Administrator control panel

eCommerce Guide

Your administrator control panel is the suite of administration pages that you use to manage the day-to-day running of your eCommerce business. It is the part of your website that sits behind your shop front and is only accessible to you and authorised members of staff.

It allows you to view new orders coming in and keep track of their status, from confirmation of payment through to item dispatch. You should also be able to use it to manage your product catalogue, such as adding, editing and removing productsmodifying shipping ratesand offering discounts.

A good administrator control panel will offer you a variety of core marketing features, such as a facility to maintain lists of featured items that help you to increase awareness of particular products that you want to promote.

Your website administration should also include access to a visitor tracking system. This is an important tool to any commercial website, as it allows you to monitor visitor behaviour and use the information to find ways of both improving your site’s SEO and increasing sales conversions.

Depending on the level of sophistication you need, you could use your administrator control panel to perform any number of bespoke business functions, such as managing item returns, stock control or sales reporting.

The administrator control panel can take one of two forms:

  • Web-based: Where you log on through your web browser to a set of private administration pages on your website.
  • Desktop-based: Where you use a desktop application that runs on your computer. This then uploads any changes that you make to your eCommerce site.

What you should look for

It is vital that you stay up to date with your product range, react immediately to seasonal trends or popular items in the media and keep your shop front fresh and vibrant with new arrivals, featured items and special offers.

And by regularly adding new products you’re consistently creating fresh website content, which is so important to your search engine optimisation.

The administrator control panel makes all this possible. So when you come to choose an eCommerce system make sure that it is up to the job and provides everything you need to run a fully functional eCommerce shop front.

If you are to make the most of your administrator control panel you should not only think of it as an administration platform but also as an essential marketing tool.

Clearly the more powerful it is in terms of marketing features the better. But at the same time it should be quick and simple to use, which means avoiding systems that clutter the screen with a bewildering array of unnecessary options and choosing one that offers only the features that you realistically need.