The heart of every e-commerce business is the platform it uses to function. But what is an e-commerce platform? It is a software solution that allows online businesses to manage their website, marketing, sales and operations. Since there are a lot of platforms to choose from, you should be familiar of what features it should have so as to best suite your business’s interests. In the following I will guide you step by step through the main feature
If you’re a beginner in creating a website of your own, it can be a real tough thing and a rather intimidating one, that is why most of us give up and spend more money on hiring someone to do it for them. But what you really need is a kind of a tutorial to take you through the features each platform can do. With this article you will be, presented one of the leading e-commerce platforms on the market: PrestaShop.
A good to go with platform, should be very user friendly, customable, flexible so as to even consider taking it into consideration when choosing the best support for your business, for later it will play a rather significant role, considering that it will be a long term investment. But most of the newly created platforms have a flawless design, great customer service, out of the box ideas and they deliver an unforgettable experience to their visitors, so as to help you figure out which is the most suitable for your business here is a comprehensible guide to look through.
So let’s begin by defining PrestaShop.
What is PrestaShop and why choose it?
PrestaShop is an efficient and innovative e-commerce solution with all the features you need to create an online store and grow your business, so its creators say. It is a freely accessible Open-Source type of platform. What does this mean?! It means you can modify all aspects of the software code; you are fully in control of your e-commerce environment, you are in charge of finding hosting, update releases, security issues and so on. They require some technical knowledge but there is also this flexibility that gives you the freedom to finding the best solutions for your application.
Hosting a platform can be done in two ways: by self-hosting it or hosting it on a cloud. Self-hosting can be a little more difficult, but then again more safely, for it requires technical skills to maintain and update the website, if you are doing it yourself and it can cost you money if it is needed a software engineer to do it for you. You can also choose to host it on-premise or pay a hosting provider. The benefits of this option includes more control over your platform, greater visibility of your own data, and a better data security. Cloud-hosted platforms offer hosting for their customers via off-site solutions like Amazon Web Services. Its advantages are that these are more cost efficient and the maintenance and updates are being done for you.
Every e-commerce business has its own unique needs depending on these needs will you pic one or the other platform. There are a few types of e-commerce: B2C (business-to-consumer), B2B (business-to-business), C2B (consumer-to-business), and C2C (consumer-to-consumer). But what are the most important e-commerce features?
PrestaShop has lots of built-in features: website builder with free, user-friendly site, extensive application marketplace or app store full of pre-built integrations with best-in-class service providers, mobile optimized site, checkout and full experience (out-of-the-box) and fully customizable, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features, built-in basic e-commerce functionality features, including promotions and discounts, analytics, catalog management, payment methods, product listing, and so on.
As I mentioned earlier, PrestaShop needs some technical skills to set it up and maintain. This is also true when we talk about installing the app, for both front-end store as well as back-end office. Of course it has an online demo so you can follow it step by step, but it takes a little time.
Being an open source e-commerce platform also means you join a big community of users, that makes the platform better and better so as to adapt everybody’s needs. Because it is a worldwide used platform it is available in more than 60 languages and is very popular among the non-English speaking territories. And because of the fact that is so widely used, in so many different countries, they have achieved thigs that otherwise would not be achievable if it wouldn’t be such a big open-source community: free translation for all those languages it is used in and more than 60 payment modules.
What concerns the SEO features, with PrestaShop you can use rich snippets to drive traffic on your page. What are rich snippets? Rich snippets are the extra bits of information that can appear on a search listing below the meta title or description. Google uses rich snippets to enhance the SERP listing and provide key information directly on the SERP page. Making use of these features you can easily differentiate you from your competitor. But do they help SEO? Well, if you compare two search listings on a search results page, the impact of a rich snippet is immediately obvious: there is a lot more information on the search listing line! So, it’s not a surprise that studies indicate that users are more likely to click on rich results than non-rich results.
Marketing on PrestaShop.
The most important thing is to leave a good impression on your customers and that they have had a good experience shopping on your platform. Presta gives you the opportunity to add up loads of custom features, some are for free, some require investment. Among these marketing features you can find: email marketing, coupon codes, discount modes, free shipping, gift wrapping, you can add wish lists, launch flash and private sales, create newsletter campaigns, build referral and loyalty programs, send abandoned cart reminder, use contests. All these features not only will increase your sales but they will also drive traffic on your page. And these are just to attract, clients and to drive traffic, but there is also the work behind the scenes: tracking the inventory of each product, creating suppliers and manufacturers and associate them with products, creating new products, configuring their features and values, creating products with variants from a list of attributes, all this and many more is doable with PrestaShop.
As said, PrestaShop is a large community, so when it comes to payment, a very important feature of trading, it has to satisfy a lot of different clients from different parts of the world, this means it has to run geographical delivery zones and apply shipping carriers, determine the pricing of the offered shipping methods… Presta can offer you all these features and a lot of payment gateways such as PayPal, First Data, Amazon Pay, Discover Global Network just to name a few.
If I were to summarize about PrestaShop I would say: although it needs some technical skills on installation and maintenance, the app can offer tutorials and online demos to help beginners start up, otherwise it is a very competitive website builder software and I am saying that, based on the newest statics from 2021, where PrestaShop is mentioned among the first ten platforms worldwide.