While you could engage a web developer to get your company off the ground, the costs of doing so may limit your potential to expand quickly. Choosing an ecommerce platform that has already been established saves you both time and money.
However, the disadvantage is that you have a plethora of options to choose from—how do you know you’re picking the proper one? When looking for the ideal ecommerce platform for your business, you’ll want to keep the following points in mind.
1. Payment and Pricing
When looking for an ecommerce platform, the pricing is the most important factor to consider. Whether you’re a new small business or an established brick-and-mortar company migrating online, you need to know exactly how much you’ll be paying.
A monthly fee will be charged on almost all platforms. The costs will vary depending on the type of platform you choose (self-hosted vs. hosted). You should also take into account the platform’s processing fees. Don’t skimp on the essentials in exchange for a lower price. To get the best deal for your money, assess the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
You should also think about how your clients will pay. Some platforms don’t allow you to pay with third-party sellers (such as PayPal). This could cause your clients a great deal of frustration, which could lead to shopping cart abandonment. Don’t take this chance; first select which forms of payment you’ll accept, and keep this in mind as you look at different software.
When looking at ecommerce systems, you should also evaluate their connectors and plugins. Most platforms, like as Shopify, will provide you with a robust set of tools to help you run your business. When it comes to picking which plugins will work best for you, your business demands will be a decisive factor. Consider what tools you’ll need or already use for your business while looking at different platforms. Here are a few of the most common sorts of plugins to keep an eye out for:
- Accounting plugins to aid in the management of sales, taxes, revenues, and profits
- Tools for email marketing to help you stay in touch with your consumers
- A tool that allows you to reward customers for utilising your products.
- Apps that aid in the shipping of your goods
3. Friendliness to SEO
Ecommerce companies are not immune to the need to improve their SEO. In fact, having your store appear high in search results can be really useful. When buyers are looking for products similar to yours, you want them to find you.
When looking for an SEO-friendly platform, consider the following factors:
- The ability to incorporate a blog into your site
- Being able to utilise your own domain name is a huge plus.
- Customers’ opportunity to provide feedback
4. Mobile Compatibility
Did you know that mobile devices account for roughly 60% of all searches? Those searches frequently lead to a purchase made on a mobile device. This means you should seek for systems that allow clients to effortlessly visit your website and make purchases while on the go.
5. Customer service
Customer service is an important element of any organisation. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses have more control over how well their business runs because their experience is centred in a physical store.
Software outages and server downtimes are often beyond your control, preventing any of your clients from accessing your business. It’s likely that your servers may crash at the most inopportune time. This might have an impact on your earnings as well as your brand’s image.
When it comes to ecommerce systems, having someone you can call at any moment to help you get things back up and running is crucial. Examine each platform’s customer service—is it available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? How are you going to get in touch with them? What are the different levels of help available, and how much do they cost? Consider the following questions and make sure you ask them before deciding on a platform.
6. Safety and security
No one wants to put their credit card information on a shady website, which is why consumer security is becoming a major worry. While most software today comes with strong security built in, ensure sure your platform supports HTTPS/SSL for a safe and secure checkout experience for your clients.
Also, make sure that any platform you use is PCI-compliant (Payment Card Industry).
7. The ability to scale
Every business owner hopes that their company will expand in the future, but you may not know how much. Nonetheless, it’s critical to find a platform that will grow with your company.
When you initially start out, you don’t want to pay for services and storage that you won’t use. As your company grows, you’ll need to be able to meet increased expectations. Choose a platform that will allow you to scale your business without charging you exorbitant costs.
Starting a new business is difficult enough, but transitioning from a traditional storefront to an online one may be even more difficult—especially with so many options to choose from—which is why many business owners struggle to choose an ecommerce platform. Creating procedures that work and scale with your business is a struggle, but it’s definitely worth it in the end to establish processes that work and scale with your business. Knowing what to look for ahead of time simplifies the process of selecting a platform and can help you achieve success!