1. Platforms to Create Your Ecommerce Site
There are ecommerce solutions like Shopify, Prestashop or Magento that have all the necessary features to manage and sell your products online. Thanks to these e-commerce platforms, you can manage your product and stock catalog, your orders, your customer data, but also your payment and delivery parameters, etc.
Another possibility: you can easily create your website with a simple CMS. For example, WordPress, the leading CMS on the market, has an e-commerce plugin: WooCommerce. This open source extension makes it possible to quickly configure an e-commerce site: personalization, payments, shipping, putting products online, order management, international sales, etc.
These e-commerce solutions have the advantage that they can connect to your applications that you already use on a daily basis. Integrations are possible with payment solutions (PayPal, Stripe…), email solutions (Mailchimp, Mailjet…), collaboration platforms (Slack, Microsoft Teams…) but also services such as Google or Facebook.
In most cases you can create an e-commerce site on these platforms for free, but the functionalities will be very limited if you don’t add paid modules. You should also consider the cost of web hosting.
2. Web hosts for your online store
In order to host your ecommerce site and make it accessible to all users, it is important to choose a type of web hosting: shared or shared, on a dedicated server, VPS (Virtual Private Server) or even in the cloud. To make your work easier, you can rely on web hosting solutions such as Infomaniak, IONOS, OVHcloud or even o2switch. With these solutions you can host your website and your professional email addresses, but also reserve a domain name.
3. Solutions for secure online payments
To manage payments securely on your e-commerce site, you can integrate payment solutions designed to adapt to the needs of professionals. You will mainly find PayPal, Stripe or Square there.
These solutions make it easier for your customers to pay on your site, to receive transfers easily, but also to analyze your performance and thus avoid payment problems. Most of these solutions accept major online credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc. These platforms are also capable of handling international payments.
On the price side, these services usually charge a commission on the transactions performed, which can vary according to the location of the transaction (national, international, European, etc.). Companies with large payment volumes can often take advantage of customized offers with discounts based on the number of transactions.
4. Tools to manage your customer reviews
Visitors should read customer reviews or testimonials about your products, as well as your brand. They value feedback from real people who have already purchased one of your products or interacted with your company. Customer reviews are part of the essential comforting elements of an ecommerce site.
To make it easier for you to manage reviews, you can rely on specialized solutions that can send automated emails or text messages a few days after their purchase to request reviews from your customers. With these tools, you can moderate reviews manually or automatically and later easily integrate them into your product sheets on your site but also on Google (in your Google Ads ads, in your Google Shopping products, etc.)
In addition, these solutions have dashboards so that you can also keep track of statistics: number of visitors, page views, invitations sent, opinions posted and collected, messages processed, solicited opinions, unsolicited opinions, etc.
5. Tools to Check Your Competitors’ Prices
Want to keep an eye on your competitors’ prices on their ecommerce sites? It is possible ! Competition and price monitoring tools exist and they inform you on a daily basis about price changes and also about promotions put in place by your competitors. It is possible to configure personalized alerts to obtain information in real time. You also have the option to track the contest’s stock status and prizes, regardless of country, language or currency.
Some tools also offer automated price updates. It is possible to set up continuous price agreements according to management rules and price changes applied by competitors. You can also perform a full market analysis with global data on prices, competitiveness or on the real-time positioning of your business sector. Solutions like PriceComparator also give you access to the price history of your competitors or resellers to analyze their strategies more accurately.
Namely: these price monitoring tools can be very easily linked to e-commerce platforms, CRMs and also ERPs.
6. Marketplaces to Sell Your Products
Having an ecommerce site is no longer enough. To gain visibility and develop their sales, e-merchants now mainly use marketplaces. These online marketplaces generate thousands, if not millions, of visits per month, giving brands greater visibility to their audiences. This service is not free, marketplaces usually operate with a sales commission system.
There are general marketplaces that sell all types of products such as Amazon, Rue du Commerce, AliExpress, Cdiscount or even eBay, but also marketplaces that specialize in a specific field of activity such as ManoMano, About You, Zalando… It is important to have all these to analyze platforms and determine which are best suited to your field of activity, as well as to your business objectives.
Namely: some sites like Rakuten or eBay are “pure marketplaces”, they only offer products from third-party sellers, unlike Cdiscount or Amazon who will also offer their own products.
7. Tools to manage all your ecommerce flows
There are product feed management tools that allow you to distribute your products to thousands of channels: marketplaces (Amazon, CDiscount, Fnac, etc.), social networks, price comparison sites (Kelkoo, Idealo, etc.), affiliate sites (Rakuten, Awin…). The product feed manager has the advantage of automatically updating your ecommerce site’s product data across all your distribution channels.
How does it actually work? You can generate product feeds by importing your product catalog in XML, CSV, JSON, TXT format or by connecting your e-commerce site through a special plugin to retrieve all the data from your catalog. Then you can easily optimize and enrich your product information and filter products by setting distribution rules according to the used channels.
Another advantage of e-commerce flow managers: the centralization of orders from all your distribution channels for easier and faster processing. It is also possible to opt for synchronization of the stocks, which allows a real-time update on all channels as soon as an order has been placed. Prices for these solutions usually vary depending on the number of products required and distribution channels.
8. PIMs to manage and distribute your product catalog
Managing a product catalog is complex and time consuming. To manage your product catalog more efficiently, you can rely on PIM solutions that centralize the management of your products and facilitate their distribution on all channels: e-commerce site, marketplaces, print editions, etc.
These platforms can combine these 2 services:
- the PIM (Product Information Management) with which you can manage all your textual product data. This allows you to compile, classify, enrich and distribute all data related to your products via all sales channels.
- the DAM (Digital Asset Management), a media library that centralizes the media associated with the products: photos, videos, sounds, etc. Some solutions allow automated processing to adapt the format of the images to the formats used by the different channels are required.
These PIM solutions are ideal for brands that manage a high volume of products and choose omnichannel distribution. They allow the different business teams to save time on managing and enriching products thanks to the centralization of data on a single platform.