If you are a budding entrepreneur who’s looking for a platform to get your online store live, choosing one from the abundance of options might seem like a complicated decision to make.
Every platform in the market out there have its own set of features or functionalities that help the store owners create an outstanding brand presence. But, you ultimately have to choose one among those best options by filtering out the specifications that are important for your store.
Take the help of an ecommerce development company and their experts on what platform would be best for your specific brand store. Depending on your offerings, your business roadmap, and other such aspects, they can help you choose the ideal one!
But, if you don’t solely want to rely on your developers to decide the platform for you, this article will explain to you how you can do this sorting of the best options yourself.
Why Does it Matter to Look for the Best eCommerce Platform Anyway?
Remember, the platform you choose will directly impact the traffic your store gets and the conversions you record. Yes, a lot of its percentage would depend on the quality of the product and the marketing you do, but the platform reputation would also be accountable for giving your brand the recognition it deserves.
Suppose you are selling multiple products in your store, such as shoes, electronics, fashion goods, cosmetics, and others. In that case, you will need a platform that is widely popular for helping you open multi-product stores. You cannot just go with a platform that is popular just for garment stores and comes with limited themes to support the concept.
In that way, your store’s presence will be compromised, and that’s something really bad for your eCommerce business. Choosing the right platform will not just help you build a professional and suitable storefront but will also help you simplify the sales process for customers and give them an outstanding experience.
What are the Various eCommerce Platform Types?
You must be aware of the top eCommerce platforms that are trending on a global scale. Some popular names are Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shopify, and others. But do you actually know that these reputed platforms are categorized into different types?
Yes! To understand what platform would suit your eCommerce business the best, you must first know the types that define them, which include:
- Build-You-Own eCommerce Platform
Some businesses intend to build their own store right from scratch to gain complete control over their functionalities, design, and features. In such an approach, you might require technical knowledge and expertise to get a good store ready.
- Open-Source eCommerce Platform
Open-source eCommerce platforms are free for any budding entrepreneur to access and customize to create their own stores. It offers your business with complete accessibility and control over the features or functions.
- Traditional SaaS Platforms
Traditional eCommerce or SaaS platforms offer businesses the scope of using a pre-built platform for creating an online store. Businesses tend to pay a monthly or yearly fee to the service provider for running their stores over the platform. Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and others fall under this category.
What are the Tips that You Should Follow for Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform?
Every online store comes with unique necessities, and the eCommerce platform you choose should help you present it well. There should be basic tools, features, and functionalities available over the platform in general. But beyond these considerations, there are a few other tips that can help you choose the best eCommerce platform for running your online store, which includes:
1. Prepare A Checklist to Shortlist the Right eCommerce Platform
You must prepare a checklist of features or tools that you expect from an eCommerce platform for your store in specific. If you are a complete rookie, take the help of an ecommerce developer and get a checklist ready right away.
Now, consider your options in the range of eCommerce platforms and validate them in terms of the checklist pointers. Some of those pointers can be:
- Does the platform consist of everything you need, starting from theme editor to drop-down menus?
- Is the platform easy to use for non-techies?
- Does it come with affordable and reliable hosting?
- Do you get the required support from the platform provider?
- Does it support the type of product you intend to sell in your store?
- Does it allow you to sell your products directly over other marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, etc.?
- Is the platform going to optimize your store for mobile devices?
- Is the eCommerce platform SEO-friendly?
- Is there any limit on how many products one can sell?
Just prepare a checklist as such by adding up more relevant questions as per your store requirements, and pick the best platform from the lot!
2. Compare the Expense
Well, these eCommerce platforms often charge a monthly or annual fee for letting you run your stores over them. They offer a lot of services, including analytics, fraud protection, payments, checkout, hosting, PCI compliance, and much more, for which they charge some amount from every consumer.
But just because they set up a price tag doesn’t mean you are bound to pay it! The pricing models differ for varying eCommerce platforms, and you should research your options before deciding on one. Pay attention to what’s included in a specific pricing model! It would help you invest in the best plan that would help your store functions enhance!
3. Determine the Platform with Respect to their Design Capabilities
As you know, your storefront’s design is what would create a major impact on your brand’s presence and reputation. If you don’t have a good UI, you will lag on creating a good UX. Look out for the available themes over the platforms and see if there are options that go well with your requirements or not!
You must find a theme that can be customized to meet your needs! If you don’t, then skip to the next platform for a design search!
But for some of the eCommerce platforms, professional developers can help create unique themes to integrate them into your store’s design. So, look out for all the options considered!
The success of an online store highly depends on the platform you rely on! When you have the right features or functions in place, handling customers, processing orders, promoting products, and generating high revenue will be easier! But as stated earlier, there is an abundance of options out there for you to choose from!
If you find it difficult to figure out what works well for you or not, hire an eCommerce development company to help you in the process! The experts would review your expectations and requirements, following which they will align them with the specifications of different eCommerce platforms to find you the best among all.