Choosing an Ecommerce platform is one of the most fundamental and important decisions you’ll make in the early life of your business. The choices are endless; but what’s really important? Here’s our list of the 7 things you need to consider when making this vital choice!
Can it grow with you?
Of course, you want to choose the platform that works best for you today – and that’s an essential part of your decision.
But how does that balance against your desire to grow? If you’re serious about taking the business forward over a period of time, it’s vital to choose a platform that can grow with your business and meet the growing challenges you’ll face.
We all want more traffic and customers as they lead to more sales; but they also place extra demands on your store – if it’s ill-equipped, this can lead to slow speeds and unresponsiveness, which is a sure-fire way to discourage your customers and send them elsewhere.
That’s why it’s crucial to future-proof your business by ensuring that scalability is a key component of whichever platform you choose.
Can you afford it?
Budget is a huge consideration in every business decision, and deciding on an Ecommerce platform is no exception.
With such a diverse range of platforms available (each with their own features and benefits) this is a delicate balancing act. You want as many cool features as you can get your hands on – but how much do those bells and whistles affect your bottom line? You certainly don’t want unnecessary functionality to eat into your margin. Take the time to identify the stuff you really need and shop around for the best price.
Another thing to consider here is that some platforms charge transaction fees which can further diminish your profitability. Avoid this where possible!
Can you make it look beautiful?
A great store doesn’t justneed awesome functionality, it also has to look great. A beautiful design makes a great first impression, and can subconsciously transmit a message of trustworthiness and professionalism. It’s important that your store is consistent with your other branding and looks uniquely yours.
Of course, design can be tricky – if you don’t have the required skills in-house, you may have to outsource it, which is often expensive. A good way to overcome this problem is by using a template. Templates are pre-built site designs that you can simply roll out across your store, while adding elements of your own brand. This gives you the power of professional, beautiful design – without the hard work and expense of building it yourself, or hiring an expert. When deciding on which platform to use, take a look at their templates before you go any further.
What’s it like for the end-user?
Clearly, this is one of the most important factors in your decision. Ecommerce is an increasingly competitive arena, and modern customers expect a seamless, simple experience when they shop online. If your store requires them to jump through hoops to complete their purchase, odds are they’ll head for the hills without spending a penny. Our platform allows users to condense the checkout process right down into one page, even allowing guest checkouts so customers needn’t create an account before completing their purchase.
Your customers are the ones who’ll use your shop, so make sure their experience is paramount!
Does it give you the tools and features you need?
There’s no dancing around the subject: selling online can be a tricky business, and you need powerful tools to help you succeed. Make sure the platform you choose has the functionality to power you to success. Not only do you need features to help you drive conversion – stuff like suggested products, behavioral discounts and more – you need ease of use from a back-end management perspective. Often, the only way to know if it’s the right platform for you is to take it for a test drive. Thats’ why we’re delighted to offer all our customers a free 14 day trial, with no obligations and no credit card details required.
Will you get the support you need?
Whether you’re an Ecommerce expert or a novice, it’s likely you’ll need help at some point. That’s why it’s always useful to take a look at the support options on offer before deciding on a platform. Ideally, you should be able to seek support via a number of different mediums – such as support forums, online documentation, live chat, and actual support tickets.
Is it secure?
It pretty much goes without saying that security is a massive issue in Ecommerce. It’s important for your customers and it’s important for you that your store, and the sensitive data it handles, is kept safe and secure at all times.
Check out the security credentials of your chosen platform before going any further – whichever you choose, you absolutely need to make sure that its PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. This is a set of requirements which ensure that companies processing or transmitting credit card info maintain a secure environment. You can avoid major headaches for you and your customers by making sure you do your due diligence here!
How private is your data ?
When using a marketplace or saas platform all your customer data is accessible to the platform provider. This is business intelligence you may not want to reveal to outsiders.
If you are on a Saas Platform what happens if the plaform goes out of business ?
You are at the mercy of the Saas providers infrastructure. The bigger the provider the more attractive they are to hackers. If all of shopify is taken down thats alot of lost business for every minute they are off the air. No amount of your backing up or due diligence will make the recovery time any quicker.
If you are using a marketplace will its fees eat your profit ?
Market places have huge variances in fees, some can be as high as 35% some as low as 5%. The lower ones are from sites that have lower traffic and exposure. The rule of thumb is that if you are loosing money using a marketplace you should either open on your own platform quit.