Are you a startup operating in today’s modern environment?
Do you know about your target audience and their expectations?
When working within a competitive market, you need to delight your customer, followed by fulfilling their orders in the fastest and most affordable way possible.
To do things effectively, you need to choose an eCommerce platform that is scalable and can be used for long-term growth.
Gone are the days when people shopped from brick and mortar stores. With our fast-paced lifestyles, people hardly have the time to shop from their local stores. With the advancement of technology, eCommerce has helped many businesses get the desired traction. Why would you miss that opportunity? Choosing the proper eCommerce platform will help foster your business.
However, to find the right platform for your business, you need to consider a few things that we will reveal in the following paragraphs.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
What Is an Ecommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is a software application, which allows online businesses to manage their marketing, sales, website, and operations. To be precise, an eCommerce platform is used for selling goods and services online. From online courses to consulting services, you can sell anything online.
Why are business owners choosing Ecommerce platforms? There are a few significant reasons why:
- The eCommerce industry is growing: The eCommerce industry is continuously spreading its wings. According to a study, eCommerce will make up 22% of global sales (and make $450B in the US alone) by 2023.
- Businesspeople can make a huge profit: According to experts, “ We are experiencing high eCommerce growth at the end of 2022. As a business owner, if you are thinking about earning extra profit through your business, you should dive into the eCommerce business pool.”
How Ecommerce Platforms Work
As said earlier, an eCommerce platform enables businesses to sell any products/services. It works with the streamlined processes involved in marketing, sales, and website. To be precise, an eCommerce platform is like the main command center that is centralized for data analysis and mission operations to help your business run smoothly.
Factors To Consider When Choosing an Ecommerce Platform
The eCommerce industry is alive and booming. To thrive in today’s market, an eCommerce platform will allow you to deliver as per the expectations of modern customers. You will need these tools to sell your products/services, provide an amazing shopping experience, and fulfill orders efficiently.
Consider these factors to select the right eCommerce platform for your business:
1. Easy Setup
First and foremost, look for a platform that is easy to design and set up. You want to establish your unique brand. Before proceeding, take a look at the templates that each platform offers. Templates are useful for you as they don’t require any outside help, saving you hard-earned dollars.
2. Simple Navigation
You may have visited a few websites that are hard to navigate. Once customers feel uneasy, they will leave the website immediately, which increases the bounce rate of the website. Online shoppers expect a fast, seamless, experience.
On that note, choose an eCommerce platform that will provide a smooth experience while browsing products. Then buyers can easily browse and place their orders. This smooth buying experience will directly reflect your ROI (return on investment).
Secondly, double-check the security of the eCommerce platform you are choosing. Check for platforms which support HTTPS/SSL.
3. Self-hosted or Cloud-based
For a self-hosted eCommerce platform (i.e. one that operates as a PaaS, Platform as a Service), you will be running your site on your own server. This means you have full control over the management. Additionally, if you want to make any update to your site code, you can do that easily without depending on any other company or web host to process the requests. However, if you are not a tech-savvy person, you need to hire an expert to make these changes.
Examples of self-hosted platforms: Magento, OpenCart, and OsCommerce.
Another option is cloud-based platforms. Cloud-based platforms are eCommerce platforms that operate on a SaaS (Software as a Service) basis in the cloud. This means that you don’t have to worry about server costs and maintenance and you don’t need much technical knowledge. While cloud-based platforms do not give you as much flexibility with site code as self-hosted platforms, for many businesses, this is a worthwhile tradeoff.
Examples of cloud-based platforms: Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace
Shoppers search on Google using various keywords. That is why the eCommerce platform you are choosing should be SEO-friendly. If you are a startup and want your online store to rank high in search engine results, then your SEO needs to be strong to get the desired results. You can hire SEO experts to perform this task, who understand the regular updates Google makes to its search algorithm. To go with the flow, your eCommerce website should be SEO optimized.
5. Payment Options
Payment options should be transparent and hassle-free. There are payment gateways like PayPal, Square, Stripe, and Apple Pay which can be integrated with whatever eCommerce platform you choose. With these options, customers can pay easily. Make sure to consider the payment options when searching for an eCommerce platform.
6. Mobile Friendly
The number of mobile users has increased rapidly in the last few years. Customers often use their smartphones or tablets for placing new orders through an eCommerce platform. When you are searching for an eCommerce platform, ensure it is mobile-friendly. It will help customers interact with your brand. The more accessible your platform is to mobile, the more it will reflect on your sales and marketing strategy.
Some platforms have standard monthly fees, while the others offer flat rates. Before you proceed with a platform, research its pros and cons and stick to your desired budget.
Some Ecommerce Platforms
Here are some eCommerce platforms that are worth considering:
Shopify is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms and offers a wide variety of payment options and marketing help. They operate as a SaaS and can be used by even enterprise-level businesses, though they are mainly used by smaller ones.
BigCommerce is another major eCommerce platform. As the name suggests, they specialize in enterprise-level eCommerce and it’s possible to run multiple stores on their platform. BigCommerce is a SaaS.
Magento is on a level with Shopify and BigCommerce, as a major eCommerce platform with high levels of scalability. However, unlike Shopify and BigCommerce, it operates as a PaaS.
WooCommerce is WordPress’ eCommerce plugin. It is very popular, but can be limited, and it’s necessary to separately install and buy associated plugins and themes.
Squarespace is a relatively new eCommerce platform. It has a series of attractive themes and is easy to use, but is not the most customizable.
BigCartel is an eCommerce platform focusing on artists and makers. It is priced accordingly and is easy to use for people with non-technical backgrounds.
3Dcart is a versatile platform that comes with good marketing options. It also comes with tools for mobile optimization and SEO.
Volusion is an eCommerce platform with great themes, SEO, and CRM capacities. Their payment and shopping cart options are very good.
Yo!Kart is a platform for multi-vendor eCommerce. This platform is super scalable and customizable, making it great for everyone from startups to enterprises.
Summing it up
While choosing your eCommerce platform, make sure you consider the aforementioned factors. Not only this will help gain you more sales, but it will also help you to cover up all the customer’s needs. In turn, you will get more fruitful results.
If you need eCommerce related services for your own startup, here are a few options you can choose from:
They provide all types of eCommerce related services, along with web development, web design, and digital marketing services. With the relentless effort of their team, they have successfully completed a large number of projects.
Codeclouds have a global presence. They provide BigCommerce development, Shopify development, Drupal development, Magento development, etc. for a seamless eCommerce experience. Their consistent hard work has helped them to achieve a secured place in the IT industry.
Ice cube digital is a top web development company in the USA. They provide web development, digital marketing services, and eCommerce solutions at an affordable price.