from Heidi Pfannes
"The customer is king", items are always in stock and stores always provide good service - this has long been a standard for buyers. If you want to do justice to this in your own online store, then choosing the right shop system is essential. This article tells you what you need to consider.
1. Clever Product Information Management (PIM)
Your products are your number one priority. But before you can market and sell your products, you need to save large quantities of data. For example, the item's availability, price, weight, quantity, images, texts, videos, and much more.
For example, you need to save high resolution images if you want customers to zoom in on products and see their features in detail. Well-structured texts and metadata for product pages are not only important for your customers, but also for search engines. Especially when starting a new shop, there's usually a small budget for large campaigns, which makes search engine optimisation even more important in order to be found quickly on Google & Co.
It will be even easier and more convenient to maintain product data if you work with a PIM system that supports variations. Basic product information is stored in a data record and any product variations, e.g. different sizes or colours, are directly linked to it. If something changes, only one data record has to be modified. Another practical feature is the ability to configure item sets and bundles as required. This makes it easier to create new offers in no time at all.
Are you toying with the idea of selling on online marketplaces? Then make sure your system is capable of multi-channel sales. Not only should the system connect to the markets of your choice, but it should also meet the increasing requirements for PIM. At minimum, it should be possible to save channel-specific texts and images to ensure optimal performance.
2. Centralised stock management
Only a few shop systems have their own stock management system. But it makes sense to have everything in one central location, especially if you run several different shops or if you sell your products on multiple marketplaces. A central inventory management system continuously compares the stock levels and sales on all of your channels and regulates the availability. An automated re-ordering system can also help you avoid over-selling and thus having delays in your specified delivery times.
It's important that the stock management system can depict your own warehouse in detail, right down to the storage location. This allows you to create route-optimized pick and pack lists and benefit from them on a daily basis. This will save you a lot of time in the shipping process and it will help you keep your delivery promises.
3. Quick loading times in your shop
No one likes to wait - especially not online. Potential customers should see content as soon as they enter your store, otherwise they're likely to shop elsewhere. When choosing a shop system, look for one that uses modern technology to provide quick loading times. This not only improves the shopping experience in your store, but also makes your store easier to find with search engines. For example, content caching helps web crawlers to crawl considerably more pages on the same budget. They do so by caching content that has already been loaded - this ensures a real ranking boost.
4. Individual design without knowledge of HTML and CSS
Very few people who are new to online business have programming skills or a programmer at their side. That's why good shop systems are modular, meaning sellers can easily assemble landing pages and product pages with drag & drop. Plugins, widgets and themes also ensure the individuality and customisability of your shop. If the system has a WYSIWYG editor, then you'll be able to see what your pages will look like once they're live. You'll be in a good position to quickly launch your online presence with a user-friendly and attractive store.
plentySHOP - the shop solution that simply has everything
Give your customers what they deserve! plentySHOP provides the speed and reliability you need to give your customers a great shopping experience. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, numerous practical features and a large selection of plugins, it' s easy to design your free shop just the way you want it. Do you serve different fields in different countries? No problem! With plentymarkets, you can manage several shops and more than 40 marketplaces internationally with just one software.