An eCommerce platform is a software application that allows business owners to manage their online sale operations. If you are expanding your business from a physical store to online or if you want to bring your brand to a global audience, then creating an online store using an eCommerce platform is often the most cost-effective solution.
There are several different eCommerce platforms out there, and each one has its own pros and cons. Therefore, finding the right eCommerce platform to create your online store can seem like an overwhelming task. However, there are some crucial features to keep in mind than can help you to select the best eCommerce solution for your needs. So, let us discover 3 essential factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.
Easy to Set Up, Navigate, and Secure
It might seem intuitive, but it is crucial that you choose an eCommerce platform that is easy to set up and design. Your online store should capture the unique look and feel of your brand and so you might want to browse some of the different templates that each platform provides. Online store templates are incredibly convenient as using one eliminates the need to contact a website designer to create a professional and eye-catching look for your website. Unsure where to start looking? This guide that compares woocommerce vs shopify should provide some useful insights.
It is also important to remember that your website must be easy to navigate. You do not want your customers to feel frustrated when trying to navigate your online checkout pages. Online shoppers demand a smooth purchasing experience that should be fast and effortless. The same goes for payment processing. Your customers need to know that your website is secure and therefore the eCommerce platform that you decide to use must provide state of the art security features. As a general rule, look for a platform that supports HTPPS/SSL extensions.
As far as integration for eCommerce platforms is concerned, if your chosen platform can be integrated with your existing systems and marketing channels then this is typically a positive sign. For example, there are eCommerce platforms that can fully integrate with your social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. Consequently, when weighing up your options, determining whether your shortlisted platforms can run smoothly with your existing customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, as well as any other sales and marketing tools, is fundamental.
If you already manage seller accounts through online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, then you might also want to consider whether your eCommerce platform can be integrated with these existing seller dashboards. For instance, some eCommerce platforms allow store owners to integrate their Amazon seller dashboard into their eCommerce platform so that they can synchronize their online store with their Amazon account. This means that any product or service inventories on a site are instantly synchronized with the related Amazon listings. In essence, this allows you to automatically manage both your Amazon account and your own eCommerce site at the same time.
Is the Platform SEO and Mobile Friendly?
We all search for things online nowadays, and therefore if you want people to discover your online store, your website needs to be optimized for search engines. If you are launching a new eCommerce store or if you are in charge of an existing small online shop, then ranking highly in search results can boost your sales. In order to improve your search engine rankings, try to find an eCommerce platform that is SEO-friendly. At the very least, you should be able to use your own domain name, add a blog, and collect customer reviews. When combined and used effectively, these features can help to drive shoppers to your website organically.
In the competitive digital era eCommerce sites need to embrace the ongoing trend of mobile shopping. Without a doubt, mobile devices are changing the ways that consumers shop and therefore smartphones play an important part in the purchase process. Mobile users are likely to leave a website before making a purchase if the loading time is too long or if the site has not been optimized for mobile devices, and these facts can pose challenges for eCommerce store owners. Correspondingly, when compiling a shortlist of eCommerce platforms, make sure that the platforms you are going to be using allow customers easy access to your store through mobile devices. If a customer can interact with your brand in multiple ways, securing a sale is much more likely.
Ultimately, finding the right eCommerce platform for your business can feel overwhelming at first. Above all by focusing on platforms that offer the most relevant features for the requirements of your business, you can choose the best eCommerce solution for your online store.
The eCommerce industry has undergone a dramatic overhaul in recent years. To learn more check out this article that explains some useful tips for getting into eCommerce.