Running an online store is becoming very appealing these days, however without careful planning there is a high risk of failure. When designing your online store you will have to decide which ecommerce software to choose to manage your online store. It is quite difficult to choose the right option because of number of different options available in the market. The available software can be classifies into three main categories; licensed software which you can buy after paying a license fee, subscription software for which you need to pay a monthly fee, and free ecommerce software for which there are no charges on the installation or use of software.
What to consider while choosing ecommerce software?
The free ecommerce applications provide all the basic features needed to run an online store, and they are equally great as the software you need to pay for. There is even some free ecommerce software that is better than the ones that cost money. Both types of software can adequately fulfill your needs, so they should lie on equal standing when you need to choose software. However, they have several drawbacks which you should keep in mind when opting for free ecommerce software.
Drawbacks of free ecommerce software
Some of the greatest disadvantages include a decreased level of technical support when using the software to set up an online store. The companies providing this software don’t provide any customer service for their users. You need to have enough programming knowledge and time to set up your store on your own and to solve all the bugs that you might face. In addition, free software is not upgraded regularly so you will not be able to provide your customers with the latest features.
The foremost and the most serious problem with free ecommerce software is that they offer no or insufficient security to your customers. The open source software run on a platform that is accessible to the community, which makes it easier to hack them and access sensitive information of the customers like their credit card number. You need to ensure complete protection of your customers to use free ecommerce software for your online store. To protect your online store you need to get hosting by a server with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. This will ensure that it is safe to purchase from your online store. To make use of SSL server for the safety of your customers you will be charged with considerable amount of annual fee. In addition to SSL, you will also need a free shopping cart that complies with PCI if you want to include direct credit or debit card payments in one of the modes of payments provide by your store. The PCI compliant free shopping carts have undergone careful testing and analysis to ensure that their platform is protected from fraudulent activities. If you make use of credit card payment using non-PCI compliant software then you will have to pay a fine to the credit card company.
Ensure protection of your online store
Many types of free ecommerce software provide great features for your needs; however you need to ensure prefect protection of your online store before using them.