Consumers use a variety of channels and devices to fulfil their shopping needs. It is then key for eCommerce businesses to offer them exceptional shopping experiences. This is why you should take the time to consider what the best eCommerce platform is for you.
Having these tools available to you to sell the right products to the right people while fulfilling orders efficiently should be something you have in place before properly launching your eCommerce.
If you’re unsure where to start then this article should help you navigate through the process of choosing the best eCommerce platform not only for you, but also for your customers, and your business model.
What is an eCommerce platform and why is it crucial to your eCommerce strategy?
Let us start by a quick reminder of the basic definition of eCommerce. Whether it’s buying a birthday present for your nephew, an online cooking course, clothing, plants, or pretty much anything at all; eCommerce is the transaction of commercial goods conducted electronically over the internet. Even simpler than that, eCommerce is buying or selling anything online.
Knowing that, an eCommerce platform is a software application allowing businesses to sell their goods and services online. And not only that! They can also use it for further help in administrative tasks such as managing their business’ websites, sales, and marketing. So if you’re considering embarking on the online selling adventure, choosing the best ecommerce platform is key! It will be at the core of many aspects of your journey and will be crucial to help you run your online business as smoothly as possible.
The good news is that as society becomes increasingly dependent on technology, as does the need for effective tools designed to deliver goods and services to the customer. Sounds good, right? Well, keep reading for useful tips that will help you find your match!
How do I choose the best eCommerce platform for my new business?
Most eCommerce platforms will offer enough flexibility to support different kinds of products, but certain solutions are more ideal for specific types of goods or services. That’s why it is important not to find the best ecommerce platform, but rather to find the best match for you.
If you do a quick online search then you’ll see that the term ‘’eCommerce platform” will likely give you about 174,000,000 results (0.57 seconds) at the top of the page. That’s a lot of information to go through and to understand! Luckily, there are several ways in which you can narrow down your choices to find the right eCommerce platform for you among the infinite options available.
Here are some of the key features you should look for when deciding on your eCommerce platform:
- Easy to set up and navigate
One of the most important factors is to make sure that your online shop is easy to set up and that it can be customised to suit your unique brand. Research the different templates that each platform can offer you which can help you to keep the cost of hiring a web designer low. Using templates you can create a professional-looking online shop without the extra hassle.
Online shoppers want a shopping experience that is seamless and simple. Don’t overcomplicate things when it comes to the shopping experience on your page. You want to make sure that from the moment they enter your website to the moment they receive the items, they do not encounter flaws in the system.
Make sure that the payment systems are entirely secure by using a platform that supports HTTPS/SSL for a checkout experience that is completely safe for customers.
- Relevant Integrations
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. Having too many options can feel overwhelming at certain times, but having a wide range of possibilities to choose from can also be beneficial to eCommerce platforms that help online businesses to grow.
This means you should look for platforms that work well with your existing systems and other marketing channels you wish to use. Think about how well you can link your page to social media, whether it will run smoothly with a CRM sales and marketing platform, and if there are other plugins and extensions available to maximise your sales potential.
- SEO and mobile-friendly
Your business should be easy to find for people looking for a particular product or service online. This means making sure that your online store ranks highly in the search results. Think back to that 174,000,000 result return on the term ‘eCommerce platforms’ and consider how many more there would be for somebody looking for a pair of socks or cupcakes. Find a platform that is SEO-friendly where you can use your own domain name, display customer reviews, add to your blog and drive shoppers to your business through search results.
With the number of people using mobile devices to shop online continuously growing, having a mobile-friendly website allows access to a growing proportion of shoppers who want their experience to be as seamless as possible. The easier a customer is able to interact with your brand, the easier it will be to make a sale.
What is the best eCommerce Platform?
As we stated earlier, the answer to that question depends entirely on your needs. For example, if you’re aiming for a site that is easy to navigate and get up and running quickly, a hosting platform such as Wix could be a good option. While it is mainly known as an all-purpose web builder, it is also fully functional as an eCommerce platform. It offers simple-to-use functionalities that are a great option for up-and-coming businesses who don’t need the more sophisticated features of a larger online megastore.
Another good option is WooCommerce. Again, rather than being a standalone eCommerce, this is a plug-in available for pre-existing blogs. For established bloggers who wish to sell their merch, for example, WooCommerce is a great add-on that is simple to use without you needing to create an entirely new website. This means that if your blog is already SEO friendly, your eCommerce section is, too, by default.
Shopify is probably one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms out there. Launched in 2009, it has the addition of easy to read analytics as part of the platform. As well as being easy to use and set up, Shopify will also offer its users unlimited hosting, functionality for marketing and SEO, a discount coupon generator, and much more.
Bear in mind that all of the above platforms are mobile-friendly, which means that they are able to cater to consumers who rely on their mobile devices to complete their purchases.
If you’re planning to start selling goods and services online, you’re certainly well aware that it requires plenty of hard work. And the step of choosing the right eCommerce platform is no exception to that! However, carefully picking the most relevant tool will help you to upscale your business by improving its operations and increasing sales. So, whatever the option you decide to go for, make sure it is easy to navigate, SEO-friendly, and can be adapted to the changing times. The process of choosing the best eCommerce platform can be long and complicated with so many on offer but the results make all of your efforts worth it.