Building an eCommerce business is not only about displaying your products or services on the website or mobile app. Strategic planning and thinking goes into building and running your eCommerce business successfully.
One of the most crucial decisions is to choose the e-commerce platform that is a perfect fit for your business type and business size. Like every business, every e-commerce platform has something different to offer. Choosing the right e-commerce platform matters for your business.
The biggest challenge for e-commerce entrepreneurs is to deal with the limitations of eCommerce platforms. Hence, it’s important to educate yourself before purchasing.
We have curated a list of 18 things that you as an e-commerce entrepreneur should consider when choosing an e-commerce platform for your business
1. Mobile Ready
Not only millennials, but a majority of internet users also prefer shopping using smartphones. When choosing your eCommerce platform, ensure that your designers make the eCommerce mobile-ready.
2. Intuitive User Experience
Some of the eCommerce platforms available in the market offer you a plethora of features and functionalities that you might not need but fail to offer good user experience.
Make sure to compare each eCommerce platforms to find the one that offers a seamless user experience to your customers. User experience is not limited to navigation but it’s also about the quick checkout process, lesser pop-ups, and more.
Not all eCommerce platforms are built equally. Some let you to add new features through plugin store, while some platforms let you add features through custom development.
It is always advised by the experts to opt for a customizable eCommerce platform to improve the overall security of the marketplace.
An ideal eCommerce portal should address the issue of scalability. It’s very crucial for eCommerce businesses to choose between a hosted and a self-hosted eCommerce platform.
A hosted platform fails to address the demands of a growing eCommerce business, however, are easier to maintain. While self-hosted platforms improve scalability and offer more control, empowering you to customize the eCommerce platform as your business grow.
E-Commerce platform providers need to keep on test the code for vulnerabilities, address issues, and implement best programming practices.
If you need an eCommerce platform with minimal maintenance, then go for a hosted plan in which the providers keep up the platform with the latest information about the online security.
6. Custom Requirements
In the e-commerce industry, each entrepreneur faces a different challenge. Choose an eCommerce platform that allows users to approach the providers and ask for a custom solution.
Make sure to opt for an eCommerce platform that enables you to be in better control of your eCommerce business with a custom solution. Care research about the type of features your business will require and choose a platform accordingly.
Building an eCommerce website requires investing in many things. Choose the plan of the eCommerce platform that satisfies your business requirements and is within your budget. Many open-source eCommerce platforms like Magento offer free plans or at a startup-friendly price – a perfect fit for those who want to set up an eCommerce for their new business.
When choosing the eCommerce platform for your business, opt for the basic package (if you’re new) and start small.
8. Number of Products
Some of the eCommerce platforms available in the market charge money based on the number of products one can have on the platform.
Make sure to choose an eCommerce platform as per your business model. If you have a multivendor eCommerce marketplace, the product list can easily cross 10,000. So, you might need to opt for a platform that doesn’t put any limitation on the number of products you can list on your eCommerce portal.
9. Search Engine Friendly
I am sure you already know it! However, some eCommerce entrepreneurs don’t consider if their e-commerce is tuned to search engines when purchasing and end-up spending more on third-party tools.
Make sure that the eCommerce platform you are purchasing gives sufficient amount of features to make your eCommerce website search engine friendly. An ideal platform should let you write Meta information about each webpage and product, automatically refreshes the sitemap of the eCommerce website with an updated list of products, and more.
10. Payment Options
When it comes to e-commerce platform, many popular providers offer a sufficient range of payment options, however, some of the eCommerce platforms offer limited options.
Payment options such as digital wallet solutions, online payments
11. Checkout Process
Streamlined checkout process is one of the crucial considerations as it impacts the convenience level of your customers.
Choose an eCommerce platform that enables your customers to easily and quickly buy products. Today’s customers, especially millennials (majority of online shoppers) don’t like wasting too much time in checkout process. Faster checkout process improves user experience as well.
12. Informative Reports
Analytics and report generation system is one of the most powerful and required features that marketers and business owners need these days to track the customer journey, know about sales, implement and test strategies and more.
Make sure to opt for the eCommerce platform that enables you to monitor reports and analytics easily and in details.
13. Social Media Integration and Marketing Campaigns
Social Media and marketing campaigns let marketers and business owners drive customers to your store and hence is crucial for web traffic and sales.
Make sure to opt for an eCommerce platform that offers features like social media integration, integrated blogging platform, affiliate marketing section, analytics reporting section and more.
14. Product Information
Even if you are driving good traffic to your eCommerce, it doesn’t mean visitors will always turn into customers. To improve sales, you need to display product information; right from images and videos to text; in a useful way to help your visitors easily understand the product.
Make sure to opt for a platform that supports product description, product images, product videos, sharing option, and more.
15. Technical Support
Even if you have an IT team to handle your eCommerce platform, it’s always a good idea to choose a platform that offers 24/7 technical support. Some companies only offer support during business hours, in their time zone, from Monday to Friday.
Make sure to do your research when it comes to technical support. Also, consider the level of support (as per your service plan) and type of support you will be offered. Technical support will help you run your eCommerce platform smoothly.
16. Available Themes
The theme defines the design of your eCommerce website. Most eCommerce platforms including Magento and Shopify offer a significant range of themes to choose from. You need to buy premium ranged themes, however, there are some free themes as well.
While choosing an eCommerce platform for your business, you need to opt for an eCommerce platform that offers a great collection of themes that meets your eCommerce web requirements.
One of the main concerns of eCommerce business is security. As an e-commerce entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to protect the privacy and payment information of your customers.
Make sure that the eCommerce platform you are choosing has SSL, PCI compliance, data backups, and fraud prevention.
Pen down all the major and minor features you will need in your eCommerce website before starting hunting for the eCommerce platform. Compare platforms, research each one of them. When looking for features, looking for features other than the basic e-commerce functionality, such as reward programs, abandoned cart emails and more.
Some of the eCommerce business owners end-up making thousands of dollars of mistake by choosing the wrong eCommerce platform for their online store. Take your time, do your research, consult experts and then choose the eCommerce platform that fits your business size and requirement.