Choosing The Best eCommerce Platform For A Small Business

15
Apr 2021

Posted by: Category:Web Design & Development

The growth of eCommerce has been steady in the last decade. An eCommerce website is important if your business is all about selling products and services. An eCommerce site offers an enormous potential that you can tap from to grow your online sales.

Choosing The Best eCommerce Platform For A Small Business

The good news, now, is that there are numerous online platforms you can make use of to expand your business. However, finding the right platform that suits your needs can be challenging. So you need to understand the hurdles and take some factors into consideration when choosing a platform to use.

Different Types Of eCommerce Platforms

Understanding the different types of eCommerce online platforms is vital to your business. Doing so will ensure that you select just the right one that best meets your needs. Here are some of the types of platforms available in the eCommerce market at the moment:

1.Cloud platforms

Cloud platforms

Cloud eCommerce is a process whereby a remote network of servers is outsourced and hosted on the internet. This network makes use of application software which process and store data. Examples of a hosting system that are associated with the cloud platforms may include Magento Enterprise Cloud, Salesforce Commerce, and Volusion.

2.Traditional platforms

You need to purchase a license key upfront on a traditional platform. You may be required to renew this licensing key for a fee every year or so. Since you have a license key already, your IT professionals and developers can now create a customized platform that can then be uploaded to this platform.

3.SaaS platforms

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a single codebase platform for eCommerce. The technology utilized by all users of the SaaS platform is the same. This platform comes with a monthly fee covering upgrades, server use, security, and maintenance.

4.Open source platforms

The development procedure for the open-source platform is the same as that of traditional platforms. Unlike traditional platforms, you do not need to pay upfront when purchasing the license for open source platforms. However, you will still have to pay for the implementation, development, upgrades, migration, and any other services thereon.

Important Features To Look Out For When Choosing An eCommerce Platform

All eCommerce platforms have features and functions that are unique to them. Ensure that the eCommerce platform that you choose has the following features:

1.Robust catalog

A robust catalog represents the core of your inventory. Be sure that the eCommerce platform’s catalog is intuitive and can easily be updated. Also, the product catalog must be up to the standard of what is required for your industry. For instance, the product catalog for a business in the fashion sector should have features that allow users to pick the color or size of a particular product.

2.SEO-friendliness

Your business should be easy for customers to access at all times. If users cannot find your online store, they cannot buy anything from you. So, you must ensure that the eCommerce platform has all the features that will allow your site to rank high in search results. Some of these features may include the use of your domain name, being able to add your blog, and allowing you to receive reviews from customers. All these features will enhance the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website. This will make it easier for potential customers to find your site.

3.Integrations

Generally, having multiple options can get overwhelming at times. However, this is a happy case when it comes to eCommerce platform integration. Check to see if the platform has room for integration with other marketing channels and existing systems. Ensure that it also allows the integration of extensions and plugins.

4.Scalability

A good eCommerce platform should allow your business to grow. After all, this is what all business owners want. For any online business, an eCommerce platform is a central hub for your store. Therefore, find a platform that will not be a hindrance to the growth of your business as your customer base continues to grow.

5.eCommerce analytics

eCommerce analytics

As a small business owner, you must constantly monitor the performance of your online store. You should elect to use platforms that help you keep an eye on important things, such as payment methods, number of sales, and order amounts. The platform should also be able to display the statistics in a format that is easy for you to comprehend. You want to be sure of the numbers as an eCommerce business owner.

6.Mobile-friendliness

A mobile-friendly platform is a must for an online site. This is because users now interact with the eCommerce sector through their mobile devices in a way that has never been seen before. Mobile shopping is now a norm. Since you may be getting most of your sales from smartphones, you must ensure that your online store has a responsive design. You will make more sales if users find it easy to interact with your brand.

7.Website personalization

People who shop online now want a more personalized experience. Only check for a platform that has a recommendation engine. The search engine should be able to suggest items to customers based on the product and services they purchased previously.

8.Tech support system

Having an eCommerce platform with a solid support system is a good idea. Since it is a digital online store that you run, they must be available to offer you the necessary support when things go wrong. Check for platforms with 24-hour tech support that can be contacted via multiple channels.

9.Multiple modes of payment

You will not be able to increase your conversion ratings if customers find it hard to pay for products and services. Check for a platform that supports multiple customer payment options. Examples of such payment options are debit card, credit card, Paypal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Square.

10.Security

Security is perhaps the most important feature you should consider when choosing an eCommerce platform for your small business. All eCommerce stores are constantly processing financial transactions all the time. It is, therefore, a must that the platform you choose has impregnable security protocols in place.

Conclusion

For your online business to be a success, it is a no-brainer that you elect to go for the best eCommerce platform available in your industry. And you have it up there; the features you need to look for when choosing a platform. There are loads of platforms available, but you do not need to get overwhelmed when choosing one. Taking note of the features already discussed will make the process relatively safe and easy for you.

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