In this era of digitalization, creating an e-commerce platform is of utmost importance. Once you've set your mind to open an online store, the next important step is to select the best e-commerce platform. A lot of factors should be kept in mind while doing so. Whether the platform is simple and user-friendly, crucial factors such as integration, pricing, etc which always weigh before plunging into a decision.
This post will highlight such important components and help you to choose among the existing platforms.
- COST EFFECTIVENESS:
E-commerce platforms come with varied functionality and different budgets. You might run a free and open source ecommerce platform on a free tier model of Amazon's Cloud where, no costs are involved in the first year of operation. You may also wish to install enterprise solution software like Agile every month. Do not forget to take into expenses of hosting fees, transaction fees, etc.
- YOUR PRODUCT:
One of the main deciding factors is the product you are going to sell. While some e-commerce sites host both physical and digital products, there are few which, host only one of them. Some can handle a limited number of products while, there are some with unlimited product hosting.
Two more important aspects which, you should keep in mind is; whether you need to deploy a track inventory system and the procedure of shipping.
The next aspect which you have to decide upon is whether you would want your store hosted on your own website or on the considered ecommerce platform. Hosting on your own website entitles you to have more control, maintenance and security since. You will be solely responsible for ensuring customer data security and checking on proper functioning of the software.
On the other hand, small business firms opt for stores hosted by reliable ecommerce platforms.
- LOOK AND FUNCTION:
For a successful online store, a stylish and well formatted look and prompt functionality are certain added benefits. User-friendly, prompt, safe and secure platforms are bound to attract customers. Apart from having a well-structured website, you need to optimize it further for mobile users.
- INTEGRATED TOOLS:
Most of the e-commerce platforms come with integrated tools to help you serve your customers better. These tools can help you in facilitating different business processes like accounting (using Quickbooks), marketing, inventory management, customer reviews and support, sending mailers (like Mailchimp), progress report graphs, etc. Before choosing on an e-commerce platform, chalk out what are the needs of your business and whether the platform you choose can perform accordingly.
- PAYMENT GATEWAYS:
Your next step should be making a choice of the mode of payment your platforms shall provide. Would you like your customers to pay via channels like PayPal, MasterCard Payment Gateway Services or specific gateways integrated within platforms. Make sure the platform you choose provides a variety of such options which, would help your customers to transact from your online platform.
- SUPPLEMENTARY FEES:
Most of the e-commerce platforms charge certain additional fees. These might include set up fees, payment gateway charges, service charges, processing fees, etc. Check for those extra charges integrated within the terms and conditions before making the final decision.