Need help with choosing an eCommerce platform?
Similar to operating a physical store, the same level of strategic planning and thinking is required to initiate and operate an eCommerce business. Whether you’re starting a business from scratch or looking to expand a brick-and-mortar store, the eCommerce platform you pick can determine the stability and longevity of your business. It is important to note that your eCommerce platform, if efficient, can be used to achieve all operational goals.
An eCommerce platform is a mode which initiates and provides an online experience which allows the customers to make a purchase from anywhere in the world, see the details article: [link]. Basically, if you have an eCommerce platform you can sell your product and services over the Internet without the face-to-face engagement with a client. According to Shopify, an eCommerce platform should be a complete command centre where everything from inventory to marketing can be controlled.
Six things to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.
- Budget:The primary concern of anybusiness when trying to pick an eCommerce platform, is the price. Whether you’re a business starting from scratch or an already established business, it is important to have an understanding of what you’re paying for as there are numerous competitive packages on offer. Majority of eCommerce platforms have a monthly subscription, and the cost is based on the type of platform you acquire. See bellow table that would guide you in picking up a platform based on budget:
- Mobile friendly: According to Search Engine Watch, more than 70% of online searches are done via smartphones. Majority of those searches lead to a purchase, highlighting the importance of establishing platforms which enables customers to gain access even via a mobile device. If your platform is mobile ready or if you’re offering mobile applications for shopping, it will act as a competitive advantage. You can use Google Search Console [https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly] to check the friendliness of your website.
- SEO friendliness: Having an eCommerce platform which is complete with SEO features will ensure that your eCommerce website is ranked highly in any search engine results. This makes it easier for customers to come across your website when looking to shop online. Following are a few important factors of an SEO friendly platform.
- Blogging capabilities on your website
- Using your own domain name
- The ability for customers to leave reviews
- Development of the platform should be SEO compliant
- Security: The rapid increase in cybercrimes during the past decade has led customers to be heavily concerned about the safety of their privacy. This means that customers are now more hesitant to enter their credit card details if the platform doesn’t look convincing enough with regards to security. Majority of software now come with strong security as a standard, however, BigCommerce recommends a platform which provides HTTPS/SSL to ensure a safe and secure payment for the customers.
- Scalability: Every business is initiated with the hope that there will be a significant amount of growth as time passes. Even though no business owner wants to pay for any undesired features at the initial stages of a business, it is important to select a platform which will scale along with your business without being charged an atrocious fee for it.
- Integrations: Platforms like Shopify, Wix, Bigcommerce will provide plenty of tools to help run the business. When trying to decide which plugins will work best for your business, an understanding of your business needs, identifying which tools you’ll need and what are the tools that are already in use will play a vital role. Following are a list of popular plugins which businesses require.
- Email marketing tools
- Accounting plugins
- Tools to help with shipping
- Rewarding customers
There is evidence supporting that not having an online platform to enable online shopping will hinder the growth of any business. Having numerous options to select and start with, has only made the decision-making process of businesses more difficult. A proper understanding of the business needs, while keeping up with the trends, will reduce the hassle of choosing an eCommerce platform.
Are there any features you’re looking for in an eCommerce platform? Let us know your thoughts.