E-commerce sector welcomes every idea, platform and technology. This probably is the best thing about it. As an e-commerce business owner or as a beginner in the sector, it becomes important for you to utilize all of the developments and technologies available to you. Of course you might prefer to stick with a small or big budget. This situation is something that can affect your decision over e-commerce platforms as well.
Choosing an e-commerce platform for your business is an important decision. If you have an IT team which can handle everything and a big budget to support them you can probably build your website from scratch. But keep in mind that using already prepared e-commerce platforms can save you a lot of time and energy. We thought you might want some tips and a short guide for e-commerce platforms. So here they are!
There are many e-commerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, WooCommerce, OpenCart etc. When you decide to choose between them it is important to decide based on your business size. If you are a small business and can’t afford an IT team full of tech-savvy people you should consider turnkey solutions for your e-commerce platforms. You won’t have to learn all about API or SSL and will be able to add different features according to your needs easily. These kinds of solutions are either onetime payment or a monthly payment based solutions. If you are a medium sized business your problems can be regarding your budget, processing your orders internally in your factory or doing it through the distribution channels, mobile commerce plans. If you are a big size e-commerce business your e-commerce selection will gain a heavier importance. When you are a big size e-commerce business you will afford an IT team but you will want to cut down on time spent on your problems. Your contracts with e-commerce platforms will be more costly and you will need to consider things in more detail. Since technology is evolving everyday and even social media platforms gain weight in your sales your priority should be to have an open source platform. Keeping up with the changes will be less costly and easier. This way you will have more control over your website and integrations will be smooth. Open source e-commerce platforms are also good if you decide to change your platform at some point. Because your website coding, data, platform can be maintained. Let’s look at things in more detail now.
When you are selecting an e-commerce platforms a few important points for your IT team to consider are testing environment, customer support and API usability. It also helps if there’s an engaging developer community at hand as well. This way you can discover new developments, learn about common problems you might have in that platform and fix it easily. A good sandbox environment would be very important for your IT team since you can’t always test new alternatives for your website when it’s live. The results can be pretty ugly. A good sandbox environment would allow you to test new development in your website without disrupting the ongoing live website experience. A good customer support is another important subject to consider. If you come across a problem on your website it is very useful to have a customer support in your reach. You will reduce the time and energy you spend on figuring out what the problem is or fixing it. As we said earlier, if you have a connection to a developer community you might find answers to your questions and learn from them. At the end we are all in the same boat. This will save you a few mistakes. According to this piece, Shopify is a great e-commerce platform for these reasons.
You should also consider your business objectives and needs. In order to clarify all that it would be good if you could gather your team together and make a list. Are you looking for a sophisticated merchandising, complex catalogue systems, one step check outs? Also thinking about the customer experience will help you with your list. Do you want or need live chat, effective on-site search, and video product descriptions? Some e-commerce platforms offer Omni-channel features for you to attain these and it can save you from spending too much.
If you already have a website and thinking of changing your platform you should also look at the technological requirements. How will your website structure fit into the new one? Your team may require certain platforms such as PHP platforms as well. You also need to take their needs and ideas into consideration. You may need e-mail marketing or affiliate marketing to be integrated and look for an e-commerce platform that supports it. If you are using a CRM system already you may want to factor this into the list too.
SEO is an important way for you to be found through online searches, as we mentioned earlier in here. For example Magento, another e-commerce platform, provides you with SEO friendly features such as dynamic pages being indexable, product catalog structure, URL structure and etc. In order to ensure your control over SEO you might want to check out the following features; control over XML sitemaps, page-level Meta data, user generated content or canonical URLs across your website.
Mobile capabilities are another important aspect. You might have an app or not but just looking at the growth rates of m-commerce ensures that you will want one someday. Your e-commerce platform needs to have mobile capabilities to ensure a good customer experience. Another thing in terms of mobile applicability is if your e-commerce platform has a mobile app platform. Shopify has one and it is considered a good choice for that as well. Your chances of getting noticed increases through that. As we mentioned earlier in here, e-commerce security is very important since the transactions will most likely take place online. You will want to secure your customer information. You should check for SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to be present as a start. You might also want to have analytics reports to figure out your cart abandonment issues.
All in all, you should always consult with a few experts and decide according to your business size and strategy. We hope that this short guide for choosing e-commerce platforms was helpful and you enjoyed our tips. Good luck and welcome to the huge universe of e-commerce.
Choosing an e-commerce platform that will suit your business strategy and needs will benefit your e-commerce business.
Coming up with good prices will also benefit your business.
Prisync, with its online price tracking software, gives you a chance to monitor your competitors’ price activities all over the world and 24/7.