How to Choose the Perfect E-Commerce Platform for Your Business
Selling products online is one of the most attractive business models available. By setting up an online store, you can multiply your own efforts and “make money while you sleep.” While selling online can be a hugely rewarding experience, choosing the right e-commerce platform can make all the difference in the world.
There are hundreds of options available to choose from and there isn’t a universal option that is best for everyone. If you make the wrong decision, it could set your business back in a big way. Here are a few tips on how to select the right e-commerce platform for your business.
Ease of Use
First and foremost, you need to find a platform that you’re comfortable with and is easy to use. Choose one that has a simple administration platform and allows you to upgrade to more robust options if needed.
If you’re switching from another platform, see whether your new option allows you to easily import information from other platforms.
The user interface needs to be clean and easy for your customers to find what they want. It should be fast, responsive and mobile-friendly as well. The checkout process should be as simple as possible; any extra steps could make you lose customers.
When you do business online, data security is of the utmost importance. You’ll be accepting money from many different people online, which presents an increased threat of a data breach. In case credit card numbers and other sensitive personal information gets into the wrong hands, your customers could become victims of identity theft. Knowing how to prevent that is very important.
The e-commerce platform that you choose should be well-known for being generally safe. Most of the well-known e-commerce platforms have different security options or packages that you can choose from.
Many of these are optional and you’ll have to decide if you want to spend the extra money on them. There are also 3rd party applications that you can invest in that could add an extra layer of security to your data.
Choosing an e-commerce platform that costs the least is often the most tempting option when you’re just starting out. However, consider how easy it will be to scale in the future. If your online venture is successful, you’ll undoubtedly need to scale up. Thinking about your future needs is tough in the beginning because you don’t know how well it’s going to go.
Take the time to think about what you might need in an e-commerce platform when your orders are 10 times and then 100 times more. Would the platform you’re looking at accommodate that much volume? If not, you might want to look at some other options.
Sometimes, a platform can be scaled up, but it’s expensive to do so. Look at the fees to upgrade and consider how they’ll work with your business growth trajectory.
The e-commerce platform that you choose, no matter how good it is, may eventually have some kind of issue. When that happens, your customers will be looking at you to fix it. Maybe the checkout function stops working randomly. Maybe the customers can’t add something to their cart. You never know what will happen. This is why choosing an e-commerce platform that has great customer support is essential.
You want a platform that has a fantastic support team behind it. They need to respond quickly when you email or call them. If they have a community with questions and answers that are easy to navigate, that makes it that much more simple for you. In many cases, other users have already gone through the same things you’re going through now. If those solutions are well-documented, you may not even have to contact anyone to fix the problem.
When you’re looking at different e-commerce platforms, it may be hard to know just how well their support will be after you buy. However, you can usually get a good idea by looking at how prominently they feature their customer support. That is a big selling point for e-commerce platforms. If they don’t talk about it a lot on their website, then that means they probably don’t have that great of a support team.
When making the decision of selecting a platform, think about getting further ahead than next week or next month. If you make the right choice, you may never have to undertake the task of switching platforms. The right e-commerce platform can grow with your business and be an integral part of your brand.