Every serious web site needs to have a number of web site management tools and applications. In this section we will discuss the common types of required tools:
Content management provides the merchant with the ability to maintain the content on their web site, without needing any programming or design skills. Good content management systems will provide the user with a simple interface that allows them to maintain the structure, navigation and content of pages within their web site.
A customer management system will automatically capture all customer details entered into a web site. This saves the merchant having to ‘copy and paste’ the customer details from their incoming email into a separate spreadsheet or database every time they receive an order or an enquiry. A good customer management system will capture all the customer’s details and store and track the history of the customer’s orders.
Order / Enquiry Management
Order / enquiry management systems assist with the processing and tracking of customer orders and / or enquiries (whatever the case may be). They capture all the details of the order / enquiry and record it in a database for reporting purposes. Order / enquiry statuses are tracked against each order / enquiry and relayed back to the customer whenever the status changes.
Successful web sites require promotion and marketing. A good marketing management system will have at least two components: campaigns and merchandising.
A campaign system assists in the running of promotional and marketing campaigns. Promotional campaigns fall into all sorts of categories– email marketing, search engine advertising, banner advertising, classified advertising, affiliate marketing and offline promotions.
A merchandising system provides the merchant with the ability to set up all sorts of merchandising options such as, cross-sells, up-sells, promotions and quantity / volume pricing.
This is one of the most important components of any good web site. Reporting systems provide you with information about what is working and what isn’t. A good web site should automatically track and report on all aspects of a web site’s performance.