E-commerce across the world has grown substantially over the years and due to the pandemic, even those who weren’t comfortable with it have grown used to it. If you’re thinking of creating your own e-commerce business, here’s what you need to know about choosing the right platform.
The first & foremost thing to plan is the problem that your e-commerce platform is trying to solve. This will help in establishing the goal of the business and what kind of gap in the market is it trying to fill. Once you establish the goal, it’s going to be a lot easier to determine and chalk out other factors to build the e-commerce platform.
Ready-built platforms like Shopify also have many third-party integrations available which help in quickly & securely building your platform. For example, social media sharing or tie-ups with payment gateways may ease your job and you wouldn’t have to custom build or add these integrations to your platform.
Sometimes your products can have specific needs or some platform may offer features that will help showcase and list your products in a better manner. Do your research and find out about these features and/or the need for your product and then make a decision.
It’s always important to check what the competition is doing. Doing so will not only help you in acing it and possibly doing it better than them, but it will also give you an understanding of how and what they have done to give you a headstart. One can avoid the mistakes made by them for the betterment of one’s own business.
Whenever you create any business plan, finances are of utmost importance. So, it’s imperative that you chalk out a budget for the platform before you get started with room for some buffer in case things don’t go as planned. The budget will have to include things like platform fee, domain hosting fee, plug-in charges, themes and any additional services & maintenance that you may incur.
Hosting also comes with a plethora of options which can also not only affect the plan but also the budget and time period needed. You can choose a platform that allows you to self-host like Magento 2.0 or WooCommerce or choose a platform like Shopify which hosts the server for you.
The front end definitely has to look great and things like customization options, etc make a lot of difference. But it’s the backend that dictates the ease of doing business from the company’s side. The easier to use and understand the backend is, the more likely it is that employees will be able to run operations smoothly. So weigh in the backend interface and its features as per the need of your company and employees before picking.
The checkout is where a lot of customers drop out. On average, 70% of your audience will abandon a cart which isn’t a great number at all for businesses. While a number of factors dictate this behavior, the kind of payment options, shipping options and the UI of the pages makes a lot of difference in whether or not the customer will convert. If the UI is too complicated or doesn’t have sufficient choices, the user is more likely to generate an abandoned cart. So, check these thoroughly and understand the potential of future integrations before choosing a platform.
An e-commerce platform needs to day to day operations and maintenance and may occasionally come across bugs that cannot be resolved by your tech team. In these situations, you may need tech support from your platform provider. Some platforms’ charge a separate service fee for support while others may include it in the fee they charge. Consider this as an important factor when picking the platform as per the needs & capability of your tech team.
Your e-commerce business will entail many daily transactions and storage of personal data of the customers like their contact details, addresses and in some cases also card details, etc. It’s extremely important to pick a platform that provides the most secure features not just for the customer data but also sensitive business data for your e-commerce.
With the right kind of tech expert in place, like Valere, you can always innovate your own unique features that will make your e-commerce stand apart, no matter the platform. To get an estimate on the budget for your app, you can check out our App Development Cost Calculator.