- Setting up an online business requires that you get a good e-commerce platform. However, the process of choosing one can be complicated due to the number of platforms available. The one you eventually pick will have a significant role in how your business runs. It will help with all aspects of your business, including inventory management, marketing, checkout, reducing abandoned carts, payments, among others. You must invest adequate time into doing thorough research so that you pick the right one for your business. We will explore this topic in more detail below.
What Is An E-Commerce Platform?
An e-commerce platform is any software that will allow you to set up and run your online store. You get the relevant tools to create and manage the website. It also gives you sufficient support for the day-to-day operations. There is so much technology available on the online platform that can allow you to create a website without having the technological know-how. Some of the considerations you should have include:-
The platform you choose should be easy to use and allow you to create your store without needing to get a developer. Many of the platforms have easy to follow prompts that will ease the set-up process for you. You also get multiple plugins that will make your website more efficient.
You now have the option of e-commerce platforms that are not expensive, while others are free. This does not, however, mean that there are no costs that you will incur. Some of the extensions you will require for the day-to-day running of your online store may have a cost aspect to them.
· Multiple Solutions
You should be able to set up and run your business efficiently with a large number of solutions available on the platforms. Take, for example, Shopify; you get solutions such as name generator, logo generator, domains, among others.
· Customer Support
The platform you opt for should give you sufficient customer support so that your website is always running. It can be very inconveniencing if you have to stop your operations because you are not able to quickly resolve issues. Look for a provider who will give you 24/7 customer support.
E-Commerce Platforms to Consider
Before you decide on your e-commerce platform, you must be clear about what your needs are. Only then can you make the proper choice for your business. We will look at some of the platforms available and why they may be suitable for your business.
Sitebuilder is a fantastic platform for anyone who is new to the e-commerce world. It is very easy to use because it has an intuitive and comprehensive drag and drop feature. You get everything you need, including analytics, domain, SEO, and web hosting. You will especially like the fact that their bandwidth is unlimited, and you get sufficient storage space
The pricing is very friendly, and you get an introductory price of less than $10 a month. You have excellent technical support. Unfortunately, the support is not 24 7, but once you get through to the team they will sort you out in a short time.
What you may not like is that you have the choice of hundreds of templates, but very few are specific to e-commerce. Those who require very advanced functionalities will also not get it on this platform.
You get three main subscription plans, and they are kind enough to give you a one-year trial at a 50% discount. All the e-commerce plans come in under $10 a month, thereby making it a good option for a beginner.
Wix was initially set up as a website builder, and you can get most of the functionalities quickly with drag-and-drop features. You can now use it to set-up your online store with ease.
It is an easy-to-use platform and does not require any coding knowledge. The editor is very friendly, and it allows you to drag content from any part of your site. You get over 500 templates that are specific to online stores. They also give you a wide range of stock images you can use for your online store. You get a shopping cart with everything you require. You also have access to hundreds of apps to help you come up with a good design for your website. The service is fully hosted, thus relieving you of the stress of some of the back-end functions.
What you may not like about Wix is that it is not a purely commercial e-commerce platform. While you can sell items, some of the features can be very basic. You must also ensure that the design you choose is the one you want to go for because you will not be able to change it once you publish.
You get several options under the subscription packages. The cheapest comes in at $17 per month, while the Enterprise subscription package will cost you $500 per month.
A good e-commerce platform will help you elevate your business to the next level. You must, however, take the time to choose the one that works for you and can help you run your business efficiently. You will find very many options in the market. We have only touched on two above. We will explore more platforms in our subsequent articles to give you a more extensive choice for the best one. Ensure that the platform you go for gives you the ability to customize your online store as you wish and that fulfills the needs of your business idea.
You must also note how much it will cost you because if you are starting, you may not have so much money to spend on setting up your online store. Also, look for a platform that gives you many benefits without you needing to spend too much money. Take advantage of the extensions, but be careful about the number you download because it could impact on the running of your website.
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