E-commerce has continued to grow in popularity, and almost every business now has an online presence. We can comfortably predict that the growth will continue over the coming years. You are an entrepreneur, and have been thinking about starting an e-commerce platform. You, however, struggle with what factors to consider when choosing one. You must pay due attention to the process because your e-commerce platform will determine the success of your business. Read on below for some fantastic insights.
· Does It Have the Features You Need
When you are shopping for your e-commerce platform, youhave to be very clear about what you need. There are certain basic features you will get, including product listing, displays, shopping cart, payment processing, among others. But, there are so many other features you will need to help increase your efficiency. Such include the ability to customize your store, additional security features, inventory management, and marketing tools, among others. The platform you choose should be able to allow you to integrate whatever features you need.
· Consider the Cost Aspect
When you are looking for an e-commerce platform, you must consider how much it will cost you. If you are starting your business, you may not have so much money to spend. You must also be watchful that the monthly costs do not snowball out of control. Many of the platforms have a monthly cost implication, but the advantages are that some of them are very lowly priced. Popular platforms such as Shopify will cost less than $10 a month for the basic package. However, the benefits you get are dependent upon the subscription package you choose. You must, therefore, determine what your business can comfortably afford, and then go for the package that gives you the most benefits.
Integrations and plugins will help you run your online store efficiently. Platforms like Shopify have so many apps, both paid and free, that can help you customize your store as you wish. You also get tools that can help with the day-to-day operations, including inventory management, marketing, SEO, accounting, CRM, among others. The temptation for many online store owners is to download as many apps as possible. This is, however, a bad idea because it can impact the user experience on your website. Some of them are heavy and may slow down the running of your website. Others have a cost implication, and it could make their running of your onlinestore very expensive. Only download what you need and delete any you have not used or some time.
· Does It Allow You to Optimize For Mobile
Research shows that over 60% of shoppers will do so from their mobile devices. Once they find what they need, they are very likely to complete their transactions from the same device. The platform you opt for must, therefore, allow you to optimize your store for mobile. Your customers should get the same experience they would if they were using a desktop device. Search engines also base their ranking on how mobile-friendly your online store is.
· Customer Support
You may never truly appreciate the importance of customer support until your website breaks down, and you cannot get access to the technical team. There are so many things that can impact the running of the store, including software outage, lack of updates, downtime, among others. With so much competition in the online platform, you cannot afford to be out of business for a long time. When looking for an e-commerce platform, you must put customer support as one of your top priorities. They should be able to give you multiple access to the technical teams through email, phone, or chat, among others. Also, take into consideration how much it will cost you every time they sort out your issues. The best indicator of excellent customer support is what the customers say. Make sure you read the customer reviews; positive reviews are a good indicator when you are searching for the right platform.
· How Much Control Do You Have Of the Platform
As a store owner, you may want to control certain aspects of your online platform. Some will give you a hundred percent convenience, but allow you very little control. You may be able to list your products and handle the transactions easily. The reverse side is that you will not have too much control over have a customer experience. A platform such as Amazon, for example, can give you access to a broad audience base. The signup process is straightforward, and the customers come right to you, so you may not need to do too much marketing. However, you do not have control over some of the other aspects, which may be a bit frustrating sometimes.
Your e-commerce platform must assure you that any customer data you collect is safe. They must, therefore, put the best security measures in place. Your platform should support https/SSL security, together with their other standard security features.
· Does the Platform Allow For Scalability
We all start a business with the aim of making it grow as much as possible. Your platform should scale, the more business your grows. In the initial stages, you may only go for specific features that will work well at that particular time. But the more customers you get, the more orders you will process, thus requiring that you have an efficient system at all times.
Having an e-commerce platform is a great business opportunity for stay at home mothers. You must, however, choose the right one, and we have highlighted the factors you should consider any time you are shopping for one. Come up with a list of what you would like and see which could be deal-breakers for you. Only then can you comfortably see what each platform has to offer and decide.