Choosing the right platform is crucial to the success of your ecommerce business. Online stores have been on the rise in recent years. According to Insider Intelligence, ecommerce sales will comprise 23.6 percent of all retail sales by 2025, which is more than double than they were in 2019. With an ecommerce platform, online stores can effectively manage their inventory, order fulfillment, and others.
Ecommerce platforms will be the centerpiece of your digital store. It will enable you to sell goods and services online. There are a plethora of ecommerce platforms and choosing the right platform can be a daunting task. In this article, we will guide you on how to choose the right platform to get you started with your ecommerce business.
Choosing The Right Ecommerce Platform
- Integration With Other Apps
- Technical Support
- Support For Multiple Selling Channels
- Themes & User Experience
- Store Functionality
Choosing The Right Ecommerce Platform
There are many factors to consider when selecting a platform for your ecommerce business. With so many platforms to choose from, finding the right one can be a major business decision. Let us take a look at the factors you need to look at when choosing an ecommerce platform.
The first major consideration is the cost. While most ecommerce platforms offer competitive packages, you still need to decide whether they suit your budget. Paying more does not guarantee the best experience. At the same time, the cheapest option would often leave you craving for more features.
The cost of ecommerce platforms usually depends on integrating multiple technologies in one package. They incorporate various services like hosting, checkout, payment gateways, analytics, and PCI compliance to name a few. Each platform offers different pricing schemes to lure potential customers. In addition, you can choose from stand-alone or all-in-one hosting.
Whatever you choose, it will always boil down to your budget. Do not settle with the first provider that you come across with. The first is not always the best. Always do your research and compare packages before deciding on a platform.
The features of the ecommerce platform are another important consideration in determining the right platform for your online store. First, list down the essential features you are looking for in an ecommerce platform. When choosing an ecommerce platform, consider the following options:
- Mobile Support. Customers will be shopping for products using their mobile devices. This means that you should look for a platform that is mobile-friendly. Not having one means you could be losing significant market share.
- Integration of Apps. The ecommerce platform should allow integration of other services like inventory management, shopping cart, payment gateways, and others. These features could add to making your ecommerce business more efficient.
- Ease of Use. According to a report by HubSpot, 76 percent of customers consider user experience as a top feature. Ensure that your products are easily accessible to shoppers and the checkout process is smooth.
- Analytics. This will give you visitor data such as their name, email address, and the channel where they came from. You can also get performance metrics from the analytics tool.
- Customization. You want to make sure that the ecommerce platform you have in mind can be configured according to your preference.
When considering the features of the platform, choose only the ones that your business needs. List down the features that are essential to selling your products and efficiently running your business.
In the ecommerce industry, there is a peak season and a down season. You want to choose a platform that will ensure smooth business operations regardless of the season. When your business grows or expands, you would want your platform to provide you support. Growth means more customers and orders to process. Choose a platform that has the capability to handle hundreds of orders without slowing down.
Customer demands are changing from time to time which is why you need a scalable ecommerce platform. Aside from that, the number of transactions you will handle and data to process will also increase. For example, during peak seasons like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, a scalable ecommerce platform can handle the sudden surge in traffic. As your business grows, you need a platform that can help you keep up with growing demands.
Finally, a scalable ecommerce platform offers long-term cost savings. It saves you from the hassle of having frequent platform migrations and system upgrades. The scalability of your ecommerce platform will help you thrive in a competitive marketplace. You want to make sure that there will be no additional fees despite the extra charges and storage for your business needs.
4. Integration With Other Apps
For your ecommerce business to succeed, you will need to integrate other apps like email marketing, accounting, payment channels, shipping, and others. For this reason, you should choose a platform that will allow integration of these apps. These additional apps can make your online store more efficient.
Without these integrated third-party apps, your ecommerce store will be nothing. An ecommerce platform that integrates with other apps gives your online store added functionalities. For example, there are apps that can send targeted text messages to customers. When used correctly, added SMS functionality can deliver a 26% higher conversion rate.
Integrating third-party apps can help improve the overall user experience. Studies have shown that ecommerce businesses that integrate with 3rd party apps experience an 18.5% increase in revenue. More importantly, third-party app integration can add value to your ecommerce website. They help enhance and optimize the mobile shopping experience ensuring the satisfaction of customers.
5. Technical Support
Technical support is an important consideration when looking for an ecommerce platform. Customers may have difficulty accessing the platform so you want to make sure that you have a support team that will guide them to effectively address their concerns. Also, there might be server downtimes, software outages, and server crashes from time to time that can hinder a customer from making purchases. This is where technical support comes in.
It is worth noting that not all customers are tech-savvy. Technical support will help these customers access your website even without programming or coding knowledge. Without technical support, your customers can experience glitches in their online shopping experience such as payment difficulties or website bugs. On the other hand, technical support will not only save your customer’s time but also build trust in your brand.
