You’ve decided to begin a new adventure as an eCommerce entrepreneur and start your own business. You have a great product in mind for your online store and have done extensive research on your target market and competitors. You’re now ready to select an eCommerce platform, build your online store, and launch your business!
With the myriad of eCommerce solutions available today, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. To help you in your search for the best eCommerce platform, here are 5 important factors to consider.
Unless you’re working with an unlimited budget, pricing is likely to be a pretty important factor in your choice of eCommerce platform. Regardless if you’re new to online sales or if you want to migrate your existing web store to a new solution, it’s crucial that you have a good understanding of how much the platform will cost you before getting started.
Most platforms today offer subscription-based pricing plans, often allowing users to pay a monthly fee or opt to pay for the entire year at once at a discounted rate. These plans also frequently have different tiers with different services and features, with the plans providing the best offerings being the most expensive.
Finally, you’ll probably need to pay a small transaction or commission fee for every sale your online store earns as well. This percentage can widely vary across the different platforms available today, so it’s beneficial to consider this when doing your research.
2. Integrated features
The tools and plugins that come pre-integrated on an eCommerce platform should also be taken into account when selecting the best solution for your business. Some platforms will have an extensive variety of features available, while others can be rather limited in this department, meaning that you may need to search for third-party add-ons to facilitate the management of your business.
When comparing various platforms, try to think about which features will be most applicable to you not just now but also in the future as your business grows. Here are some of the most common feature categories that are beneficial for e-merchants, no matter what products they sell:
- customer relationship management (CRM),
- customer support,
- email marketing,
- Inventory management,
- loyalty programs,
- payment solutions, and
- shipping solutions.
3. User experience
Launching an eCommerce business can be very rewarding, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. Designing your website shouldn’t be one of them!
Your chosen eCommerce platform should ideally provide a varied selection of themes or design templates that make it simple to create an online store that’s in line with your vision for your brand. Note that some solutions make all their available themes free of charge, included in the cost of subscription, while others supply a collection of basic themes for free and premium options for an extra fee.
It’s also important to determine how intuitive the platform will be for day-to-day use. Does the dashboard make it easy to find what you’re looking for? Are customizing your homepage and creating new pages relatively painless processes? Is it easy to locate contact information for getting in touch with customer service?
4. Ability to scale
Even the biggest names in online sales today started as small businesses at some point. While you may not be launching your eCommerce site with the aim of one day competing with giants like Amazon, there’s a good chance that you hope to grow your business down the road. It’s therefore advantageous to choose an eCommerce platform that will be able to accommodate you as your online store becomes more successful.
This means researching available bandwidth and how many customers the solution can handle at a given time, the level of customer and technical support provided, and the types and number of advanced features available. Even if you’re not ready to pay for the platform’s most all-inclusive package with every top-of-the-line tool supplied when you first sign up, it’s reassuring to know that you can take advantage of this option in the future.
5. SEO friendliness
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves using a variety of methods to boost a website’s visibility on search engines like Google. Working on your online store’s SEO is essential, as the higher your site ranks in the search results, the greater the number of both existing and potential customers you’re likely to attract.
However, SEO doesn’t bring instant results—it’s definitely more of a long-term strategy. That being said, an eCommerce platform that provides you with built-in SEO tools can really help simplify this undertaking.
When comparing different platform options for your business, check to see what SEO capabilities they offer for elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, alt attributes, pagination, canonical tags, and more.
An eCommerce solution like WiziShop, which includes over 50 different features designed to optimize your site’s technical SEO, can help make improving your online store’s visibility a breeze! The WiziShop solution also offers many resources on its blog to assist you with a wide range of topics concerning eCommerce and how to grow your business.
Interesting Related Article: “Common Mistakes to Avoid When Running an eCommerce Business“