Do you intend to launch an online store for your small business? Let’s show you how to pick the right platform for your online store. According to Statista, over 2 billion people will shop online across the world in the year 2020. Fortunately, an eCommerce platform allows you to create your online store for displaying products, thereby enabling you to partake in the profitable eCommerce industry.
However, there are several eCommerce platforms you can use, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, Open Cart, and others. With their unique features, it can be challenging to settle on an eCommerce platform for your online store. Nevertheless, we will show you right below here the best tips you need to know when picking the right platform for your online store. Stay tuned!
1. Consider your affordability
When it comes to online business, it is essential to be prudent with your spending. Therefore, you should consider pricing when choosing an eCommerce platform for your online store.
Some eCommerce platforms are available with a subscription billed monthly, bi-annually, or annually. Some platforms charge as high as $100 per month while others charge as low as $9; however, some eCommerce platforms are free or open-source.
Nevertheless, it would be best if you considered your starting business scale when opting for an eCommerce platform. If you are a small business just starting, you might not have the funds to pay high fees for an eCommerce platform.
2. Avoid complexity
This has to do with how the platform works. Is it complex or easy to use? How do you manage orders, display products, process payments, etc.? These are the questions you have to find answers to before opting for an eCommerce platform.
You can try out the demo versions of the eCommerce platforms and test their admin panel or dashboard. This will enable you to figure out their user-friendliness. Also, check out how to upload your products, generate online invoices, and monitor your online store in real-time.
Nevertheless, you should consider a user-friendly eCommerce platform based on your experience, whether as a newbie or an experienced user.
3. Prioritize the platform’s security
According to CNBC, online stores experienced an increased number of online attacks in the year 2019. However, you can take proactive measures against cyber-attacks by opting for a highly-secured platform for your online store. Besides, customers who patronize your online store should be guaranteed that their payment information is safe and secured.
4. Check for flexibility
A typical eCommerce platform may incorporate standard online store features while providing additional features as add-ons. For instance, additional features such as payment processor, email newsletter, social media management, SEO, etc., may be absent on an eCommerce platform. However, some eCommerce platforms support third-party integrations. Therefore, you should consider an eCommerce platform that allows you to extend its basic capacity.
Additionally, it would help if you considered utilizing an international payment gateway on your online store for collecting payments from your foreign customers. An eCommerce platform that integrates with PayPal will be ideal; besides, it is the most preferred online payment method after credit cards.
Furthermore, you should consider your online store niche, and business objectives before deciding upon the third-party tools that you require for your online store.
5. Use a responsive platform
A responsive eCommerce platform ensures that your online store loads correctly on various screen sizes, whether mobile or desktop.
A recent study revealed that up to 50 percent of online purchases are made using mobile phones. That’s about half of the total number of online purchases. If your online store is not well optimized for mobile devices, then you are likely to lose half of your customers.
Although several eCommerce platforms have several mobile responsive designs; however, you should take your time to test for their mobile responsiveness before making a decision.
6. Consider the SEO-friendliness
About 87 percent of online shoppers carry out online searches for products before they make purchases. This implies the necessity for your online store to be search engine friendly. Although there are several eCommerce platforms in the market; however, some of these platforms are not SEO-friendly, thereby resulting in low organic traffic for your online store.
Conversely, search engine optimization (SEO) allows you to generate organic traffic to your online store from search engines. Not to mention, vast traffic translates to more sales, thereby increasing your profitability.
With an SEO-friendly eCommerce platform, your online store products or brand will rank well on search engine results pages (SERPs). This ensures that you do not lose your prospective online customers to your competitors.
7. Pay attention to scalability
When choosing an eCommerce platform for your online store, you should think ahead. For a successful online store, a time will come when you might need to expand, include more products, handle many customers (traffic), and process more orders. So, if your chosen eCommerce platform is not scalable, you might face uncomfortable limits, which might make it challenging to expand your online store.
Also, some eCommerce platform providers offer tiered packages that allow you to migrate to a better plan once your online store starts advancing. With a scalable eCommerce platform, you will be able to expand your online store without limitation.
8. Good support is essential
Finally, you must opt for an eCommerce platform that offers extensive customer support. Besides, you may encounter some technical issues while managing your online store.
However, by contacting your eCommerce platform support team, you can efficiently resolve such issues without delays. and you can as well opt for an eCommerce platform that offers community-based support. This will enable you to solicit for help from users who have had a similar experience.
You can opt to build your eCommerce platform from scratch, but that will cost you time and money. However, some already-existing platforms such as WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Open Cart, etc. were built by professionals.
Not to mention, they incorporate both standard and unique features that you need to run your online store. By applying the tips listed above, you should be able to pick the right eCommerce platform for your online store.
Roberto Garvin is the co-founder of Mofluid. He is amazed to see how technology continues to evolve. From email to browsers, search engines, mobile, AI, and now blockchain, he feels fortunate to witness it all and is really excited to see what’s next.