Allowing 24/7 access to your website helps ensure customer satisfaction. They provide you with a safety net and help you troubleshoot problems right away. With technical support, customers can be assured of round-the-clock assistance. In addition, it will allow you to find areas of improvement in your business. It demonstrates your dedication to ensuring customer satisfaction.
6. Support For Multiple Selling Channels
Back in the day, customers used an average of two touch points when purchasing an item. However, as online shopping grew in popularity, customers sought other channels where they could buy goods and services. Offering support for multiple channels allows customers to buy goods from their preferred channel.
An ecommerce platform that includes support for multiple selling channels can help you target customers of different demographics. A multi-channel ecommerce platform can help efficiently manage inventory, sync orders, track sales performance, or ensure a seamless shopping experience.
Keep in mind that 87% of customers want a consistent experience across all shopping channels. In addition, 90% of customers want a cross-channel shopping experience. Having multiple selling options can enhance your revenue opportunities. You also need to make sure that there is a consistent customer experience throughout all the touchpoints.
7. Themes & User Experience
The user experience is an important consideration when looking for an ecommerce platform. Customers can grow impatient when purchasing products from online stores. For this reason, you need to choose a platform that will deliver a positive user experience. 76 out of 100 visitors will abandon their cart when they are unsatisfied with their experience.
As a business owner, you need to maintain a good perception from your visitors to retain the business of existing customers and acquire new ones. Nothing can be more frustrating to a customer than experiencing difficulty in searching for a product they want to purchase. An ecommerce platform with a positive user experience can generate higher user engagement rate and a positive brand image.
The same goes for the theme of your ecommerce platform. It has to be appealing and easy to use so you can satisfy your customers. Don’t forget it has to be responsive while customers are using their mobile devices when searching on your website. 52% of potential customers are likely to leave your website due to frustration in accessing your store.
Customers will entrust their financial information and confidential data to you so they expect you to guard it with your life. When choosing an ecommerce platform, make sure that it is equipped with security features that will safeguard the confidential data of your customers. According to research by IT Governance, there were over 800 million compromised records in 2023.
Customers will not buy products from you unless they are sure that their data will be protected. They need assurance from you that nothing will happen to their sensitive data like credit card and bank account numbers. Thus, you need to choose an ecommerce platform that will alleviate these worries of the customers.
Look for a platform that is PCI-compliant. This is important, especially for credit card payments. In addition, find out if the platform comes with an SSL certificate. Make sure that your ecommerce website will erase any fears or doubts about the security of their personal and financial information.
Managing your ecommerce website goes beyond proper product listing, optimizing keywords, and others. It involves both front-end and back-end maintenance. Managing your ecommerce platform ensures a safer and more secure online store. By doing so, you give your customers the confidence to make a purchase knowing that their transaction will be safe. For them, this is an indication that they will be well taken care of.
Management of your ecommerce platform can lead to a better user experience. It ensures your visitors that they can easily access your website and find what they are looking for. A better user experience translates to more sales. If your online store is easy to use, customers will be confident in retaining their business with you.
Make sure that your website is updated regularly to ensure the smooth functioning of your online store. Check that your themes and plugins are easy to use and free from glitches. The last thing you want to happen is customer data being compromised.
10. Store Functionality
The main goal of your ecommerce store is to ensure that visitors will convert to customers. To achieve this, you want to make sure that your online store is functioning properly. Make it wassy for customers to find your products otherwise they will just abandon your cart and take their business elsewhere. Store functionalities include payment channels, order management, and return policies, to name just a few. When looking for an ecommerce platform, ensure that it has all the features needed to allow you to run your business effectively and smoothly. You should always have the user experience in mind. If they are having difficulty navigating your ecommerce store, they will become frustrated and simply leave.
Always check the usability of the platform yourself first. You can ask for a trial so you can check if the platform addresses everything that your customer needs. It should allow the customer to complete a purchase easily even if they are not tech-savvy.
Choosing the right platform is necessary to succeed in an ecommerce business. It is important to choose the right platform at the onset because it can save you from having to switch to another platform in the future. Keep these tips in mind and you can look forward to succeeding in the world of ecommerce.
Why Choose airisX As Your Ecommerce Partner?
Being successful in the Ecommerce space is more than just listing some products and hoping the sales arrive. airisX Ecommerce Solutions brings together a comprehensive suite of services to cover all aspects of operating and growing an ecommerce business. This allows our clients to achieve more with less resources to transform their business for the future.
Our solutions build you a dedicated custom team within our organization to provide you with the toolbox to grow, expand, and service your customers without the overhead and headaches of doing it yourself, all at a lower cost. For your ecommerce needs, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org