25 December 2015

An impressive online storefront is one that helps you to convert visitors into customers. If you’re considering setting up an online storefront in 2016, then you should invest in an efficient and robust e-commerce platform. An effective and robust e-commerce platform is necessary to enhance your digital marketing strategy—right from e-mail marketing to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to social media marketing.

There are quite some e-commerce platforms—ranging from Prestashop, Magento, Joomla/Virtue Mart, Woo Commerce and Big Commerce—to help you with your firm’s business bottom line through digital marketing. Choosing that e-commerce platform to use for your organization can be quite fiddly.

In today’s fast-paced, complex and ever-changing business environment, you should have a solid-rock online storefront if you want to have a competitive edge over your rivals.

You may be thinking, “Which e-commerce platform is appropriate for my firm?”

Honestly speaking, choosing the best platform among the many e-commerce options will be dictated by various factors.

Factor to consider when setting up an online storefront

Here are some factors that you should consider when selecting an online storefront:

1. Ability to integrate with the third party applications

Let’s face it— today’s customers are IT savvy and want to have an online experience that’s multi-faceted. Therefore, integrating your system with third party applications may improve their web experiences. On the other hand, having a system that doesn’t integrate well with other applications may prevent you from delighting customers.

2. Ability to provide security

Today’s online security risks and susceptibilities have increased multifold, thanks to the ever-evolving IT capabilities. For instance, an online survey that was conducted by HubSpot that was titled: “Does Your Website Make the Grade?” discovered that out of 26,093 websites, only a fifth had implemented the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol.

These are worrying statistics considering the consequences of an online storefront being compromised by security risks and susceptibilities. In fact, the first question that retail CEOs or customers ask—whether in B2B or B2C business—when it comes to e-commerce platforms is its ability to offer security in the face of increased security risks and vulnerabilities.

3. Ability to scale up for increased online business

It’s pointless to have an online store front that can’t accommodate increased online traffic. You should design your online storefront around the ability to provide a maximum number of visitors during peak times, the number of orders that it can take per unit time and the time it takes for web pages and landing pages load.

4. Product cataloging

It’s true that not all product catalogs are the same when it comes to selling your goods and services. Therefore, when considering which online storefront to select for your firm, it’s important to evaluate its flexibility and other limitations concerning how product cataloging is handled. The rule of thumb for any e-commerce platform should be determined by its ability to catalog products in a manner that promotes multiple sections for your online storefront.

5. Reporting and advanced analytic tools

Make no mistake—big data continues to dictate how online firms conduct their businesses concerning offering a competitive advantage. In fact, for your business to survive in 2016 and other years ahead, you’ll have to use advanced analytic and reporting tools. These tools will help you craft strategies that not only promote your business’s bottom line but also help you to have a competitive edge over your business rivals.

That’s why you need to have an online storefront that has reporting and advanced analytic tools. Any e-commerce platform that’s worth salt must incorporate these tools to help businesses understand customer buying behavior and trends.

So, why should you consider Prestashop in 2016?

Honestly speaking, you deserve an online storefront that promotes your business bottom line. From the five factors that we’ve looked at that should be considered when selecting an e-commerce platform, only one online storefront stand out: Prestashop. Prestashop can help you with your e-commerce strategies.

If you’re considering setting up an online storefront in 2016, here’s why you should consider Prestashop:

#1: It’s open source!

If you’re pondering setting up an online store and you have limited funds, Prestashop can help you achieve your goals and objectives. It’s entirely free—which means you can start designing your e-commerce site with limited resources—with a vast community that has implemented it. In fact, you can save that money for advertising on search engines such as Google.

#2: There’s free cloud hosting

Here’s a fact—most firms that have embraced IT have realized that they’re spending colossal amounts of money on website maintenance and data management—despite promises that IT heralds for the organization. How does Prestashop flip this model? Prestashop comes along with a free cloud hosting service which means you won’t have to bother with the management of your customer’s data.

#3: You can integrate it with third party applications

You can easily integrate Prestashop with third-party applications to give your online customers the web experience they deserve while shopping. You can use this e-commerce platform easily with digital marketing platforms such as accounting systems, CRM’s or even your popular courier services.

#4: It has advanced reporting and analytic tools

If you’re looking for an e-commerce platform that has a rich set of advanced reporting and analytic tools, then look no further. Prestashop can help you track your customer’s purchasing behavior and trends—to help you craft strategies that can delight them. Most of these tools can be easily integrated into your platform at no cost. They include Google Analytics, PrestaStats, and Facebook +Connect statistics.

#5: It has a flexible product cataloging system

Prestashop provides the order management feature that allows you to view your orders, edit them, create them—or even fulfill these orders using the Administration panel—in a simplified manner. Besides, the platforms Dashboard is intuitive with a visual-based page editor that can assist you to create and customize your products quickly.

Even if you are a beginner with this platform, you’ll find this platform usable because of its intuitive user interface.

There you have it—everything that you should know about Prestashop. What are your thoughts? Share with us.