The number of e-commerces businesses is growing consistently year-over-year. Whether you’re a brick and mortar retailer or you own a fully online business, your main focus is grow your business and provide convenience to customers and convenience. The digital world allows companies to expand this capability significantly, and this is the key to why e-commerce websites continue to gain in popularity.
So, building an online store can be a very wise choice when launching your business. As you know the development of an e-commerce website or application requires a lot of time, a focused strategy and significant effort. The first thing to consider is the type of e-commerce platform you want to utilize.
Why your choice of e-commerce platform is critical
As you know, getting your business online has become essential these days as a huge percentage of the population (no matter where you are) has taken to doing their shopping in the digital space. To be successful in this space, you need to choose an e-commerce platform that serves your target audience’s need and provides a solid user experience.
There are many e-commerce platforms to choose from. Doing market research and analysis helps you to select the best e-commerce platform for your business’ website. The Magento e-commerce platform is considered as one of the most reliable and fastest eCommerce platforms, but there are plenty of other options, such as WooCommerce, Big Commerce and the list goes on.
Let’s take a look at the types of e-commerce platforms available for you to choose from.
Types of e-commerce platforms to choose from
Traditional e-commerce platform
To use the traditional eCommerce platform to develop an e-commerce website, you have to pay an upfront fee for it. You will get a license after paying this upfront amount and this will be valid for a preset period, then you can renew if you choose to keep going with this option. This platform can be customized by your team (or an outsourced group of pros) to meet your needs and the needs of your customers.
Open source e-commerce platform
Though it is quite similar to the traditional e-commerce platform, the difference is that you don’t have to pay any kind of upfront fee. However, you can take the open source platform and design it however you want, but it will cost you, as these are typically in a very basic state and require a lot of work from skilled developers.
Cloud based e-commerce platforms
Cloud-based e-commerce platforms involves a network of servers. This is not hosted on an internal server and doesn’t involve software. With this option, you’re able to use various applications as well as store and process data.
SaaS e-commerce platform
This type of platform works for software companies. SaaS stands for Software a as Service. It involves the ability to subscribe and thus pay an recurring monthly fee to use the software. That fee is used to keep it maintained and updated. The company providing the software is liable for any data security and responsible for hosting on servers.
Build your e-commerce platform
Professional web developers can develop your e-commerce platform and create something customized for you. You can contact professionals to develop the platform according to your project needs and requirements. In case if none of the above e-commerce platforms can complete the needs and requirements of your project, then you have to choose this option.
These are the main eCommerce platforms that had been used to develop eCommerce websites globally. Now let’s take a look at some tips on how to choose the best e-commerce platform for your needs.
Tips that will help you choose the best eCommerce platforms
As you know choosing the best e-commerce platform is important if you want your business to succeed online. To make your website run effectively and have a positive impact on your ability to grow your business, the direction you take here is critical. Have a look at these tips and tricks that will help you to choose the right e-commerce platform.
- Make sure you ask the right questions and start with the free trial
Whenever it comes to deciding on anything, the very first thing that you have to do is to prepare a set of questions. You can also start with the free trial to test things out and answer some of your own questions. With a mix of asking and testing, make sure you get answers to the following:
- Does the platform have almost everything that you need?
- Is the platform easy to use?
- Are you comfortable with the platform?
- Does the platform bring all the right features to your application to serve your customers?
- Does the platform offer incredible support?
- Does the platform offer support to all the products and services that you want to sell?
- Is the website is optimized for mobile because the number of users is higher on mobile?
Most importantly, make sure you understand whether the platform you choose will create the right experience for your customers.
- Expertise and experience of the vendor
Check whether the vendor has expertise and experience in meeting the needs and requirements of your project. If the vendor does not have experience in your field, then you might need to choose another vendor. Make sure you take proper time in analyzing whether the vendor can provide you the right platform or not. Read customer reviews and forums that help you to understand whether you are choosing the right vendor.
Cost is one of the major factors that should also be considered when it comes to choosing the right platform for your business website. As you know, e-commerce platforms are not free, and you have to pay to develop an application, whether you create a custom site or use something out of the box. The number of bells and whistles (features) that the platform offers will increase or lower your cost.
- SEO friendliness
You should choose the e-commerce platform that comes with SEO features. This will help your website to rank higher on search engines so more and more people can reach to your website. If a platform is SEO-friendly then it allows customers to find your site when digging around the Internet for related products and services.
Of course, security is one of the main features that you should look into when choosing a platform. The more secure the platform is, the more trust it will offer site visitors, encouraging them to stick around and feel comfortable making a purchase. An e-commerce platform actively accepts payments, so it is important to ensure you have the right platform to do this as securely as possible.
These are some of the features that you should look at while choosing the right platform for your website.
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