Checklist: The right shop system

There are many shop systems. It’s easy to lose track of them all. What must a shop system be capable of? Which offer provides the best setup? And what will it cost me? Good advice here is expensive – or not. has compiled a comprehensive checklist especially for retailers and shop operators.

Every shop system has its own features, different interfaces, different applications, APIs and services. The specific requirements of a shop system however, depend entirely on the individual prerequisites and necessities of the business model. Therefore there is no “one-size-fits-all solution”. So what can be done? First and foremost, shop operators (with potential for expansion or optimization) and online vendors-to-be must ask themselves: What do I want? What do I need? The appropriate shop system is then selected on the basis of these considerations.  Okay, of course it’s not quite that simple. That’s why we’ve created a checklist to help future customers with identifying the right shop system for them. Mind you, we are not making any product or purchase recommendations here. Our list of questions is only intended to help you make a decision and filter out suitable or unsuitable shop systems.

Checklist shop systems

  • How high is the budget or which system should be the (cost) model of choice? A simple modular system “Software as a Service” (SaaS) or rather a complete “on-premise” e-commerce solution? In other words, a subscription or rental shop system (SaaS), a purchasing system (on-premise solutions) or perhaps an open source system. The open-source systems have the advantage that certain developments and very specific additional functions are easier to realize. 
  • Is the shop system scalable? Can the solution be adapted to different requirements and evolve with the web shop?
  • Newcomer or established shop solution? An already constituted and successful product usually promises constant performance and corresponding know-how on the part of the provider. This is not to say that market rookies cannot be interesting or appealing. Established shop systems, however, have already proven their potential many times over. 
  • What about the usability of the back and front end? This is an important factor for entrepreneurs as well as customers. For the retailer, after all, it is his daily business; and for the online shopper, comfortable usability is of enormous importance, especially in terms of the customer journey and user experience
  • Does an ERP system exist? And is this merchandise management system compatible with the potential shop system?
  • The same applies to CRM systems. Does the shop solution support the common standard formats?
  • What interfaces (API) does the system have? What extensions are offered? Can exclusive wishes or industry solutions be implemented without any problems?
  • Can the layout and templates be designed and created individually? Can the shop navigation be adapted to your own ideas? Is the design responsive?
  • The languages offered for the user interface can also be an important criterion. Does the shop system have special multi-language features?
  • The requirements for a shop system can vary greatly depending on the industry. Keyword industry expertise: Which system is already being used successfully in which industry? 
  • Which relevant plug-ins and apps does the shop system have? They can be used to significantly customize the shop’s range of functions and to integrate it into the company’s service provider and tool set-up. 
  • Appropriate solutions are needed for international e-commerce. Is the shop system fit for cross-border commerce?
  • Which payment procedures or payment service providers can be integrated into the shop system? 
  • Can “Third Party Providers” (TPPs) in general, i.e. external third party providers such as logistics service providers, etc., be integrated via appropriate tools?
  • Marketing tools (e.g. newsletter marketing) are important tools and therefore possibly relevant in the decision-making process.
  • Data analytics and monitoring functions can also be decisive attributes for a shop system. A data-oriented shop system can first convert any data into real usable information.
  • Can the online shop be integrated into platform solutions and marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay?
  • Social media campaigns can prove to be real sales boosters. Which social channels can be used and which boards can be integrated? 
  • What additional services and support options are offered by the provider? 
  • At the latest, since the entry into force of the GDPR, server location and data processing are particularly delicate and very sensitive selection criteria. Are all processes DSGVO-compliant? What about security in general and cyber attacks in particular? Particularly in critical legal situations, the competent jurisdiction (Germany or abroad) can make a significant contribution to the decision-making process. 

Shop system – the engine of a successful online shop

The increased demands on infrastructure, scope and performance as well as the usability of online shops require permanent optimization. Innovations, flexibility, functionality and connectivity are more than just buzzwords. In our market overview of shop systems, we have compared eleven commercial providers in an editorial comparison and tested their performance and services. The shop system comparison is available for free download here.

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