»

7 things to consider when choosing the right e-commerce platform

The e-commerce industry has grown exponentially in the past decade. Online shopping increased by 15% in 2016, and it’s going to continue to increase in the future. If you’re starting an online business, an e-commerce platform is imperative for capitalizing on this online sales growth. Here are some of the factors you should consider when choosing the best e-commerce platform for your online business.

Pricing & Payment

The first thing you should think about when searching for an e-commerce platform is its price. Whether you’re a startup or an established business moving online, you need to know what you’re getting and what you’ll be paying. Most online e-commerce platforms will come with a monthly rate.

Depending on the platform you choose, the costs will vary. For example, enterprise Magento pricing will differ from the pricing for Big Cartel or Shopify. You should also factor in the processing fees included with the platform. Don’t sacrifice the features you need for a cheaper rate. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each platform to get the right one that fits your budget.

You should also factor in the costs for your customers. Some e-commerce platforms don’t come with the ability to make payments with third-party payment processors. This could become a problem for both you and your customers. This could lead to an increase in shopping cart abandonment.

You don’t want to take this risk when it comes to your business. Determine which forms of payment you’re willing to accept and keep this in mind when looking at the different platforms.

Integrations

Another thing you should consider when choosing an e-commerce platform is integrations and plugins. Most e-commerce platforms come with a wide variety of tools that help you run your business. Your business depends on the different components, features, and plugins that are offered.

When checking out the different platforms, consider the tools that you’ll need for your business. Some of the most plugins you should consider include accounting plugins, e-mail marketing plugins, and shipping plugins that ensure delivery of your products.

SEO Capabilities

Online businesses are not exempt from utilizing SEO. It’s important to use SEO for your business, especially if you want your store to rank high in search results. You need your customers to find your business when they’re searching for products that you offer. Three factors for finding an SEO-friendly e-commerce platform is the ability to create a blog, the ability for customers to leave reviews, the ability to use your own domain name.

Mobile Responsiveness

Sixty percent of searches are conducted from mobile devices. One of these searches leads to a purchase from that mobile device. It’s important to look for an e-commerce platform that allows customers to reach your website and make a purchase from any mobile device. You want the ability to create a mobile responsive website that works on desktop computers and laptop just as well as smartphones and tablets.

Customer Service

A key component to any business is its customer service support. But it’s become a challenge in the e-commerce world. Server downtimes and software outages are sometimes out of your control, and it prevents customers from making purchases or accessing your website. Your servers will crash at one point, affecting both your branding and revenue.

Having the ability to contact someone to help you get your website up and running is an important factor when it comes to choosing the right e-commerce platform. Look at each of your e-commerce platform’s customer service. Do they provide 24/7 support? How can you reach them? What do these additional services cost? Think about these factors before you decide the right platform.

Security

Security has become one of the biggest concerns for online shoppers. While most software programs provide a high level of security, make sure your e-commerce platform supports both HTTPS and SSL. This will ensure a safe and secure online shopping experience for your customers. Make sure that the platform you choose is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant, meaning they adhere to the security standards established by the PCI SSC.

Scalability

You can help that your online business grows in the future, but you’ll never know how or to what extent. It’s important to choose an e-commerce platform that scales with your business. You don’t want to add features and storage that you’re never going to use when starting out. You also want to keep up with the high demands the moment your business grows. You should choose an e-commerce platform that scales according to your business size so you don’t waste money doing so.

Starting a new business is challenging, especially when you’re shifting to an online version. There are so many e-commerce platforms to choose from. Choosing the right e-commerce platform is difficult for most business owners who are just getting started. Knowing what to look for in a platform can help make the decision easier and could lead you to success.

Also on FingerLakes1.com