10 Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-commerce Platform for Your Online Store

Written By Dale Hammington

Just a couple of years ago, creating websites and online platforms is considered a gruesome challenge for businesses and entrepreneurs. This is due to a lack of tools, as well as demanding development requirements.

In contrast, today’s businesses are better-equipped to start their online presence as more and more off-the-rack website making platforms becomes easier to access.

While this may be a blessing for today’s businesses, it can also be a source of problems, as advised by leading ecommerce expert G3Group. With more platforms becoming available, entrepreneurs are now faced with a growing list of elements to factor in when choosing an optimal e-commerce platform for their business.

In choosing a website platform, businesses and entrepreneurs must take their e-commerce platforms comparison seriously. Doing so can help them avoid issues should their business start to grow.

Make sure that you are making an informed business decision when choosing your e-commerce platform with these considerations:

Integration options

When comparing e-commerce website platforms, looking at how well its tools integrate with your existing assets is very crucial.

When you are running an online business, you will most likely be using an array of plugins and software which work in harmony. Before adapting to a new platform, though, see to it that your plugins are compatible with your chosen new platform. This will minimize operational interruptions and keep your business running normally.

You should also do due diligence in your research to determine if the tools you need come for free for each platform.

Some e-commerce platform may be free of charge during signup. These may cost exorbitant amounts once you add premium tools, and add ons that you need for your business.

Pricing and payment

Talking about price, it is crucial to determine your budget for a decent platform that will cater to your needs. Regardless of your business’ size and expertise, you will need to know exactly what you are paying for.

Nowadays, e-commerce platforms charge monthly. Not to mention that costs vary depending on the package you avail. It will also help you to know if any processing fees may be added on top of what you are paying for.

At the end of the day, you should not sacrifice functionality just to cut back on expenses. More so,  if the paid service can bring much more value to your business.

Scope of scalability

As time goes by, you will be gaining more customers, and your business will eventually get more prominent. Even at incremental growth, your business will come across a point where servers will have to be expanded. Some features will have to be added on your e-commerce website.

Your e-commerce platform should be able to accommodate your growth with little to no interruptions. Its framework must be flexible enough so that expansions can be done without shutting down your business.

In these cases, you may opt for what the industry calls as “headless commerce solution.” It enables native integrations, as well as APIs, that are relatively easy to manipulate. Doing so will allow you to balance the right website configurations.

Mobile accessibility

In today’s mobile-first age, it is prerogative that your website is effectively accessible when customers are browsing through their mobile phones.

With as much as 60% of web searches (and rising) going through mobile devices, people are bound to make more purchases through their smartphones. This should indicate the utmost importance in the mobile accessibility of your e-commerce website.

Partnered with exemplary digital media advertisement, potential customers can find affinity with your brand and ultimately lead to a purchase.

User experience

Having a poorly designed website will only be disadvantageous for your business. About 88% of consumers online are less likely to return to the same site from which they had a negative experience.

When comparing e-commerce platforms with each other, you should reserve a keen eye to determine how pleasant your experience is. That way, you are sure to have (1) low bounce rate and (2) repeat customers.

SEO friendliness

Because e-commerce websites thrive on the internet, its marketing is also heavily based on a website’s performance on the internet.

By incorporating SEO principles while building your website, you will be able to set your business up for marketing success, especially in SEO.

Good SEO allows websites to appear on top of certain search keywords. With the right targeting, you will be putting your website near the top of peoples’ search results, therefore increasing website visits and potential revenue.

Cybersecurity

As with any business, e-commerce websites are also susceptible to risks. Cybercrime, hacking, and data breaches are serious threats that any entrepreneur must be prepared to defend against.

As customers share their data with your business, it is then your business’ responsibility to keep your customers’ data safe.

If you want to gain the trust of more customers, make them feel safe in their online transactions. It is imperative to choose an e-commerce platform that provides a safety guarantee at all times.

This can normally be achieved by choosing a safe data sending protocol (https), as well as allowing your customers to opt for encrypted online payment providers. This will make them feel safe and encourage them to pay with their credit cards, allowing you to close sales right on the spot.

Multiple payment methods

Providing your customers with other payment options – other than their credit card – will also help make your product and services available to people who do not have credit cards. The same thing goes for people who simply choose not to use theirs.

Be conscious of the most prevalent payment option in territories you are operating at. Depending on which country or continent your business operates on, payment providers for cash-on-delivery, over-the-counter payments, as well as online bank payments may vary.

Customers who fail to find their preferred payment method will most likely abandon their cart right at the check-out. This results in making you lose a sure sale and leaving them with a negative shopping experience.

Customer ratings and reviews systems

Shopping online detaches the customer from the sensory experience of seeing and touching the products they are buying. This means that your product descriptions should be very precise.

Aside from this, customers usually look for real feedback from people who might have bought the same product before. A study shows that there was a significant increase in trust for 72% of customers who saw a positive review of the products they are buying.

Ensure that each product highlights insightful customer reviews that will encourage your other customers to add products in their carts and exit with a sale. Also, set a system that can help you encourage previous customers to leave a review.

Informative reports

One of the beauties in digital marketing and e-commerce platforms is its ability to track performance through numbers down to each click that the customer makes.

It is standard for e-commerce platforms to provide its merchants with marketing tools, especially those that provide insightful data.

Opt for an e-commerce platform that enables you to closely monitor and track the activities of your visitors through your sales funnel. This will help you identify which areas are effective and which parts you can improve on.

Wrap up

Looking at these factors will help you compare e-commerce platforms thoroughly and arrive at an informed decision. These decisions will be crucial for your business growth and success in the long run.

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