions
Spiffy has two plans, the Checkouts Unlimited Pro ($1200 per year or $97 per month) and the Enterprise plan (pricing not available). But the price can be smaller if the company is promoting a limited-time offer.
Tackle.io helps software companies generate revenue through AWS Marketplace, Azure Marketplace, and Google Cloud Platform Marketplace. It helps eCommerce businesses to reduce the time to list and sell products on the Marketplace.
- Listing Management;
- Order Notification;
- Marketplace Data Feeds;
- Private Offer Acceleration;
- Marketplace Insights;
Tackle.io has three plans for each one of the marketplace platforms:
- Upstream for Google Cloud Platform Marketplace, with pricing that starts at $1,750 per month;
- SaaS Platform for Azure Marketplace, costing from $20,995 per user/year;
- And Tackle SaaS Platform for AWS Marketplace, from $20,995 per year;
Catalog Management Software
Catalog management software helps businesses organize product data into a catalog, ensuring the quality display the quality of product data by allowing an admin to update the product data in a catalog to make informed buying decisions.
Online buyers are more likely to make purchase decisions when businesses provide enough details on product names, filters, descriptions, and internal codes.
A Catalog Management product must include some of the following:
- Create or integrate with an electronic catalog;
- Search bar or filtering function;
- Categories to organize products;
- Catalog product and service descriptions and information editing;
- Integration with web content management;
Plytix is a Product Information Management (PIM) software that allows eCommerce businesses to manage product information and release them into the market faster. Moreover, it is designed to manage product content at scale.
- Digital asset management;
- User roles;
- Advanced filtering;
- Product relationships;
- Quick export;
- Completion tracking;
Plytix offers a free plan with the essential product features for up to 1,000 SKUs and 10GB file storage. The PRO Plan includes all features for a price of $830 per month.
Salsify is a PIM software that helps eCommerce deliver great experiences to consumers while they shop online. Their biggest moto is being a tool that leads its users “to stand out on the digital shelf.”
- Fast data imports;
- Support to multiple data domains;
- Filtering and search in any platform;
- Validation capabilities;
Salsify has not provided pricing information; therefore, it’s necessary to contact the sales team on their website.
Syndigo Content Experience Hub
Syndigo Content Experience Hub is a platform that allows online retailers, distributors, and manufacturers to manage their product data and digital assets in just one place. It helps eCommerce to make sure that all their sales channels will have the same product information.
- Real-time benchmarking and analytics;
- Data validation;
- Tools to expand your network;
The company has not provided pricing information, so it’s necessary to contact them on their website.
Also called e-merchandising, it’s the process of selecting and placing the right product or service on the website to help increase sales. This kind of software helps businesses strategically display products to promote them the best way to buyers. Its priority is to achieve high customer engagement and reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate.
This kind of software needs to have at least some of these features:
- Customer data collection;
- Real-time data to recommend bundle deals related to the current purchase;
- Functional search bar;
- Integration with payment gateways;
Unbxd is an AI-driven search platform that enables eCommerce businesses to engage their shoppers by building contextual relevancy into what they are searching for.
It offers site search, browse (navigation), and recommendation purchase journey to help businesses understand the customer’s intent.
- Data transformation engine;
- Fast data exports;
- AI-Powered PIM Software;
- Cross-team collaboration
Pricing is not available, so it’s necessary to contact the company’s sales team to know more information.
Algolia is a hosted search platform that maximizes search speed so that customers can browse on eCommerce websites more intuitively. Besides, it offers an AI solution that helps to personalize the user experience on search, with features like Dynamic synonym suggestions and Natural language processing.
- Advanced AI search tools;
- Integration with Shopify, Magento, SalesForce, and other lead platforms;
- Built-in search analytics;
- Ranking formula;
- A/B testing;
Algolia provides 3 plans in a system of pay-as-you-go:
- Standard for $1 per unit/month;
- Premium $1.50per unit*/month
Moreover, if you need add-ons to your plan, it’s possible to acquire add-ons (pricing not available).
Clerk.io is an e-commerce personalization software that helps online stores acquire, convert and retain more customers through AI-driven technology. It automatically analyzes behavior, trends, and transactions to present shoppers with relevant search results, product recommendations, and the right emails; That’s why it can help eCommerce increase their sales by helping customers find exactly what they want.
- Customer data platform;
- Customer insights;
- AI Technology;
Prices depend on the features and the number of resources you will use. However, you can check the company’s pricing page to simulate how much it will cost you.
Ecommerce platforms allow businesses to manage all the operations they need to sell their products or services online. The main objective of an e-commerce platform is to centralize all the processes of the online store, including personalization, inventory and sales management, data collection, payment processing, and shipping.
Different platforms can be specific for B2C, B2B, or both. Each one of them will integrate with other essential tools for eCommerce, such as CRM software (for B2B) and drop shipping software (for B2C)
Some of the characteristics and features an e-commerce platform must include are:
- Products and services management;
- Product information;
- The ability to create customizable online stores;
- Features for dropshipping or integrations with tools that provide it;
- Customer behavior tracking and management;
- Security and encryption of data and information;
Following you can check three e-commerce software solutions that belong to this category, that serve different purposes and kinds of business: Shopify, FastSpring, and VTEX Commerce Platform.
Shopify is a cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. With Shopify, it’s possible to set up, design, set up, and manage your store across the web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, and many other channels.
- 70+ professional themes;
- Automatic carrier shipping rates;
- Abandoned checkout recovery;
- Search engine optimized;
- Inventory management;
If you are starting a new business, the Basic Shopify plan will serve you with core features for pricing of $29 per month. The Shopify is the intermediary plan designed for growing businesses and costs $79 per month. If you need more advanced features to scale your business, the Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month.
FastSpring is a platform that works both as a traditional digital shopping cart or as an enterprise-level solution. It’s completely focused on SaaS businesses and their specific needs to sell software globally, such as subscription management and billing in several currencies.
- Global payment processing;
- Global taxes and financial services;
- Risk management and compliance;
- Content management;
- Branded checkout;
- Reporting / Analytics;
Prices are not available. So, to request a quote, it’s necessary to fill up a form with your email so that the FastSpring team can contact you with more information.
VTEX Commerce Platform
VTEX Commerce Platform offers e-commerce, marketplace, and order management capabilities in one single solution. It also can help brands, retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, grocers sell more, manage their businesses, and give their customers the best experience on their websites.
- Storefront design tools;
- Order process;
- Payment processing;
- Order management;
- Returns / refunds;
- Inventory management;
VTEX Commerce Platform has not provided pricing information for this product or service. Thus, contact the sales team on their website to consult prices.
Although it may seem hard to choose eCommerce software, there are some tips you can follow to make this process more straightforward. Firstly, you need to determine what you are looking for in software and what needs it must solve. By knowing which features the software should offer, you can narrow down a fine list of options.
Second of all, don’t forget to use the available free trials and demos companies usually offer, so you can truly understand how it works and how it will complement your workflow.
Above all, we hope you can find the best option that will fit every single need of your eCommerce needs, so you can scale your business and succeed.